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Hallasan National Park
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Jeju Island in One Day by Bus with Lunch
Ranked #1 of 166 things to do in Jeju
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed 8 April 2012

Hiked to the very top and back for 12 crazy hours. Incredible experience!!

Thank uspork
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"mt halla"
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446 - 450 of 826 reviews

Reviewed 14 March 2012

This post is about logistics and what to expect from the hike. My partner and I hit Hallasan around 6:45 in the morning on a Saturday to avoid the crowds. We drove to Seongpanak parking lot (free and was filling up quickly. A tour bus with dozens of hikers was already there) which was about a 30-minute drive from Seogwipo. From there we took a $15.00 taxi ride to the Gwaneumsa parking lot. As this was not a loop trail, we wanted to take the steeper/harder route in and have gentler descent (easier on our knees) back to our car. Turns out, doing it this way we avoided what felt like hundreds of people ascending when we were heading back later in the day. The Gwaneumsa parking lot has a fee. (Sorry TA fans, I didn't get the amount since we took a cab --- I am sure it is nominal, like all fees in RoK:)

People are allowed to camp at the Gwaneumsa section of the park and I saw a few people starting their day as we marched to the trailhead. We were under tree cover and walked along a dry river bed for the first couple of miles. At this time of day, we only ran into seven other hikers on this trail. After you cross the river via bridge, the hike starts to get a little steeper. About two hours in, you hit a large, modern shelter and toilets. Good time to take a break and snack. Or keep carrying-on as you will get a chance to sit, eat and gaze at another resting place. After the shelter, you will cross a much larger, newer suspension bridge. Fresh water available here. The climb will get a bit harder for next half quarter mile. Continue past the foundation of the destroyed shelter. After you ascend the 18-22 inch tall stone steps, you will reach a ridge which is the other good stop. No shelters (in fall you should opt for the shelter), but a nice wooden platform from which to gaze at how far you've come. Crows will land in search of scraps. At this point you are very near the top, only a couple more hundred feet to go.

The crater was dry when we visited (first weekend in October), but still a wondrous site. The seasoned, local hikers brought burners and ramen and were happily chowing down near the crater. Darn! That would have been nice. The t-shirt, fleece jacket and windbreaker I was wearing barely sustained me, so the hot ramen sounded freakin' great.

The hike down Seongpanak was not nearly as enjoyable since we were bombarded by the late starters heading up. At one point, the hikers coming up were in a jam – seriously, no one could move, there were so many people. There’s a large shelter a third of the way down.

As another reviewer noted, be sure to wear supportive shoes with rigid shanks as you're constantly stepping on uneven rock. I had on trail runners, which was fine going in, but heading down, my feet were pretty battered. The boardwalk was a nice breather when we could get it.

*Seongpanak gentler ascent, (and descent) but be prepared to share the trail with dozens and dozens of other people.
*Free parking at Seongpanak -- fills up quickly as early as 7am on weekends.
*Toilets available on trail.
*Take bimbimbap for a nutritious, affordable, and portable snack. Mandoo is another good one -- good balance of carbs and fat.
*Listen and look Nuthatches, Wrens, Great T*ts, and other winter birds on the Gwaneumsa trail.
*The park states you must hit the summit by noon. I think this is why so many people were rushing to hit the peak at the same time.

18  Thank LovesNoodles
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 February 2012

Wonderful hikes, but even the easiest ones can be long with some steeper sections. Bring lots of water. The hikes are popular and can be crowded, even in the off-season.

2  Thank beachseeker14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 January 2012

The trek and the views from the mountain were beautiful and I am glad to have spent some time there but I think I may have some had some disillusions/overly high expectations caused in part by Jeju Islands (with Mt. Halla as one of the focal attractions) recent media attention created by its addition to the 'new 7 natural wonders of the world'

I found Mt. Halla to be an awesome area but not offering exceptionally greater views than the many 'mountains' all across mainland South Korea. The trails and park area receive a constant flow of tour bus groups from China, Japan and around Korea year round so if your looking for some seclusion in a natural setting you may want to look elsewhere. (although it is interesting to see throngs of people decked out head to toe in the latest and most expensive trekking gear unnecessarily)

I am working in South Korea so for me the travel costs were rather low and thus my vacation to Jeju Island and trip up Mt. Halla was worth it but I think if I had come from anywhere that doesn't offer a direct flight to Jeju Island (China/Japan/Korea) I would have been a little disappointed.

2  Thank Benchs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 19 January 2012

A nice panorama, 'enchanted forest' atmosphere, but very many people.

Also be prepared for quite a bit of a walk.

Thank LorenzK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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