- 6–7 hours over around 18km.
Head up the craggy peak of the big mountain behind Nine-Eyes Tower at Jiankou, and then down into the wild valleys and hills on the other side. Finish the hike with a big slog up to a ridgeline before walking down and out to a small village.
This is a fairly rough hike and part of the track is rather wild, so we’re limiting the number of participants to only fifteen tough trekkers.
You’ll need to be in good shape and have a good head for heights to enjoy this hike, and we’ll ask you about that as part of the sign up process.
The hiking trail
We start off near our local guide’s house at Jiankou and then walk up to the end of a concrete road.
We step off the concrete road and on to old trails that lead up to previously farmed areas. These areas aren’t farmed so much any more, and we’ll be going through some rather overgrown parts where the trail will be leafy and scratchy.
As we get higher the trail will clear a little bit, and we’ll be able to look back for views of the Jiankou Great Wall.
We eventually reach a little clearing on a ridge, where we’ll take a break before a steep climb up to the top of Heituo Mountain.
The 1,500m peak of Heituo Mountain is a narrow line of rock, and there’s a chance we’ll have to dance past other hikers here. We’ll continue a little further and find a nice open lunch spot. if it’s a clear day we’ll have views all the way back to Beijing.
From the top we’ll take a steep and narrow hill trail down into the valleys on the other side of the mountain. The path takes us right around the back of the mountain, down through fallow terraces full of dead leaves.
From this point we’ll keep the group fairly close together as the trail becomes overgrown and faint, with many little forks and turns. We’ll work our way up on to a low ridge, and then make an arduous climb that will get us back up on to the main ridge that comes down the north side of Heituo Mountain.
We’ll follow the trail down the forested ridgeline before meeting the concrete road that will take us down to the end.
What to bring on this hike
- Lunch and plenty of snacks to keep your energy up
- Warm clothes, gloves, and a hat in case the weather turns bad
- Sun protection: long-sleeved shirt, hat
- A bottle of sports drink with salt content (Gatorade, Pocari Sweat)
- A waterproof jacket in case the weather changes
- Strong and comfortable hiking boots
- (Click here to read our full What to Bring on a Hike list)
Reasons you might not enjoy this hike
- Exposure to heights on rocky crags.
- Sections of trail that are very bushy.
- Steep climbs on poorly-formed trails.