Jiankou and Great Wall Spur
Hike hill trails and Great Wall on the way from Jiankou to the Great Wall Spur. Some sections steep and slippery!
NOTE: this hike has replaced our planned Jiankou/Mutianyu/Lotus Pond visit, which we can’t do safely this weekend due to repair work being done between Jiankou and Mutianyu.
This hike is very similar to our Moyashike Valley and Jiankou’s ‘Big West Wall’ Great Wall trail, but we’re going in the reverse direction and will finish in a different village.
Along the way there are plenty of places we can bail out if the weather turns for the worse, but we hope that with an early start we’ll be able to stick to the main plan!
We start the hike walking up a long forested valley to link up with our Nine-Eyes Tower hike trail. Instead of heading up to Nine-Eyes Tower, we’ll turn left and follow what’s known as the ‘Big West Wall’.
We’ll follow the wall south towards the Chinese Knot section, passing around and over ten towers. The first four towers are not in the best condition, and the trail we take sometimes skirts around sections that are too steep or too broken to walk on.
Along the way we’ll get excellent views of the Big West Wall: solid and uncommonly tall foundations made of huge carved rocks topped with Ming Dynasty (1368–1644) brickwork and towers.
At the tenth tower, we’ll leave the wall and follow a trail down to the valley on the west side of the ‘Big West Wall’ – a little steep and slippery to begin with, but not too bad.
After a two-minute walk on the concrete road at the bottom of the valley we’ll cross a little bridge and climb up to another section of Great Wall. Parts of this climb are a little steep, and the wall here is broken down and slippery.
We’ll follow the wall up to a high point, where we’ll join on to our Great Wall Spur hike. From here it’s all downhill—first down along the wall, passing through some nice big towers, and then down a hill trail to reach the village where we’ll finish the hike.
What to bring on this hike
- Lunch and snacks to eat
- Sun protection: long-sleeved shirt, hat
- A bottle of sports drink with salt content (Gatorade, Pocari Sweat)
- A rain jacket, just in case
- Good hiking boots
- (Click here to read our full What to Bring on a Hike list)
Reasons you might not enjoy this hike
- There are some tricky ups and downs on quite loose footing that will not be much fun if you are don’t like heights or don’t have shoes with good grip.
- The trail could be brushy and scratchy in places.