Hiking trails in and around Seoul, South KoreaThe mountains surrounding the city of Seoul have an average height of 410 m (1,345 ft), making them relatively easy for hikers of all skill levels. Meanwhile, they are the perfect place to watch the changing seasons in South Korea. In the heat of summer, a hike in the mountains offers a cool breeze, blowing through the valleys. Another great aspect is the hiking trails are easily accessible through Seoul’s public transit system, as most trails start a short walk from subway station exits.
1. Hiking through history – Hanyangdoseong, Seoul City Wall (2.1 km/1.3 mi)
The first hiking trail is located within the city of Seoul and allows hikers to walk through history. The Seoul City Wall, or Hanyangdoseong, was constructed in 1396 to protect Hanseong, the then-capital of Joseon.
Fast forward to now and the old city wall is located in the center of the city and is divided into six sections. The easiest trail is the Naksan Section, which offers amazing nighttime views, making it popular with hikers.
2. Panoramic views from Inwangsang Mountain (338.2 m/1,109 ft)Due to its location in Jongno-gu, hiking Inwangsan Mountain is like standing in the center of Seoul. Moreover, the hiking trail starts from the city center, close to Gyeongbokgung Station. The hiking trail is relatively short, making it an easy hike to the summit for an inexperienced hiker. However, hikers with young children can take the Inwangsan Jarak Trail which circles the mountain and takes around one hour.
3. Stairway to Heaven on Cheonggyesan Mountain (618 m/2,027 ft)The hiking trail up Cheonggyesan Mountain heads up what might seem to be a thousand steps.Moreover, the word “cheon gae” in Korean translates to a thousand steps, but fortunately, there are less than that to traverse.
One section of the hike that is particularly steep is Kkalddakgogae Pass, which can be trying, but once past that section, the summit is close. The hiking trail is best accessed from Cheonggyesan Station.
4. Highest peak – Gwanaksan Mountain (632 m/2,073 ft)While Gwanaksan Mountain isn’t huge, it can still be a strenuous hike. Meanwhile, hikers will need to wear proper hiking boots, as the trail starts flat, but quickly turns into ups and downs as hikers follow the ridge line of the mountain. Moreover, it is recommended to wear gloves or use hiking sticks to make the trail easier. The hiking trail is accessible from Sadang Station in Seoul.
5. Rocky peaks on Dobongsan Mountain (740 m/2,427 ft)
Located on the northern side of Seoul, bordering Yangju and Uijeongbu in Gyeonggi-do, Dobongsan Mountain is also reasonably difficult to hike. Meanwhile, the mountain features many rocky peaks, making the terrain hard to manage. However, once at the top, the amazing views make the hike totally worth the effort. The mountain is a short walk from Dobongsan Station in Seoul.
Find out more about these amazing hiking trails in Seoul, South Korea on the local tourism website.