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City Wall to Bukhansan Peak Route

Intermediate/Difficult
  5.0 ( 1 ) Favorite

Trail

5.4 mile 8.7 kilometer point to point
69% Runnable
Intermediate/Difficult

Elevation

Ascent: 2,043' 623 m
Descent: -1,853' -565 m
High: 2,527' 770 m
Low: 865' 264 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 14% (8°)
Max Grade: 60% (31°)

Dogs

Unknown
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Map Key

Trail shared by D14411 F

A longer linkup of popular attractions in Bukhansan National Park.

D14411 F

Features Views

Occasionally trails are roped off for regrowth, pay attention and just follow the rules.

Overview

This route starts out at an unassuming trailhead on the northern loop of Pyeongchang 6-gil (6-gil means 6th street, roughly, Pyeongchang is the road name, named after the Pyeongchang Valley, which is the valley a few hundred meters east of the trailhead). It meanders north sticking to ridgeline trails until you summit the popular Bukhansan Peak, the namesake of the park. For a very long trip, you can always backtrack, however from Bukhansan Peak, it is a short run down to the main parking area for the park, and catch a taxi or bus back home.

Need to Know

There are few restrooms scattered about the park, mostly just near the main visitor centers. There is also little to no water most of the year, and it is extremely uncommon to forage for water here. Culturally the most appropriate thing to do is carry in any water you need. Camping is not allowed anywhere in this park, except for a small, low-capacity bunkhouse near Insubong. I have never used this bunkhouse, so I can't really comment on the process for how it works.

Runner Notes

A great run, but be aware this park is nested inside one of the worlds greatest mega-cities, in a culture that greatly admires hiking. In the fall and spring, you might literally wait in line to get to the peak of Bukhansan. The hottest days of summer are brutal, but less busy, and winter is also a great time to avoid the crowds.

Description

There is a spiderweb network of trails in this park, its very busy, and they are not always named or marked, so pay close attention and stay aware of your general compass headings. The plus side, is that being in such a densely populated area, if you get lost, just run in any direction downhill and in about 30-45 minutes you'll be back in Seoul and can hop on a taxi or bus and be on your way.

This starts on a easy to follow trail that ascends towards Dongnyeong Falls, passes them, and then eventually reaches Ilseonsa Temple. This is the first navigational challenge. This temple is popular and has trails approaching from at least 5 different directions. From the temple, you want to stay going uphill, towards Deseongmun (a gateway). If you find yourself at Yeongchwisa Temple, you went the wrong way (you also will have gone downhill quite a bit, so you should notice)

From the gateway, turn east and follow the ridge trail east northeast, following along the old city wall. You'll start to see a large, bald rock peak in the distance (Insubong). That is the main destination, so keep that direction in mind.

You'll reach a larger trail intersection around Sidanbong Peak, where you turn north and stay heading north along the ridges for a while.

As you get close to Bukhansan proper, you'll cross a steep saddle at Nojeokbong Peak, and gain a phenomenal view of the south face of Bukhansan. Definitely stop for pictures here. Continue along the steep trails to the peak, take in the views of the city for a while, then head downhill east and then curving south, along the main tourist and visitor trails, to the park entrance and shop.

History & Background

The city wall follows the trail for a distance, and there are ample opportunities to see some of the old temples and city wall gates throughout the route!

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Dogs Allowed, Flora & Fauna

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  5.0 from 1 vote

#1401

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Photos

Looking North with the bald and steep insubong in the distance, old city wall in the foreground
May 13, 2019 near Seoul, KR
This is the gate where the trail begins to take a more easternly direction on the ridge
May 13, 2019 near Seoul, KR
Baekundae Mountain
May 12, 2019 near Jangheung, KR
Views of Seoul from above, Insubong on the left
May 12, 2019 near Jangheung, KR
Bukhansan on a moderately busy day, busy days see packed lines to the summit.
May 13, 2019 near Jangheung, KR
There is a large slab area below the true summit to have a picnic or take pictures
May 13, 2019 near Jangheung, KR

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