Start Point: Bukhansanseong Information Center
End Point: Baegundae Information Center
Distance: Approximately 7.5 Kilometers
Elevation: 836.5 metres
Difficulty: Moderate to Difficult (Steep, Rocky, Slippery after rain, Unpaved, Steel Ropes)
Duration: 5.5 hours
Bukhansan National Park covers a wide area and if you look at the subway map, this route actually spans across 15 stations. Getting to the start point and leaving at the end point is relatively easy but the climb itself may not be too easy for some.
To get to the start point, hop onto the expansive subway system and onto Line3 to get to Gupabal Station. At the station, take Exit1 and walk to the nearest bus stop. Hop onto Bus704 and alight at Bukhansanseong Fortress. The bus has recorded announcements to tell you so. A short walk (with many hiking brands stores along the way) and you should reach the information center.
The route up is rocky until you reach the fortress wall. Once you reach this checkpoint, you can decide to continue to hike up to Baegundae peak or decent to the other side or even go back down where you started (not recommended).
The 300 meters up from here is quite difficult for beginners as it requires a lot of strength and determination (mind and body) to get to the peak. It is laid out with huge boulders, steel ropes, a flight of steps, huge boulders, steel ropes and even more steel ropes. This part of the hike requires you to use your hands as well and at some point, a slip may even cost you your life.
Once you are at the peak, you got to do your thing of taking photos and quickly decent as the peak is quite narrow and cannot accommodate a lot of people. If you have a long queue of people waiting in line, you had better move along. Decent back to the fortress wall and head on down.
You will reach ‘White Cloud Cottage’ where you can have a cuppa and continue forth towards Bagundae Information Center. This cottage and some parts of the route appeared in the Korean film ‘The Himalayas’. There is nothing much on the way down this route. You can stop for another rest/drink at the cafe at the Bagundae Information Center before walking all the way down towards the main town.
At the town, you can take Bus120 which will bring you to Suyu Station where you can continue on back to where you came from or other places preferred.
Photos to be updated shortly.