Tucked away in northwest Seoul is Ansan. It is a befuddling mountain. Subway Line 3, the orange line, has 3 stops that sit at the base of the mountain. It is not far from central Seoul. It is tall enough to be seen from many places in Seoul. Yet, for some reason, it remains off the radar for many of Seoul's hiking expats. If you are looking for a place in which to avoid crowds (relatively) when enjoying a mountain, then Ansan may just be your cup of tea.
The Scouting Report
Ansan sits in northwest Seoul at 295.5 meters high. It is not the most popular mountain in Seoul, but it is definitely worth visiting for a few reasons.
The view from the top is great. It has one of the best returns on investment out of any peak in or around Seoul. It is not a strenuous hike to the top, and it can be done in under an hour. Once getting to the top, hikers are rewarded with a great view of central Seoul.
Even if you are not interested in climbing to the top, there are great hiking opportunities around Ansan. There is an extremely walker-friendly pathway about halfway up Ansan called Jarak-gil. It makes a complete loop around the mountain and offers several vistas of different parts of Seoul.
As is typical with many mountains, Ansan is a great place to exercise. It has all the requisite outdoor fitness machines that are ubiquitous everywhere in Seoul. There are also a number of badminton courts and even a tennis court.
Ansan is not only for the outdoor enthusiasts, though. Check out Bongweon Temple if you are visiting Ansan. It is towards the southern end of the mountain. As you are exploring the mountain, try to find the giant statue of Buddha. (Hint: it is near the Yonsei dormitories.)
Speaking of Yonsei, Ansan is also a scholarly mountain. The beautiful Yonsei campus sits on one side of Ansan. Several hiking trails are directly accessible from the campus.
Things to Do
- From the Waterfall to the Peak
- Yoga -- (see our photo gallery)
Elsewhere on the Web
- Ansan - by Hiking Hub Korea
- Ansan Mountain - by Seoul Magazine
- Ansan Jarak-gil - by Visit Korea
- Ansan Mountain - by Thousand Wonders
How To Get There
Where: Seoul-si, Seodaemun-gu
From Line 3 - Hongje Station (홍재역), Muakje Station (무악재역), and Dongnimmun Station (동립문역):
-All three of the stations listed above provide immediate access to Ansan. The mountain can be easily seen from the stations' exits. However, there are no clearly marked paths leading to the mountain from the subway station. You will have to explore and wander through small streets.
That's no problem though. Just keep heading in the direction of the mountain, and you will easily get there. It's not that hard.
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Posted December 11, 2014
Updated November 20, 2015