Summit Mt. Bukhansan (북한산)

Mt. Bukhansan

This is Seoul’s tallest and most significant mountain. Mt. Bukhansan’s windy granite peaks tower over the metropolis below, offering the area’s best 360 degree views and natural escape. Hike along forested valleys filled with yellow Forsythia blossoms in the early spring and traverse the 400 year old Joseon Dynasty Bukhansanseong Fortress wall.

Starting from almost sea level, it’s almost a full 800m climb to the top of the highest peak, Baegundae. The most direct route is about 7km start to finish, although it’s also possible to do an out and back route for those with less time. Overall, the whole hike takes 3-5 hours and follows a mix of dirt trails, stone stairs, and granite slope with chains for safety when nearing the top. In winter, expect there to be some snow and a lot of ice. Many local Koreans use crampons on the ice, but I found it unnecessary in February (albeit slow going at parts).

One starting point is from the Gupabal Station on Subway Line 3. From Exit 1, take the 704 or 34 bus going towards the Bukhansanseong Fortress and get off at the park entrance (Bukhansanseong Information Center). Another option is starting from the Suyu Station on line 4 and taking bus number 1 to the park entrances at the Akademi or Baekwoon information center. Taxis should also be available and not too expensive (the distances from the subway station to the park entrances are short). These two starting points are your options for a point-to-point route, check out more information and a map here.

From the information centers, simply follow other hikers or signs for Baegundae. Park admission is free, so beware that outside of winter and in nice weather the crowds here might be significant. The official park website lists pets as not permitted, but there are sites for camping. If you have time, camping and catching the sunrise/sunset and possible sea of clouds from Baegundae would certainly be worth it. Overall, this hike is fairly relaxing and will be a rewarding escape from the buildings of Seoul for a hiker of any level.

Pack List

  • Sturdy shoes
  • Snacks/Water
  • Camera
  • Wind breaker
Show More
RT Distance 4.3 Miles
Elevation Gain 2624.7 Feet
Activities Chillin, Photography, Hiking
Skill Level Beginner
Season Year Round
Trail Type Point-to-Point
Features
Adult Beverages
Bathrooms
Family Friendly
Food Nearby
Forest
Groups
Picnic Area
Romantic
Scenic

Reviews

Leave a Review

Overall rating: 

Amazing

Great hike just got done with it, but it was super icy and would suggest using the proper chain footwear during this time of year. Averall amazing view!


Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

Nearby Adventures

More Nearby Adventures

Hike from Itaewon to N. Seoul Tower

Like skinning a cat, there are many ways to get to the tower at the top of Namsan.

18 Saves

Hike to Biryong Falls

When people ask me how do I afford to travel, my standard response is, "how do you afford to do anything?...you just set your priorities." My recent trip to South Korea was definitely no different.

16 Saves

Hike Seonginbong Peak

Despite the prevalence of urban sprawls and mega cities in South Korea, Ulleung Island (울릉도) has remained untouched by the rapid modernization.

2 Saves