- Subject Mt. Hallasan (Seongpanak & Gwanumsa Route) to require advanced booking from Feb. 1.
- Writer Pippi (DATE: 2020-02-01 10:46:27)
Hikers wanting to climb to the top of Hallasan Mountain, South Korea's highest peak on Jeju Island, will be required to book a visit in advance, starting February 1, 2020.
The Jeju government plans to enforce a pilot reservation system for hikers and tourists hoping to reach the 1,950-meter-high Baekrokdam, a crater lake on Hallasan Mountain, from February to December this year to better protect its ecology and prevent environmental pollution.
There are currently five major climbing options to choose from on Hallasan Mountain, but two are most popular: the shorter Yeongsil Course, which takes about three hours round trip, or a longer route to Baekrokdam that takes about eight to nine hours round trip. Of them, the Seongpanak and Gwaneumsa trails, the only two courses leading directly to Baekrokdam, will be affected by the reservation system this year.
Under the new policy, only 1,000 visitors a day will be permitted to access Seongpanak Trail, and 500 visitors for Gwaneumsa Trail.
Reservations for the two trails can be made online or by phone on a first-come, first-served basis. The three other trails will remain open to all hikers.
The reservation system is being introduced, as the scenic UNESCO heritage's ecology and environment have been threatened by a rapid growth in hikers and tourists. Indeed, the number of visitors to the five Hallasan trails reached a record 1,255,731 visitors in 2015 after topping 1 million in 2000. The visitor numbers have fluctuated since then, ranging from 1.06 million in 2016 to 840,000 last year, but the proper capacity has already been exceeded.
The Jeju government said it will formally implement the reservation system for Hallasan hikers next year after the 11-month pilot period.
To book your visit, please click here.