Jiankou Great Wall Facts
Jiankou Great Wall in Huairou District of Beijing is right next to Mutianyu Great Wall within 10km. It’s one of the most challenging wild sections of Ming Great Wall, which has served as an important military defensive base in the ancient time (1368 AD - 1644 AD). Now it impresses a lot visitors to have an adventurous hike here.
Type: Ancient Ruins, Hiking Trails, Outdoor Activities
Best Seasons: Spring/Autumn; particularly for April, May, September and October
Recommended Visiting Time: 4-8 Hours
Opening Hours: the whole day
Tickets: CNY 20
Address: Badaohe, Bohai County, Huairou District, Beijing
Jiankou Great Wall, about 2 hours drive from Beijing, is a "wild" (unrepaired) section of the Great Wall. It was built on ridges with steep cliffs on each side, which makes it one of the most dangerous sections. It's only recommended for experienced and sure-footed mountain hikers.
Ox-Horn Edge (牛犄角边)
The Great Wall stretches straightly from the mountainside to the top of the mountain. After reaching a watchtower on the top of the mountain, it suddenly falls and drops down to the mountainside. The shape of the ridges resembles the horn of an Ox. It is vigorous and challenging. Therefore, people start to call it the Ox-Horn Edge. Though it's hard to hike atop the Ox-horn Edge, taking a picture of it from a distance can be really breathtaking.
General Cliffs (将军守关)
There are two cliffs on both sides of the mountain, and each one is about 2 meters high and 5 meters wide. Seen from a distance, they are like two generals, standing at an important position upon the Great Wall. The two vivid cliffs were found in the Qing Dynasty and recorded in the local "Chen's genealogy", and the ancient people even have written poems about the cliffs.
Nine-Eye Tower (九眼楼)
Nine-Eye Tower is located at the top of Flame Mountain at the junction of Huairou County and Yanqing County. Because the tower has nine arrow windows on each side, the tower was named after it. It is one of the important crossings of the Great Wall with an elevation of 1141 meters. The tower was well designed, including a kitchen and bedrooms inside, and even some horse stables.
The lower part of Nine-Eye Tower is made of stone strips and the upper part of this tower is made of white lime and bricks. The structure is very magnificent.
The hike from Jiankou to Mutianyu is about 10km, and it takes about 5 hours for medium-level hikers. However, you are not recommended to hike independently for safety reasons, especially if you are not experienced. Travelling with a guide, your guide will give you many helpful advice on the right and safe routes to hike. As you may know, some wild sections of the Great Wall are very dangerous to hike, and hard to rescue as well if an accident occurs. To protect the great wall, Jiankou Great Wall will have a temporary shut-down sporadically for environmental conservation. Sometimes, it is unpredictable and lasts for months.
Jiankou's wall adjacent to Mutianyu surrounds the northern valley containing the 'Old Water Hole' (Jiushuikeng) Village. The short 'Nine Eye Tower' (Jiuyanlou) section to the north goes partway up 1,500+m-tall Heituo Mountain and seals the valley. The west branch continues from 2.5 km south of Nine Eye Tower towards Huanghuacheng.
Jiankou hiking routes are usually divided into two directions: south or north from the 'Nock', a steep v-shaped notch between two peaks, with an access path from the south, and a wall up either side and towers on the tops.
The 4-hour south route (to Mutianyu) is said to be the most dangerous by boastful hikers, but it's not really. Lots of people have hiked it to the Mutianyu Section. Though many people have accomplished this route, it's not easy, with sharp rises and steep descents. There's about 10 km of highly-varied wall between the Nock and the path down from Mutianyu's Tower 10.
The north route (to Huanghuacheng) has the most dangerous lengths of wall: "Sky Ladder", "The Eagles Flies Facing Upward", and "Beijing Knot". The 4-km roundtrip detour up to Nine Eye Tower is worth it. Walking to Huanghuacheng in a day would be quite a marathon, with over 20 km of the wild wall to cover (not counting the detours)!
Branch walls: There's also a branch wall going 3 km out along a ridge southwest of the Nock. And it's not the only ridge-top branch wall: apart from Nine Eye Tower, there are others commanding the high ground to the south.
❶ Items to Pack: Hiking boots, sticks or trekking sticks, backpack, sun-glasses, sunscreen, snacks, camera.
❷ Risky Hikers: people who suffer from arthritis, heart disease, hypertension, asthma, and the traveler who are drunk are not recommended to take the hike.
❸ Age Ranges: Don't take a baby less than 3 years old for this hike, and the traveler who are more than 80 years old are not recommended to hike.
❹ Sanitation Facilities: Please go to the toilet at the entrance of the wall before the hiking, there is no toilet on the Wall. Please carry toilet paper by yourself always.
❺ Unavailable Hiking Conditions: You are not recommended to go, under the following weather condition: Rain, Snow, Strong Wind, etc.
❻ Dressing Advice: Please do not wear shorts, since you will go through bushes and jungle areas, even in summertime.
❼ Safety Advice: Please use your trekking sticks and watch out the loose bricks and steep slopes.
Spring and autumn is the best time to visit Jiankou Great Wall, for the weather is fine and the scenery is more stunning with spring flowers or autumn leaves. Summer time is often hot, and winter can be treacherous. If you would like to hike more, the early summer is also a good time for the longer daytime. Though Jiankou Great Wall is not as crowded as other popular sections such as Mutianyu Great Wall and Badaling Great Wall, please avoid going there on public holidays, especially the National Holiday (Oct. 1-7).
Jiankou Great Wall is not open for hiking. Besides Jiankou Great Wall, there are many other great walls offering you the same marvelous views, including Simatai Great Wall, Badaling Great Wall, and Huanghuacheng Great Wall, etc. Exploring the neighboring Jinshanling Great Wall, trekking on the steep mountain ridge of Simatai Great Wall and the near section of the better preserved Mutianyu Great Wall, admiring the famous and renovated Badaling Great Wall, you can encounter different sparking sides of each section and commemorate the man-made wonder of the ancient Chinese people. Travel Tour China offers you a tailor-made tour service, and you can fully experience all the famous great walls in 2 days. If you have more time, it's also recommended to explore other attractions in Beijing, such as the Forbidden City, Summer Palace, the Temple of Heaven, and More!
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