Are you planning a trip to Jeju Island soon? If so, you’ll want to add UNESCO World Heritage Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak to your itinerary. I was recommended Ilchulbong by my Korean teachers, as well as a Jeju taxi driver, who deemed it the island’s “best attraction.” So in this article, I will share my experience hiking Seongsan Ilchulbong and then you can decide whether it is worth the visit.
About Seongsan Ilchulbong
Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak erupted under the sea over 5,000 years ago and is now 180 metres above sea level. The peak is a tuff cone shape with a large crater in the center, formed by hot lava mixing with cold sea water.
Ilchulbong is cited as the perfect place to watch the sunrise in Jeju, which is why you’ll see many tourists there even early in the morning. Additionally, Seongsan Ilchulbong is a natural habitat teeming with plant and animal life. In 2007, it was recognised for its stunning natural scenery and geological value as an UNESCO World Heritage site.
Seongsan Ilchulbong Mountaineering Trail
When you arrive, you should choose whether to take the Mountaineering Trail or the free Descending Trail. For the Mountaineering Trail, there are small admission fees (see ‘Admission Fees’ below.) However, if you’re up for the sunrise hike, you will need to access the free trail. Additionally, there are estimated sunrise times for the whole year written on stones by the entrance.
While the mountaineering trail has a fee to pay, it is the one that will lead you to the peak. The hike takes 30-40 minutes to reach the top, depending on your pace. At first, I was skeptical that I would even make it because the peak looked so huge from the bottom! While the hike certainly was tiring, the view at the top and fresh air made it worth it.
Along the way up, you will see several large boulders that surround the path, such as Deung Gyeong Dol rock. These unique structures have been formed over several years by the erosion of unset volcanic ash, by rainwater. Furthermore, the locations of these rocks are ideally spaced out for you to make rest stops during your hike.
From the peak of Seongsan Ilchubong, you’ll have a view of Jeju Island like no other. In fact, the eroded materials from Ilchubong volcano formed the tombolo that connects the Seongsan area to the main island.
Food & Drink
Whether you decide to eat before or after your hike — I recommend both –, there are several cafes and restaurants around the trail entrance area. What’s more, you can grab snacks to take up the mountain with you or go for a big blow out meal. In any case, I suggest you bring a bottle of water and other hydrating snacks, like fruit.
- Adult (25~64) – 5,000 won
- Teen (13~24)/Child (7~12) – 2,500
- Senior (65~)/Infant (~6) – free
Location & Directions
Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak Address: 1 Seongsan-ri, Seongsan-eup, Seogwipo-si, Jeju-do Operating Hours: 7:30am - 7:00pm Mon - Sat Oct~Feb, 7:00am - 8:00pm Mar~Sep Directions: Take bus no. 111, 112, 211 or 212 to Seongsan Ilchulbong Entrance stop.
** Note: pets are not allowed on the trails and smoking and alcohol are strictly prohibited.
Need help planning your trip to Jeju? Check out the itineraries below!
- 6 Days 5 Nights Jeju Itinerary
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- 3 Days 2 Nights Jeju Itinerary
- 2 Days 1 Night Jeju Itinerary
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- Where To Stay in Jeju Island – Guide and Tips for Travelers
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