|Winter Getaways: Ski Resorts in Korea|
Ski Resorts in Gangwon-do
Alpensia Ski Resort (Pyeongchang-gun, Gangwon-do)
Alpensia Resort is tucked away in the mountains at about 700m above sea level and is known for its excellent snow quality and sweeping views of the majestic Daegwallyeong Mountain Range. In addition to its 6 different slopes (including one reserved exclusively for snowboarders), the resort uses a high-speed lift system that can transport 2,400-3,000 skiers per hour, drastically reducing wait time.
As the main venue for the 2018 Pyeonchang Winter Olympics, Alpensia Resort has recently been the subject of much buzz across the nation and in the international sports community. Though the resort is currently equipped with competition venues for ski jumping, cross-country skiing, and biathlon events, construction is still underway for luge, bobsled, and skeleton facilities for use during the Olympics. Even before Pyeongchang won the 2018 Olympic bid, the resort received attention as the filming location of "Take Off" (2009), a movie about Korea's first national ski jumping team. Accommodations available within the resort grounds include the Holiday Inn and Suites Alpensia Pyeongchang, Intercontinental Alpensia Pyeongchang Resort, and Holiday Inn Resort Alpensia Pyeongchang.
Yongpyong Ski Resort (Pyeongchang-gun, Gangwon-do)
Located at a range of altitudes between 700-1,500m above sea level in what is affectionately known as the "Alps of Korea," Yongpyong Resort bears the distinction of being the first ski resort in Korea to offer modern facilities. Many people even go so far as to say that this particular resort is a symbol of the development and popularization of skiing across the nation.
Yongpyong Resort can accommodate more skiers at a time than any other venue in the country and has built a strong international reputation having successfully hosted the World Cup Ski Championships, the Winter Asian Games, and other international ski competitions. Widely known as a filming location of the famous drama "Winter Sonata," the ski resort is especially popular among tourists from Japan and other Asian countries.
The resort developers took advantage of the area's natural terrain and developed top-notch facilities that are said to be among the best ski facilities in Korea. The resort's 28 slopes (6 slopes of which have been approved for international competition), half-pipes (larger than standard size), and 15 lifts (including a 7.4km round-trip gondola) offer visitors a variety of ski and snowboarding facilities that make for a comfortable and exciting wintertime getaway.
The slopes of Yongpyong see an average annual snowfall of 250 centimeters, meaning that this excellent facility can stay open slightly longer than the standard ski season. During the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics, Yongpyong will host the alpine competitions.
Daemyung Vivaldi Park Ski World (Hongcheon-gun, Gangwon-do)
Daemyung Vivaldi Park Ski World was the first ski resort in Korea to offer nighttime skiing and as such, has become a favorite among young skiers in their teens and twenties. Even the slope names (Hip-Hop, Techno, Funky, etc.) are geared towards young adults. Some of the more advanced slopes are uniquely designed with unexpected twists and turns for maximum thrills.
For those who are new to winter sports, Daemyung Vivaldi Park Ski World provides the perfect setting to safely enjoy skiing and snowboarding. There are a variety of slopes with different inclines and distances to give new snow sport enthusiasts the perfect chance to gradually work their way up from the bunny slopes to the more advanced courses. In all, the park offers 13 different slopes and 10 lifts. Daemyung Vivaldi Park also includes Vivaldi Park Ocean World where you can relax at the spa after a long day of hitting the slopes.
Bogwang Phoenix Park Ski Resort (Pyeongchang-gun, Gangwon-do)
Phoenix Park is not only known for its 21 slopes—many with excellent panoramic views— but has also gained attention nationwide for its "Extreme Park," a snowboarding park complete with a half-pipe, tabletop, rails and more. Additional facilities include an 8-person gondola and a system of 8 lifts that are differentiated by slope difficulty. Perched 700m up on Taegisan Mountain, Phoenix Park has beautiful natural scenery, perfect powder, and exceptional facilities (like the mountaintop Mount Blanc restaurant), which all make for a stellar skiing and snowboarding experience. To relax after a long day of skiing or snowboarding, spa facilities are available at Phoenix Park Blue Canyon located inside the resort.
In 2011, Phoenix Park continued to add to its facilities by completing competition runs for snowboarding and mogul skiing that will be used for the freestyle ski and snowboarding competition during the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.
Welli Hilli Park (Hoengseong-gun, Gangwon-do)
Recognized for its size and safety by the International Ski Federation (FIS), Welli Hilli Park (formerly Sungwoo Resort) is equipped with half-pipes and boardwalk conveyer lifts that meet the size qualifications for international competition. Its FIS certification and variety of facilities has made it a popular destination for serious snowboarders.
The resort offers 19 slopes ranging from bunny slopes to black diamond courses and a mogul course to maximize fun and thrills. The Fun Park is the largest terrain park of its kind in Korea and offers more than 10 facilities including a c-box, x-box, and wall ride for snowboarders to practice their tricks.
High1 Ski Resort (Jeongseon-gun, Gangwon-do)
Located in one of the most pristine regions of Gangwon-do, High1 Resort offers 18 fantastic slopes each beginning at one of three peaks. For beginners, there is a 4.2 kilometer-long gently-sloping course that starts 1,345 meters above sea level. High1 Resort also has two slopes that have been used for World Cup ski competitions. The resort is known for its convenient facilities for people with disabilities and special needs.
High1 Resort offers state-of-the-art lifts including an automatic reading system for lift passes. Nearby Attractions include Kangwon Land Casino, a theme park, trekking routes, sleigh rides, and a golf course.
Elysian Gangchon (Chuncheon-si, Gangwon-do)
Elysian Gangchon is a deluxe leisure facility that is easily accessible from Seoul. Take the Gyeongchun Railway Line to Baegyang-ri Station and you'll soon find yourself walking through the doors of the resort.
The ski resort has 6 lifts, snowboarding facilities, and 10 slopes for beginner, intermediate, and advanced skiers. The Board Park (the main snowboarding area) is designed for beginner and intermediate riders. Winter sports enthusiasts who need a little extra help with their technique can sign up for boarding or skiing lessons before heading out on their own.
One thing that sets this resort apart from others is the relatively open layout of the slopes (all of which are 1km in length). When skiing down the ridges, skiers are treated to a wide-open view of the beautiful scenery. The ski resort is typically open from December to March of each year.
Oak Valley Snow Park (Wonju-si, Gangwon-do)
Adjacent to an oak tree forest (hence its name), Oak Valley Snow Park is smaller than most ski parks in Korea. As a result, it offers a cozy, welcoming atmosphere and skiing slopes free from the usual crowds. The resort has 9 slopes (2 for beginners, 5 for intermediate, and 2 for advanced skiers), and operates a high-speed lift for skiers to quickly get back up the mountain to enjoy as much skiing as possible. Oak Valley Snow Park is one of the best parks for snowboarders because there are no crowds and plenty of space to try new maneuvers! The resort operates a ski and snowboarding school as well as sleigh rides for beginners.
O2 Ski & Resort(Taebaek-gun, Gangwon-do)
O2 Ski & Resort is located in Taebaek-si, Gangwon-do, where the first snow of winter falls and the last place it melts. The resort has a total of 12 slopes of varying levels of difficulty. The easiest slope, which starts at 1,420 meters above sea level, is 3.2 kilometers long from top to bottom. On another slope, skiers of all levels start together at the top, split into different courses depending on their skill level, and meet again at the base. The Kids' Park and sleigh rides make the resort a great family destination.
※ The opening period of each ski resort is subject to change.