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Hallasan Mountain: Jeju’s centerpiece

Korea’s highest mountain sits in the center of Jeju.

Hiking | Nature | Recommended

Hallsan Mountain Featured image

Hallasan Mountain is Jeju’s centerpiece. Located in the center of the island, the mountain is visible wherever you are on Jeju. At 1,950 meters high, it’s also the highest mountain in Korea.

The summit is home to Baengnokdam Crater, a 500-meter-wide creator that visibly juts out of the top of the mountain.

Hiking Hallasan Mountain

The best way to experience Hallasan Mountian is to climb it. Two paths, Songpanak Trail and Gwaneumsa Trail, lead to the top of the mountain.

Several others wind around the mountain’s oreums and forests. Despite its height, the mountain is a long but relatively easy climb and there is a well-defined path on both routes, with stairs helping in the steepest places.

Jeju travel tip ⛰️

You must make a reservation in advance to climb to the top of Hallasan Mountain. It’s free to do so, and the government website is easy to use. Just choose your train and then book your spot on the mountain using this link.

Songpanak Trail

Hallsana Mountain Summit Clouds
Photo: Above the clouds on the summit of Hallasan Mountain

Songpanak Trail is a 9.6 km trail that goes from the Songpanak Informaiton Center, around 750 meters above sea level, to Baengnokdam Crator.

It’s the longest of the two summit trails, but is less steep than Gwaneumsa Trail, meaning that despite it’s length it is the easiest of the two trails. Much of the route is through the forest, although this breaks out towards the summit and the final stretch provides spectacular views out over the island.

Around 5.8 km into the trail, there’s an alternative path up to Sara Oreum. The top of the oreum is home to a lake and you’ll get views of Gwaneumsa Crater and out over Jeju.

Gwaneumsa Trail

Gwaneumsa Trail
Photo: The only way is up! Stairs on the Gwaneumsa Trail

Gwaneumsa Trail is shorter and steeper than Songpanak. The trail starts at Gwaneumsa Information Center and goes for 8.7 km until you reach Baengnokdam Crater. The final stretch of the trail offers arguably the most spectacular scenery in Jeju, as you take in views of … Much of the final ascent takes place on stairs due to the steepness of the course.

Can’t choose which trail to do?

Songpanak Trail and Gwaneumsa Trail are both connected at Baengnokdam Crater. It’s possible to walk up one side and then walk down the other.

Other Trails

Here is a list of the other trails on Hallsan Mountain. Eorimok Trail, Yeongsil Trail, and Donnaeko Trail all end at Witse Oreum Shelter, so it’s possible to climb up one and descend down the other.

  • Eorimok Trail is a 6.8 km trail that leads to Witse Oreum Shelter, which at 1,700 meters is 250 meters lower than the mountain’s summit.
  • Yeongsil Trail is 5.8 km trail known for being a relatively easy hike. It also goes past Witse Oreum Shelter.
  • Eoseungsaengak Trail is a 1.3 km trail to the summit of Eoseungsaeng Oreum, an oreum on the slopes of Hallasan Mountain that reaches 1,169 above sea level.
  • The Donnaeko Trail is a 7 km trail that takes hikers up to Witse Oreum via the south face of the mountain.
  • Seokguram Trail is a 1.5 km trail up to Seokguram Hermitage

What to know when Hiking Hallasan Mountain

Here are some final tips to consider before hiking Hallsan Mountain.

  • There’s a cut-off time when hiking up Gwaneumsa Trail or Songpanak Trail to the summit. You must make it to the relevant point before the cut-off time in order to be allowed up to the top.
  • The paths are well-defined on each trail, and there are stairs in the steepest places.
  • You can hike the trails all year round. The summit is covered in snow during winter and this can be a wonderful time to make the climb if you have the right equipment.

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Photo of author

Duncan Elder

Duncan first came to Jeju in 2011. The plan was to stay for six months. 11 years later, he's still here and enjoys sharing his knowledge of the island on Inside Jeju.