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Written by : Korea Wanderers

On Octuber 18th 2020, I went hiking with my friends. It was a typical cold Autumn morning full of clear skies. I knew it was going to be another unforgettable hiking experience, guess what…. So it was!

I had very good reports about Gwanaksan and its breathtaking views from the top. Therefore, I was so excited to have that experience with a group of friends and our former Korean Language teacher.

Let me make a brief introduction of Gwanaksan mountain:

Gwanaksan is a mountain in southern Seoul, South Korea. Portions lie in the Gwanak-gu and Geumcheon-gu districts of Seoul; other portions lie in the neighboring cities of Anyang and Gwacheon.

The name gwanak means "hat-shaped peak," and refers to its gat-like profile. Thus Gwanaksan literally means "mountain of the hat-shaped peak."

Currently it is referred to as "Gwanak," since san already contains the meaning of "mountain". Together with Songaksan in Kaesong, Gamaksan in Paju, Uaksan in Pocheon, and Hwaaksan in Gapyeong, Gwanaksan was long considered one of the five representative peaks of Gyeonggi-do (gyeonggi o-ak).

Seoul is rich in natural beauties and mountains. One of the ways to have tremendous benefits of the beautiful sights of Seoul is by hiking and observing these natural entities from the heights, Gwanaksan is definitely one of those mountains from which you can have a clear view of the city of Seoul. I departed very early in the morning from Sungkyunkwan University campus in Suwon and met my hiking partners at Seoul Nation University Campus. As soon as I met my friends I realized they were as excited as I was to start the adventure.

We made a complete plan for our hike and started at 10pm. It wasn’t just us hiking that day, there were many more groups and we kind of enjoyed walking pass most of them, we were going faster than the average. One of the particularities of Gwanaksan is that you can have a glimpse of the peak from the bottom, so we stop a lot in the first few meters and took many pictures. I have to admit that it was frustrating to find all waterfalls dry as it was not a rainy season, still we took beautiful photos there. We did not take the largest trail, but it was tougher, so we had to stop every one hour and get some snacks and water.

After three-hour hike, we reach the top, the views were rewarding, worth every sweat drop and amazingly beautiful.

It was colder at the top, and we found a large queue waiting to take pictures with the trademark and Gwanaksan, a beautifully crafted. We took time to enjoy the amazing views and took a lot of photos.

Gwanaksan is not one of toughest mountains to hike in Seoul, but it offers unique views of the city. From Namsan to the astonishing view of Lotte tower.

On the way down we took a different trail which took us longer time.

We felt that our hiking to Gwanaksan Mountain was really fruitful. We have widened and depended our knowledge and experiences.

As Gwanaksan is located in the heart of the city, I had never thought it was so beautiful.

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