Hiking from Lianhuachi to Mutianyu

If you're looking for a hike on the Wild Great Wall, and you don't feel ready for one of the more difficult and risky hikes, consider hiking theGreat Wall from Lianhuachi westward to Mutianyu. This is a reasonably easy hike that just takes a few hours.

Hiking to the west from Lianhuachi, the most difficult part is probably getting up onto the Great Wall. The first choice is to follow the Wall from its lowest point, and the second choice is to take one of several trails that bypass the first incline and join the wall up on the ridge. The first incline is the steepest one and that is the reason that you will find trails that bypass it. But it's really not extremely dangerous and if you're capable and careful you can climb this span without incident. If you use a trail to bypass this part, you should be aware that the trails are somewhat steep and slippery too.

Looking east from 40°26'16.5"N 116°34'41"E, the start of the path to the lowest point of the Great Wall is visible on the right (south) side of the road

Here is the start of the trail, at 40°26'16"N 116°34'42"E

Another view

The first part of the Wall is steep. If you want to bypass it, use this trail at 40°26'15.32"N 116°34'43.25"E. Note, however, the trail is also steep and can be slippery.

There are other paths to reach this side of the Lianhuachi Great Wall, but I found these to be the best. Other paths join the Great Wall further to the west. You can find all of the paths on the Beijing Area Great Wall Map.

The lowest point on the Wall

Where the Wall starts to climb

Looking down from the lower part of the first incline

Looking down from the top of the first incline

Once on the ridge, you will find that the Great Wall rises and falls as it traverses ridges. Quite a bit of elevation change is involved compared with the short distance you will travel to Mutianyu.

Lianhuachi to Mutianyu elevation profile

A look ahead towards Mutianyu

Inside of a tower

A place that calls for careful climbing

Inside of another tower

A view of the first tower of the restored section of Mutianyu

Of course, the hike can be done in reverse, from Mutianyu to Lianhuachi. In this case, you must ignore and pass multiple warning signs.