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Hallasan National Park is on Jeju island to the south of the South Korean mainland. Hallasan (한라산 / 漢拏山) is the highest mountain in South Korea, standing at 1,950 meters (6,400 ft).


Traffic on the mountain top
Forest climbing the peak

The park is in the center of Jeju Island and the peak can be seen from almost all places on Jeju. It is a UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site.



The park is based around mountain of Hallasan which is a dormant volcano that last erupted in 1007, and only has one dominating peak. The top of the mountain has a crater lake known as Baekrokdam.

Flora and fauna[edit]


Get in[edit]

Map of Hallasan National Park

Most routes are accessible via bus. State your chosen path at the ticket booth in the inter-city bus terminal. In winter the final buses back can leave quite early (around 17:00). Trails sometimes put up "closed" signs around midday in winter to prevent people getting stuck. Also note that the inter-city buses will drop you at the carpark. The often 1- to 2-km sealed road walk up to the trail start is not included on trail length approximations on local signage and documentation.

Fees and permits[edit]

There are no fees to enter the park.

As of 2023, access to the two trails which lead to the true peak of Hallasan (i.e., Gwaneumsa and Seongpanak) is capped daily and subject to a free online permit, available at the website of the Hallasan National Park. Different time slots with varying visitor caps are available; hikers should arrive within the window designated in their confirmation of registration. Visitors who do not show up during their allotted time window, and do not cancel in advance, are blocked from booking for a duration of three months, or twelve months on the second occurrence.

Get around[edit]

Hiking Trails of Mount Halla.
Flora of the national park
At the entrance of Seongpannak route of Hallasan
Viewed from afar

Detailed information in English on the trails and hiking advice is given on the webpage of Hallasan National Park [1]. There are five hiking routes available, only two of which actually goes to Baengnok Lake (Baengnokdam 백록담) at the top. Despite this, the routes terminating at Witse Oreum (윗세오름) are in themselves popular for good reason. Note that the trails are regularly closed and re-opened for conservation reasons. The 1.5-km route linking the trails on the west side and the top of Hallasan has been closed for some time.

  • 1 Eorimok (어리목). The 4.7-km-long walk up a forested valley is gentle and fairly consistent sloped. It is more than 1 km from the bus stop to the trail start. In winter, the trail is packed with children using the packed down snow for sledding downhill (bring an E-mart bag!) It has a rest house and basic shop at the trail start. Terminates at Witse Oreum.
  • 2 Yeongsil (영실). The shortest path at 3.7 km (and 2.5 km from the carpark to the trail start). Weaves up a ridge along steep cliffs and past some waterfalls (frozen in winter) before a final flat stretch at the top. Has a decent restaurant and shop at the trail start. Terminates at Witse Oreum.
  • Seongpanak (성판악) - A very long, but gentle 9.6-km route up the east side. Terminates at Baengnok Lake atop Hallasan.
  • Gwaneumsa (관음사) - An 8.7-km-long route (and some extra at the base) up the north side. The original trail that terminates at Baengnok Lake atop Hallasan. Has a rest house at the trail start. Samgakbong Shelter, at roughly two thirds of the distance up, serves as a staffed checkpoint. Depending on the season, a checkpoint time will be posted. Hikers will not be allowed to advance further if they do not pass Samgakbong Shelter by this designated time. This trail is frequently considered more challenging than Seongpanak, but offers incredible views in the top third, once hikers emerge from the treeline. It starts as a medium-grade route before the grade increases and the terrain becomes rockier. In the last third, most of the trail is made up of steep stairs. No special equipment is necessary to hike Gwaneumsa, but be aware that reasonable fitness is required to reach the top.
  • Donnaeko (돈네코) - An 8-km long route (and a 2.1-km South Wall fork to reach Witse Oreum junction from the top) up the south side. Not marked on most maps or guides. Confirm accessibility locally.

All distances listed above are one-way.

Most trails are open all year round, even in the winter. If planning a winter trip, the short trails on the western side are particularly popular, going up Yeongsil and down Eorimok or vice-versa, with children and the elderly even being common sights on both. Strap-on crampons (shoe spikes) are however a necessity but if you lack them, the shop at the start of the Yeongsil trail sells some for ₩20,000.


Lake on top of Hallasan mountain




Witse Oreum has a manned rest house and a very basic shop that sells coffee and ramen.

Baengnokdam has no opportunities to purchase food. Note that a return trip takes up to ten hours and that you will burn calories, and prepare food accordingly.


On the routes to Baengnokdam, there is no access to potable water. Be sure to pack enough water for up to ten hours of hiking.





Stay safe[edit]

Take the regular precautions whilst hiking: ask locals about course conditions and tell someone where you are going. In reality, hiking in South Korea tends to be something akin to ant-trail winding up a mound, but in Winter, when the buses terminate early, and it gets dark early you could run into trouble. Seek and follow local advice from the base huts and be sure to depart before the daily course closure time.

Go next[edit]

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