During our time in Seoul we decided to go for a hike in Bukhansan National Park. Just a short journey from Seoul city, it is an easy day activity. The name Bukhansan means “mountain north of Han River”. Located north of the city we grabbed a train from Hongdae, then a short bus ride to the entrance of the park.
Mt. Bukhansan is a mountain range consisting of many peaks. We decided to climb the tallest peak, Baegundae Peak (840m). There are two paths, one that is shorter in distance but much more difficult and an easier longer trail. We decided that we would go for the harder trail and challenge ourselves. The park is beautiful, tall green tree’s, huge boulder rocks and flowing rivers.
There are a number of peaks as I mentioned, each one sign posted well so you wont get lost. The first couple of kilometres are quite pleasant, slightly sloped and wide open trails. You will come to a second ranger hut with information, toilets and vending machines for a much needed water break. From here the paths diverge, after the bridge you go left and the real hiking begins.
The second half of this hike was treacherously steep and very rocky. In places there is no path and you have to watch your step as you climb from rock to rock. In areas the hike consists of cables in place to pull yourself up huge boulders. Take your time, watch your step and it should be no problem. After a few hours we reached the first peak, you come to an archway in the wall that frames a view Seoul. From here you can take some fantastic photos and the views of the city are breathtaking.
Now you have a choice go down the other side or continue up to the top. We took another left and headed for the tallest peak. Initially there were wooden steps that you could use. They connect platforms that give panoramic views of the area. Once the steps end you come to the huge, vertical rock, the last part to the summit. If you are scared of heights this may get a bit too much for you. The rock is very steep and there are more metal ropes to pull yourself up with. The city wall goes all the way to the peak and once you get to the top you are treated to views that can only be described as inspiring.
After 20minutes of photo taking we decided to head back down. There are two options, back the way you came to the first peak or continue on along the wall and down the other side. We were fairly tired at this point and decided to take the easier option of back the way we came.
This was a super day out for us, it cost nothing but train/bus fair, gave us great exercise and rewarded us with some super views. The views made hours of huffing and puffing well worth it. We recommend taking on the task of hiking Mt. Bukhansan while in Seoul.
Thanks for reading,
To the Airport and Beyond