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Jangsan Mountain is one of Busan’s most popular hiking destinations and it’s right in the heart of the city. Already a hit with the locals, tourists can easily hike this trail without disrupting too much of their itinerary due to being conveniently downtown.
With multiple hiking routes to choose from, more than one viewpoint and stunning views of the city, it’s no surprise so many people love hiking here. It’s one of the many natural wonders that create the perfect environment for outdoor lovers in this southern city of Korea.
Along the base of the mountain, you can take a leisurely stroll through the popular Daecheon park and see a temple, and a waterfall to name a few.
From its peak, you will get a birds-eye view of Marine City. You can see multiple neighbourhoods from this high up and there are lots of great photo opportunities to take advantage of.
|Country:||South Korea (Republic of Korea)|
|Currency:||South Korean Won / KRW|
|Do you need a visa to visit as tourists?||Check here|
Trail stats for Jangsan Mountain
Length of trail:
903 m overall / 643m at the peak
Time to complete:
Jangsan Mountain is one of 108 mountains (with names) in Busan, South Korea. It is also the 2nd largest in the region after Geumjeongsan (also known as Geumjeong Mountain).
It’s a fantastic way to get your steps in while also enjoying the landscape that Busan is known for, without travelling outside of the city. You’ll find many different terrains along this route including fields, forests, rocky ground and flower beds.
Plus, this hike can be completed at any time of year!
Need some more hiking inspiration? Check out these other local hikes in Busan:
- Exploring viewpoints on the Hwangnyeongsan Mountain hike
- Geumjeongsan Mountain, Hiking the highest peak in Busan
- Bongnaesan Mountain: A short hike with great views
- Enjoying the Igidae Coastal Walk in Busan
- Seunghaksan Mountain: Completing the Loop Trail
How to get to the Jangsan Mountain trail
How to reach Daecheon Park
If you plan on using public transport, make sure to have your T Money card with you and topped up.
If you are already in Busan, you just need to get the subway or bus – depending on where you are travelling from. If travelling by bus, the best thing to do is check on the Naver Maps or Kakao Maps to plan your route.
Prefer to travel by subway? It’s roughly a 20-minute walk from the closest subway station to the trail. It’s easy to remember as the station is appropriately named “Jangsan station“.
You can reach the station via Line 2 (the green line) and Jangsan is the last stop in that direction so you can’t miss your stop. Exit the station from exit 12 and continue in a straight line until you reach the park.
If you’re travelling from another city (including Seoul) you can fly into Gimhae airport. From the airport, you can either get a rental car for the day, take public transport or order a taxi.
With no transfers, you could take the 307 bus from outside the airport all the way to Jangsan station.
Another option is to take the train and subway. This route would look like this:
- Busan-Gimhae LRT (airport station) on the purple line to Sasang station, then transfer in Sasang for Line 2 (the green line) headed to Jangsan station. This journey takes around 1 hour and 10 minutes to reach the station. Make sure to exit from exit 12 and walk straight!
If you’d prefer, you can rent a car which means you can actually drive all the way to Daecheon Park and use their on-site parking before starting the trail.
Where to find the trail from Daecheon Park
Daecheon Park is in a straight line from the Jangsan station which means it’s hard to get lost. Once you reach the park you will need to continue in a straight line for a little while longer on a neatly paved road until you reach a gym. Reaching the outdoor gym is really straightforward and guess what? It’s in one continuous line with no turns from the park entrance.
You’ll know you’re going the right way because you will go past a small waterfall (Yangun falls) and Pokposa temple, on your left side, 3 toilet blocks and multiple signs.
Eventually, you will reach a wide open space with a statue and flag in the centre and lots of gym equipment to the edges. Directly ahead of you is a VERY steep hill and to the left, you’ll see a type of climbing frame for children.
Many people count the entire route from the subway station as part of the trail. I personally started my trail journey on Alltrails from this gym area which is already part-way inside the park.
What to expect on the Jangsan hike
The Jangsan Mountain trail is pretty much a loop trail if you complete the whole thing. It has 2 different directions you can take from the gym area. Either you can head up the steep hill and follow the track to your left at the top through the forest, or you can go left past the children’s playground through the forest straight away.
Both of these starting points will overlap along the trail for the first 20 minutes or so before they both veer off in opposite directions.
The left route will take you to the summit much quicker, but the 2nd half of this route has a lot of tall staircases which is much more tiring. It’s a real thigh burner going up this way but it will save you a lot of time.
If you choose the other route for the way up, you’ll notice it is much more gradual with regard to the incline, but it does take a significantly longer amount of time to reach the top.
If you don’t have much time but have a lot of energy and stamina, you could follow the left route up to the summit and come back down the same way. This could be completed in as little as 2 and a half hours – but your legs will feel the pain.
If you instead have a little more time to kill and would rather avoid the stairs as much as possible, taking the right-hand route will be a better option. However, this could take over 4 and a half hours to complete.
Basic “itinerary” of the (right-hand) hike
- You’ll follow the paved path from the Daecheon park entrance to the gym
- Travel through the forest past the benches on a gradual incline
- Cross the “rock slide” where you’ll see a distant view of Haeundae
- Travel uphill through some fields & past an old dilapidated restaurant
- Walk along the boardwalk until you reach the active landmine area
- Walk up the paved road near the “no drone zone” until you reach summit rock
- Head down the mountain through the forest until you reach the observatory platform
- Continue down multiple wooden staircases and the forest until you’re back in Daecheon
Things to be aware of on the trail
Since this is a fairly long trail, you’ll journey through a range of different terrains along the way. This means there are a few things you should be aware of in order to remain safe and have the best experience possible.
One of the main things to know is that the summit is actually only available to visit between 10 am and 3 pm each day. There are signs scattered throughout the park that state this, so if you’re running late and don’t think you’re going to make it in time before 3 pm, it’s worth trying again on a different day.
I’ll be honest and say I’m not sure how strictly this is enforced as there are no gates or fences blocking off the summit stone. However, I enjoy sticking to the rules and encourage you to do the same!
That’s not to say you can’t still enjoy some hiking in the area after that time. In fact, lots of people take advantage of the different viewpoints and trails after 3 pm – plus the sunset from the west side of the mountain is beautiful!
Land mine safety
Now, you likely have heard of Korea’s war-related history before today. Well, in one section of the park not far from the summit, there are small parts of the forest fenced off with thick, barbed wire and lots of warning signs, this is because that area is littered with a few landmines that have not completely been discarded yet.
Make sure to use caution and follow the rules on the signage. Do not wander off of the trails and certainly don’t climb over any barbed wire. It will end badly.
Top tip: If you stick to the clearly walked-on path, you’ll have absolutely no issues in the area. Much of the trail is very obvious.
You could get lost
I’ll be honest, I have the directional skills of a wet mop. So I often end up getting lost on otherwise simple trails. The issue I found when trying to complete the Jangsan Mountain trail is that there are many different trails that cross paths with each other.
I was using my AllTrails, navigation and it was telling me to go in a straight line but this path was completely blocked off. This meant I had to try and find a way around the fences to get back on track. This detoured me for about 15 minutes.
At least by having the trail map open, I had an idea of the general direction I needed to head in so I was able to reconnect to the trail eventually. For this reason, I highly recommend downloading the AllTrails app so you can follow along yourself.
Side Note: This part of the trail was NOT in any way near the land mine danger zone. This was near an old restaurant that had once been used halfway along the trail.
Some parts are steep and slippery
Luckily, steep parts of the trail are often paired with a convenient rope that you can hold on to. This will allow you to keep your balance when climbing over rocks or stepping across a small stream. Ropes are used both as a guide to making it clear which way you need to go but are also used as a railing to keep steady.
Various viewpoints on Jangsan Mountain
If you’re ready to take photographs along your hike to the Jangsan Mountain summit, you’ll be pleased to know there are multiple viewpoints.
Of course, once you reach the summit rock you will find an amazing view of the city below. On a clear and sunny day, you can see Gwangan Bridge and Gwangalli Beach to the southeast and Haeundae-gu to the south.
Due to the vegetation almost completely surrounding the summit rock, you’ll see the view best by going around behind the bushes where you’ll see a small hut and a large picture frame. But while you’re up there you may as well grab a selfie with the rock to prove that you did in fact make it to the peak of Jangsan Mountain.
Jungbong Observatory (Wooden lookout)
This observatory is located near all of those stairs I told you about before. You’ll find this platform along the west side of the mountain along the trail (if you go along the left trail from the start going up, or the right trail from the top going down).
The stairs will bring you to a large wooden platform that was constructed to give you amazing views across the city. In almost any direction you’ll be able to see the various neighbourhoods of Busan and even enjoy a sunset here (if you’re in the park late enough). Even though the summit area is closed after 3 pm, this part of the trail is still accessible for sunset and the view is stunning.
In Busan for a while? I’d highly recommend coming up here during the day as well as at night so you can enjoy both views. Just make sure to bring a light so you can find your way back in the dark.
The “rock slide”
This might have been one of my favourite views – though it is much further away from the city than the wooden platform lookouts. This “rock slide” is found on the right-hand trail that goes around the east side of Jangsan Mountain from the starting point.
After 30 minutes you’ll come to a large opening in the trees and find a huge pile of rocks that looks as though they landed in this position after a landslide. You will need to travel across the large rocks to reach the next stage of the trail and you’ll see a great view of the city in the distance once you’re about halfway across.
Safety: Some of these rocks can move if you step on them the wrong way so please proceed with caution.
Amenities along the trail
In Daecheon Park (on the way to the gym/start point) you’ll find multiple toilet blocks to use before you get deep into the trail. I did not find or notice any bathrooms further in the forest so make sure you take advantage of the facilities while you have the chance.
If like me, you get tired quickly, you’ll be pleased to know there are multiple places to take a quick rest as there are various benches scattered throughout the trail. I found many more benches along the west (short) trail in comparison to the east (long) trail which may help you decide which route to take.
Of course, if hiking isn’t enough exercise for one day, you can dive in and use the gym equipment too. You’ll find sit-up benches, pull-up bars, giant hula-hoops and more.
Want to climb some more challenging routes? Check out the biggest peaks in all of Korea:
- Gwaneumsa Trail: Hiking the Steepest trail of Mt.Hallasan
- Taking the Seongpanak trail to the Hallasan peak
- Jirisan Mountain – the biggest on the mainland
|Day Hike Essentials||Why?|
|Appropriate footwear & socks||Less likely to injure yourself & more comfortable|
|Portable battery pack & wire||To charge your electronic devices|
|Water (0.5L per hour roughly)||To keep yourself hydrated throughout the hike|
|Food||Preferably lightweight but healthy snacks|
|Trail Directions||Phone/GPS device, compass or paper map|
|Mobile OR satellite phone||Helpful in emergencies to call for help|
|Clothing layers||To put on or remove based on changes in weather|
|Hat||To prevent sunstroke or keep warm|
|Sunglasses||To see better without squinting all day|
|First aid kit||To solve minor injuries along the way|
|Multi-tool||Multiple uses for multiple problems|
|Illumination||Torch or phone light to navigate in the dark|
Summary of the Jangsan Mountain Hike
This is a fantastic hike for those visiting or living in Busan. The round-trip loop might take up to 5 hours worst-case scenario, but it is not overly difficult so people of most fitness levels can enjoy it.
It’s the perfect way to spend a day admiring the South Korean outdoors without breaking out in too much of a sweat. Even if the weather isn’t on your side enough to see the views, the workout alone is good enough to enjoy and make you feel refreshed afterwards.
Stay tuned, because, during my time living in Busan, I plan to tackle each hike, come and follow the journey!
What did you think of Jangsan?