Hiking Hallasan Mountain
Hallasan Mountain is Korea’s tallest mountain, rising 1,947 meters from the center of Jeju Island, and was inscribed as a UNESCO World Natural Heritage in 2007. The mountain was originally a volcano, and features many related geological formations and flora. The crater at the summit is filled with water, creating Baengnokdam Lake with a 3 kilometer circumference, attracting hikers all year round in all types of weather.
Pick your course There are many starting points and hiking courses along Hallasan Mountain, but only two will take you to the summit: the Seongpanak and Gwaneumsa courses. Most Koreans start from Seongpanak on the eastern side and hike down towards Gwaneumsa Temple on the northern side. You can start on another course and change to one of these courses where they meet on the mountain if you want to see more of the nature, but due to the size of the mountain, you may not reach the summit if you don’t hurry.
While Hallasan National Park usually operates on a reservation system, starting from February 13, 2020, hiking is currently open to all visitors.
Reach the summit Starting from Seongpanak Information Center, the Seongpanak Course passes Sokbat Field, the entrance to Saraoreum Volcanic Cone, a shelter at the field of azaleas, and more before reaching the summit. This trail is the longest of all the courses on Hallasan, stretching 9.6 kilometers, and takes an approximate 4 hours and 30 minutes one way. For the safety of all hikers, you must reach the shelter at the azalea field by 12:30 in order to continue on, and reach Baengnokdam Lake no later than 14:00. The starting point at the Information Center is closed to new hikers after 12:30. In the case of severe weather, the trail may be closed entirely, so we recommend that you check the website (www.jeju.go.kr/hallasan) in advance.
When heading down, you can go back the way you came, or head to Gwaneumsa Temple to see something new. The 8.7 kilometer trail passes Samgakbong Shelter, Tamnagyegok Valley, and Guringul Cave on the way. The hike down takes approximately 5 hours.
To get a certificate proving you reached the summit, you must show a photograph taken at the summit on the same day. The certificate can be purchased for 1,000 won (cash only) from the Information Center at the start of both the Seongpanak Course and the Gwaneumsa Course.
- Safely enjoying Hallasan National Park
- The weather on the mountain can change frequently. Be aware that sudden and heavy downpours happen often.
- Trail closing times may change depending on circumstances at the time; all hikers must comply with notices and announcements.
- Hallasan Mountain features relatively gradual slopes; despite seeming easy, the trails are long, so pace yourself and take time to enjoy the beautiful and varied scenery.