Travel, Teach, Live in Korea
Seoul, South Korea, and the surrounding area has several mountain ranges that circle the city. The rocky granite peaks to the north offer inspiring views and accessible hiking trails. Areas such as Mount Bukhansan and Mount Bugaksan contain geographical and historical features that make them popular destinations for residents and visitors. Extreme seasonal temperatures make fall and spring optimal times to visit as winters can hover below freezing and summers can be extremely humid.
Located north of Seoul, the Mount Bukhansan area has been declared a national park and contains features such as Insubong Peak, a large granite face that is a popular destination for rock climbers. The area also contains the nation's tallest peak, named Baegundae, which rises 836 m above sea level. Also within the park's borders are a small number of Buddhist temples and the Bukhan Mountain Fortress, which protected the capital during medieval times.
Many peaks and granite rock formations make up this northern mountain that is a part of the Mount Bukhansan National Park. Every peak here has been named, and Manjang-bong and Sonin-gong are the area's highest. The area's Seoninbong Peak is a popular destination for hikers, climbers and other outdoor enthusiasts. Around 60 temples, with names such as Cheonchuksa and Mangwolsa, dot the mountainous landscape that climbs to just under 740 m above sea level.
Containing historical sites such as Sukjeongmun and Changuimun Gates and the old city walls, the northern Mount Bugaksan hasn't always been open to the public. The presidential palace of Cheong Wa Dae sits in front of the peak and was maintained as a security zone for many years. The area is open to visitors.
Another northern mountain region is Mount Suraksan. Lined with rocky cliff faces and waterfalls, this smaller mountain rises to 637 m above sea level, but remains a popular destination and is home to the Mount Suraksan Resort. Its size makes for a more casual hike and still offers dramatic views of the lush valley and cliff sides below.