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Hiking Bukhansan: Explore Baegundae Trail for a Perfect Nature Escape

bukhan top view panoramic

Seoul's Bukhansan National Park offers an exhilarating nature escape without leaving the city limits. For hikers of all levels, there's a perfect trail, but the Baegundae (백운대) course is a standout for those short on time or looking for a moderate challenge.

hikers resting at bukhansan

This 2-kilometer trail might be brief, taking about 1.5 hours to complete, but it's packed with excitement. With an elevation gain that leads to the park's highest point at 836 meters, the hike is moderately easy yet thrilling, featuring some steep sections. While you won't need heavy hiking boots, sturdy shoes with good grip are a must on the rocky and sometimes slippery path, especially after rain. Gloves can be handy for navigating the metal rope descent.

The popularity of this route means you'll be part of a vibrant stream of fellow hikers. Reaching the summit is a reward in itself, but be prepared for a 10-30 minute wait to snap that iconic photo with the Korean flag. For those seeking an exceptional experience, witnessing the sunrise from the peak at 100% humidity is said to offer a truly breathtaking view.

bukhan hiking with korean flag

Getting There:

Public transportation is the way to go. Get off at Bukhansan Ui Station, Exit 2. Head up the hill, and you'll find Ediya Coffee on the left and waiting taxis. These taxis will take you directly to the Bukhansan National Park Baegundae Visitor Center (백운대 탐방지원센터), the starting point of the Baegundae Peak hiking course, for a set fee of 2000 won per person for 4 passengers per ride, or a flat rate of 8000 won for the entire car. Taxis carpool, so you might need to wait for a full car unless you opt otherwise. Bring cash or be ready for a Korean bank transfer, as credit cards and transportation cards aren’t accepted.

There’s free parking at the entrance, but it fills up quickly early in the morning.

hiking trail in seoul

Pro Tips:

  • Avoid peak sun hours in the summer

  • Aim for clear skies and good air quality for the most stunning views

  • Wear sturdy shoes with good grip

  • Bring sports gloves for added grip on the descent

  • Restrooms are conveniently located at the start and midway points

  • Ask your taxi driver for tips on local restaurant favorites

hikers taking a break on bukhansan

The Perfect Hike Finale:

End your Bukhansan adventure with good food and makgeolli! Ask your taxi driver for recommendations on local restaurant favorites and refuel with a spread of traditional Korean dishes. There are several restaurants to choose from on the taxi ride back to the subway station. This is a fantastic way to immerse yourself in the culture after experiencing the beauty of the park. Top it all off with a refreshing Makgeolli, a light and sweet Korean rice wine. It's the perfect way to celebrate your accomplishment!

a group of hikers enjoying the view

Photo source: © Shuttle Delivery

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