Seoul’s most stunning nighttime hiking excursions

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Seoul’s most stunning nighttime hiking excursions


Night hikes are allowed on any mountain outside a national park that does not prohibit visitors after sunset. Park Seung-ki of the Kolon Alpine School recommends a few mountains with suitable terrain even for novice climbers.

Bukak Skyway (Buam-dong, Jongno)

The trails here are perfect for beginners attempting their first night hike, offering an easy walk instead of a climb. The trek starts from the gate at Buam-dong Jahamun and comes to an end at Samcheonggak, or in the direction of the Seongbuk-dong area. The total duration of the hike is roughly two hours.

Mount Cheonggye (Makgye-dong, Gwacheon, Gyeonggi)

Mount Cheonggye is another mountain that’s good for greenhorns. Due to its easy accessibility from the Seoul area, a large number of hikers make their way here. For Seoulites, it’s best to start from Wonteogol in Yangjae-dong and make a round trip return to the starting point. The total duration of this hike is roughly three hours.


Top right, a head lamp is a must for night hikers. Above, hikers observe the cityscape from Mount Bulam in Seoul.[JoongAng Ilbo]

Mount Geomdan (Changwoo-dong, Hanam, Gyeonggi)

Because it’s one of the most popular weekend destinations for hikers from the Seoul area, experts recommend you tackle Mount Geomdan at least twice during the day before attempting a hike at night. The mountain is ideal for night hikes, but it’s relatively hard to reach on public transportation at night. A trip up the mountain and back takes roughly four hours.

Namhansanseong Fortress (Jungbu-myeon, Gwangju, Gyeonggi)

A popular weekend destination, the dirt trails make this an ideal place to hike after sunset, but the course is recommended only for experienced hikers. The climb can take most of the day while the sun’s out, but hiking these trails in the dark can take the entire night, and as such it is advisable to pack plenty of water and food. The total duration of the hike is over six hours.
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