Where is Jiankou?
Jiankou Great Wall is a wild Great Wall which is not rebuilt and run by the government as a tourist sight. This sections of the Great Wall means the wall around the Xizhazi village. This village is located 38kms northwest of Huairou district (100kms away from downtown Beijing). It is a super beautiful village! This village has 300+ years of history. It is surrounded by mountains from 3 directions and the Great Wall goes from east, south, and west on the top of the mountain. (alt 615 meters).
Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall hike is one of the most famous and TOUGH Great Wall hikes. There are so many reasons you choose this hike, but the most important reason is its beauty and quiet. If you want to hike this part of the wall by yourself, you need read all the tips before you go. This classic hike is about 11kms. The route is from Xizhazi village (Group 2 Nanjili 2 队南吉利村) to Mutianyu Great Wall main gate.
What to bring during this hike?
1. Pack plenty of water. Even if you plan to hike for just a couple of hours, you do not want to run the risk of becoming dehydrated. Plan at least 1 L per person of this hiking.
2. Wear supportive, closed footwear and comfortable socks. Hiking boots are best. If you do not have boots, wear comfortable shoes with thick supportive soles.
3. Wear comfortable clothes in layers that you can remove or add as needed. Check the weather report, Check the weather pack rain gear or umbrella.
4.W ear a hat and sunscreen. Pack additional sunscreen.
5. Somewhere along the trail, you will probably get hungry, so you should pack something like GORP (Good Old Raisins and Peanuts). If you are going to climb the dangerous part and not confident of your physical level, please bring a hiking stick with you.
When you got to Xizhazi village 2 dui（西栅子2队）, the hiking is officially started. The whole hike is about 11kms. Highest altitude is about 1000 meters. If you do the shortcut and take the cable car, the hike is only 8kms.
How to get to Jiankou, you can go there by public bus or have a private driver take you there.
1. Start at Group 2 (or called Nanjili 2 队) in Xizhazi village to Zhengbeilou (正北楼) (2kms)
2. Walk east to Ox-horn edge
3. Walk to Mutianyu Great Wall
4. Get down from the Wall
5. Get to the main gate and finish the hike
Jiankou to Mutianyu Hiking Map:
Walking Level: ★★★★☆
Walking distance: 11kms
Walking duration: About 4 hours
Optimal season: All year round, best time: March-December
Terrain: Rolling to hilly
Min Altitude: 331m
Max altitude: 978m
#1 Start from Xizhazi village Group 2 (it is also called Nanjili) in Xizhazi village to Zhengbeilou (正北楼)
Hiking started from Xizhazi village Group 2 (Nanjili ). Nanjili is the 2nd group of the xizhazi village.
For more information about the village. Please read this: Xizhazi village and Jiankou Great Wall
If you want to go to this place by public bus and hike the wall by yourself. Please read this: Jiankou how to get there?
There is only 1 main road leading up to Zhengbeilou tower. Please follow the road which looks more prominent and you can tell more people walk the path than any other small little road. If you get lost on the way, please check this tower (Zhengbeilou) is the one you need to go.
About 1-hour hike on the way, Get to zhengbeilou(正北楼). You need to climb up to the stairs. When you get to Zhengbeilou (正北楼 ) it is the official time to enjoy the great view of the Great Wall. There is usually a local farmer charge 5 RMB for using his stair at Zhengbeilou. Don’t get in trouble, just give this little money. The view on Zhengbeilou is amazing! You can enjoy all the wild section of Jiankou. Even get to the top of the tower. Be careful!
2. Walk east to Ox-horn edge.牛角边
It is about 30 minutes walk to get to Ox-horn edge. I think this is the most challenging part of the hike. The way up and down is utterly destroyed. Especially the way down even without trees you can hold. It is super steep and be careful.
The Ox-horn edge is not suitable for everyone. If you don’t want to make the adventure, take the shortcut. When you arrival the Ox-horn edge, before you climb up, there is a tower marked “MTY,” it means the way to do a shortcut about 5 minutes to avoid going up the wall. After 5 minutes walk along the footpath, you will go back to the wall again.
3. Walk to Mutianyu Great Wall
After Ox-horn edge, about 30-minutes walk to get to the rebuilt section-Mutianyu Great Wall tower 23.
From this tower, you will see a lot of red rebins on the trees which are bound by tourists for good luck! After this, the Great Wall is rebuilt and easy for walking.
Jiankou to Mutianyu blocked?
Mutianyu tower 20 is blocked, so you need climb up the wall.
1.2 meters high, easy for most people. You can save the Mutianyu Great Wall tickets:)
4. Walk down from Mutianyu Great Wall (3 ways)
1. Take the cable car at tower 14
This is the fastest way to go down. Cable car station is at tower 14. The ticket price is 100RMB per person.
2. Take the toboggan tower 6
It is about 1-hour walk from tower 20 to tower 6. The toboggan is very interesting.
3. Walk down
There are many paths leading down from the wall. The first 1 you will see is after tower 12. If you don’t clear with the number of the towers. You can find any way on your right side and walk down. It all leading down to the entrance.
5. Get to the main entrance
After you walk down the Mutianyu Great Wall, you need to buy the shuttle bus tickets and then take the shuttle bus to go out. Shuttle bus fee: 10RMB per person.
After the shuttle bus, just 5 minutes walk out. The main gate is easy to find!
You can choose to take the bus home or tell your private driver meet you here
This is a tough hike, especially the part on the ox-horn edge is a little dangerous. In all, this hike is doable for most people who like doing exercise. 11kms seems not tough, but plus the up and down hills. You can count it as 20kms walk.
For this hike:
Walking distance: 12.5kms
Flights Climbed:175 floors
I will keep updating the latest information to help all the travelers. Please let me know any of your suggestions or questions. I would be more than happy to assist your Great Wall trip!