The first round of Bukhanan National Park just over a year ago was exciting and far to busy for any person who enjoys the outdoors. You can read about that here. This year we went with a friend who had not hiked up to Baegundae Peak. It is the tallest peak in the park, just under 850m. And from the top the views are unique, how many mountains can you hike up in the middle of one of the most populated cities on Earth?
This time around we went on a weekday which meant most people were at work. Go during the week if you are visiting Seoul! There is no need to go on the weekend and deal with the crowds.
The trails are pretty safe in my opinion. There are concrete steps and railings all over the place so there is no reason that an inexperienced hiker can’t do it. If the railings weren’t there… There would be a lot of dead people at the base of the mountain due to the sheer volume of people, inexperience, and UFC Ajummas who have no regard for those around them.
The park is easy to navigate with the signs being both in English and Korean. I recommend getting a trail guide for about 5000KRW at the park gates. The guide is useful to have, it provides trail information (distance, time) and gives you a reference for where you are in the park.
Before heading to the park I would go here and check the air quality of Seoul. It is a big city, and the super polluters (China) are right next door. If you want to have a nice view at the top and be able to take a deep breath after inhaling cancer dust for the last couple hours then go there. Pollution sucks here and it really makes you feel horrible.
Make sure to pack some food, after a certain point in the trail there are no washrooms or CU’s, 7/11’s or Mini Stops. So enjoy the colorful Korean hikers and the view!