Although the winter may not be the time of year when most people go hiking, Korea’s mountains and fields are especially gorgeous during the colder seasons.  The beauties of nature are especially charming when covered in snow, and Korea offers plenty of places to indulge in winter trekking.

Every winter Taebaek Mountain turns silvery-white under a blanket of snow. Since it takes only two hours to reach the peak and has few cliffs and smooth slopes, Mt. Taebaek is the perfect place for a winter hike regardless of age or trekking experience.  With convenient transportation options, including night trains from Cheongnyangni Station in Seoul, the mountain is perfectly situated for a weekend getaway.  Once there, visitors can enjoy spectacular summit views, sometimes as far as the East Sea when the weather is clear.  The area around Mt. Taebek is also renowned for its beauty, including Yeongjeong and Yongdam Pond.


Taebaek Mountain (Photo: Yonhap News)

Deokyu  Mountain sits at the crossroads of North Jeolla and South Gyeongsang Province.  It’s famous for its scenery year-round, with wild azaleas covering its slopes in spring and blazing fall colors when the leaves turn.  There’s an active ski resort in the area, but there’s still plenty of solitude for winter hikes.  From the snow-covered fir forest leading to Hyangjeokbong Peak to the long and deep Muju-gucheondong Valley, the area around Deokyu Mountain is full of winter delights.

Located at the southern end of the Baekdudaegan Mountain Range, Jirisan National Park spans three provinces and includes 20 peaks taller than 1,400 meters. Jiri Mountain itself is one of the most famous and important mountains in Korea, and its peak offers spectacular views of the surrounding areas.  When covered in snow, the mountain takes on a particularly romantic quality.  The most popular trail follows the ridge from Nogodan Peak to Cheonwangbong Peak.  The surrounding area also has many beautiful and historically significant Buddhist temples, such as Hwaeomsa.


Deokyu  Mountain (L), Jiri Mountain (R) (Photo:Yonhap News)

Sobaek Mountain is near the city of Yeongju in North Gyeongsang Province.  As the tallest peak in the area, Sobaek Mountain provides breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and countryside.  The mountain is also home to an observatory.  Because of its gentle slopes and heavy snowfall at higher elevations, it is a favorite for winter hikes.



Sobaek Mountain (Photo:Yonhap News)

Jeju Island is home to one of Korea’s most sacred and important peaks, Halla Mountain.  This volcanic mountain rises to nearly 2,000 meters above sea level, and features a volcanic crater 700 meters in diameter at its peak called Baengnokdam.  The snowcapped heights are some of the most popular places for winter hikes, and the many routes up the mountain carry hikers past fir forests and wide fields, and offer spectacular ocean views.


Halla Mountain(Photo:Yonhap News)

By Oh Jun Kyung Staff Writer 

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