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.