Jiankou to Lotus Pond via Mutianyu Great Wall

A tough hike that crosses the unrestored Jiankou and Lotus Pond sections of wall at either end of the Mutianyu Great Wall.

Level 4
4–5 hours start to finish over 10km (Can I do it?)

This hike is not currently scheduled

Contact us for schedule updates or set up a private hike

Great Wall and towers covered by trees and bushes
A view of the Lotus Pond stretch of Great Wall.

UPDATE 2016/3/30: our local contact confirms that the crossover from Jiankou to Mutianyu that there are repairs taking place at the crossover between Jiankou and Mutianyu and that there’s a safety issue there. We’ve changed this hike to the Jiankou to Great Wall Spur trail.

UPDATE 2016/3/30: our local contact suggests that the crossover from Jiankou to Mutianyu (and from Mutianyu to Lotus Pond) is now blocked off. We’ll find out for sure and will let you know if there’s going to be a change of plan for this hike.

This is a tough hike – not too long, but there’s a lot of uphill and even more downhill.

This walk begins from a small village in the Jiankou area. Our local guide has a guesthouse here, and he’s picked a nice spot—Jiankou is home to some of the most dramatic stretches of Great Wall in the Beijing area.

We’ll start off the hike by following a zigzag hillside trail that rises quickly to a Great Wall tower that is almost 1,000 metres above sea level. From the tower we can see the Jiankou basin, as well as the many other sections of Great Wall in the area.

From there we’ll head east, following the wall towards Mutianyu. There is some steep climbing, and you’ll need a good head for heights and some balancing skills - at some points the Great Wall is overgrown with bushes, and this will force us to walk along the very edge, quite high above the ground.

Along the way we’ll pass through many towers. At one point we’ll have an option – take a forest detour past an old meeting place that would make a very good campsite, or climb up and down a steep broken down section of wall that’s named the Ox-Horn.

We’ll end up at the eastern end of the Mutianyu Great Wall, and follow it all the way over to the west side. The Mutianyu section officially ends at a large tower—walk through the tower and you’re on to the Lotus Pond section of Great Wall.

We’ll follow the wall a few towers further and then head down a dirt trail to finish the hike not far from the popular Shanba resort area.

What to bring on this hike

Reasons you might not enjoy this hike

  • There’s a lot of downhill while on the wall, which may give you sore knees if you’re not used to long hikes.

Because of the COVID-19 situation we have some extra terms and conditions for participation.

In particular:

  • DO NOT participate if you are sick or showing symptoms of fever and/or have an elevated temperature, or have been in close contact with someone who was.
  • DO NOT participate if you have not completed any required quarantine after your return to Beijing.
  • You MUST agree to the mitigation and prevention measures outlined here and that Beijing Hikers will not be held responsible if any participants become sick.

Please read in full here: Operating hikes under COVID-19 precautions

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