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If you live in or near Seoul or you are just visiting and want to go on an adventure one day, hiking Bukhansan is a great option. Bukhansan National Park is just north of Seoul.
Baegundae Peak is the highest part of the mountain and is 840 m (or 2700 ft) above sea level. Depending on where you begin your hike, there are trails of about 3.4 km (2.11 miles) to arrive at the top in just over two hours. From the top, you’ll have an incredible view of Seoul. If you need a little inspiration, check out some quotes about mountains here.
It’s very easy to access this marvel of nature. You just take the metro and afterwards a bus to the entrance of the park. I’ll give you the specifics down below. There are many trails, but the most popular is Bukhansanseong Trail.
The fastest way to access Bukhansan and get to the highest peak:
- Metro Line number 3 → Gupabal Station → Exit 1→ bus 704 going towards Bukhansanseong Fortress → get off at the entrance to the park.
To arrive at Baegundae Paek, you can get a map at the information center at the entrance, follow the signs for “Baegundae,” or just follow the crowd and ask. The trail always has a lot of people and it’s difficult to get lost.
After the peak, you can return through the same trail or you can cross the park to the other side and walk along the old fortress wall. This alternative will add on about 4 km (2.48 miles) and will take just over 3 hours.
To descend Bukhansan from the other side, passing through The Fortress Wall of Seoul:
Keep following the wall until Daedongmun Gate (you’ll see signs and there’s a picture below) and go down the trail.
- When you arrive at the end, catch bus number 1→ get off at Suyu metro station on line 4 → home.
You can see pictures of the bus and subway station down below.
Totals for the route across Bukhansan Mountain going to the highest peak:
Distance: 7.4 km (4.6 miles)
Time without transportation or stops: 5 hours (although I recommend you take your time to stop, appreciate, eat, and relax)
Cost: just transportation, the mountain is free!
Difficulty: the trails are relatively easy with a good number of steps. It’s just a bit more difficult near the end as you climb Baegundae Peak and you need to support yourself with steel cables… but it’s nothing that something you aren’t accustomed to physical activity can’t handle.
For more information like dates and opening hours:
Check the map and the photos below to see what awaits you…
And here are some photos and videos from my day in Bukhansan
Before starting, don’t forget to do your Korean style “warm-up… 😉
Heading towards the top with a few stops
Arriving at the top… a LOT of people
Try to find the cat on the peak!!
Sorry I don’t have a prettier bird for the picture
This picture is definitely not staged
A 360-degree video of the top of Bukhansan (Baegundae Peak)… that’s Seoul down below!
Climbing down… typically Korean
On the way back, walking along the Seoul fortress wall
A video while running on the wall… don’t worry, the wall isn’t the original
The incredible fall leaves…
Now you know how one of the photos was really taken…
The Daedongmun gate to descend back to Seoul
Sunset over Seoul…
Taking the bus number 1 to get to subway line 4
Arriving at Suyu subway station that goes directly to Seoul Station
Like I mentioned before, hiking in Bukhansan National Park is a perfect plan for a day trip if you live in or around Seoul or you are visiting as a tourist. And if you prefer a stroll through the city center, check out this article 24 Hours in Seoul. We live in Suwon which is about an hour south of Seoul and we did the whole hike in a day without problems.
Just don’t forget some food, water, a camera to take pictures like the ones above and a positive energy to take advantage of this gift of nature for Seoul and its inhabitants.
P.S: If you are going to be hiking, make sure you have the necessary hiking equipment and good travel insurance that covers mountain hiking. You can read my article about the 3 Best and Cheapest Travel Insurances on the Market to make sure you stay safe.
Would you like to do another easy hike and have this amazing view of downtown Seoul?
Then take a look at our other article How to Hike Mount Inwangsan: The Best View of Seoul
Looking for other activities, excursions, and day trips around Seoul and South Korea?
Then I recommend checking out Civitatis, GetYourGuide or Viator to explore your options and find a bunch of tours and activities around Seoul and South Korea as a whole.
And don’t miss our other articles about South Korea (we lived there for a year):
The Cheapest Way to Visit the DMZ (Demilitarized Zone) and the JSA (Joint Security Area) in South Korea
22 Interesting Things I Learned Living in South Korea
13 Places to Visit in South Korea Outside Seoul
How to Visit the Free Samsung Museum in Suwon, South Korea
How to Hike Mount Inwangsan: The Best View of Seoul
And North Korea (we visited for 10 days):
How to Visit North Korea on a Budget
101 Pictures of North Korea: Pyongyang – Part 1
101 Pictures of North Korea: Pyongyang – Part 2
Planning your next trip?
Then don’t forget travel insurance! You don’t want to get stuck paying a ton of money and ruining your trip if you get sick or have an accident without travel insurance. Our page with The 3 Best and Cheapest Travel Insurance on the Market can help you choose the right plan and will give you some discount coupons for the biggest insurance companies!
Already reserved your hotel or hostel? If not, our article with The 6 Best and Cheapest Websites to Find & Reserve Accommodation can help you out. You’ll also find some promotions and discount codes.
Still haven’t booked your plane ticket and want to save big? Take a look at our page with 16 Tips to Save on Flights where you’ll also find the 4 best websites to buy your plane tickets.
And finally, will you need to rent a car during your trip? Then surely our page with The 5 Best and Cheapest Websites to Compare and Rent Cars Around the World will help you choose the best rental car and find a good deal.
To see more of my favorite travel companies and resources that let me travel so much for such a low cost, take a look at my special page of “81 Travel Apps & Resources.”
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what a great post, this will help me a lot since i plan to hike here when i come this January.
Hi Anne, thank you so much for the comment and support. Don’t forget to check out the other mountain that you can hike almost inside Seoul. You can read about it here: https://outofyourcomfortzone.net/how-to-get-the-best-view-from-seoul-south-korea/
Happy hiking! 🙂
Thanks to your guide we completed this same trail!
Hey Chiizu!! Thank you so much for the comment. Glad to hear our guide helped you to hike Bukhansan!! Even better to know that everything went well and our instructions are correct. 🙂
All the best!
Great post! We used this guide to get to Baegundae Peak.
Hey, thank you so much! I’m glad you enjoyed it! 🙂
Enjoy your future trekkings!
so useful your directions for Bukhansan. Great day today! Thanks
Hey, thank you so much!! Glad to know the directions were helpful and you had a great day hiking in Korea! 🙂
Don’t forget to check out our other article about climbing Mount Inwangsan. Even though it’s easier and faster than Bukhansan, you can get a better view of Seoul!
You should try it! https://outofyourcomfortzone.net/how-to-get-the-best-view-from-seoul-south-korea/
All the best!
Love your Blog.
My wife and I are in our 60’s and we will be setting off around the world next year not quite backpacking as such but organising it ourselves with only two flights, Oz to Tokyo & Vancouver to Oz, the rest of our adventure from east to west will be overland or water.
South Korea: Can anyone help with a map/schedule for buses in Seoul.
China: Current map Beijing Subway.
Any comments or advice on the other regions/countries we will be in would be welcome.
Japan; SK; China: Central Asia; Russia; Nordic; Nth Europe; UK; Ireland; USA; Mexico & Canada.
Thanks in advance.
Keep writing great blogs.
Hi David, sorry for the late reply but your comment ended up in the spam area…I don’t know why.
Great to know you like the blog! 🙂
That seems a very nice trip! Good on you!
Usually, all these things can be found on the internet using google. But I will try to help with some of them.
1) In Seoul, I wouldn’t use buses, I would use the subway which is faster and has a massive network: https://english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/TRP/TP_ENG_6.jsp
2) https://www.travelchinaguide.com/cityguides/beijing/subway-map.htm. This might help as well: 25 Things to Know Before Visiting China
3) For destinations in general, I would recommend using https://wikitravel.org. You just put the name of the city, region, country, etc… that you are visiting and you will get all the touristic information you need about your destination.
Hope that all helps and let me know if you have more questions!
Good luck with your plans and future travels!!
Thanks for this detailed description of this hike! Those red fall leaves are just stunning!
Hiking in Korea is probably the one thing I miss the most about living there, so I hope you get to enjoy the hike yourself 🙂
And though the red leaves of fall are stunning, it can be quite lovely in the winter as well (although I think some of the trails are closed)
Very helpful post, the hike was amazing!
Hey! Thanks for the shout out! Glad to hear the article was helpful and that you enjoyed the hike! 🙂
I really loved the in depth guide on hiking bukhansan. I have hiked in summer. Autumn color looks stunning. Those photos are amazing.
Hi Alamin! Thank you so much for the comment. Great to hear you loved Bukhansan and our pictures! 😉 Indeed autumn is probably the best time of the year to hike it! So you should hike it again! 😀
All the best!