- 5–6 hours over 13km
Replacement hike: this hike has replaced our planned Yellow Grass Plateau trip as it seems that area is shut down for hiking due to people getting lost last weekend.
Hike up to the craggy peak of Heituo Mountain, and then down and out below the tall cliffs on the Nine-Eyes Tower side of the mountain.
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. Because of the steep ascents and descents on this hike we wouldn’t be able to do it in or after rain. Parts of the trail in the first half of the hike could be rather overgrown.
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.
On the south side of the peak is a crossroad in the trail. On this hike we’re going to take the turn that leads towards Nine-Eyes Tower instead of continuing down into the wild Valley of the Pigs.
The path down towards Nine-Eyes Tower is very steep to begin with, and could feel tough on the knees. The trail twists and turns through forest and leads below the face of tall cliffs, and just past the cliffs we find the old line of Great Wall that leads down to Nine-Eyes Tower and Jiankou’s ‘Big West’ Great Wall.
After a break at Nine-Eyes Tower we’ll take our regular trail down to the bottom, walking a short stretch of repaired wall before following hill trails down and back to the bus.
What to bring on this hike
- Lunch and plenty of snacks to keep your energy up
- 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.