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7. Hallasan Mountain – A unique vegetation (Top 10 Must Visits)

 

Hallasan Mountain is a place you must visit if you wish to truly enjoy the volcanic nature of Jeju. The 368 Oreums spread throughout the island show off their unique vegetation and the original nature of the island in a way that no other places can. Royal azalea and many other colorful flowers along with each different season of warm summer, crisp fall, and crystal winter all greet you with beautiful scenery, regardless of the time of your visit.

Hallasan Mountain was formed from lava extrusion and it is the tallest mountain in Korea, located at an altitude of 1950m. Along the way, you will find tropical forest including solumni trees, and Eurya japonica. The further up you go, there is a temperate forest that has Japanese oaks, hornbeams, maple trees, and wild cherry trees. Towards the top, the mountain is filled with sub-frigid zone forests where Korean fir, junipers, and Korean rhododendrons reside. The Natural Reserve of Hallasan Mountain is recognized by UNESCO and includes areas of elevation over 600 to 1300m, various valleys, and habitat for special plants. It is highly recommended that visitors not only hike to the top of the mountain, but also enjoy many more other sightseeing areas the mountain offers. There are 7 trails in total throughout the mountain, however, you need to choose Gwaneumsa Temple trail and Seongpanak Trail if you wish to hike up to Baengnokdam Crater Lake, what Hallasan Mountain is best known for. These trails take around 8 to 9 hours roundtrip, so if you are new to hiking, we recommend you to walk on Yeongsil Trail.

 


 

 

 

 

Eorimok-Yeongsil Trail


Eorimok-Youngsil course is the perfect course for you if you wish to enjoy the magnificent view of Hallasan Mountain in a short period of time. Starting from the Eorimok Trail Information Office (located at an elevation of 970m), you will pass Eorimok Valley, Sajebi Hill, Mansae Hill, and Wisse Oreum before you come back down through Youngsil Trail. Youngsil Trail is especially exciting to go on in Fall, when it provides an amazing view of the colorful maple trees, and in winter where you can see the snow on the tree branches (it will take an additional 4.6km if you go all the way up to Southern Intersection).

The trails are generally pretty easy to walk on, but you need climbing irons on your shoes during winter to avoid slipping. Snow can pile up to 20cm when there is a heavy fall, and it might be useful to have something on your shoes that prevents snow and mud from getting in as well.

 




 

 · Trail Course: Eorimok Square (altitude 970m) → Sajebi Hill (altitude 1,423m) → Manse Hill (altitude 1,606m) → Witseoreum Shelter (altitude 1,700m) → South Wall Fork → Come back to Witseoreum Shelter → Oriental Screen Rocks → Yeongsil Resting Place

  · Time: Eorimok to Witseoreum Shelter (4.7km 2h), Witseoreum Shelter to Yeongsil Resting Place (3.7km 1.5 h) / 2 more hours needed when adding a round trip to South Wall Fork (2.1km)

  · Getting to Eorimok Square from Jeju bus terminal:  Take bus No. 240 & stop at ‘Eorimok Entrance’ station (17 stops, takes 40 min.) → walk for about 14 mins to Eorimok Square (910m)

  · Entry / exit hours are restricted in winter time (Nov. to Feb.). The last entry hour is 12:00 pm at the entrance.

 


 

 


 

Seongpanak-Gwaneumsa Trail


Seongpanak trail is the longest trail among all the trails on Hallasan Mountain. Although the trail sounds a little difficult,, with the time it takes to complete being around 4 hours and 30 minutes, it is not too steep. The trail starts from Seongpanak Trail Information Office and continues about 600m along the Sara Oreum at 5.8km. The trail includes Sara Oreum observatory, where you can enjoy the scenery of both Sanjeong Lake and Hallasan Mountain. Excluding Baengnokdam Crater Lake, most of the trail consists of forest, which allows you to stroll through the woods and feel the mystical atmosphere of the volcanic island.

If you descend via Gwaneumsa Temple Trail, you will be greeted by another side of the mountain, which includes Tamra Valley and Gurin Cave (located at the highest point compared to all of the other caves in Jeju). There’s more snow here during winter than Youngsil Trail, so climbing irons and heavy duty snow gear are a must. Even when it’s not a particularly heavy fall, the snow can build up to your knees pretty easily, due to the trail being deep inside the mountain.

· Mt. Hallasan (Seongpanak & Gwanumsa Route) to require advanced booking from February 1, 2020. (Read more)
· To book your visit, please click here.

 


 

· Trail Course: Seongpanak Visitor Center (altitude 750m) → Sokbat Shelter → Saraak → Azalea Field (altitude 1,500m) → Baengnokdam Lake Summit (altitude 1,950m) → Samgakbong Shelter → Gaemideung → Tamna Valley → Gwanemsa Camping Ground

· Time: Seongpanak Visitor Center to Baengnokdam Lake Summit (9.6km 4.5 h), Baengnokdam Lake Summit to Gwanemsa Camping Ground (8.7km 5 h)

· Getting to Seongpanak Visitor Center from Jeju bus terminal: Take bus No. 181 (express bus) or 281 & stop at ‘Seongpanak’ station (28 stops, takes 43 min. with No. 281)

· Entry / exit hours are restricted in winter time (Nov. to Feb.). The last entry hour is 12:00 pm at the entrance.

· The only bus, No. 77, that goes by Gwanemsa Camping Ground, runs on Saturdays, Sundays and national holidays, so visitors must rent cars or use taxis on weekdays.

 


 

Information on Hiking

The following trail map will be a great help if you plan on making a roundtrip on a same trail. The duration for the trails is calculated based on a one-way trip, and it is also important to consider your physical condition for Seongpanak Trail and Gwaneumsa Temple Trail.


 

1. Seongpanak Trail (9.6km 4.5 hours): Seongpanak Visitor Center → (4.1km) Sokbat Shelter → (1.7km) Saraak → (1.5km) Azalea Field (altitude 1,500m) → (2.3km) Baengnokdam Lake Summit


2. Gwanemsa Trail (8.7km 5 hours): Gwanemsa Camping Ground → (3.2km) Tamna Valley → (1.7km) Gaemideung → (1.1km) Samgakbong Shelter (altitude 1,500m) → (2.7km) Baengnokdam Lake Summit


3. Yeongsil Trail (5.8km 2 hours): Yeongsil Resting Place → (1.5km) Oriental Screen Rocks → (2.2km) Witseoreum Shelter → (2.1km) South Wall Fork 


4. Eorimok Trail (6.8km 3 hours): Eorimok Square → (2.4km) Sajebi Hill → (0.8km) Manse Hill → (1.5km) Witseoreum Shelter → (2.1km) South Wall Fork


5. Donnaeko Trail (7km 3.5 hours): Donnaeko Visitor Center → (5.3km) Pyeonggwe Shelter → (1.7km) South Wall Fork
· These are the areas that were off limits to the public from 1994 to 2009. It is suggested that you go with a group for Donnaeko Recreation Area, as it doesn’t have a lot of visitors compared to Seongpanak, Gwanumsa, and Youngsil Trail.


6. Eoseungsaengak Trail (1.3km 30 min.): Eorimok Square → (1.3km) Summit of Eoseungsaengak (1,169m above sea level)
· This is a parasite volcano course near Eorimok where you can enjoy a light hike at Hallasan Mountain.
 

Click here for detailed information on each of the trails and how to get there.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dulle-gil in Hallasan Mountain

 


 

If hiking isn’t for you, Dulle-gils are certainly another way to enjoy Hallasan Mountain. About 60km of the trail is open to the public. The trail includes the Army Road from the Japanese Colonial Era, which winds around the national forest located at an elevation of 600 to 800m, a forest trail, and a transportation route used by the shiitake mushroom farmers. Currently, there are 5 trails that are open to the public in Seogwiposi. Excluding the Doloreum-gil, each trail is longer than 10km, so be prepared to take an entire day. Dulle-gils are forest trails and don’t have restaurants along the way. With that in mind, it is not a bad idea to pack your own lunch, snacks, and water.

 

 

 

1. Cheona Stream Woodland Path (10.9km 3.5 hours): The Source of Cheona Stream (40 min.) → Forest Trail 3-way intersection (1.1 hr) → Noro Oreum (1.1 hr) → Shitake mushrooms plantation (40 min.)→ Dol Oreum

· Getting to the starting point (The source of Cheona stream): Take bus No. 240 (60~80-minute intervals) at Jeju bus terminal & stop at ‘Youngsil Entrance’ station (20 stops, takes 57 min.) → walk for about 7 min. (500m)

· Only 6kms of woodland path, the other 4kms is asphalt pavement.

 

2. Dol Oreum Path (5.6km 2 hours): Geolinsaseum Oreum Entrance (40 min.) →  Dragon Rock (20 min.) → Shiake mushroom plantation 3-way intersection (40 min.) → Dol Oreum

· Getting to the starting point (Geolinsaseum Oreum Entrance): Take bus No. 240 (60~80-minute intervals) at Jeju bus terminal & stop at ‘Geolinsaseum Observatory’ station (23 stops, takes 1.1 hour) → walk for about 4 mins (288m)
 

3. Camellia Path (13.5km 4.5 hours): Muo Beopjeongsa Temple Entrance (40 min.) → Muo Beopjeongsa Temple (2 hr) →  Shi Oreum (2 hr) → Donnaeko Trail

· Getting to the starting point (Muo Beopjeongsa Temple Entrance): Take bus No. 240 (60~80-minute intervals) at Jeju bus terminal & stop at ‘Muo Beopjeongsa Temple Entrance’ station (24 stops, takes 1.1 min.) 
 

4. Suak Oreum Path (16.7km 5.5 hours): Donnaeko (2 hr) → Crater (40 min.) → Suak Visitor Center (1.5 hr) → Yiseongar Oreum (2 hr) → Saryeoni Oreum Entrance (16.7km)

· Getting to the starting point (Donnaeko Visitor Center): Take bus No. 281 (15~10-minute intervals) at Jeju bus terminal & stop at ‘Seogwipo Industrial Science High School’ station (22 stops, takes 56 mins) → walk for about 1 hour (3.5km)
 

5. Saryeoni Woodland Path (16km 5 hours): Saryeoni Woodland Path Entrance (1.5 hr) → Mulchat Oreum Entrance (1.5 hr) → Bulgeun Oreum Entrance

· Getting to the starting point (Saryeoni Woodland Path Entrance): Take bus No. 210-2, 220-2 or 232 (10~15-minute intervals) at Jeju bus terminal & stop at ‘Gyorae Entrance’ station (27 stops, takes 38 min.) → walk for about 15min. (1.6km)

 

· As the trails are forested, it gets dark quickly. You cannot enter into any of the Dulle-gils after 2pm. It is also prohibited to walk alone, due to the possible presence of dangerous wild life, such as wild boars and snakes. The trails might close when it rains heavily, due to possible flooding of the many streams.

 


 

Tip. Prepare well for the Mountain’s winter


  The trails are often closed frequently during winter (between November to February) and there can be a lot of snow. It is therefore wise to call ahead and ask about the trail conditions (Yeongsil Trail : 82-64-747-9950 / Gwaneumsa Trail : 82-64-756-9950 / Seongpanak Trail : 82-64-725-9950 / Donnaeko Trail 82-64-710-6920~3). In regard to clothing, you don’t need anything else besides hiking shoes, water, and lunch in any other season, but if you are going during winter, you need appropriate gear such as climbing irons, non-slip boots and warm coat.

 


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