Baikryun Mountain is a small mountain on a nice little 5.4 km loop trail that’s perfect for hiking or running. About two-thirds of the trail is in the forested park with peek-a-boo views in every direction, and most of the remaining third runs along the creek parallel to Yeonhui-ro. You can pick up the trail from almost any section, but it’s perfectly suited for guests at the Grand Hilton and nearby residents.

The trail is marked with this a symbol throughout the route. The urban sections typically have decals on the sidewalk, while the forest sections have small wood signs attached to trees along the route.

You have to watch closely for these markers. In the urban sections they typically are on the ground, and sometimes so worn you could easily miss them. In the forest, they are green and typically mounted on trees or part of the trail signs. Finding them is a part of the fun.

I’ve described the route in a clockwise direction, beginning at driveway for the Grand Hilton.

Cross Yeonhui-ro and take the ramp down to the path along the creek. Watch for the trail symbols on the ground, and occasionally on a post.

You’ll follow this beyond the waterfall. As the trail begins to pass under Yeonhui-ro, you’ll cross the bike lanes and double back up a wood ramp to the street level.

Head toward Yeonhui-ro and turn right (north), then turn left at the first crosswalk, then cross Moraenae-ro and turn left.

At the first four-way traffic light, turn right on Baengnyeonsa-gil and head up the hill. Note that this is one of the well-worn markers and it’s easy to miss.

The trail markers will keep you on the right side of the street for the first 100 meters or so, then cross to the left. This hill is steep.

Once you pass the elementary school, the grade gets a little easier. When you reach the bend in the road (there’s a tennis club on your left), you’ll cross back over the road to the park entrance. This is where the steep ascent really starts. You’ll climb 412 relentless steps to the top of the mountain ridge.

Or Jacobs Ladder

Once you reach the ridge, the worst of the climbing is behind you. There’s still more to come, but it’s in shorter spurts. The trail bears north along the ridge, rising and falling like a rollercoaster. You’ll see that you often have a choice between steps or dirt trail; they ultimately end up at the same place.

Typical Rest Shelter

At the 3 km mark you’ll come across what I’m told is a private outdoor gym, complete with barbells, weight plates and machines. These aren’t the typical public workout machines you see throughout the parks, but much more elaborate. It’s an outdoor gym with a sweeping view that stretches to the Han River!

Continuing along the trail a bit further you’ll see one last set of steps leading to an observatory. It’s worth the small detour to check out the views, especially on a clear day.

Take the steps back down to the trail, and continue along the ridgeline. From here out, there are only very small climbs; it’s mostly downhill.

Continue along the ridge, watching carefully for the Green Forest Trail symbol. You’ll see apartment buildings very near the top of the ridge on your right, and come across the ridge top trail access. Often during the day there’s a vendor set up providing tea and snacks.

50 meters further and you can take a short detour to the rocks on the left towards the Eco Bridge. This bridge crosses Tong-illo and allows wildlife to travel between the open spaces. Soak in the views of Bukhansan National Park, then return to the ridge trail and continue on.

View of Bukhansan NP in the Distance

There are a few unmarked side trails that you can ignore. Stick to the ridge and you’ll be golden.

Winding Through the Pines

At 4.3 km you’ll reach a junction that is easy to miss. The Green Forest Trail symbol heads straight, but the more obvious trail bends to your left towards Yeonhui-ro. This can be a worthwhile detour, as it heads to a wooden observatory platform with great views toward Seoul Tower.

Back on the trail, you will finally reach a junction where you begin a steep descent down rough-hewn steps. These eventually give way to wooden steps, and soon you reach Yeonhui-ro.

Turn right and head about 500 meters south to reach the Hilton and close the loop.

I’ve been using this route as part of my daily training routine. It’s a rigorous workout that you can complete in under one hour if you run portions of it.

Do you have a favorite local trail? Share in the comments.