Hiking in Korea: Top 5 Trails To Discover Bukhansan National Park 


Hiking in Korea: Top 5 Trails To Discover Bukhansan National Park 

 

There is no doubt that Bukhansan National Park is one of the most famous national parks in Korea. It is one of the greatest escapes to nature for Seouliets as it is easily accessible from anywhere either by public transport or private car. This might even have an effect on its listing in the Guinness Book of World Records as the "Most Visited National Park per Unit Area" with around five million visitors each year. But don't worry, there are enough trails for everyone in Bukhansan National Park from easy to advanced for every level. Let's have a look at 5 trails to discover Bukhansan National Park! 

 

Starting Point: Jeongneung Information Center 

Jeongneung Information Center is not only easy to reach, but it also opens up so many different trails. You can reach Jeongneung Information Center by metro (Gireum Station (길음역) Line 4, Exit 3) or you can take buses number 110B or 143 and get off at the last stop. Either way, the information center is only a short walk away!

Before starting your hike, make sure that you have enough water and snacks! There are many shops where you can stock up on to enjoy at the top! 

 

 

1. Bogungmun & Daeseongmun Loop

If you prefer different sceneries on your way up and down while hiking, this one's for you! Bogungmun (Gate) & Daeseongmun (Gate) Loop is one of the most popular trails in Bukhansan National Park, and it is totally suitable for beginner hikers. 

Once you reach Bukhansan National Park Office, follow the signs towards Neoljeokbawi and then Bogungmun (Gate). Bogungmun (Gate) is the halfway point of this loop, and it offers perfect spots for a well-deserved lunch break. After resting, continue toward Daeseongmun (Gate), on your way back you'll pass Yeongchuisa and Sambongsa temples. This is a total of almost 6km and usually takes around 3 hours to complete, but take your time and enjoy the scenery! 

 

2. To the Highest Mountain Peak in Seoul 

(Jeongneung Information Center Up to the Baegundae Peak)

 

 

Are you ready to hike up to the highest mountain peak within Seoul? Yes, it is Baegundae Peak, and yes it is in Bukhansan National Park! 

Follow the signs towards Daeseongmun and Bogungmun. If you reach Bogungmun through Daeseongmun, Bogungmun will be the halfway point of your hike, so it is a perfect spot for a well-deserved lunch break. After resting, continue toward Yongammun and Winmun. This is the most challenging part of this hike that starts after Winmun as you have to hold onto the rails and climb up on steep and flat granite rock. Some parts of the last sections are quite narrow, so you might need to queue if it is a busy time, but this only means that you have more time to enjoy the beautiful views! When you reach Baegundae Peak, take a good rest, and remember your way down will be easier! 

Once you are ready, follow the way down to Winmun (Gate)  and then towards Muryangsa (Temple) and Daeseomun (Gate). You finish your hike at Bukhanseong Park Information Center. This is a total of almost 11km, and the duration hugely varies depending on your level and how busy the trail is. For this hike, it might be a good idea to have hiking gloves for especially the last part and if you are planning to hike during summer make sure that you have a hat and enough water as the final part is not shaded.

 

3. Complete the 3 Sections of Bukhansan Dulle-Gil Trail 

(From Jeongneung Information Center Towards Gupabal Station)

 

 

Do you know that there are also 70km hiking trails surrounding Bukhansan National Park consisting of 21 sections? If mountain tops are not your friend, Bukhansan Dulle-Gil Trail will be a perfect option for you! After walking across Jeongneung parking lot, follow the signs towards Bugaksan Crossroad. From here, just follow the signs for Dulle-Gil ( 둘레길) until you depart from the trail for Gupabal, you'll complete Myeongsang-gil, Pyeongchangmaeul-gil, Yetseong-gil sections of the Bukhansan Dulle-Gil Trail. To reach Gupabal Station, you need to leave near Bulgwang Middle School on the Gureumjeongwon-gil section.  

This is a total of almost 17.6km route and usually takes around 5 hours to complete, of course, the duration varies depending on your level. This trail is also part of the Bukhansan Course of Seoul Dulle-gil Trail.

 

Starting Point: Bukhansanseong Information Center

Compared to the other starting points, Bukhansanseong Park Information Center takes a bit more effort to reach. To get to Bukhansanseong Park Information Center, you need to take a bus from the bus stop at Gupabal Station (구파발역, Line 3, Exit 1). You can take buses 34, 704, 8772 and get off at Bukhansanseong (북한산성) stop. After getting off the bus, walk in the same direction as the bus and turn right at the first junction. You'll see the road filled with hiking shops; this is the road to Bukhansanseong Park Information Center.

 

4. Catch A Glimpse Of History At Gungyeonsa

(From Bukhansanseong Park Information Center To Jeongneung Information Center)

 

 

Starting from Bukhansanseong Park Information Center ending at Jeongneung Information Center, this trail is full of temples, history, and culture. 

Once you reach Bukhansanseong Park Information Center, follow the signs towards Daeseomun, your first temple will be Muryangsa on the way to Junseongmun followed by Borisa and Beobyongsa temples. If you want to see the largest (24m) seated figure of Buddha in East Asia, you should take the right turn from Beobyongsa towards Gungyeonsa before reaching Junseongmun. The history of Gungyeonsa (Temple) is totally worth the 1.8 km detour. 

From Junseongmun, follow the signs to Cheongsudongammun, after Junseongmun you'll see two more temples (Yonghaksa and Taegosa) before reaching Cheongsudongammun. From there, you can go towards Daeseongmun and end your hike at Jeongneung Information Center.  

This is a total of almost 10.5 km together with Gungyeonsa (Temple) visit, and usually takes around 5 hours to complete, but take your time and enjoy the scenery! 

 

Starting Point: Dobongsan Information Center

Dobongsan Information Center is another accessible starting point for various Bukhansan National Park hikes. You can reach Dobongsan Information Center by metro (Dobongsan Station (도봉산역) Line 1/7, Exit 1) The information center is 20 minutes walk away, follow the other hikers. 

There are many shops around where you can get some snacks for later or update your hiking gear. 

 

5.Complete the 4 Sections of Bukhansan Dulle-Gil Trail 

(From Dobongsan Information Center To Jeongneung Information Center)

 

 

You can also hike some sections of Bukhansan Dulle-gil Trail starting from Dobongsan Information Center.

Once you enter Dobongsan Information Center, follow the sign for Musugol Valley. There are so many signs at this point, and none of them says Dulle-Gil ( 둘레길), so it is better to keep Musugol Valley in mind. After this point, you can just follow the signs for Dulle-Gil ( 둘레길), until you reach the Jeongneung parking lot. You'll complete Sonamusup-gil, Sullye-gil, Huingureum-gil and Solsaem-gil sections of the Bukhansan Dulle-gil Trail. This is a total of almost 17 km and usually takes around 5 hours to complete, of course, the duration hugely varies depending on your level. This trail is also part of the Bukhansan Course of Seoul Dulle-gil Trail.

 

 

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