There are countless reasons why so many of us love traveling to South Korea. Whether it’s taking in the magnificent view of the city from the top of Seoul Tower or reliving history in an ancient palace, tourists from all over the world are captivated by this country’s great attractions.
And while many love its abundant attractions, its popular hiking trails feature prominently on all travelers’ itineraries. As South Korea is a lush, green nation covered in mountains, it is the perfect hiking destination surrounded by an abundance of trails. Whether you prefer to enjoy a short, easy hike or take on a more adventurous feat, this vast region has a hiking trail that will meet all of your travel needs.
Since much of South Korea’s territory is mountainous, tourists can explore a long list of different hiking trails. These trails are all remarkable, but some stand out among tourists for various reasons. With that in mind, we’ve created a list of 5 unique hiking trails you must explore when visiting South Korea. And yes, all of them lead to the most breathtaking views in the country.
Hallasan is South Korea’s tallest mountain located on the volcanic island of Jeju. This popular island is also known as “Korea’s Hawaii” because it is home to both golden beaches and volcanoes. Hallasan is one of those shield volcanoes which rises to an altitude of 1,950 meters. This mountain is said to be a sacred place for many Koreans, who believe that the gods and spirits they worship live there.
Hallasan has five trails that lead to its summit, each with varying degrees of incline and difficulty. Beginners may choose to reach the top and back down in a matter of hours, while more expert climbers may choose to hike even for a full day. From these five trails, the Seongpanak Trail is preferred by most hikers due to its gradual incline and relatively easier climb.
Jirisan is the tallest mountain in mainland South Korea and the second tallest overall, rising to a majestic height of 1,925 meters. It is located in Jirisan National Park, which is the largest national park in the country. This popular park spans three provinces, the largest proportion being in South Gyeongsang Province, where Jirisan’s highest peak is also located.
The mountain is home to a plethora of trails where you can choose between a three-hour round-trip hike or a multi-day hike to watch the sunrise from its highest peak, Cheonwangbong. As Jirisan is also located in a national park itself, travelers can explore more than just hiking in this destination. Travelers can visit seven Buddhist temples, admire ancient stone carvings, and learn about the park’s biodiversity conservation programs.
If you are visiting South Korea for a short trip to the city but also want a quick hike, Bukhansan is the perfect hiking destination for you. This mountain sits on the city border on the northern outskirts of Seoul, making it very convenient to visit for a day trip. The view from its summit allows you to admire the splendor of Seoul and the large granite boulders that surround the area.
Bukhansan has several trails for hikers to choose from, with the most popular taking just two hours to reach its highest peak, Baegundae, at 836.5 meters. Hikers who explore this trail will also be able to see a replica of the ancient wall of Bukhansanseong Fortress on their trek. There are also two other peaks on the mountain to choose from, Insubong at 810.5 meters and Mangyeongdae at 787 meters.
Seoraksan is the highest peak in the Taebaek mountain range, sliding along the eastern coasts of North and South Korea. Seoraksan’s highest peak is known as Daecheongbong, which rises across the region to an astonishing height of 1,708 meters. Although the mountain is quite high, the trail only takes hikers 3 hours to reach its top. Hikers can start their ascent before dawn and reach the summit in time to enjoy the best sunrise view in South Korea.
If you’re not in the mood for a hike but still want to enjoy the picturesque views, you can take a cable car that will take you up the mountain. Moreover, as Seoraksan Mountain is located inside Seoraksan National Park, travelers can also experience the beauty of its natural diversity with 1500 animal species and more than 1000 plants. You can also visit two Buddhist temples located inside the park, one known for its ponds connected to the mountain streams.
Geumjeongsan Mountain is located between Buk-gu and Geumjeong-gu in the Busan region of South Korea. This mountain is not one of the highest in the country as it is only 801 meters high. However, it is not known for its size but for its spectacular forest, craggy cliffs and cable car rides. This mountain is popular with tourists because it is relatively easy to climb while its summit offers breathtaking views of Busan.
Of all the trails in Geumjeongsan, we recommend you try the one that starts at Beomeosa Temple. This trail passes through the famous Geumjeongsanseong Fortress, reaches Godangbong Peak, and finally ends the hike at the scenic Geumsaem Well. Anyone who visits this destination is sure to experience an enjoyable adventure that will make their trip to South Korea very rich and exciting.
With a list of incredible hiking destinations like these, it goes without saying that South Korea is definitely a must-see destination when the Covid-19 pandemic is finally over. When we can start traveling again, the only thought in our minds will be that these hiking trails are worth both the climb and the wait!
So, without further ado, let’s start planning our trip to South Korea with Sedunia Travel and Korea Tourism Organization. Get the latest news and information about South Korea on the official KTO website. In the meantime, Sedunia Travel offers a range of exciting vacation packages that allow you to visit all of these hiking trails with ease and convenience. Visit their website now to learn more and start planning! It’s time to imagine your Korea.