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Snow-capped Wonder

Deogyusan Mountain

If Seoraksan Mountain is considered to be akin to a fierce waterfall and Jirisan Mountain a meandering valley, Deogyusan Mountain is like a loosely flowing river with a peak of 1, 614 meters, making it the fourth-tallest mountain in Korea. This is why many flock to Deogyusan, which sits on the border between the provinces of Jeollabuk-do and Gyeongsangnam-do and is in the Baekdudaegan, the mountainous spine of the Korean Peninsula.

Written & photographed by Lee Jae Hyoung


Each mountain in Korea has a prime season during which its beauty peaks. Deogyusan Mountain is famous for being beautiful year-round, but winter is when its brilliance truly comes out. The mountain has a ski resort unlike other national parks and is the country’s southernmost ski resort. A long gondola lift for those seeking to easily reach the ski slopes makes Deogyusan all the more convenient.

A combination of the gondola lift easing the tough ascension and the highbut-not-stiff topography offers relaxation hard to find on other mountains. Climbing the 1,614-meter-high mountain is also not hard for senior citizens, children and even the disabled. Thanks to online reservations, visitors need not dread long lines.

Going to Hyangjeokbong Peak

  • This trail allows a single line leading up the mountain.

    Arriving at Seolcheonbong Peak makes one feel as if he or she climbed the 1,520 meters in no time. The route to Hyangjeokbong Peak, the summit of Deogyusan Mountain, requires a 30-minute walk after getting off the gondola. Mountains tend to incline steeply when approaching the summit, requiring perseverance up until the last moment, but scaling Deogyusan needs only a leisurely walk.

    The road between Seolcheonbong and Hyangjeokbong peaks is lively thanks to the people enjoying the snow-capped mountain. They use their smartphones to take pictures of whatever scenic spots appear.

  • Skirt with Pretty Creases

    The wide-open ridge of Deogyusan Mountain offers a scenic treat for the eyes.

    Trees covered with white snow instead of green leaves on both sides of the road disappear and the last slope leading to Hyangjeokbong Peak appears. The summit is also spacious, and the expansive four directions come in contact with the blue sky.

    The gigantic mountain range stretches to Jungbong Peak, Dongyeomnyeong Pass, Satgatbong Peak, Namdeogyusan Mountain and Yuksimnyeong Pass in what appears to be soft creases created when a traditional Korean skirt falls lightly.

    Feeling the strong wind and seeing the wide-open view are attractions of the 1,614-meter-high highlands. Clouds come and go repeatedly in a flash once the unexpected wind at the peak sets in. Accordingly, blue skies and dense fog keep changing to make climbers feel like they are on a winter mountain.

Gems Formed by Biting Wind

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