Home > Hike in Beijing

Not currently open for booking

This hike is not currently scheduled, and the information on this page may be incomplete or out of date.

Great Wall: Nine-Eyes Tower

In Brief: A looping walk over tricky terrain and unrestored Great Wall on the west side of Jiankou.

Hikers approach the Nine Eyes Tower, the highest point of the hike

Hikers approach the Nine Eyes Tower, the highest point of the hike. View more photos »

Key information

  • 3–4 hours start to finish over 8km.

This is a looping walk over steep and rocky terrain, with a lot of scrambling and climbing required to arrive at the highest point on the hike, the impressive Nine-Eyes Tower. On a clear day in this spot in the heart of the mountains it will be possible to see the towers of our Great Wall Spur and Chinese Knot hikes, and the Mutianyu Great Wall, with glimpses of other sections of the Great Wall that follow nearby mountain ridges.

There are many sights of interest along the way, from ancient history (volcanic rocks and other geological features) to Qi, Ming, and Qing Dynasty* constructions, as well as signs of more recent use of the land.

We start out on a trail out the back of the village at Jiankou, climbing up and over a ridge and down again through a forest into an area that was used to farm cows. The stonewall cattle pens are still in evidence, although hidden in the undergrowth.

We’ll gradually head up the valley, turning off to climb a steep trail that leads to Er Dao Bian Tower, the start of the Nine-Eyes tower loop. Er Dao Bian roughly translates as ‘Two Roads On Each Side,’ and at this point in the hike we’ll be at approximately 900m above sea level. On the way up, keep an eye out for a massive free-standing chunk of rock, and an ancient stone oven that was built at the same time as the Great Wall and was still being used in the 80’s.

Nine-Eyes Tower is even higher – almost 1,200m above sea level. In its original condition it had three levels, and the lower level had nine windows on each side. It would have been an impressive sight, and still is to some extent. It has been slightly restored – the floor of the third level is now the roof, and the interior is very spacious compared to other towers in the area.

Around the back of the tower there are large stone tablets to look at. A spur of the wall continues to head north; we’ll head west on another stretch, following the wall to a spot with a view of a ancient walled army barracks before retracing our steps to find the hill trail that will take us back to Er Dao Bian Tower.

After everyone is back at Er Dao Bian Tower, we’ll follow the wall south towards the Chinese Knot section, passing around and over ten towers on a stretch of wall known locally as the ‘Big West Wall’.

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.

After a while we’ll be back on to more solid footing, and 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.

On a clear day we’ll be able to see how much Great Wall is in this area – rather a lot! – and we can sometimes see all the way over to Mutianyu, a famous tourist section of Great Wall.

At the tenth tower of the Big West Wall, just below the Chinese Knot, we’ll leave the wall and follow a trail back to Xizhazi Village – steep and slippery at the beginning, flattening out as we pass through a lovely forested area and the villagers’ orchards and fields.

Our bus will be waiting for us at the village carpark, and we’ll unpack our picnic tables for snacks and cold drinks before we head back to Beijing.

No pizza this time, sorry! In the trip reports listed below you’ll see a pizza hike. That’s a special arrangement.

* Dates of dynasties mentioned
Qi Dynasty (Northern Qi, 550-557 AD)
Ming Dynasty (1368 AD-1644 AD)
Qing Dynasty (1644 AD-1912 AD)

What to bring on this hike

Reasons you might not enjoy this hike

  • There are some steep and slippery sections on this hike, particularly while on the Great Wall. Not recommended if you are not good with heights.
  • We cross a few parts of the trail where bricks and gravel are very loose underfoot.

There are risks involved in hiking. Please read our Risk Acknowledgment and Waiver and inform yourself before participating.

Level4

Level of difficulty

Level 4 hikes will usually take 4 hours to complete, and will be difficult for people who are not used to hiking or are out of shape.

Is the level of difficulty suitable for me?

Hike statistics

  • Distance: 8km
  • Time to complete: 3–4 hours
  • Total ascent: 658m
  • Total descent: 645m
  • Start height: 623m
  • Peak: 1,156m
  • Finish height: 639m
  • Location: Huairou
  • Drive time: 2 hours each way

Hikes in Beijing

We publish our hike schedule month by month, with updates around the 10th of each month.

If you're interested in hikes and trips during a month that's not yet listed, use our contact form to let us know and we'll send you a quick email when the schedule is online.

Hike in Beijing calendar

See the Hike in Beijing schedule in our calendar


Find a hike

Great Wall hikesGreat Wall campingHillwalking hikesTough hikesEasy hikesShunyi hikesSee all the hikes »Calendar


All upcoming hikes in Beijing

Departure date: Saturday, April 29
Book it

Vulture Rock Ridge and the old Pilgrim’s Trail

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, April 29
Standby

Great Wall: Huanghuacheng to the Walled Village

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Sunday, April 30
Standby

Great Wall Spur

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: April 30–May 1 (Sun–Mon)
Standby

Camping: Switchback Great Wall

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Monday, May 1
Book it

Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Monday, May 1
Book it

Yajishan Temple Fair, Pinggu District

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Wednesday, May 3
Book it

Jiankou ‘Big West’ Great Wall

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Thursday, May 4
Book it

Gubeikou to Jinshanling Great Wall East

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, May 6
Book it

Big Camp Plate Village and Hengling Valley

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, May 6
Book it

Stone Valley Great Wall Loop

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Sunday, May 7
Book it

Ming Village day trip

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Sunday, May 7
Book it

Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Wednesday, May 10
Book it

Zhenbiancheng Great Wall Loop Hike

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Thursday, May 11
Book it

Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, May 13
Book it

The Pinnacle Tower Plus

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, May 13
Book it

Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: May 13–14 (Sat–Sun)
Book it

Camping: Gubeikou Great Wall and Jinshanling Great Wall

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Sunday, May 14
Book it

Train Tracks and Chestnut Orchards

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Sunday, May 14
Book it

Great Wall Spur

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Wednesday, May 17
Book it

Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Thursday, May 18
Book it

Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, May 20
Book it

Yanqing Great Wall and High Tower Challenge

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, May 20
Book it

Jiankou ‘Big West’ Great Wall

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: May 20–21 (Sat–Sun)
Book it

Camping: Switchback Great Wall

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Sunday, May 21
Book it

Hemp Village to Jinshanling Great Wall East

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Sunday, May 21
Book it

Shunyi Hikers: Immortal Valley Loop

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Wednesday, May 24
Book it

Great Wall Spur

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Thursday, May 25
Book it

Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, May 27
Book it

Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Sunday, May 28
Book it

The Great Flood

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Sunday May 28
Book it

Sunset over the Huanghuacheng Great Wall

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Monday, May 29
Book it

Switchback Great Wall

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: May 29–30 (Mon–Tue)
Book it

Camping Basics: Great Wall Spur

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Tuesday, May 30
Book it

Hemp Village to Gubeikou Great Wall

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Tuesday, May 30
Book it

White River hike

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Thursday, June 1
Book it

Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, June 3
Book it

Walled Village to Huanghuacheng Great Wall

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: June 3–4 (Sat–Sun)
Book it

Yellow Grass Plateau Mini-Overnight

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Sunday, June 4
Book it

Zhenbiancheng Great Wall Loop Hike

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Sunday, June 4
Book it

White River hike

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Wednesday, June 7
Book it

Middle Route of Switchback Great Wall

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Thursday, June 8
Book it

Gubeikou to Jinshanling Great Wall East

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, June 10
Book it

High Rise hike and Little West Lake Great Wall

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, June 10
Book it

Great Wall Spur

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: June 10–11 (Sat–Sun)
Book it

Camping: Switchback Great Wall

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Sunday, June 11
Book it

Yunmeng Gorge Swim or Explore

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Sunday, June 11
Book it

Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Wednesday, June 14
Book it

Jiankou ‘Big West’ Great Wall

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Thursday, June 15
Book it

Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, June 17
Book it

Hillwalking Challenge: Flower Wood to East Water Valley

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, June 17
Book it

Stone Valley Great Wall Loop

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Sunday, June 18
Book it

Great Wall: Nine-Eyes Tower

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Sunday, June 18
Book it

Down the White River

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Wednesday, June 21
Book it

Great Wall Spur

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Thursday, June 22
Book it

Great Wall: Huanghuacheng to the Walled Village

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, June 24
Book it

Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Saturday, June 24
Book it

Gubeikou Great Wall Loop

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Sunday, June 25
Book it

Hemp Village to Jinshanling Great Wall East

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Sunday, June 25
Book it

Walk Down The Incense Trail to Dajue Temple

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Wednesday, June 28
Book it

Stone Valley Great Wall Loop

Read more about this hike »
Departure date: Thursday, June 29
Book it

Longquanyu Great Wall to the Little West Lake

Read more about this hike »

Explore China

See more of China on a multi-day trip—travel to famous scenic areas, or choose to visit somewhere obscure and less well-known.

Upcoming trips

A person walks through the sandy dunes of the Tengger Desert
Trip dates: April 28–May 1, 2017

Tengger Desert Lakes, Inner Mongolia

In Brief: Travel by foot and jeep through the desert, visit desert lakes, ride camels, camp in the desert, and more.

Book trip
More info »
Huts below the Gangshika Snow Mountain
Trip dates: May 26–30, 2017

Qinghai Lake, Kumbum Monastery, and the Gangshika Snow Mountain, Qinghai Province

In Brief: Take a hike near the shores of Qinghai Lake; join the pilgrims visiting Kumbum Monastery; camp out at high altitude on Gangshika Mountain and hike up to a glacier.

Book trip
More info »
Clouds over the green rolling hills of the Bashang Grasslands, Hebei Province
Trip dates: June 16–18, 2017

Bashang Grasslands, Hebei Province

In Brief: Clean and cool grasslands near the border of Hebei and Inner Mongolia: hikes, BBQ lamb, and more.

Book trip
More info »