Hiking Mt Hallasan – Jeju Island, South Korea

Jeju Island is Korea’s most spectacular destination, and the best way to see it all is by hiking Mt Hallasan for its jaw-dropping views from the edge of a volcano!Β 

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They advertise hiking Mt Mountain on Jeju Island as the perfect leisurely jaunt for honeymooning couples, so surely it couldn’t be that tough?

Famous last words… πŸ˜€

Considering its huge popularity, we were surprised to find very little useful information online about a Hallasan mountain hike. Or perhaps we should say, very little English information! Through this guide we hope to turn that around, making it super easy for you to plan an awesome day of hiking in Hallasan National Park.

We’d love to hear from you – if it has helped, or if you can think of ways to improve it, let us know in the comments below!

Want to skip ahead? Just click one of these links…

What is Hallasan Mountain?

Mt Hallasan is an active volcano inside Hallasan National Park on the magnificent Jeju Island, just off the southern tip of the Korean peninsula.

Don’t worry though! The scientists have been arguing about this for a long time, with many thinking its lack of activity means it should be classified as ‘dormant’ instead.

You’ll be please to hear that it doesn’t smoke, it doesn’t belch fire, it doesn’t do any of those dangerous things.

What it does do is provide hikers with the best way of seeing all of Jeju Island from one place!

Hiking Mt Hallasan

Mt Hallasan (Credit: Korea.net / Korean Culture and Information Service)

We didn’t realise it at the time, but at almost 2000m Mt Hallasan is South Korea’s tallest mountain.
Mt Hallasan’s distinctive volcanic crater peak can be seen no matter where you are on Jeju Island, and even from the South Korean mainland!

Back to top…

4 Hallasan Trails – Which one is best and how to get there?

There are four Hallasan trails on and around the mountain, but only two of these trails will take you all the way up to the volcano’s crater lip – the Gwaneumsa trail, and the Seongpanak trail:

  1. Gwaneumsa Trail – 8.7km (one-way) and 8-10 hours return hike <– the BEST views!
  2. Seongpanak Trail – 9.6km (one-way) and 7-9 hours return hike <– the EASIEST hike!
  3. Eorimok Trail – 4.7km (one-way) and 2.5 hours return hike
  4. Yeongsil Trail – 3.7km (one-way) and 2 hours return
Hallasan Trail Map

Hallasan Trail Map

Gwaneumsa Trail

  • Length: 8.7km (one way)
  • Time: 8-10hrs return
  • Pros: Finishes at the top! Fantastic views along much of the trail.
  • Cons: Steeper, longer, and is closed more often than the Seongpanak trail. No public transport to the car park.

The starting point for this hike (here)Β is on the northern side of Hallasan mountain, about 1km to the west of Gwaneusma Temple.

Gwaneumsa Trail by Taxi or Car

Taking a taxi or your own rental vehicle is the easiest way. A taxi from Jeju Intercity Bus Terminal will cost around KRW 12,000 and take 25 minutes.

Budget for twice as much if you are coming from Seogwipo.

Gwaneumsa Trail by Bus

Getting to the Gwaneumsa trail by bus is also easy and cheap, but will take a little bit longer.

  • From Jeju International Airport (two buses needed):
    • Bus #181 from the airport to Jeju International University; then
    • Bus #475 from the university to Gwaneumsa trail head (κ΄€μŒμ‚¬)
  • From Jeju City Centre (two buses needed):
    • Bus #365 (quickest) or #281 or #181 or #426 to Jeju International University; then
    • Bus #475 from the university to Gwaneumsa trail head (κ΄€μŒμ‚¬)
  • From Seogwipo (two buses needed):
    • Bus #281 From Seogwipo to Jeju International University
    • Bus #475 from the university to Gwaneumsa trail head (κ΄€μŒμ‚¬)
Pro tip

Want to catch the bus but can’t speak or read Korean?

Don’t stress!

The NAVER Maps mobile app has everything you need to find your way around Jeju Island and it is in English.

Route descriptions and some details on the maps themselves are in Korean, but you should find enough information in English to plan your way around the island with ease. It even shows you in real-time how far away the next bus is!

Download it from Google Play today.

Seongpanak Trail

  • Length: 9.6km (one way)
  • Time: 7-9hrs return
  • Pros: Finishes at the top! Shorter, and not as steep as the Gwaneumsa trail. Public transport is available to the trailhead.
  • Cons: The views from the trail aren’t as scenic as those from the Gwaneumsa trail.

The starting point for this hike (here) is on the eastern side of Hallasan mountain.

Seongpanak Trail by Taxi or Car

Taking a taxi or your own rental vehicle is the easiest way. A taxi from Jeju Intercity Bus Terminal will cost around KRW 20,000 and take 35 minutes.

Budget a little bit more if you’re coming from Seogwipo.

Seongpanak Trail by Bus

Getting to the Seongpanak trail by bus is also easy and cheap, and takes about the same amount of time.

  • From Jeju International Airport – Take bus#181 all the way to Seongpanak trailhead
  • From Jeju Bus Terminal – Take bus#281 all the way to Seongpanak trailhead
  • From Seogwipo – Take bus#182 all the way to Seongpanak trailhead

The perfect combination – Seongpanak + Gwaneumsa

On leaving, we noticed that there were many taxis parked at Gwaneumsa. It turns out that the best hiking itinerary is to walk in on the Seongpanak trail, and then to walk back via the Gwaneumsa trail.

This gives you the best of both worlds and it is a very popular option with the locals. This way you experience the slightly easier climb up Mt Hallasan, and you can also enjoy the fantastic views of Gwaneumsa while descending.


Eorimok Trail

  • Length: 4.7km (one way)
  • Time: 2.5hrs return
  • Pros: Shorter hike, with lovely oak trees and shallow incline.
  • Cons: Doesn’t take you to the summit of Mt Hallasan.

Eorimok Trail by Taxi or Car

Taking a taxi or your own rental vehicle is the easiest way. A taxi from either Jeju Intercity Bus Terminal or Seogwipo area will cost around KRW 20,000 and take 30 minutes.

Eorimok Trail by Bus

Bus #240 travels up and down the western side of Jeju Island, between Jeju City in the north and Jungmun-do on the south coast, and passes by both the Eorimok and Yeongsil trail heads.

It’s easier to catch this bus from Jeju City, as no connections are needed.

If you are staying near Seogwipo then you will need to find a connection across to the Jungmun-do area.

Yeongsil Trail

  • Length: 3.7km (one way)
  • Time: 2hrs return
  • Pros: Shortest hike, along a ridge and past a number of waterfalls.
  • Cons: Doesn’t take you to the summit of Mt Hallasan.

Yeongsil Trail by Taxi or Car

Taking a taxi or your own rental vehicle is the easiest way. A taxi from either Jeju Intercity Bus Terminal or Seogwipo area will cost around KRW 20,000 and take 30 minutes.

Yeongsil Trail by Bus

Bus #240 travels up and down the western side of Jeju Island, between Jeju City in the north and Jungmun-do on the south coast, and passes by both the Eorimok and Yeongsil trail heads.

It’s easier to catch this bus from Jeju City, as no connections are needed.

If you are staying near Seogwipo then you will need to find a connection across to the Jungmun-do area.

Back to top…

Follow along as we hike Mt Hallasan!

Despite its extra 900m length, the Seongpanak trail is easily the most popular of the two, due to its milder incline. Regardless, all reports pointed towards the 8.7km Gwaneumsa trail as being the most picturesque, and for that reason alone we decided to give it a crack!

We were staying in the Jejueco Suites on the southern side of the island, so it was about a 30-40 minute drive to get to the trailhead (here). Considering how good the accommodation was, and the spectacular scenery along the way, we didn’t mind the drive.

Leaving our hire car in the massive car park at the Gwaneumsa trail head (be prepared to pay a small fee of around W1000 for parking – but the hike itself is FREE!), we made use of the facilities before commencing what was to be one of the most epic 8hr treks we’ve ever attempted!

10:00am: Starting Out your Hallasan Hike

The signage at the start was great, giving us a really good taster for what was to come.

We were expecting there to be a few more people, but as we were to find out later, most were approaching from the east on the Seongpanak trail. All the better for us, meaning less distractions and a quieter environment in which to soak up the atmosphere. Those we did pass were so colourful! I don’t think we’ve ever seen so many different iridescent shades of parachute material πŸ˜€

The early section was beautiful. The stream was low, creating all these little rockpools that vividly reflected the green trees surrounding us.

And the wildflowers…wow…so many shades of blue, mauve and purple. It was so tempting to go exploring down the river, but we knew we had to stay on track!

As the trail gently started to climb, we came across a narrow railway. At the time we couldn’t work out what it was for… Supplies? Building materials? Lazy hikers? πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

It turns out it’s actually for emergency services, so they can get injured hikers down off Hallasan as soon as possible. Very clever!

  • Hiking Mt Hallasan
  • Hiking Mt Hallasan
  • Β Hiking Mt HallasanΒ 
  • Hiking Mt HallasanΒ 

11:00am: The Climb to Yongjingak Shelter

We knew the good times couldn’t last forever. A staircase rising up into the mists announced the start of the climb to come. Up, and up, and up…

The trail is in good condition all the way, but those steps never seem to end!

After a little over an hour, the appearance of Yongjingak Shelter was a welcome relief and the perfect place to stop for a bite to eat for lunch, a bathroom break, and rest our weary legs.

  • Hiking Mt Hallasan
  • Hiking Mt Hallasan
  • Hiking Mt Hallasan
  • Hiking Mt Hallasan

12:30pm to 1:15pm – Skirting the Mountain

With a belly full of kimbap (you did remember to pack some didn’t you? πŸ˜€ ) you’ll feel ready to tackle the next exciting section of the climb up Mt Hallasan.

Unlike the previous two hours there’s a lot more variation, with the trail rising and falling as it skirts the steep walls of the old volcano.

Turning your eyes up to the mountain and down into the valleys below, you can only imagine what it would have looked like thousands of years ago when the molten lava was pouring down the mountain side and into the sea!

While it isn’t all uphill, when you do climb it is pretty steep. By the time you reach the viewing platform (or is it the collapsing platform?) your lungs and legs will be very glad for a short break πŸ˜€

  • Hiking Mt Hallasan
  • Hiking Mt Hallasan
  • Hiking Mt Hallasan
  • Hiking Mt Hallasan

1:15pm to 2:00pm – The Final Ascent!

Those capricious mists decided to make a return on our final ascent. Swirling and smothering, and then disappearing again. Why couldn’t they just make up their minds? πŸ˜€

The path wound its way up the last few hundred metres, around craggy cliffs and through narrow gouges in the volcanic rock. The closer we got to that elusive peak the thicker the crowds, as we began passing those slower walkers that had started the hike before us.

The way the mist (cloud?) kept getting thicker, we weren’t sure if we were even going to see anything at the top!

Watch Out!

Hallasan is a big mountain, so the conditions at the top can be very different to what greeted you in the carpark below.

Even in summer, keep an eye on the weather forecast and make sure you take a waterproof jacket. In the cooler months you will want to dress in layers and bring at least one fleece jacket. Remember, there can be a lot of snow in winter so it can be below freezing!

At long last, four hours after we had started, the summit appeared. Weary hikers were strewn across the path in various states of fatigue; some were digging into a hearty late lunch, others swigging on soju with elated grins on their faces!

White Deer Lake, orΒ Baengnokdam, was looking fantastic, but sadly we couldn’t see any further beyond the crater’s edge. A shame, but we were still so happy to have made it all the way to the top!

  • Hiking Mt HallasanΒ 
  • Hiking Mt HallasanΒ 
  • Hiking Mt HallasanΒ 
  • Hiking Mt HallasanΒ 

2:00pm to 6:00pm – Descending Hallasan Mountain

We won’t give a blow by blow account of our descent (maybe you should try reading the last few sections backwards? πŸ˜€ ). What we will say though is that if you have any knee troubles then this is where you are going to suffer!

We thought we were in fantastic shape.


About an hour in to the 4-hr descent both of us started feeling a twinge in our knees. If only we’d thought to bring some pain killers πŸ™

By the time we reached the car park one of us was limping and the other wasn’t much better.

Regardless, it was with a huge feeling of accomplishment that we levered our tired bodies into our car and made the slow journey home.

It had been a long, hard day of placing one foot ahead of the other, but it was all so worth it. The views, the happy faces on the dozens of South Korean hikers that we passed along the way (and that passed us at high speed!), the gorgeous flowers and vegetation…

As we kicked back in our spa with a few beers at the fantastic Jejueco SuitesΒ we knew this was one day of hiking we would never forget!

Mt Hallasan was even cheeky enough to peak through the clouds and give us a wave as we drove past… πŸ˜€

Hot Tip!!

Don’t leave your starting time too late!

Because it is such a large mountain there is a risk that slow hikers may get caught at altitude, risking extreme exposure at nearly 2000m altitude.

To ensure you have enough time to get up and back down before night the rangers have a starting time cutoff (click here) that vary with the seasons:

  • Winter (Nov/Dec/Jan/Feb) – Must start before 12:00pm midday
  • Spring and Autumn (Mar/Apr/Sept/Oct) – Must start before 12:30pm
  • Summer (May/June/Jul) – Must start before 1:00pm


To ensure everyone gets back downΒ the mountain in time, you need to leave the peak no later than:

  • Winter (Nov/Dec/Jan/Feb) – 1:30pm midday
  • Spring and Autumn (Mar/Apr/Sept/Oct) – 2:00pm
  • Summer (May/June/Jul) – 2:30pm

So what time should you start?

To give yourself enough time at the top, we recommend starting the hike at the following times:

  • Winter – 9:00am or earlier
  • Spring and Autumn – 9:30am or earlier
  • Summer – Β 10:00am or earlier (yes, we were right on the limit!)

Just so you know, the park opens at 6:00am in winter, 5:30am in autumn, and 5:00am in summer πŸ™‚

Back to top…

Where to stay when hiking Mt Hallasan?

Seogwipo Hotels

Jejueco Suites – Good ‘all rounder’

We found Seogwipo to be the perfect base to explore Jeju Island, and the Jejueco Suites provided a really quirky yet comfortable oasis away from the madness. They’re close to all the attractions on Jeju’s southern coast; Jeongbang Waterfall, Yakchunsa Temple, the Teddy Bear Museum, Cheonjiyeon Falls, Oedolgae, the list goes on…!

Click here for more information.

Benikea Jungmun – Rated #1!!

Another great option in Seogwipo is the Benikea Jungmun Hotel. They’re rated #1 in Seogwipo by fellow travellers on TripAdvisor, and if ourΒ excellent experience at the Benikea Hotel in Yeosu is anything to go by, you’ll find yourself relaxing in a well appointed room representing fantastic value for money!

Click here for more information.

The Shilla Jeju – Pure luxury

If we’d had the cash we definitely would have splurged on The Shilla Jeju. This resort is luxury all the way, with indoor and outdoor pools, cabanas, spa facilities, and a casino exclusive to overseas guests!

Click here for more information on The Shilla Jeju.

Jeju City Hotels

If you’re tight for time, or you don’t have as much interest in the attractions of Jeju Island’s southern coastline, Jeju City is an excellent place to base yourself. It’s also closer to the Gwaneumsa trailhead, so you can save on a few extra minutes of precious sleep!

Lotte City Hotel – Voted the best in Jeju City

The Lotte City Hotel ticks all the right boxes. It’s close to the airport and car rental agencies, has great views, is located on top of a mall, and to top it all off it’s priced nicely.

Click here for more information on the Lotte City Hotel.

Yeha Guesthouse – Cheap and cheerful!

The Yeha Guesthouse is perfect for backpackers and those who love mixing with other travellers while keeping their costs down. They offer a free breakfast and by all accounts have some sensational happy hour drinks specials! Importantly, the location is handy to both the airport and bus terminal. Yeee-haaa!!

Click here for more information on Yeha Guesthouse.

Looking for South Korean inspiration?

Are you planning your South Korea holiday and looking for inspiration?

We spent a whole month travelling the length and breadth of South Korea and had an absolute ball. If you’ve got any questions whatsoever, feel free to ask in the comments below, or drop by our Facebook page and join in the conversation!

For more information on things to do and places to see, here are some other articles from our exciting time in South Korea.

Thinking of Visiting Australia?

Come to our home state and do a Tasmania road trip!

It’s the best way of seeing this incredibly beautiful island.


  1. Wow, thank you very much for this post, I just watched K-Drama called Jirisan and now very interested in South Korean mountain. I had lived in Japan for 6 years and hiked several places in Japan during my stay. I never knew that South Korea has so many interesting and beautiful trails. I would want to visit Jeju Island too

  2. Dear Karen and Andrew,

    Thank you for the valuable information! It really was a bit difficult to find relevant information in English, so I was happy to find your blog which was very helpful.
    Just one note – there now is a bus route right at the base of Gwaneumsa trail, so taxi or rental car is no longe the only options.
    Good luck to everyone!

    1. Thanks so much Ramona, I’m glad you found it useful πŸ™‚

      Thank you very much for the update regarding the buses as well! We’ll get that updated asap.

      Andrew and Karen.

  3. Hi! Thanks a lot for this very helpful information! But just want to check with you, not sure if you know about this, but would you happen to know if (overnight) camping in Mt. Hallasan permitted? Or is it only for day hikes?

    Cheers! πŸ™‚

    1. Hi Rachelle. That’s a really good question but I don’t know the answer sorry. If it IS allowed it would be an incredible experience!

  4. Hi Andrew and Karen,

    Thank you for your very informative articles. We have a young child with us so won’t be able to do any of the long trails so instead are thinking of going to the Visitor Centre and walking the 1.3km Eoseungsaengak Trail. I am wondering if you have any information about how to get to the Visitor Centre from Jeju City?

    Thank you, Adrian

    1. Hi Adrian, we didn’t got to that trail, but assuming you’re wanting to take public transport I think you would get on the same bus as you would for the Yeongsil trail (which we describe in the article above). For more info on buses have a look at NaverMaps on your phone, as it has heaps of info on how to get around the island.

      Have fun!

  5. Hi !
    Thanks for this post !
    I agree, there’s not much informainformation about Hallassan hikes.
    I’m still confused about one thing.
    I was told that there are two bus stop :
    Yeongsil entrance and yeongsil ticket booth.
    Do I need to first stop at yeongsil tickets booth to buy the tickets and then go to yeongsil entrance to start the hike ?

    When / where do we pay the entrance fees ?
    Thanks for your help !

    1. Hi Syl, yes it is a little confusing isn’t it? πŸ˜€ We didn’t do the Yeongsil trail, but from our research it seems that there is a gate/ticket booth that you pass through about half-way up the road to the Yeongsil trail car park. The start of the Yeongsil Trail is further along, at the very end of the road.

  6. Hey there. Thanks for your simplified yet compact guide for Hallasan hiking. really helps the community a lot! Good job!

  7. I would like to go up on Gwaneumsa and come down via Seongpanak, since I would prefer to take my time going up the mountain and take pictures, then take the fastest route down. Do you know if it’s easy to grab a taxi from Seongpanak to Seogwipo?

    1. Hi Courtney, I couldn’t say for sure as we went up and back down Gwaneumsa. But from what I hear Seongpanak is a LOT more popular, so I imagine so long as you’re not finishing the hike really late there should be plenty of taxis.


  8. Hi, I’d just like to thank you for this post. It helped me a lot in my planning for Mt Hallasan. I have some points to add on just for other readers too.

    I trekked up Gwaneumsa Trail and come down by Seongpanak Trail on a weekday. The whole trek took about 8.5 h (I started at 8.30 am). Gwaneumsa Trail is indeed so much steeper and tiring like you mentioned, so I picked it as the trail up (where I have more energy to climb).

    I took public bus throughout my trip in Jeju, and the Naver maps app is really helpful. Plus, the bus stops have real-time bus arrival information and bus routes etc, so taking public transport is not an issue in Jeju. I took bus 475 to Gwaneumsa Trail (the bus is not that frequent thought, maybe 30 min to 1 h wait) and there are many buses back from the bus stop outside Seongpanak Trail.

    1. Thanks Vanessa, we really appreciate the feedback πŸ™‚ We’re just about to do a big update to the article and we’ll definitely include your info in there!

      Andrew and Karen.

  9. Hi Karen and Andrew,

    This is such a helpful community you’ve fostered here on your blog! I’ve looked through quite a few comments, but haven’t found if there are buses to the National Park (head of Eorimok Trail) from Seogwipo? Many thanks for any leads!

    1. Hi Sofi, thank you so much!

      I’m not aware of the bus options to the Eorimok trail sorry. But I do intend to research this and to update the article, and I’ll respond to this comment again to let you know when it’s done πŸ™‚


  10. Hi! I read this article before I my hike – I decided to risk taking the bus to Gwaneumsa from dongmun rotary, and I found it pretty easy. I used the NAVER Map app in English and found with that and all the information the bus stops I had no problem. I changed buses once about half way, and the whole journey took about 40 minutes, though the exact time would depend on your connection. I left my hostel at 7 and I was on the trail by 7.45. I don’t speak any Korean at all, and the bus was easy!

    1. Thanks for the fantastic feedback Naomi! I think I’m going to have to update the article with this info to help other travellers out. It’s good to know that you don’t need strong Korean language skills to get there as well. Cheers!

  11. Hello πŸ™‚ very lovely reading. may i know which hiking trail I should take if i want to go to the place where the first photo in this article is taken ? the one with the mountain and the purple flowers. thank you πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks Karina! I think that photo has been taken from the Eorimok trail. You can see it on the map in the blog article.

      Happy travels!

    1. That’s great to hear Rafael! Thanks for letting us know – without feedback we sometimes wonder if others are finding the information useful or not πŸ˜€

      Happy travels!

      Andrew and Karen.

  12. Hi Andrew & Karen, I really enjoyed reading this post and reckon it’s the most helpful I’ve come across on the internet so far. Planning a hike to Hallasan this December and I wanted to know what bus routes I could take from Seogwipo to get to Seongpanak trail or Gwaneumsa trail? Thank you.

    1. Hi Abie, thanks for the great feedback!

      If the bus is your only option then we recommend doing the Seongpanak trail. Buses from either Seogwipo or Jeju City take a little over 30 minutes to get to the Seongpanak bus stop. From Seogwipo Intercity Bus Terminal look for the 782, 782-1, or 782-2 bus. Or from Jeju-si Intercity Bus Terminal look for the 781 or 781-1 bus.

      Taking a bus to Gwaneumsa is possible apparently – but difficult – and unfortunately we don’t have a lot of info other than that in the blog above. See Pia’s comment below for more info πŸ™‚

      Have a great time!
      Andrew and Karen.

  13. Hello, ill be in Jeju 28Nov. Planning to climb Hallasan in 29Nov as I will fly back to Seoul on 30nov.

    My question is, on the 28Nov, i wanted to check out Mangjangul cave. Right after my arrival in jeju. Then from Manjangul go to Seogwipo and check out anything interesting and stay for the night there. If I leave my backpacks in the airport, will I be able to exit from the other side of the Hallasan if I start from the entrance near Seogwipo?

    Or if its not doable, do you know if there are still buses from Seogwipo in the evening going to Jeju city? Or i really have to rent a car?

    Thank you so much for your suggestion. More power!


    1. Hi Joshua!

      That sounds like a good couple of days on Jeju πŸ™‚

      Have you had a look at the section above called ‘The 4 Trails of Mt Hallasan’? In there you’ll see a map showing that the only two trails that take you to the top of the mountain leave from either the northern or eastern sides – not from Seogwipo side to the south.

      I’m sorry but I’m not sure about the time that the buses stop. Given that you have such a short amount of time, if you can afford it I would definitely hire a car.

      Cheers, and have fun!

  14. hello, I am planning a visit to Jeju in February with my children (8 to 14 years old ) . Will it be safe to hike the Hallasan mount? , (considering climate conditions)
    Is there any place where to stay the night nearby or in the mountain ?
    Is there any other nice hiking recommendation for the winter time? (ideally 3 to 6 hs hiking)
    Any place to enjoy termal bathing near the snow?
    Thank you

    1. Hi Mariela! It’s very hard to say what the conditions will be like on the mountain as they are always changing. We suggest keeping a very close eye on the weather forecast and picking a day when the forecast is for good conditions. Keep in mind that if there has been storms then there may be deep snow up on top of the mountain that may prevent access to some parts.

      As for other hiking options, have a look at the Jeju Olle hiking trails. There are more than 20 sections located around the island of varying lengths. The best one in our opinion is the one on Udo Island, as it starts and finishes at the same place – click here for more info: https://forkandfoot.com/reclining-cow-udo-island-south-korea/

      This is the official Jeju Olle website: https://english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/ATR/SI_ENG_2_3_1.jsp

      For accommodation we have a number of recommendations in the article (the Lotte Hotel is good), most of which aren’t very far from the mountain. Jeju City is your best bet as it’s closer.

      Sorry, I’m not sure about thermal baths, but it sounds like a great idea!

      Have a great holiday!
      Andrew and Karen.

  15. Hi… Thanks for all the previous info. I wonder if you do come across cyclist… Or a safe place to keep my bicycle anywhere near to the entrance or car park area. I plan to stay at the nearest hotel ie: A way to Gwaneumsa Temple Pension… Which about 7km and cycle there early in the morning… Provided they have a safe place for bicycle.


    1. Not a problem Cav, I’m glad it has helped with your planning.

      As for bicycle storage, I can’t recall seeing anything specifically for that. But, I’m sure if you have a bike chain with a padlock that you could easily attach it to a pole or other fixed object until you return. South Korea is a very safe country and theft is extremely rare. If you are unsure, I suggest having a chat with the park rangers on site.

  16. Hi Andrew and Karen,

    Thank you both for doing a post on hiking Hallasan and the Gwaneumsa trail. As you mentioned, there really isn’t any english information out there, making planning a real pain.

    After completing the trail yesterday (oh, was that a stuggle…) I wanted to add some information for those out there who did not rent a car on Jeju (like me) and are trying to figure out how to get there.

    There are two options, bus and taxi:
    a) Taxi
    Highly recommended, as the price from Jeju Intercity Bus Terminal is only 12,000 KRW and the ride takes about 25 minutes.
    Those decending late, like me and my dear knees, might not find any cabs left. In this case your best option is to take the bus back.

    b) Bus
    Unlike what is mentioned in online discussions, there is a bus line going to the Gwaneumsa trail. However, it comes with several downsides.
    The line only runs every hour, with the bus schedule available only in Hangul. The end stop is Jeju National University, where you would need to transfer to a line going to Jeju. Luckily there are quite a few buses going that way.
    All in all, if there are no Korean speakers in your group, I would not recommend taking this option. In case you are forced by circumstance, korean hikers are more than happy to help.

    Hope this information helps someone in the future.

    Good luck with your future travels!


    1. Hi there Pia. Thank you, thank you, thank you SO much for this information! We try to make sure our guides are as accurate as possible, but it can be difficult and especially for a place like Jeju. We’d love to return to Korea but in the meantime it’s only through feedback like your own that we can help our readers updated – we really appreciate it πŸ™‚

      Andrew and Karen.

  17. I have a few questions about the Mt.Hallasan ;
    1) Is it always cloudy at the top of the mountain? And how do we know when it’s not cloudy?
    2) Is it always snowy at the top or it varies through the months?
    Thanks a lot.

    1. Hi Miguel!

      No, the conditions at the top are always changing. Check the weather forecasts, and poke your head out the window and have a look in the morning, because you can see Hallasan from all over the island!

      Snow occurs in the winter months, and will vary a lot depending on the storms that do or don’t come through.

  18. Hello

    I just read this yesterday and its really amazing I wish i can go to korea ASAP haha…and hey ..some of these details I’d use in my story is it ok??

    1. You’ll love South Korea. I hope you can get there one day to see it for yourself!

      We love it if people use the information in our blog articles to help with their travel planning. Inspiration is awesome. Copying, not so much. I’m sure you understand πŸ™‚

  19. This is wonderful! Will try to read the article again and all the queries and your very helpful answers once im nearing my jeju island vacation.

    I read above in one of your answers that solo hikers are pretty much allowed even without guide.

    Since im going there solo, my questions are:
    1) is it safe to hike alone? Are there signs everywhere or map of trail to follow?
    2) and is it scary? Haha Im afraid i’ll get lost.

    1. Hi Yittleby!

      Yes, it is VERY safe to hike alone. South Korea is one of the safest countries in the world for travellers. And the trail is extremely well made, so there are no worries at all about getting lost. There will be plenty of other hikers on the trail as well who are all very friendly and willing to help πŸ™‚

      No, definitely not scary πŸ˜€ Just a whole lot of fun!

      Andrew and Karen.

    2. Thanks so much for the info you’ve provided! I hiked Seongpanak today. I have rented a car while here and Jeju and appreciate the freedom it provides. Jeju offers a lot of signs for tourist attractions and I’ve gotten distracted and down a different road than I planned more than once. It took me 6.5 hours round trip (up and down plus a meal and pictures at the top). I cannot imagine people making this hike without appropriate hiking gear. I absolutely saw people on the hike with regular shoes, but those people are super heroes in my mind (I wore hiking boots plus a 2L camelpak and it was empty with 4km to get back to my car). While hiking poles aren’t essential they’re certainly helpful and wish I had some along the way. I came across a small deer along the way (first 2km) and that kept me going along the way. The final 2km took me an hour (much slower than my previous pace). I also brought a jacket and wish I had gloves because the wind at the top was no joke! It was a warm and sunny day, but the summit was chilly and froze my fingers! I hiked alone and had no worries along the way. I’ve lived in Korea for the past 10 months (just in Jeju for the week) and have had no negatives interactions with anyone in Korea. Staying at the Bayhill Pool and Villa and am sooooooo thankful for the jacuzzi tub and comfy bed. While it isn’t near a lot of tourist sites, the peace and quiet is just what I needed!

  20. Hi, thank you for the information! One thing I’m curious about – do you need professional hiking shoes/gear for the hike? Are sneakers/trainers good enough?

    1. Hi Serene, not a problem!

      If you are hiking in winter and there is a chance of snow then we would definitely advise getting some waterproof boots.

      In summertime though this isn’t essential. It really comes down to your own preferred style of hiking. I know many hikers that love sneakers because they are light weight and flexible. On the other hand many love the stability and protection that comes with boots. The Hallasan trail is very well made all the way to the top, so you don’t need to worry about scrambling over loose rocks or climbing up steep rock faces etc. so sneakers could be an option, so long as you’re confident you can last 7-8hrs.

      Personally, we always wear boots for long hikes like this, as we find our feet are less fatigued at the end of the day.

      Andrew and Karen.

  21. very informative blog! thank you for providing such details information.
    me and my wife are going to Hallasan may be 20th april. still not sure which trail to go up and which to get down. we will rent car but might consider taking taxi if we get down from the other trail. we will be staying in Seogwipo i’m looking for a more leisure hike… which would you recommend? thanks much.

    1. Hi there Terence, thanks for the feedback!

      I guess ‘leisurely’ depends on how fit you are. If you want to hike to the top of Hallasan then you’ve only got the two options; the Gwaneumsa Trail, and the Seongpanak trail.

      Of these two the Seongpanak is the easier one, even though it’s longer. So if you can handle nearly 20km of hiking then I’d recommend this one.

      If you’re looking for a more leisurely hike elsewhere on Jeju then the Yeongsil trail could be a good alternative, or you could walk the sea cliffs near Seogwipo.

      I hope this helps!

      1. hi Andrew! thanks for your reply πŸ™‚
        we both like hiking especially myself. how long does it take to go up from Seongpanak and descent from Gwaneumsa?
        I’m thinking of taking taxi from Seogwipo to Seongpanak and getting taxi back to hotel from Gwaneumsa, as you mentioned that mostly people do that, and easier to get Taxi in Gwaneumsa entrance.

      2. By looking at most of the information i have collected, I like the lava rocky trail of Seongpanak but I dont think it is suitable for my wife as she twist her ankle easily during hiking.
        oh man… tough call…

        1. I can’t speak for the Seongpanak trail (as we didn’t do that one), but I know the Gwaneumsa has a LOT of steps. It isn’t a rough trail at all – it’s very well made – but it’s at a constant incline/decline the whole way, except for the first/last hour from/to the carpark.

  22. Hi there! I will be travelling with my parents to Korea in end Mar. We are looking at visiting Hallasan but I am concerned that my parents may not be able to climb/hike. Is there any specific parking place or trails that you would recommend for us to attempt? And.. Will there be snow around the last 2-3 days of Mar?

    Appreciate your help! TIA!

    1. Hi there Alyssa, is there a particular reason why they wouldn’t be able to hike, such as medical reasons?

      The trail we describe above has a lovely section at the start that is flat and well made. It takes you past the stream and through the forest and all its flowers. You could walk in as far as they were comfortable, and then walk back out again?

      Alternatively, Udo Island is also very flat and you can hire a golf cart or other buggy to drive around it. We’ve got an article on the blog that describes this if you’d like more info. It’s a great day trip from either Jeju City or Seogwipo.

      The southern coastline around Seogwipo also has some nice trails along the cliff edges. Again, we’ve described this is some of our other blog articles if you’d like more info.

      How do those options sound?

      As for snow…who can tell? πŸ˜€ It really does depend on the weather systems that pass through. Judging by historical averages it seems snow (at sea level at least) is very unlikely. Further up the mountain it would be more likely.

      We hope this helps in your planning!

  23. Hi this is an awesome articles! May I know if you rented a car in Jeju to get around? If yes what do you use to navigate around while driving.

    1. Hi Annabelle, thanks for the great feedback and we’re glad it’s helping you in your planning!

      We did rent a car while on Jeju. The company we used was KT Kumho, but they’ve since been taken over by Lotte Rent-a-Car. You can find them here:


      If you do decide to use them (or one of the other companies) make sure you register as a member on their page before purchasing, as it will probably give you significant discounts on their prices.

      Happy travelling, and if you have any other questions just let us know!

    1. That’s great to hear Patlee, and thank you very much πŸ™‚ It’s not the easiest hike in the world, but the rewards are huge. I’d love to hear how it goes for you!

    2. Finally we get to hike up Halla-san last Thursday (May 16 ). There were 9 of us in our group and we took the Seongpanak trail and started out early ie 7:00 am. It took us about 4 hrs 10 mins (with stops) to reach the summit. We descended by the same trail. Although our initial plan was to come down via Gwaneumsa trail, we decided to use the same trail we one of our member was not very fit . We thought that we could met up with him if we keep to the same trail and we set ourselves a turnaround time at 1:00 pm.

      The descent took me less than 4 hours but we had two stronger hikers who managed complete the hike in about 3 hours. As for the slowest hiker in our group, it was 6 hours for the ascent and less than 5 hours to descend. Here is where we appreciate your advice to start early.. As seen in our case even if you hike slowly and one is able to get to the summit by 1:00 pm and still descend in time during daylight hours..

      What i wish to share is that when we came out at about 1600 hrs, there were quite a number of taxis waiting at the entrance. But after 1700 hrs, did not notice any left. I am not certain whether these are pre-ordered taxis or they will there just waiting for passengers. Hope this is useful information for those visitors who are concerned about transportation back to the city.

      We did not face any problem with transport as we arrange our hike through our tour guide and his van was waiting for us until the last man out.

      I would say overall it is not altogther a challenging hike and one would only need to have stamina and endurance to suceed in reaching the top of Halla-san.

      1. Hi Pat, thank you very much for your feedback on the hike and for your tips. It’s always hard estimating how long it might take others with a different level of fitness (both greater and lesser) so this is really useful and I’m sure it will help other hikers!

        That’s very interesting about the taxis. I had heard that they do wait for hikers, but it’s a bit odd that none were there after 5pm. Perhaps most locals don’t leave their descent so late? Either way, very good to know.

        While I haven’t done the Seongpanak route, it does sound like stamina and endurance is the key for that trail, whereas Gwaneumsa requires a little bit more of both, plus better knees to handle all the steps πŸ˜€


  24. Almost perfect info,you’re a big help! You answered almost all my questions. Is there any area where i can leave my baggages before climbing? Im planning to climb it before leaving jeju island but my worries is where to leave my luggages. I have a flight going to Seoul at 8pm, if i climb the mount at 7pm can i make it back b4 my flight? Thank you for the info, youre great!

      1. Hi there Ianne, thanks so much for the feedback! That’s a really good question…

        From memory I don’t recall seeing any baggage storage at the trail head, and I haven’t read about this from anyone else.

        But…there are a couple of other options that may work for you:

        1. Jeju Airport has a baggage storage facility, with varying prices depending on the size of your bag. They’re open from 6:30am to 9pm and you can find out more here: http://www.airport.co.kr/wwweng/bbs/boardView.do?id=131&bIdx=42539&page=1&menuId=1705&bc=

        2. Your hotel will probably let you store your bags with them for the day. If they’re on the other side of the island it won’t help much, but it may work for you πŸ™‚

        Would either of those help?

        As for getting up and back in time, if you’re starting the hike that early in the morning then unless you’re a very, very slow hiker I’d say that you’ll be back to the airport with plenty of time to spare!

        You’ll be glad to sit and rest your legs on the plane, I’m sure πŸ˜€

        1. Me again..i still have questions, pls bear with my repeated queries. i’l be travelling alone to Jeju island on Nov 20, 2017.

          1. From airport how to get into Ramada Hotel Jeju Seogwipo 173-3 by public transpo and how much?

          2. On the 25th il be climbing Mt. Hallasan, I want to be there at 6am, how to get into the trail head of Mt Hallasan through public transpo and how much? What time should i leave the hotel to be there at 6am?

          3. I have a flight going to Seoul at 8pm on Nov 25, 2017, what time should I leave Mt. Hallasan?

          4. My checkout to my hotel at Ramada is Nov. 25 noon, I have luggages and I dont want to bring it at Mt. Hallasan, is it advisable to leave it in the hotel luggage room before I go to Mt. Hallasan and just go back to the hotel before my flight or I just put it to what place that will be convenient to me to get it after my climb to Mt. Hallasan before going to airport?

          5. Is there mountain climbing equipment for rent at Mt. Hallasan like trek pole? Jackets?trail shoes?

          Thank you very much,your response will be a great help! More power!

          1. Not a problem, I’m happy to help!

            1. Public transport could be a bit tricky. I would recommend getting the #600 Airport Limousine bus from Jeju Airport to the Jeju World Cup Stadium and then walk from there (or get a taxi). It looks to be around a 300-400m walk. You can find more information, including travel times and prices here: http://www.visitjeju.net/en/index.jto?menuCd=DOM_000001821013004000

            2. If you have a look at the section β€œHiking Mt Hallasan – The 4 Trails” you’ll see instructions for the bus to the Seongpanak trail head. I don’t believe you can get public transport to the Gwaneumsa trail head.

            3. Normally you should be allowing 1.5hrs before a domestic flight, so I’d be trying to leave Hallasan before 5:30pm.

            4. The Ramada Hotel is on the opposite side of the island to the trail heads, so I would go to Jeju Airport and drop off your luggage at 6:30am and then go to the Jeju-si Intercity bus terminal and get the bus to the Seongpanak trail head. Or you could take a taxi from the airport to the Gwaneumsa trailhead.

            5. I’m not 100% sure about this. I know that the Seongpanak trailhead sells hiking gear, and I think this might also be possible at the Gwaneumsa trailhead. But I don’t know about rentals sorry.

            One other thing to keep in mind, at that time of year there will probably be snow on the trails. So keep an eye on the weather forecast and dress for the cold πŸ™‚

            1. Thank u so much Sir Andrew, you’re so kind, im really guided through your infos, im excited to hike the mountain, more power and God bless u!

  25. Thank you so much for your detailed post, totally a life saver! Have been looking for this kind of blog/review for Hallasan for a long time! πŸ˜€

    1. Hi there MK, thank you so much for the awesome feedback! We write these articles to try and help fellow travellers out as much as possible, so it’s always nice to hear that it’s hit the mark πŸ™‚

      Are you looking to visit South Korea very soon?

    1. Hi Jovy, my apologies for the delayed response!

      It’s difficult to get specific information in English, but I think that this website is the best you’ll find: http://www.jeju.go.kr/hallasan/notice/faq.htm

      It looks like the trails open at 6am in Nov-Feb, 5:30am in Mar/April and Sep/Oct, and 5am in May-Aug.

      The site also shows you the checkpoints that exist on the mountain, and the closing time for each section of the walk (this is to prevent hikers from leaving too late and geetting stuck up on the mountain in the dark).

      Is this what you were looking for?

  26. I’ve yet to make the trek up Hallasan, but I find most hikes in Korea to be quite challenging…even the ones that are just a few kilometres long (and I grew up in the Rockies!!) Congrats for making it to the top and great tip about walking in on Seongpanak. πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks Shelley. We encountered quite a mix of hikes during our time over there, ranging from pedestrian to pure insanity! Some great scenery no matter which hike you choose though. It’s surprising that South Korea isn’t more renowned internationally for it’s incredible scenery.

      1. Lol..yes, some of those hikes ARE our insanity.

        Korea’s always been popular with Asians (because of the dramas, K-pop etc,) but I think it’s just starting to come up as an international tourist destination. It’s still off the beaten path for most people, so you came at a great time! πŸ™‚

    1. That’s a good way of describing it! It was amazing watching the variety of different ages, sizes, fitness levels and infirmities of some of the people attempting, and succeeding at the climb. It’s not something you would see in Australia very often. Cheers!

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