If you are looking for a remote part of the Great Wall where NOBODY goes try this area! It is not far from Mutianyu section of the Wall.
Located in the west side in Huairou County, Beijing, Xiangshuihu Great Wall is about 85 km from downtown Beijing. Because of the primordial appearance, it attracts a lot of foreign hikers. Xiangshuihu Lake Scenic Area is a scenic area which combines Great Wall, ancient cave, streams, living ponds, waterfalls etc.
Xiangshuihu got its name because at the source of the spring, the water gush constantly and the water sounds like thunder. You can hear the sound of running water thousand meters away. As the largest spring in Huairou Couty, Beijing, Xiangshuihu Lake is not only the source of drinking water for local people, but also the source of the Huairou reservoir.
For hiking and photography enthusiasts, there is no better place on the Great Wall of China than the dramatic and difficult Jiankou. As the most picturesque section of Great Wall, Jiankou is a popular destination for photographers, adventurous and experienced hikers throughout the year.
For 3-4 hours day hike, you will hike along the crumbling, unrestored sections of the Great Wall-Jainkou–Zhengbeilou tower to the fully restored Mutianyu. Hiking Jiankou is like walking on an obstacle course…stepping over piles of stone blocks, weaving around trees growing on the wall. At times you will walk right along the edge of the wall, quite high above the ground. The stone railings had fallen away maybe even hundreds of years ago.
Mutianyu is more tourist friendly with cable car / chair lift options available. After a few hours of hiking on the rugged terrain from Jiankou, you will arrive at Mutianyu, which makes for a much easier walk. If you are too tired to walk down, just hop on the cable car or zoom down in a toboggan.
Hiking from Great Wall Jianou to Mutianyu will bring you classic Great Wall hiking experience, as well as excellent views. For both adults and kids, this truly is an adventure.
Due to maintenance, Mutianyu Great Wall cable car is closed from Feb 20 to Feb 24th, 2017. If you are planning to take cable car up to the Wall, better adjust your plan to take chairlift up or walk up instead.
Walking the Great Wall of China from Jiankou to Mutianyu is a wonderful experience. Jiankou Great Wall is one of the most rustic areas of the wall because it is in its original state. Mutianyu is fully restored, Visiting Jiankou & Mutianyu gives you a chance to see the wall in a beautiful historic state.
The adventure begins at Xizhazi village–587m /1926ft above sea level. Once you leave the village, the hike is a decent uphill to reach the ruined tower-Zhengbeilou–830m / 2723ft above sea level.
The strenuous climb up is a great warm up for your day hike.
Approx. 1 hour walk through the hilly trail, you will reach the ruined tower- Zhengbeikou . You will be rewarded with a spectacular panorama of Jiankou and true nature of Jiankou basin.
Hiking from Zhengbeikou and Ox Horn Edge is like walking on an obstacle…stepping over piles of stone blocks. Here the steps are missing, the wall is broken, and trees growing on the towers.
Take a look back at Zhengbeilou, Listen to the silence of the mountains…
At times you will walk right along the edge of the wall, quite high above the ground as the stone railings had fallen away.
Halfway through hiking Jiankou, you’ll reach Ox Horn Edge–a dangerous section as it looks like ox horn in shape – 1011m / 3317ft above sea level. The climb up over rough terrain is challenging due to overgrown bushes and loose stone, pebbles.
Going up is hard. It’s a very steep descent on a slippery stone trail.
The steep slopes with loose bricks and stones, making it difficult to climb up.
Going down just may be harder than going up!
Descending back down the Ox Horn Edge is challenging for most hikers. This is the most dangerous part of wall between Jiankou and Mutianyu.
A few more quick climbs and descents before you get to the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall
A short walk to the fully restored Mutianyu.
Resorted section at Mutianyu
Mutianyu has been renovated, making it easier and safer to climb. The surface of Mutianyu is generally smooth. Walking down from tower 23 to tower 20 takes approx. 15 minutes.
Tower 20 of Mutianyu is blocked by Mutianyu Great Wall office since April, 2016, you have to climb over the newly constructed wall at tower 20 to the lower towers.
The newly constructed wall is approx. 1 meter in height.
Look down from tower 20
The section between tower 19 and 20 is really steep, containing approx. 450 steps. If you find climbing vertical steps exciting, this is right place for you.
The Mutianyu trails are are well formed and easy to follow, which makes walking along it relatively easy.
Mutianyu has the easier walking conditions and fewer crowds, it is much more enjoyable to walk in than Badaling.
The first significant snowfall of the season hit the Jinshanling , Jiankou and Mutianyu Sunday morning – and so far, it’s sticking. The Great Wall of China is looking beautiful this morning, and today’s snow served as a helpful reminder that skiers and snowboarders are running out of time to buy this year’s season pass.
Both Mutianyu and Jinshanling reported that light snow was falling Sunday morning. The Great Wall is breathtakingly beautiful on the mountain top and remind us how small we are.
There was some light accumulation on the roads, but traffic was moving. This can make it difficult for the Great Wall visitors. People driving through Jinshanling / Jiankou area should be prepared for cold, snowy conditions. In addition, the snow has been falling at ski resort.