I first spotted Hwaamsan earlier this year while hiking the three peaks of Sandaldo. I studied the maps a bit to see where there was a possible trailhead. Studying the sattelite views on two different apps, I noticed there was a car parked along the mountain access roadway, and a scooter parked in the same spot , I figured this must be it! So Ashleigh and I set out on a workday morning to make our way to the top.
To start, you have to drive (or walk) up a mountain access road for a bit. You can see where to turn in the picture below. Most of it will be paved, but eventually it will turn to grass.
From here, we had a bit of trouble finding the trailhead. BUT if you look for an old styrofoam cooler stuck in a tree (which appears to have been there for quite some time and not going anywhere), it’s directly across the road.
Once past the trail entrance, it is quite easy to follow. It will get pretty steep, but you won’t have far to go and there are even ropes leading the way up the mountain to help you along. Once at the top, you’ll be greeted with a “summit pole” rather than the usual summit stone!
It’s a bit overgrown on the peak, so be sure to keep your ankles and skin covered to protect from ticks. My hiking socks were covered with seeds from pushing through the tall grass.