A white winter’s day on Hallasan Mountain: Hiking the Eorimok Trail
If you’d like to hike Jeju’s 1,950-meter-tall Hallasan Mountain in winter, then consider the Seongpanak or Yeongsil trail. But the 6.8-kilometer-long Eorimok course is also an enjoyable “winter wonderland”.
A white winter’s day on Hallasan MountainHiking the Eorimok TrailAlthough Hallasan Mountain is part of Jeju Island, it enjoys its own unique weather. Unlike Jeju City and Seogwipo City, which generally are fair, up on the mountain you can experience sudden rain or fog with little warning. In winter, this translates to a lot of snow and ice. In fact, the top of the Hallasan Mountain is blanketed throughout the chilly season. If you’d like to hike Halla in winter, then consider the Seongpanak or Yeongsil trail. But the 6.8-kilometer-long Eorimok course is also an enjoyable “winter wonderland”.A 6.8km circular mountain routeEorimok TrailA snowy tree that stretches gracefully into the blue sky. This is a classic scene found high up on Hallasan Mountain in the wintertime. To capture this breathtaking view, though, you’ll have to climb the mountain for yourself. There are a number of trails to choose from. The Eorimok trail starts at the Mt. Halla Mountain National Park Visitor Information Center (970m above sea level) and then passes along Sajebi Dongsan (at the 2.4 km mark) and Manse Dongsan (at the 4.7 km mark) to Witse Oreum (at the 6.8 km mark). When conditions are good and if you’re in good shape, the hike will take about 3 hours one-way. The slope is steep to the first marker, but after that the slope is gentle, allowing hikers to fully appreciate the beautiful environment that they are exploring.
If it does become overcast or socked in with cloud cover/fog, don’t worry! Conditions on Hallasan Mountain tend to change quickly and the sun could be out again very soon.The world turns whiteSnow-covered branchesAs you approach the summit, the world of snow-covered branches and blanketed mountain slopes unfolds before you. The world is an icy wonderland at the higher elevations of Hallasan Mountain. Sometimes just two colors come into view: white and blue, standing in crisp, clear contrast. The dazzling scenery is truly unforgettable!The most precious Christmas tree in the worldKorean fir tree colonyAlong the Eorimok trail you find some of the most beautiful and exhilarating scenery of Jeju Island. In this national park you’ll find the protected (and endangered) Korean fir, which lines the trail and grows in small and large colonies among the thick snow of the summit. Naturally, this is an extreme environment and climbing in winter requires a good deal of preparation and precautions. You must use proper hiking boots, crampons, in addition to a good winter coat, hat and gloves. Don’t forget sunglasses and sunscreen, as the winter sun is strong. Before you climb, you should check the conditions of the mountain on the park’s website (http://www.jeju.go.kr/hallasan/index.htm).
Be safe and have a spectacular time!
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