Jason Walker

Travelled to 12 countries / regions

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Have been living in China for over six years



Asia > China > Beijing > The Great Wall of China > Useful Info
Submitted on Jul 29, 2020 Useful Info

How I hiked the Jiankou Great Wall: The 2021 Guide of Challenge

Death Valley of the Great Wall- Jiankou Great Wall One-day Hiking Guide (Unequipped Version)

The Jiankou Great Wall, located in Badaohe Township, Huairou District, Beijing, is at an altitude of 1,141 meters. It is known as the "most dangerous section of the Great Wall of China". It is the most precarious and spectacular section of the Great Wall in Beijing and even the Great Wall in China. The Great Wall was built all the way on the cliffs and peaks. It was named because it had a "W" shape, like a bow and arrow. The Jiankou Great Wall is naturally severely weathered and has no artificial decoration. It is from the side of the cow corner, the north building, the second south floor, the east-west shrunken neck building, the east-west oil basket, the Jiankou beam, the general guard, the ladder, the eagle flying down, and Beijing Junction to the Nine Eyes Tower, which stretches for more than 20 kilometers, fully demonstrates the thrills, dangers, oddities, specials and extremes of the Great Wall, and can appreciate the original scenery of the ancient Great Wall. It is such a majestic ancient Great Wall that attracts a large number of domestic and foreign outdoor enthusiasts and adventurous people to climb and challenge every year. It can be said that if you have not been to Jiankou, you are not considered to have seen the real "Great Wall"!

As a non-professional outdoor enthusiast, Hu You Jingcheng tried to hike the Jiankou Great Wall from Zhengbei Tower to Jiankouliang section by bare hands for the first time without equipment, and successfully completed the planned route. Today, let’s share with everyone who loves the outdoors and the Great Wall how to conquer the Jiankou Great Wall with bare hands in one day!

User submitted photo of The Great Wall of China

Like climbing Mount Everest, climbing the Jiankou Great Wall is also divided into a southern line and a northern line. The southern route starts from the Shuntong rainbow trout base in Tianxianyu Village. This route is long, difficult to walk on the mountain, and is physically exhausting, but it can save 20 yuan to enter the mountain tolls and free parking. Suitable for climbers who are looking for excitement and plan to hike halfway through Jiankou. ​The northern line starts from Xizhazi Village for mountaineering. This line is short (about one-third of the southern line), the mountain road is relatively gentle, and the physical strength is small. However, it is necessary to pay 20 yuan for the tourist park ticket and parking. fee. Suitable for novice level climbers and climbers who plan to hike Jiankou the whole journey.

Although it is the first time to climb Jiankou, because I like adventure and challenge, I chose the relatively difficult southern route as the uphill route. The whole route is as follows: Starting from the Shuntong Rainbow Trout Base​, go up the mountain along the eastern trail and go straight to the Zhengbei Building. After arriving at the Zhengbei Building, walk west along the Great Wall, passing the South 2nd Floor, Dongshu Neck Building, Xishu Neck Building, Little Potala (East Oil Basket), West Oil Basket, to Liangxia Great Wall at Jiankou, start Go down the mountain and finally return to the rainbow trout base along the western trail. The time spent is (due to the need to take pictures and record the whole process, so the time is relatively long): 3 hours and 30 minutes up the mountain; 4 hours and 40 minutes on the Great Wall; 2 hours and 10 minutes down the mountain. It took a total of 10 hours and 20 minutes.

User submitted photo of The Great Wall of China

Climbing Jiankou is different from other Great Walls. Because it is still in the undeveloped stage and the road downhill is relatively difficult, many unexpected problems may be encountered during the climbing process. Therefore, it is recommended that everyone must hurry up early and not late, leave plenty of time, and go down the mountain before 4 pm, otherwise it will be very dangerous to walk on the wild mountain road once it gets dark!

If you can, I suggest you live in the Shuntong Rainbow Trout Base the night before. Although the house price is not cheap, it is 280 nights on weekends, but at least it avoids getting up early, and you can sleep a little longer to keep your energy up and adjust. To the best condition. After getting up at 7:00 in the morning and having breakfast (20 persons, breakfast is worth the price), start the exciting journey of Jiankou! By the way, one more thing, you must bring enough water. Although there are water sellers on the mountain, the price is 10-15 yuan a bottle!

Before climbing, look up at the distant mountain, the small square on the top of the mountain is the arrow button! This is the goal to conquer today!


The first stop is the Zhengbei Building, because it is the highest place in the entire section of the Great Wall, so it is very spectacular to climb the Zhengbei Building and look west to the Jiankou Great Wall! At the same time, this is also the best angle for photography enthusiasts to take photos of the entire Jiankou Great Wall. Many photographs about the Great Wall of Jiankou were born here. The road from Dengchengkou to Zhengbei Building is very easy.

User submitted photo of The Great Wall of China

User submitted photo of The Great Wall of China

The Second Tower

Leaving the Zhengbei Building and heading for the South Second Floor. Note: Be sure not to go down the Zhengbei Building from the exit of the beacon tower, because there is a ladder toll office there, 5 yuan per person. If you want to walk around from the south side of Beacon Tower, you can bypass this toll office. This detour is very difficult, but it can save 5 yuan, which is still very worthwhile.

Go around the Zhengbei Building and return to the city wall to continue climbing. The road conditions from the Zhengbei Building to the South 2nd Floor are generally okay, not too difficult. The walls are covered with vegetation along the way, so be careful not to trip under your feet when you walk. Some sections of the road are built along the cliffs, and the roads are relatively narrow and need to be passed carefully.

User submitted photo of The Great Wall of China

User submitted photo of The Great Wall of China

Next is the first difficulty encountered-the section from the second south floor to the east shrinking neck building​. This section of the Great Wall descends rapidly along the mountain with an angle of almost 90 degrees, making it difficult to climb. In addition, due to the vertical angle and disrepair for a long time, part of the vertical wall was completely collapsed, and the only connection between the upper and lower sections of the Great Wall was a cliff with a height of about 20 meters. So if you want to continue the journey of Jiankou, you must climb down this cliff. At the bottom of the cliff connected to the city wall is another ladder, and this ladder must be used, 5 yuan per person.

User submitted photo of The Great Wall of China

After a short break here, the journey will continue at 13:05. The road conditions from here to Dongshuo Neck Building are not bad. Compared with the cliff just now, this section is much smoother. Crushed stones and broken bricks are mainly used along the way. Although there are occasional collapses, the slope of the broken bricks that collapsed is relatively slow and it is not difficult to climb. It takes 25 minutes from here to the Dongshuo Neck Building, and a beacon tower that has basically collapsed will pass by.

Since this is the midpoint of the section from Zhengbei Building to Jiankou, the front and back scenery is good. You can take more photos here and take more breaks by the way.

The scenery looking westward from Xihuankoulou. You can see the winding trend of the Great Wall built on the mountain and the little Potala in the distance. (Does it look like the Potala Palace in Lhasa?)

User submitted photo of The Great Wall of China

13:42 embark on the second half of the Jiankou journey. The next section is the section from the West Shrinking Neck Tower to the Little Potala. The Great Wall in this section has a "V"-shaped trend, which is steep up and down, which is the second difficulty in this trip. Especially after coming out of the Xihuaneck Tower, you will immediately encounter a nearly vertical city wall, which requires both hands and feet to stabilize the city wall. Different from the cliffs, not only the angle is steep, but there are also a lot of broken bricks. You must proceed carefully!

User submitted photo of The Great Wall of China

This section of the Great Wall turns 90 degrees down the mountain, which is the most beautiful and wonderful scenery in the eastern section of the Jiankou Great Wall!

Descending to the lowest point of the "V" shape, there is another beacon tower. After exiting this beacon tower, you will encounter the fourth toll ladder in this trip, which is also 5 yuan per person. Although it is possible to take a detour, but the road conditions are not easy to take, it is recommended that you pay to take the ladder, after all, life is more important than anything!

From the ladder to the little Potala all the way uphill, it is not difficult, but the slope is relatively steep (about 60 degrees), and it is more tiring to climb up. When climbing this section, I can stop from time to time. Looking back at the West-Shrinking Neck Building, the angles of the West-Shrinking Neck Building are good.

User submitted photo of The Great Wall of China

Feeling finished, 14:49 followed the last part of the journey, West oil basket to Jiankou section. This section is the third difficulty. When you step down from the western oil basket, you will immediately encounter a 90-degree cliff with broken brick walls. The difficulty is no less than cliff climbing! However, the most troublesome part is that we are not climbing up, but down! Therefore, overcoming the inner fear of heights has become the biggest challenge before us!

The lowest platform in the distance is Jiankouliang.

We chose to continue on to Jiankou, but did not descend from here. However, according to netizens, this road is not as easy as going down the mountain at Jiankou, which is more difficult, so I pass decisively.

Before leaving this cliff, I didn't forget to look at it a few more times, just to see the other two people climbing down the cliff, really worried for them! It’s hard to imagine that we just came down from above! We didn't move on until they turned down smoothly.

User submitted photo of The Great Wall of China

Feelings and suggestions after climbing:

1. To climb the Great Wall of Jiankou, you must make a strategy in advance. Don't make a sudden idea. Go straight up the mountain without preparation, otherwise it will be very dangerous.​

2. Breakfast must be full! Only in this way can one day's physical strength be guaranteed. If you need to replenish in the middle, you need to carry a garbage bag with you and take the leftover garbage with you.

3. Bring enough water, at least 3-4 bottles of water per person. Although they are also sold on the mountain, the price is more expensive.

4. Arrive as early as possible, make time to be rich, and avoid the dark sky.

5. Wear long trousers and long sleeves, wear gloves, and apply mosquito repellent water such as wind oil.

6. Firm your faith and overcome the fear in your heart. In case of danger or physical exhaustion, call 110 immediately to report to the police (the mountain basically has a signal throughout the journey).

7. For some dangerous sections, it is not allowed to climb alone. It is best to wait for other travel companions to assist in climbing.

8. Remember not to climb during thunderstorms and strong winds. There is no lightning protection equipment on the Great Wall. Thunderstorms are easily struck by lightning.

9. Take care of every brick and tile on the Great Wall, protect cultural relics, and avoid scribbling. Although it was the remnant Great Wall, it was also caused by natural weathering, not man-made destruction.

10. Be cautious, cherish life, and don't be aggressive. (Almost every year in Jiankou Great Wall, there will be unfortunately killed friends, so be careful! Be careful! Be careful!)

The best Jiankou hiking company: Great Wall Adventure Club.