It has been awhile since I’ve written about Bukhansan National Park. In February, I moved to a new neighborhood that is more central in Seoul but farther away from the base of the mountain. However, I recently discovered an amazing trail that offered a completely new and exciting experience.
The Bukhansan Hidden Wall course brings you up the west side of the mountain, which gives you completely unique views of Baegundae, the highest peak of Bukhansan National Park. Less a wall and more a series of massive rocks, it is called the Hidden Wall, or Soomeun-byeok, because when you are traversing the trail, you can see Insubong, Baegundae and Dobongsan to the east but from all three of those locations you cannot see the “Hidden Wall.” Pretty cool, eh? On top of offering rad views of the park and surrounding Seoul, the course is chalked full of diverse terrain. This hike is both fun and challenging!
To get to the Hidden Wall course, get off at Bulwang Subway Station (line 3 or line 6,) exit #8. From here, you need to catch the 704 bus. Alternatively, you can continue up line 3 and catch the 704 from Gupabal station. However, be warned! When I was attempting to get to the trailhead, I had to wait for 2 buses before I could manage to smash myself onto the 704 from Bulwang. By the time the bus arrived at Gupabal, there was no chance of any more hikers cramming onto the bus.
The 704 passes through the Bukhansan entrance and many, if not all, of the hikers will get off the bus here- but not you! Shortly after passing through the entrance, you need to get off at the “Hyoja 2 Dong” bus stop. You may feel as though you are getting off at the wrong bus stop because it’s a pretty unassuming stop, but fear not! Continue walking on the sidewalk parallel to the road for a very short time, maybe less than 1 minute. On your right, you will see a National Park bear with a small sign for Bukhansan National Park. Turn down this dirt road and continue until you come to park offices, bathrooms and trailheads. You need to take the trailhead on your left. If you mistakenly take the trail to the right, instead of scaling UP the steep rock faces, you will be scaling down- much less fun and way more challenging.
The Hidden Wall may just be the best hiking course in Seoul. I need to head back to get some better photographs. If you have the opportunity, definitely check it out!