Bukhansan (Bukhan mountain) - Uisangbong trail course. Seoul, Korea

Some says "Hiking Bukhansan (Bukhan Mountain) is the best way to experience the beauty of Seoul and even Korea, and I agree. Bukhansan is one of ten most beautiful places in Korea and it is also one of Korea's national parks. The Bukhan means North part from Han river. So please don't confuse with North Korea (we also called them as a Bukhan). It used called by Samgaksan.
Bukhansan has very smooth curves that the large granite rocks sometimes look as if they would slide down the mountain. The sharp peaks provide contrast to the dozens of valleys and rivers flowing below. The mountain has many different kinds of peaks but its main peak is Baegunbong. The granite peaks blend well with trees. Among the granite peaks, the best known is Insubong Peak's Giam rocks. The world famous granite rock peak Insubong itself is over 200m high, and there are about 100 mountain paths leading to the rock. When you stand on Baegundae and look down, you can see as far as Seoul City and the Hangang River if weather is fine.
It is also very easy to access by subway, bus or taxi from the downtown in Seoul. Today, I am going to hike to the most difficult trail, called Uisangbong.

 Uisangbong trail starts from Bukhansanseong park office branch at Goyang city.  You can take a sub way line 3, get off at Gupabal station then take a bus to the Bukhansan.

The blue part is today's course, the Uisangbong trail.

 It was cloudy but no rain. The first target Uisangbong appears mysteriously.
You can see this peak at the beginning of the trail.
It says 1.2km to the Uisangbong(peak).
We will climb up 7 peaks today as this trail course has 7 peaks.

The trail course is very gentle at the beginning.

You know? Bukhansanseong means Bukhansan Fortress.
 Some part of the fortress remains as ruins.

And some turns to steps.

The gentle trail is over. Rocky trail starts.

Uisangbong covered by cloud still. You may familiar with this scene.
It often shows at the Korean painting.

The slope is almost 45 degree.

Steps and iron ropes are installed at some dangerous place.

What do you see from this rock?
I found an animated frog.

The path became little easy but...

Thrilled trail course is waiting for me.  

 After sweating walk, Uisangbong is waiting for visitor.

 Uisangbong peak.

Due to the cloud, Guknyungsa temple looks very mysteriously.

Uisangbong trail course is also the trail through the rampart of Bunhansansung.
The portress on Bukhansan was built in 1711.  It was established after the Japanese invasion of Korea from 1592 to 1598 and the second Manchu invasion of Korea in 1636 in order to prepare Hanyang(old Seoul) for such future emergencies.
The fortress was 8.4 km when it wsas completed adn various construction methods were employed to accommodate the topography of the region. The fortress is equipped with three command posts (Donghangdae, Namjangdae and Bukjangdae), six gates (Bungmun, Daedongmun, Bogungmun, Daeseongmun, Daenammun and Daeseomun), six hidden gates and one floodgate.
The problem of securing drinking water, which provoked opposition to the construction of the fortress, was solved by having 99 wells dug. In addition to the wells, 26 reservoirs and 8 warehouses were constructed. Several Buddhist temples were built inside the fortress for use by the Buddhist monk army.
China and Japan tried to conquer the gentle Korea several times in the history but not successful. Furthermore  Korea had never tried to invade other countries.

The fortress had 6 secret gates and this is one of them, Gasa-Dangam-mun.

Arrived at the 2nd peak, Yongchul-bong(571m).

The cloud is still occupying my way but not my life.  

 Next peak hided by the cloud.

The path in the middle of rock seems to lead us to heaven.

If you determined to hike this trail, gloves are very essential.
Without gloves, your hand will be painted by the stain from the rusty iron rope.

The 3rd peak, Yonghyul-bong(581m).  

 The 4th peak, Jeungchi-bong.

This is the actual 3rd peak but it is very difficult to climb up without the professional gear.

 Another secret gate, Buwang Donam Mun.

Passing through the ancient ruins, 
I was thinking my ancestors who built this wall at this kind of tough place.  

The 5th peak, the beautiful Nawol-bong also needs professional gear to climb up.
 So we went through bypass.
Bukhansan has tons of beautiful huge granites.
Passing Nahan-bong... 

Though we climbed up to some height, cloud blocked and hided amazing view.
But the cloud will vanish soon soon as life does. 

The 3rd secret gate, Cheonsu Dongam mun.  

 Now the cloud is going

 Our last peak, Munsu-bong.

Left to the Munsun-bong, Bibong trail has shown up.
Bibong trail also a great trail to hike.  

The narrow path will lead you to Baekwundae, but not today.  

Towers by God.  
God wishes our life happy.

This is other trail course named Bibong trail.  

One of famous peak at Bukhansan, Bohyun-bong.  
Now it's the time to back to starting point.

Beneth of Munsu-bong, Munsu temple is waiting for pilgrims.

And one of this temple buildings is real cave.  

What he is prying for?
The sounds of Moktak(a wooden percussion instrument used for chanting by Buddhist clergy)
 makes mind mind so peaceful.

Located in the southernmost section of Bukhansanseong (Fortress), Daenam-mun (literally "Great South Gate") was built in 1711 (the 37th year of King Sukjong's reign) when construction of the fortress had been completed. It was once known as Sonam-mun(means "Small south gate") and was a strategically important fortress gate linked to the fortification of Seoul and Tangchundaeseong(Fortress Wall) via the Bibong Ridge.
The gate features an arched entrance with.a pair of doors and a single-story gate house
built for command of the army and the protection gate. The original gatehouse was destroyed by a fire and the current one was restored in 1991.

If you fell thirsty? Then there's fountains in Bukhansan for you.
It is cool and delicious.
There are many fountains in Bukhansan and they are all good to drink.  

Nojeok-bong is looking down Jungseong-mun.

The Jungseong-mun is a gate installed in the Jungseong on the gorge between the Nojeok-bong Peak and the Jeungchwi-bong Peak of Bukhan Mountain.The main facilities including Haeng-gung-ii (temporary Palace for the kings), Jung-heung-sa and Sang-Chang-Ji (storage for munitions) were located in Jung-seong. The troops ofthe Eo-young-cheong Yu-young were in charge of guarding the Jung-seong-mun as well as the Dae-seo-mun and the Dae-nam-mun,
A small secret gate is hidden behind the bedrock beside the Iung-seong-mun,This secret gate didn't have a name but it was named 'Si-gu-mun' because dead bodies passed through this gate instead of the [ung-seong-mun. Originally there was a water gate next to this gate.

From the starting point,
the cloud has gone and it shows summer sky.
Under the summer sky,
you can see Wonhyo-bong, Baekundae, Mangyungdae and Nojeok-bong.
Next time, I will bring you to Wonhyo-bong.

If you like to visit Bukhansan with a professional guide
or if you have a half day available before you fly from Korea after a business meeting,
or if you need a guide to get around in Korea,
Please don't hesitate to send me an email to


  1. thank you so much for this post and the beautiful landscape photos! It was fun scrolling down the page on a hike!

  2. I have like this beautifeul trail and have maybe intrest for next year with peoples walk this. Can you more teel over this.

  3. Great info! This is making me want to experience more of Bukhansanseong.

    1. hanks Doria. The best season for the hiking is coming.

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  5. we would like to hike on October 3 or 4, we're a group of 3. how much is the rate?

  6. Awesome post on Bukhansan! Check out my experience on Bukhansan (Different peak) here :)

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