Hiking Bukhansan National park, Seoul - eNidhi India Travel Blog

Hiking Bukhansan National park, Seoul

On our last day in Seoul, I went to hike Bukhansan National Park. Bukhansan National Park is on the outskirts of Seoul city reachable through public transport and has a few trails which are around 3 kms long, so I thought it would be a good early morning activity to hike up and get some good views.

Bukhansan National Park information center only opens by 10 AM. It was some 8.30 AM when I reached there, so I couldn't wait and couldn't collect a leaflet of park's map. A few display boards are available- we can take a photo of that for our reference, but it was in Korean so not much help.

As I started walking uphill there was a valley trail to the left and a main road on right. I took the valley trail. Further I saw there were two options- one was 2.9 kms other was 2.8 kms. I wasn’t sure which one to prefer, so I took the left one.  The trail seemed never ending. The stream on the path was almost dry- had a small flow of water. At one point I got a water spring, so I filled my bottle.

Below: What I saw from near top of Bukhansan National park trail.

There was a Ilseonsa buddist temple on the trail

A cat there wouldn't let me pet

Colourful trees were a delight. Bukhansan national park reportedly has over 3000 variants of fauna and flora.

A restroom and another Buddhist temple exists some 500 meters from the peak

The trail is well paved for about 30-40%, rocky path for the rest

Eventually I reached the Daedongmun gate. But it looked like the trail continued from here in different directions. I didn’t have the time and energy to explore more, so decided to return from here. If I was to spend all day exploring remaining trails of Bukhasan, I would not have any time left for attractions in city. So a decision had to be made.

Before returning, I hiked another 100-200 meters to find a good vantage point but the view was not great- Got this mountain on one side and the city on the other side was too far to get any good picture.

While returning, I spotted a marking which said a check post is 1.3 kms- a lot shorter than 3 kms I had hiked uphill, so decided to try this. This path had steep inclines, but got me out faster. Once I came out of the reserve forest area, I had to walk a km to get to the nearest bus station.

Looks like the Bukhansan National Park area is at the border of Seoul district with neighboring district. So you are out of Seoul at some points in the trail.

Overall I would say Bukhansan National Park visit can be skipped if you have a better plan. The view is not great, nothing very unique about the hiking trail, particularly if you have hiked more interesting places like Mount Hallasan or sunrise treks in Jeju. The  Bukhansan National Park works best for locals who love hiking and can try different trails on different days and seasons to experience everything the park has on offer.

Similar: Sunrise trek in Jeju * Hiking South Korea's tallest Hallasan mountain (coming soon)

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