The Heituo Mountain hike is one of the more recent additions to our repertoire of hikes, and it took us a little while to find all the trails. This time we walked all the trails we planned to instead of making off-track adventures, and can report back that it is a solid Level 5+ hike—17km with 1,500m+ of ascent, and some truly gruelling hill climbs!
Click through to see the photos from the steep hike up to the top, our high-altitude picnic area, and the long walk through the wild valleys around the back of the mountain.
Starting out on the hike. Way in the background you can see the sharp ridge of Heituo Mountain’s peak
Blossoms in the fields, and colours starting to show in the low hills.
Water bubbles from these rocks. Our local guide’s family used to come up here to pray for rain.
Long-time super hiker Andrea was in Beijing for a short visit, pictured here posing on an old kiln that was used to make charcoal.
Heituo Mountain is to the north of the Jiankou Great Wall, and you can see parts of the west side of Jiankou in this photo – Nine-Eyes Tower, the ‘Big West’ wall, and the Chinese Knot.
A closer view of Nine-Eyes Tower with some zoom.
Strange rocks part 1.
Strange rocks part 2.
Strange rocks part 3.
Strange rocks part 4.
Up on the peak, looking south east.
Another group had beaten us to the top, so we moved around the corner.
Looking down towards the villages at Jiankou.
Our picnic spot – a grassy meadow at 1,500m above sea level.
Worth the climb? Definitely.
We moved on along the ridge.
Around the back of the mountain we crossed a short stretch of what is said to be Northern Qi (approx. 550AD) Great Wall. A little bit further along is the foundation of a Ming Dynasty-era tower.
We hiked down through forest into ‘The Valley of the Pigs’.
Another charcoal kiln.
Further down into the valley we entered a white birch forest.
Into the forest.
We hiked down into the valley.
Around the back of the mountain we followed a rough track up to a ridge, passing this boulder that had crushed a tree.
We hiked further up the hill, passing through more forest.
Looking back to the peak of Heituo Mountain.
We had hiked up the valley in the middle of this photo.
About to flower.
A ridgeline trail passed through a pine forest.
Cliffs and bluffs, with Huiarou city in the distance.
We hiked out a concrete road to the end. The roads were built to give easier access for the fire service.