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5 Amazing Hikes in South Korea

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5 Amazing Hikes in South KoreaUntil I took my first trip to South Korea in 2015, I only had one picture of the country in my mind: skyscrapers. When I thought “South Korea,” my thoughts sprung to the bustling streets of Seoul.

When I arrived, I was shocked by how scenic the country is. I was surrounded by mountains and immediately decided to fit some hiking into my two-week itinerary.

Here is a list of five great hikes in South Korea. Even if you’re not the most experienced hiker, don’t worry. These trails are feasible for hikers of all skill levels. Besides, I’m a firm believer that every trip should include a little detour into nature.

Related: Why Yangshuo, China Should Be Your Next Summer Destination

You may notice a trend in these mountain names, so I will go ahead and clarify…Yes, “san” is Korean for “mountain.”

HALLASAN ON JEJU ISLAND

5 Amazing Hikes in South Korea Landscape with Oreum at Yeongsil Trail course in Hallasan Mountain National Park in Jeju Island, Korea.

If you hike Hallasan, you can say not only that you have hiked a volcano, but also that you hiked to the tallest point in South Korea. Bring your camera, because the top of Hallasan provides one of the best views in the country. I recommend arriving at the base of Seongpanak Trail fairly early because the trail is 12 miles round-trip. That may sound daunting, but don’t fret, there are plenty of rest stops!

BUKHANSAN IN SEOUL

5 Amazing Hikes in South Korea

Bukhansan is located in Bukhansan National Park. That’s right, there’s actually a National Park in Seoul! There are three peaks and several trails. Baegundae is the highest of the three peaks, which you can reach via the Bukhansanseong Fortress Course. Estimate around seven hours for this round-trip hike.

GWANAKSAN IN SEOUL

5 Amazing Hikes in South Korea

While Bukhansan is in northern Seoul, Gwanaksan is on the southern end of the city. There are five mountains in Gyeonggi District, and Gwanaksan is the most popular. There are three trails to the top, but whichever one you try, you should be back down within five hours. The fall foliage when I was there in October blew me away.

JIRISAN IN THE SOUTH

5 Amazing Hikes in South Korea

Jirisan is in Jirisan National Park in southern South Korea. It is the second-tallest mountain (after Hallasan) and in the largest National Park in the country. You can reach the highest peak, Cheonhwangbong, by taking Jungsanri Course. (Seriously, I can’t make up names like those!) The entire hike takes four to five hours. At the peak, you’ll find a stunning view of the surrounding mountains.

SEORAKSAN IN THE EAST

5 Amazing Hikes in South KoreaSeoraksan Buddhist temple in South Korea at summer

If you’re in eastern South Korea, you have to visit Seoraksan! The mountain is in—you guessed it—Seoraksan National Park. The most popular trail is the Osaek Trail, which takes you to the highest peak, Daecheongbong. If you take this path, you should be done within three or four hours. Beware, though, it’s steep!

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17 Comments

  1. robin Rue says

    Those all sound amazing. I would love to visit South Korea someday!

  2. Stacie @ Divine Lifestyle says

    I would love to go on all of these hikes one day. I’ve always wanted to see South Korea. I need to start planning!

  3. Melissa says

    Seeing a new country by taking those spectacular hikes is really a great way to sight see and get to know a new place. I love hiking but these look to be difficult.

  4. Liz Mays says

    Wow, I had no idea there were such impressive sights to see in South Korea. I think hiking for the mountain views would be fun.

  5. Pam Wattenbarger says

    South Korea has never really on my radar for traveling but it’s clear it should be. Such beautiful photos!

  6. Meagan says

    That really looks beautiful. I may need to try this one day.

  7. Theresa says

    I had no idea there were such beautiful hiking areas in South Korea. I love to hike with my family and going to any of these spots would be such an amazing experience!

  8. Our Family World says

    What a beautiful place, South Korea is a perfect spot! I’m glad to see these amazing photos.

  9. Jocelyn @ Hip Mama's Place says

    My husband and step-son are going to South Korea this summer too… wow, I got to give them the link to your post for inspiration. All these places are quite interesting!

  10. makeba says

    Oh wow these are so beautiful! I have never been to South Korea, but hopefully I’ll get there one day and be able to explore these breathtaking options!

  11. Jeanine says

    South Korea sounds amazing. I have never hiked anywhere special but these 5 places would be amazing to do someday!

  12. Myrah Duque says

    OMG that is my ultimate Bucket List country! Such a great country with so much history.

  13. Veronica Solomon says

    Wow! You have certainly aroused my curiosity about South Korea as a future destination. Thanks for sharing these beautiful images. I am inspired

  14. Dawn McAlexander says

    I think this is the first time that I have ever seen anything on South Korea. It looks nice. I wouldn’t mind a visit to South Korea.

  15. Shannon Gurnee says

    The Buddhist Temple is gorgeous! Looks like there are some great hikes!

  16. Stephen says

    Nice selection of hikes. I’ve actually been to all of these except Gwanaksan. Yeah, it amazes me that such an urbanized, densely populated country can have such beautiful pockets of nature. I love the well-established hiking culture in Korea, too.

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