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Mt. Halla, the highest peak in Korea greets you earlier than ever this fallClimbing courses and tips of Mt. Halla
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승인 2017.09.26  17:59:26
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This year, the autumn colors for Mt. Halla will start turning on Oct. 16 and will reach their peak on Oct. 29. Mt. Halla, Korea’s highest peak is a symbol of Jeju and a UESCO World Natural Heritage icon.

Weatheri (www.weatheri.co.kr) a site that informs people about the current weather conditions of 3,773 regions around the world, predicts that the first autumn colors will turn four days faster than last year.

According to Weatheri, the autumn colors for Mt. Seorak (설악산), Mt. Geumgang (금강산), Mt. Bukhan (북한산), Mt. Songni (속리산), and Mt. Jiri (지리산), will start turning on Sept. 22, Sept. 25, Oct. 17, Oct. 16, Oct. 10, and their color will peak on Oct. 19, Oct. 16, Oct. 29, Oct. 26, and Oct. 26, respectively.

The reason that the first change in autumn colors will come earlier than normal this year is due to the big temperature differences between day and night and the increasing amount of sunshine.

The peak for autumn color is usually two weeks after the leaves begin to first change. For the central area of the Korean peninsula and for the southern area around Mt. Jiri, it will be around mid-October to late October. The southern district will see the peak come in late October and early November.

The first autumn color is determined when 20 percent of the leaves on the mountain change and the peak is determined to be when 80 percent of the leaves have turned.

To feel Jeju autumn and its changing color, climbing Mt. Hallasan might be the best choice for you

Photo by Oh Joongseok

<5 climbing courses to Mt. Halla>

Mt. Halla has five entry points (only four of which are currently open):
(1) Northwest Entrance: Eorimok
(2) Southwest Entrance: Yeongsil
(3) South Entrance: Donnaeko
(4) East Entrance: Seongpanak
(5) North Entrance: Gwaneumsa Campground

(1) Northwest Entrance: Eorimok
Take a bus from Jeju City Bus Terminal to Eorimok Bus Stop on Highway 99. Walk 20 minutes up the road to the ticket booth, parking lot, and trailhead.

JEJU CITY Bus Terminal => EORIMOK Bus Stop
07:50, then every 80 minutes until 15:00 (Nov-March)
06:30, then every 80 minutes until 16:50 (Apr-Oct)
Journey Time: 40 minutes

(2) Southwest Entrance: Yeongshil
Take a bus from Jeju City Bus Terminal to Yeongshil Bus Stop at the trailhead.

JEJU CITY Bus Terminal => YEONGSHIL Bus Stop
07:50, then every 80 minutes until 15:50 (Nov-Mar)
06:30, then every 80 minutes until 16:50 (Apr-Oct)
Journey Time: 1 hour

(4) East Entrance: Seongpanak
Take a bus from Jeju City Bus Terminal to Seongpanak Bus Stop near the trailhead.

JEJU CITY Terminal => SEONGPANAK Bus Stop
06:00, then every 12 minutes until 21:30
Journey Time: 30 minutes

(5) North Entrance: Gwaneumsa Campground
There are no buses to Gwaneumsa (neither the temple nor the campground and trailhead). If you don’t have your own vehicle, one option is to take a bus or taxi to the Jeju Country Club on Slope Road (Hwy. 1117). From there, walk west on the road for about 50 minutes until you come to the turn-off for Gwaneumsa campground (there’s a sign).
Another possibility is to hop on a bus for Eorimok at Jeju Bus Terminal and then ask the driver to drop you where Highways 99 and 1117 meet. From there you’d have to walk east on the road for about an hour.

<Climbing Tips>

-Bring plenty of snacks and water. The hike is not easy and you’re going to be up there for at least 8 hours. Unlike other mountains in Korea, there was actually no access to fresh spring water on the trail. There is a shelter along the way selling snacks and bottled water though.

-Set off as early as possible in the morning. The mountain rangers stop allowing people to go past the shelters at certain times every day. This depends on the season. Please check before you go.

-If you decide to go in winter, you will need winter hiking equipment since the mountain gets really snowy. Crampons are recommended, along with some warm layers. Don’t forget to wrap up your extremities as well, of course!

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