UPDATE 2019/5/3: the Jiankou Great Wall is open for hiking, but visitors may need to register with local 'Great Wall Protection Volunteers' (GWPV) to be able to get on the trail. The situation with the GWPV is not totally clear.
Is the Jiankou Great Wall closed? We called contacts for some local info about what's happening..
As at April 15, 2019, hiking is not allowed at the Jiankou Great Wall, and security staff are stationed at trailheads.
Right now, it’s possible to drive out there, and if you have a local contact you might be allowed to drive into the village. (You might not be, also—we weren't!)
From April 20-April 30 it won’t be possible to drive out there. The road will be blocked in the area of Yanqi Lake.
Why is it closed? The second Belt and Road Forum is due to be held at the Yanqi Lake International Convention Center in the last week of April. The convention center is in the same area as the Great Wall at Jiankou. It’s fairly typical for the whole of Huairou district to be shut down for hiking during important meetings at the convention center.
What hikes does this affect? It affects pretty much any hike that starts or finishes at Jiankou, including the Jiankou to Mutianyu hike. From April 20-30 it would be wise to avoid Huairou for hiking, unless it’s a park area, and the road behind Yanqi Lake will be closed.
When’s Jiankou going to be okay for hiking again? We’ve heard it should be okay again at some point in May.
What can you do instead? Good alternative hikes are Gubeikou to Jinshanling and the Huanghuacheng Great Wall, both offering a look at repaired and unrepaired Great Wall. You might be able to hike towards Jiankou from the Mutianyu Great Wall, but it's likely you'll find guards in the way there, too. Beijing Hikers has had plenty of practice with finding good hikes to do in this sort of situation, and we welcome you to check out our hiking calendar for some alternative Great Wall options.