Ansan is perhaps the most underrated mountain in Seoul. Granted, it's not the biggest or tallest...so what makes it so great. Well, one reason (out of many) is the Jarak-gil pathway that skirts the entire thing.
The Scouting Report
Ansan's Jarak-gil is a path that sits approximately halfway up the 295-meter-high Ansan. Almost the entire route follows a wooden pathway. It is a great hike for anyone and everyone.
Here's what you'll find here:
- How To Get There
- Cool Down
- Extra Tips And Information
- Elsewhere On The Web
- Ansan On YouTube
Most of the pathway follows a boarded pathway with handrails on either side. There are a few steps that must be negotiated, but the majority of the route is relatively level (considering it is on a mountainside) and most elevation changes are handled with very manageable inclines.
(1=easy, 5=difficult): 2
-The hardest part is getting to the path. Once there, it is a very casual stroll (for the most part).
How To Get There
Jarak-gil encircles the entire mountain. Approach Ansan from any direction you'd like. Once there, start working your way up the hillside. Soon, you will find either a road or a wooden path. Once you see either of those two things, consider yourself there.
Bullet Point Recap:
- Approach Ansan from any direction.
- Start working your way up the hill.
- You will soon encounter a path that loops around the mountain.
- You're there. Proceed either clockwise or counter-clockwise around the mountain.
Once you get to Jarak-gil, there are only two options. Either walk around the mountain in a clockwise direction, or walk around the mountain in a counter-clockwise mountain. The pathway makes a complete circle, so don't worry about getting lost. Just keep walking, and you'll eventually come back to where you started.
The entire loop is 7 kilometers long. It could be completed rather quickly, but don't do that. Stop along the way. Take pictures. Soak in the nature. Enjoy the views of Seoul. Remember, hiking is not a destination; it's an experience.
Ansan: Waterfall to Peak
Start at one of the most scenic parts of Ansan, then make your way up through gardens, past a stream, and arrive at the peak, which offers a tremendous view of downtown Seoul.
Inwangsan: Muakje Station to Peak
Enjoy a mountain that has plenty to offer. This route takes you past murals, a temple, military posts, and plenty of views of the surrounding areas.
Elsewhere on the Web
- Seoul Scout: Ansan by - The Seoul Stop
- Seoul Travel Bits - Ansan Jarak-Gil & more - by Imagine Your Korea
- Mt. Ansan - by Simply 2 Suitcases
- Beacon Mount Mt. Ansan Seoul - by Exploring Korea
- Field Trip #7: Ansan - by A Nice Day in Seoul
- A Korea Ghost Story: The Ghost of Ansan - by Charles Wetzel
Extra Tips and Information
- If you are a fan of badminton, there are some great courts scattered around the mountain. The courts are positioned in ways that minimize the wind, so conditions are ideal.
- There are a few natural springs scattered around the mountain, so you don’t need to go crazy on the water.
- If you are a fan of cherry blossoms, Ansan is a great spot to check them out. Near the herb garden, they put up a lot of lanterns (around April) and it makes for a great sight during the day and night. Great cherry blossoms, without the crowds!
- At the beginning of the hike, near the waterfall, there are loudspeakers spread about that blend in with the environment. A variety of music is played from these speakers. Sometimes you may get classical music, sometimes traditional Korean music, and sometimes popular music like The Beatles or Jason Mraz