Hiking Hallasan has some restrictions regarding time to start and time to end the hike. They close the gate for summit hikers at 10am, and they asked you to leave the summit by 2:30pm. From Jindallaebat (store), hikers are not allowed to hike to the summit after 1pm.
The reason for these restrictions is, it supposed to take 4:30hrs to hike to summit from Seongpanak, and about the same time to descend. They don't want people hiking after sunset.
This hike took us 2:45hrs up and 2:30hrs down.
This mountain may be the highest mountain in South Korea but it's definitely one of the easiest to hike. From the trailhead to about three quarters of the trail is a boardwalk and has very gradual incline.
(1) There was an available drinking water at about halfway on this 9.6km trail. It makes the hike even easier especially if you require constant hydration. To add more convenience to this hike, a store is in place at about three quarters of the way. This may have actually been used as a sleeping shelter.
(2) After passing the store, the boardwalk disappears and the trail becomes more steep. This is also the first time we saw the summit from the trail.
(3) The last bit to the summit is the steepest.
At the top, the party awaits. It was a busy day for the mountain. We didn't have a clear view of the surrounding. Only for a bit of time that we had a good view of the crater.
Cheers to the highest peak of South Korea, Baengnokdam Peak (1950m/6398').
On our descent, we saw more views bit by bit... and more interesting people too.
We didn't realise we could finish this hike so early in the day. We took a bus back to Seogwipo Bus terminal, grabbed our packs at the minbak we stayed at, and went straight to Jungmun Beach
for another beach camping.