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Seoul City Wall Hike - Baegak Mountain Trail, Bugaksan Mountain & Getting There | Seoul, South Korea

Seoul City Wall Hike - Baegak Mountain Trail & Bugaksan Mountain

(Changuimun Gate ➜ Sukjeongmun Gate 석정문 ➜ Hyehwamun Gate 혜화문)

Changuimun Gate (Jahamun Gate) 창의문(자하문)

서울 종로구 청운동 | Cheongun-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul

Nov-Feb: 9:00-17:00

Mar-Apr & Sep-Oct: 7:00-18:00

May-Aug: 7:00-19:00

Last Admission: 2 hours before closing.

Notes: Effective 5 April 2019, with its simplified entrance procedure, identification (ID) is not required at the information center of Changuimun, Sukjeongmun or Malbawi.

 

You will be given a numbered badge with lanyard to wear around your neck at all times. Return the badge to the next information centre at end of your hike.

Seoul City Wall Hike - Baegak Mountain Trail - Admission Fees

Free

  • Gyeongbokgung Station (line 3, exit 3).  Take Green bus No. 7212, 1020 or 7022 and get off at Jahamun Pass/Yun Dong-Ju Literature Museum (5th stop), 11 mins. 2 minutes on foot to Changuimun Gate.

  • or take a taxi to Changuimun Gate.

🧸 Please wear comfortable shoes and bring bottled water for the hike.

History of Seoul City Wall

Hanyangdoseong (Seoul City Wall, 18.6km) was originally built in 1396 on the mountain ridges of Seoul (Mt. Baegaksan, Mt. Naksan, Mt. Namsan and Mt. Inwangsan).

 

Changuimun Gate, located in Buamdong was one of the gates to Seoul during the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910).

Seoul City Wall Hike - Baegak Mountain Trail (Changuimun Gate) & Getting There | Seoul, South Korea

Baegak Mountain Trail of Seoul City Wall

The Baegak Mountain Trail (4.7km, 3 hrs hike) runs from Changuimun to Sukjeongmun to Hyehwamun. It crosses Mt. Baegak (also more commonly known as Bugaksan Mountain), the highest of the 4 inner mountains of Seoul.

History of Bugaksan Mountain & Baegak Mountain Trail - No/Limited Access

Public access to this area was limited for about 40 years after a unit of North Korean Special Forces infiltrated the Cheong Wa Dae (The Blue House, Presidential Office & Residence) through the mountain route of Bugaksan Mountain on 21 January 1968.

The hilly path of Bugaksan Mountain, located behind Cheong Wa Dae was used as an escape route for the North Korean commandos, who has failed in their attempt to assassinate the then-South Korean President, Park Chung-hee.

Seoul City Wall - View from the top | KoreaToDo

Since then, Bugaksan Mountain had been closed to the public. The mountain was partially opened in November 2020 when the then-President Moon Jae-in decided to return the northern part of Bugaksan Mountain to the public. The southern part remained a mystery to the public.

The Baegak Mountain Trail of Seoul City Wall has been partially opened to the public as well. The section from Hongryensa - Sukjeongmun Gate to Chotdae Rock (1.1km) was opened on 1 April 2006. It is only on 5 April 2007 that the section from Changuimun Gate - Baegangmaru - Cheongundae Rockface - Sukjeongmun Gate - Waryonggongwon (4.3km) was opened.

Even so, photography are restricted in some areas. There are surveillance cameras, military guards and checkpoints along the Seoul City Wall, especially at the Changuimun section, overlooking the Blue House.​

The Full Re-opening of Bugaksan Mountain to Public in 2022

Following the relocation of the presidential office to the defence ministry building in Yongsan District, Cheong Wa Dae was opened to the public for the first time in 74 years, on the day of inauguration of President Yoon Suk-yeol on 10 May 2022.

The southern hiking trails of Bugaksan Mountain behind Cheong Wa Dae was also opened to the public for the first time in 54 years, on 6 April 2022.

Hiking up the 5.2km southern hiking trail of Bugaksan Mountain, visitors can see Cheong Wa Dae from the observatory, the mineral spring visited by South Korea's first president and the remains of a Beopheungsa Temple that is said to have been built during the Silla Dynasty 

Hiking from Changuimun Gate

The path from Changuimun Gate begins on long steep climb (30-60 mins) on stone steps and wooden stairs all the way to the summit of Baegak (Bugaksan) Mountain.

You can exit the hike at Sukjeongmun Information Center after Sukjeongmun Gate (& get a taxi), Malbawi Information Center or continue on to Hyehwamun Gate with more transport options.

💡If you do not wish to begin your hike on a long steep climb, it is recommended to start the hike from Hyehwamun Gate, Malbawi Information Center or Sukjeongmun Information Center instead. After the hike, you can also explore the many cafes near Changuimun Gate at Buamdong as well.​

Summit of Bugaksan Mountain (Altitude of 342m)

After the long ascending hike, you will reach the highest point of the Seoul City Wall (Baegangmaru) and the Peak of Bugaksan Mountain at 342m.

It is a worthy hike with beautiful views of the Seoul City (incl. N Seoul Tower), Seoul City Wall and mountains.

View of Bukhansan Mountain from Seoul City Wall

Seoul City Wall - View of Bukhansan Mountain | KoreaToDo

View of Namsan Mountain & N Seoul Tower from Seoul City Wall

Seoul City Wall - View of Namsan Mountain & N Seoul Tower | KoreaToDo

Picturesque Mountain Range & Seoul City Wall

Seoul City Wall - Mountain & Seoul City Wall View | KoreaToDo

Old Pine Tree with Bullet Holes (January 21 Incident Pine Tree)

Along the hiking path after Bugaksan Mountain's summit, look out for a 200+ years old pine tree that bears the traces of fifteen bullets made during the gun battle between the South Korean military and police with the North Korean Special Forces unit who came to attack Cheong Wa Dae (Blue House) on 21 January 1968.

 

From then, this tree has been called January 21 Incident Pine Tree. From this spot, a wide panorama between Bukhansan Mountain and Baegak spreads out beyond the wall.

Sukjeongmun Gate

Next, the trail will lead to Sukjeongmun Gate. You will be presented with another magnificent mountain view when walking through the gate.

Other Start/End Points for the Trail:

 

1. Hyehwamun Gate 혜화문

    서울특별시 종로구 창경궁로 185 | Hyehwa-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul-si

  • Hansung Univ.  Station (line 4). Some sections of the City Wall near Hyehwamun Gate are no longer present and pass through residential area. Recommend to start/end near Seongbuk Elementary School instead. Note: Search for "Hanseong Univ." instead when using MetroidHD app.​

a) Exit 6: Take bus Seongbuk 03, 2112 or 1111 and get off at Seongbuk Elementary School Stop, 4 bus stops, 8 mins ride. Next cross the road to Hyehwa-ro with the City Wall just ahead. OR

b) Exit 5: Walk along Seongbuk-ro and turn left to Hyehwa-ro near Seongbuk Elementary School. 18 mins walk.

2. Malbawi Information Center

  • Anguk Station (line 3, exit 2). Take Jongno Town Bus No. 2. Get off at the Sungkyunkwan Univ. back gate OR take a taxi to Waryong Park, 6 mins ride. 20 min walk to Malbawi Information Center. 

Waryong Park 와룡공원​

서울특별시 종로구 와룡공원길 192 (명륜3가) | 192, Waryonggongwon-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul

  • Gwanghwamun Station (line 5, exit 2). Take Jongno Town Bus No. 11. Get off at Samcheong Park. 20 mins walk.

Samcheong Park 삼청공원
서울특별시 종로구 와룡공원길 41 (삼청동) | 41, Waryonggongwon-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul​

3. Sukjeongmun Information Center

  • Hansung Univ. Station (line 4, exit 6). Take Green bus No. 1111 or 2112. Get off at Seoul Myungsu School. 20 mins walk.

       Note: Search for "Hanseong Univ." instead when using MetroidHD app.​​

Exit from Sukjeongmun Information Center to main road

Map

Map of Seoul City Wall - Baegak Mountain Trail
(Changuimun Gate ➜ Sukjeongmun Gate ➜ Hyehwamun Gate)

Seoul City Wall - Route Map - Changuimun Gate -Sukjeongmun Gate - Hyehwamun Gate | KoreaToDo

Map of Bus Route from Gyeongbokgung Station to Changuimun Gate

Seoul City Wall - Map of Bus Route from Gyeongbokgung Station to Changuimun Gate | KoreaToDo

Map of Walking or Bus Route from Hansung Univ. Station to Seoul City Wall

Map of Walking or Bus Route from Hansung Univ. Station to Seoul City Wall | KoreaToDo

Complete Map of Seoul City Wall & its Gates

Map of Seoul City Wall | Seoul, South Korea

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