Hallasan National Park is located on Jeju Island off the southern coastline of South Korea. The national park encompasses an area of 59.12 square miles 28,000 (153.11 sq km) making it the 10th smallest of the 22 national parks.
It is the only national park that is not managed by the Korean National Park Service, and it is the only Korean national park that is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The focal point of the national park is Hallasan which is the tallest mountain in South Korea. Along with Jirisan at 6,283 feet (1,915 m) located in Jirisan National Park and Seoraksan at 5,603 feet (1,708 m) located in Seoraksan National Park, it is recognized as one of the three key mountains of South Korea reaching a summit of 6,388 feet (1,947.06 m).
The people of South Korea are known to say, "Jeju Island is Hallasan; and Hallasan is Jeju." Without question, the mountain is the highlight of the park and the main attraction.
The vegetation varies based upon elevation with 10 percent of the 4,000 species considered to be endangered. The subtropical plants originate along the coast and lower elevations of the mountainous area with vegetation transitioning into alpine plants as the elevation increases.
Although not known for wildlife, visitors can hope to spot badger, boar, Formosan deer, gazelle, Roe deer, and weasel. It is a better location for birdwatchers with 364 species nesting or passing through Jeju island and the national park area.
Visiting the national park is an adventure because travelers must make their way to the renowned Jeju Island. The mountainous park is renowned for its central focus Hallasan.
Hallasan Mountain is established as a shield volcano. It reaches a height of 6,388 feet (1,947.06 m) making it the tallest mountain in South Korea. Along with Jirisan at 6,283 feet (1,915 m) located in Jirisan National Park and Seoraksan at 5,603 feet (1,708 m) located in Seoraksan National Park, it is recognized as one of the three key mountains of South Korea.
The mountain is considered a holy place where the gods and spirits live and are worshipped by some people in South Korea. The name locally means, "high enough to pull the universe."
Baengnokdam is a crater lake atop the mountain with a depth of approximately 328 feet (100 m). The circumference of the lake is about 1.2 miles (2 km) around.
Gwaneumsa is a cultural highlight of the national park. Constructed during the Goryeo Dynasty and completed in 1083, it is the oldest Buddhist temple on the island. It was rebuilt after being destroyed in 1702 revitalizing Buddhism and tourism in the area as one of the most popular destinations.
Things To Do:
Hiking is the main activity of the national park and you can explore the trail information in the hiking section below.
Hallasan National Park Trails:
The mountain features five different trails up the mountain. There are seven different trails that allow visitors to explore different facets of Hallasan and the surrounding area around the mountain. Some of the trails feature boardwalks and stairs making it easier to ascend while also protecting the environment.
The trail ascends 5.4 miles (8.7 km) to the summit of Hallasan. It is only one of two trails that reaches the summit. Delivers astounding panoramic views of the national park area.
The trail climbs up 5.96 miles (9.6 km) to the summit of Hallasan. It is the second of two trails that ascend to the peak. Trekkers can expect to see amazing views of the landscape below.
The trail is a moderate trail that travels a distance of 2.92 miles(4.7 km) up to the Witse Oreum area.
The trail is a moderate trail that travels a distance of 5.65 miles (9.1 km) making it the longest excursion up to the Witse Oreum area. Hikers will see various views of the landscape and wildflowers.
Although one of the shorter trails traveling to the Witse Oreum area covering a distance of 2.2 miles (3.7 km), it is still a moderate-rated trail. The hike delivers excellent views of wildflowers and the stunning landscape.
Hallasan National Park was created to protect some of the most stunning wilderness on Jeju Island. It also protects the terrain around Hallasan which is home to the tallest mountain in South Korea. The national park also protects approximately 400 species of plants that are considered endangered.
The habitat is home to 19 species of birds that are categorized as natural monuments within the country. The protective efforts of the park and people of South Korea have increased the population of Roe deer which was on the verge of extinction from the area.
The Hallasan area is recognized as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and a World Heritage Site. It is a true national treasure for the country and people of South Korea.
- Hallasan, tallest mountain in South Korea
- Baengnokdam, crater lake
- Gwaneumsa, oldest Buddhist temple on the island
- AllTrails, Best Trails In Hallasan National Park, https://www.alltrails.com/parks/south-korea/jeju/hallasan-national-park, retrieved July 2021.
- Imagine Your Korea, Hallasan Mountain National Geopark, https://english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/ATR/SI_EN_3_1_1_1.jsp?cid=264172, retrieved July 2021.
- New World Encyclopedia, Hallasan, https://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Hallasan, retrieved July 2021.
- UNESCO, Jeju Volcanic Island and Lava Tubes, https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1264/, retrieved July 2021.
- visit Jeju, Hallasan, https://www.visitjeju.net/en/detail/view?contentsid=CONT_000000000500685, retrieved July 2021.
- Wikipedia, Hallasan, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hallasan, retrieved July 2021.