There’s something quite appealing about climbing to the highest point of any country you visit. I have said before, and I’ll stand by it still, often the highest point in the country isn’t the best viewpoint.
Often the viewpoint that LOOKS at the highest point is the better option if you’re hiking for views only.
That said, Hallasan being South Korea’s highest point and it being an incredible volcano, I just couldn’t resist flying to Jeju Island for £20 to get to the highest point in the whole of South Korea.
How to get to the Hallasan
Located on Jeju Island which is a 40-minute flight from mainland Korea. A wonderful, and tropical island that has Balearic vibes is home to the highest point in South Korea.
Hallasan is a shield volcano and is situated right in the middle of Jeju. Giving it incredible prominence anywhere on the island.
There are many trails in the surrounding National Park, but only two actually take you to the summit of the volcano itself.
My Experience of hiking Hallasan
Known to be a long, and challenging hike I don’t think I was mentally prepared for what the day fully entailed.
Waking up to a beautiful sunrise, and a lovely clear day meant I had perfect conditions for the mountain and for the big task, I was about to undertake.
Standing at 1950m, Hallasan isn’t a walk in the park, it is an 11-mile hike out and back to get to the summit.
Elevation gain was around 1400m and nearly every single bit of gain was done through steps.
I don’t think I’ve ever seen a trail quite like it, given that nearly the entire walk was on a man-made boardwalk, and man-made steps guided you to the summit. The ecosystem is fragile and it is a great way to ensure people don’t threaten the surroundings by making the trail very obvious and only in one direction.
The hike was challenging, long, and tough. But nothing too hard or difficult. 6 hours in total from start to finish, nearly 35k steps, 1400m of elevation gain, and 11 miles of hiking done.
Someone remind me next time I decide a 10 miler is a good idea, not to buy new trainers the day before…
If you’re visiting South Korea then I would recommend a visit to Jeju Island for sure. Whether or not you’d want to hike to the summit is entirely up to you, but hiking to the top of a volcano is always going to be an interesting day out.
That being said, there’s more than enough to do and see on the island should you want to visit for other reasons than climbing the highest peak in South Korea.