Moyashike Valley and Great Wall Spur Loop
A different way to do the Great Wall Spur, with a valley detour that takes us up to the top via another line of wall in the area, and then back down the 'spur' section to complete the loop.
The Great Wall Spur hike has us visiting a beautiful stretch of unrestored Great Wall, but it’s quite a tough climb up a big hill before we set foot on top.
On this version of the hike, getting up on to the wall is a little easier as we spread out the climb to the high point over a longer distance.
On the way up to the highest point on the we follow a short stretch of wall that we usually visit only as part of our steep and difficult Chinese Knot hike. Parts of this stretch are rather steep, but it’s not too tough!
The first thirty minutes of the hike makes an easy warmup as we follow a road through a small village up to a hotel.
On one side of the hotel is the steep trail we take for the Great Wall Spur hike; on the other side is the flatter valley that we’ll be using on this visit. The valley trail is scenic, passing below steep cliffs on the way to a broad hillside that is topped by a line of Great Wall. We'll be coming down the steep trail later on in the day!
The valley runs below the ‘spur’ of our Great Wall Spur hike, and we'll see the spur's terminal tower.
Also in the valley is the reason the area is named ‘Moyashike’ – the Moya Carved Stones. Keep an eye out for the carvings as you hike up the valley, they're quite difficult to spot.
The walk up the valley should take us around about an hour, and at the top of the valley we’ll get on to a line of Ming Dynasty Great Wall on a low ridge, where we’ll stop for a break.
It’s this line of Great Wall that we follow when we do our Chinese Knot hike – on that trail, we’d turn right and head up to the highest peak; today we’ll turn left and follow the wall up to the highest point on the Great Wall Spur hike.
The climb up to the high point is fairly steep, but short – we go up 160 metres in height over just about 700 metres of distance.
Just before the top, this stretch of wall joins the Great Wall Spur, and right here is where we will stop for our lunch break. There are a few options here: take your lunch break up on top of the wall; take your lunch break in a nice shady spot just by the wall; or cut your lunch break short to explore a few nearby towers.
The reason that you might like to cut your lunch break short is that the 'spur' section that we'll walk after lunch is quite short, and we'll be off the wall after about thirty minutes more walking. Up to you!
The trail down from the peak, along the spur section, takes us along a nice stretch of wall that is partially covered by trees. Just before we get to the end of the spur, we'll exit the wall by a big tower and follow a long hill trail down to the hotel we passed on the way in.