Welcome to Jiankou
For stupefying hikes along perhaps Běijīng’s most incomparable section of ‘Wild Wall’, head to the rear section of the Jiànkòu Great Wall (后箭扣长城; Hòu Jiànkòu Chángchéng), accessible from Xīzhàzi village (西栅子村; Xīzhàzi Cūn), via the town of Huáiróu. Tantalising panoramic views of the Great Wall spread out in either direction from here, as the crumbling brickwork meanders dramatically along a mountain ridge; the setting is truly sublime. But this is completely unrestored wall, so it is both dangerous and, strictly speaking, illegal to hike along it. On summer weekends especially, crowds can render it even more risky. Footwear with very good grip is required, and never attempt to traverse this section in the rain, particularly during thunderstorms. When the weather is fine, the Jiànkòu (箭扣) area offers fabulous opportunities to hike and camp along the Wall.