The Great Wall Spur is one of our favourite spots for a day hike – it's a tough climb up, but once you get there the views are excellent.
Better yet is to camp there, as the soft light of sunset and sunrise make the views even sweeter.
On the first day we packed our bags and hiked up, following the old path up through forest and past the cave. We set up camp and then relaxed while waiting for sunset.
The next day we were up early for sunrise, and then after breakfast we packed up camp and set off on a hike over to Jiankou, passing the 'Chinese Knot; on the way to the end.
See the photos below.
Setting out on the hike up to the wall.
Hiking up through the forest.
Taking a break on the way up.
We made it to the Great Wall.
The campsite is set up, and it's time for a rest.
Views of the Great Wall.
Looking down the 'spur' section.
Nice spot to enjoy a can of beer!
The last of the sun is shining on the Great Wall Spur. Smoggy Beijing is way in the background.
Sunset light on the Chinese Knot, one of the highest towers at Jiankou.
Getting ready for sunset.
Looking over towards Jiankou.
The sun is almost gone.
Sunrise over part of the Jiankou Great Wall known as the 'Upside-down Flying Eagle'. You can see the 'beak' just to the right of the sun.
Sunrise on the Spur.
We've just reached the high point, and Katie just pointed out where we need to hike next.
The tall tower in the middle of the photo is our goal.
Climbing up to the Chinese Knot on a steep trail beside the wall.
Almost to the top.
Looking over towards Nine-Eyes Tower.