Korea is famous for a great many things: cherry blossoms, amazing food and, of course, soju! However, skiing in Korea is one of the can’t-miss activities in the land of the morning calm. The beautiful country boasts multiple world-class ski resorts that offer a wide variety of awesome activities as well as heavenly skiing.
Whether you are skiing or snowboarding in Korea, the diverse and well-maintained Korean ski resorts promise one of the best mountain experiences anywhere in the world! Without further ado, here is our complete guide to skiing in Korea.
What To Know Before You Go
Skiing in Korea provides residents and travelers with an assortment of amazing options to choose from. Understanding your priorities and skiing ability level will help you choose the right Korean ski resort for you. We’ve selected three of our favorites and will give you the rundown on each! If you don’t want to take our word, CNN has outlined the 10 best ski resorts in all of Asia. Spoiler Alert, they’ve picked our 3 Korea favorites as well!
Yongpyong Ski Resort: The Crown Jewel of Korea
Yongpyong is the largest and most complete ski resort in all of Korea. That’s why the prestigious resort was selected to host the Alpine events during the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics. Located at one of the highest points in the gorgeous Taebaek mountain range, the superlative Yongpyong ski resort offers visitors 29 km of marked trails! That’s more than any of the other Korean ski resorts! If you’ve got a couple of days, our Yongpyong two day one night package is perfect for you!
The Best View In Korea
Yongpyong’s scenic location is so mind-blowing that the resort has been highlighted in several film and television series! The resort includes 15 ski lifts that cover a total of nearly 14 km, as well as a super-fast gondola that takes guests from base camp all the way to Dragon Peak. At 1,438 meters, Dragon Peak is an all-time Instagram shot. The surrounding mountains including the unforgettable Balwangsan mountain provide views you won’t soon forget!
Breaking Down The Yongpyong Magic Mountain
From the top of the mountain, advanced skiers can enjoy an uninterrupted run of almost 5,600 meters! For less advanced skiers, the resort has broken the mountain into four different zones that increase in elevation:
- Red Zone 960 m
- Silver Zone 1,049 m
- Gold Zone 1,127 m
- Rainbow Zone 1,438 m
The highest zone owns its own portion of the mountain and is not to be missed, assuming your ability level allows it. For those taking advantage of the Rainbow Zone, you can imagine yourself flying down the slalom and giant slalom where Olympic hopefuls strove for glory.
How’s The Snow?
Thanks to the resort’s extremely northern location, Yongpyong offers the most snow even late in the season. The lengthy season starts in November and extends all the way to the first few weeks in April. The average annual snowfall for Yongpyong is an incredible 250 cm! Whether you are a beginner or an expert, Yongpyong allows for a great experience. Naturally, the idyllic conditions provide the best skiing in Korea! Check out our one day Yongpyong ski package for a day you won’t forget!
The wide, spacious runs of the lower sectors are great for beginners, while the Rainbow Zone extends challenging runs for skilled skiers and snowboarders. If the highest mountain, the most snow, and Olympic glory interest you, Yongpyong is the place for you.
Alpensia Ski Resort: First Class Amenities
Alpensia stands as Yongpong’s first-class neighbor. The two resorts are just a short drive away from each other. While Alpensia is smaller than Yongpyong, that doesn’t mean it can’t offer visitors its own special hospitality for skiing in Korea.
The resort is newer than Yongpyong and awards visitors with first-class accommodations, restaurants, and a host of other world-class facilities. The near brand new park served as the focal point of the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics. The ski jump, nordic events, and bobsleigh all took place at Alpensia. Enjoy the great amenities with our two day one night Alpensia ski package.
Good Things Come In Small Packages
As we mentioned, Alpensia is much smaller than Yongpyong. However, the moderate elevation and top-rate facilities provide a perfect backdrop for those just getting started or still learning the skiing or snowboarding ropes.
The longest run at Alpensia is a trail 1.4 km long with a moderate incline and gentle terrain. Families and those looking to take lessons will revel in the more forgiving conditions at Alpensia.
Typically, the resort is slightly less crowded than Yongpyong, which works perfectly for those still working out the finer points of skiing or snowboarding in Korea. You won’t have to worry about advanced skiers flying by you at top speed. Snowboarders can also enjoy a section of the mountain reserved just for them!
Jisan Forest Ski Resort: Just A Skip From Seoul
Jisan Forest Ski Resort is the most conveniently located resort for those staying in or near Seoul. The full-service resort is a full hour closer to the capital city than Yongpyong and its neighbor Alpensia. It’s perfect for those looking for a day of skiing in Korea!
Located in the city of Icheon, in the Gyeonggi province, the resort can be reached in just an hour and a halfs drive from Seoul! The advantageous location makes Jisan perfect for those looking to do a day trip from the busy metropolis. For the quickest transportation time and most convenient experience book our Jisan ski resort package!
The Most Convenient Mountain
Jisan tempts travelers with seven main runs, along with three smaller slopes, and a snowboard park! Jisan’s diverse slopes present plenty of fun for skiers of all ability levels. However, the mountain is slightly more geared toward beginner and intermediate skiers.
5 high-speed ski lifts of either four or six seats will quickly see you up the mountain in no time. The resort has set aside a small section of the mountain for ski lessons only. In the secluded section of the park, families, kids and those just starting out can try their hand at skiing in Korea for the first time.
In the ski school section, you won’t have to worry about looking awkward or running into fast-moving skiers. Everyone will be more or less at the same level, so you can feel comfortable making the mistakes that will turn you into a high flying skier in no time! The resort’s knowledgeable staff have helped thousands of people learn the ropes faster than you can imagine.
Ski Trip Packing List – Things you might wish to bring
If you are taking advantage of any of our convenient ski packages, all you have to bring is yourself! Our time saving, stress minimizing packages take care of just about everything, so all you have to do is enjoy yourself. If you are making the trek to any of Korea’s premier resorts, here’s a breakdown of what you should /might wish to bring along.
Warm and Cozy Clothes
Obviously, if you are looking to tackle the towering Taebaek mountain range, you’ll need some clothes to keep you warm. During the height of winter, temperatures can drop to below zero Celsius, even at base camp. Naturally, temperatures will continue to drop as you climb up the mountain.
There’s also the potential for a breeze, which, at low temperatures, can add another layer of chill to the air. A beanie or helmet is highly recommended as humans lose a large percentage of their body heat from their head!
A Yummy Snack if you want to power on through lunch
All of the resorts we’ve mentioned house world class restaurants, bars and other eateries that are available once you’ve worked up an appetite on the snowy slopes. However, it is a good idea to bring power bars or some other type of small snack if you’d like to eat but don’t want to stop the skiing adventure. Here are some ideas for easy ski snacks while on the go!
Essentials To Protect Your Skin While Having Fun In The Sun
Clearly, much of your skin will be heavily protected by your winter clothes. Yet, there is one part of your body that will likely be exposed during parts of the day: your face. For novice skiers, sunscreen might not seem like something you’d need when surrounded by snow.
After all, it’s not as if you are spending a day at the beach. And that’s true; unfortunately, there is another element when it comes to the powerful sun that all skiers and snowboarders must consider: elevation. Since you will be thousands of feet above sea level, the sun’s rays are far more damaging then you would think. That’s why applying sunscreen and lip balm are crucial in order to keep your precious skin safe.
The last part of your body that needs some protection while skiing in Korea is your eyes. Because of the high elevation and reflective nature of the sun, skiing without goggles or sunglasses can be an unpleasant experience. If you forget any of these items, the resorts have you covered. Thanks to their unparalleled hospitality, everything you could ever need is available at the resorts for purchase or rent!
More Fun For Everyone, Other Activity Options
If, for whatever reason, you’d like to take a break from flying down some of the most beautiful slopes in all of Korea, these resorts have plenty more to offer. All three resorts we have mentioned house great restaurants, bars, and other food options that provide a good time on their own. Yongpyong ski resort also has so many other activity options, you could live at the resort and not get to all of them! Here are some other fun things to do at Yongpyong ski resort:
- A Bowling Alley
- Karaoke Rooms
- Fitness Center
- Billiard Hall
- Children’s Park
Evidently, even if you don’t want to enjoy skiing or snowboarding in Korea, Yongpyong has you covered! These options are great for family members who want to come along for the trip but aren’t keen on taking on the slopes. Grandma and Grandpa can witness the little ones taking on the slopes for the first time and still have plenty of entertainment for themselves.
Alpensia also has a few activities outside of the powdery slopes as well. The centerpiece for the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics is also home to a petting zoo and miniature roller coaster.
How to get to the Ski Resorts in Korea
Included in our awesome Korea ski tours is round trip transportation from the lobby of your hotel all the way to these great resorts. We enjoy taking the stress and difficulty out of your day, so you can revel in all the fun to be had. If you’d rather make the trek on your own, there are a few options you can choose.
Bus to Yongpyong and Alpensia: From the Dong Seoul bus terminal, there are shuttles that can take you to the mountain. Be aware though that the trip is about four hours one way by bus. In comparison, our convenient pickup and drop off service would have you there in an hour and a half less. The bus costs between $13-$15.
Bus to Jisan Forest Ski Resort: It’s quite a hike but if you’d like to take the bus to Jisan go to either the Seoul Nambu Express Bus Terminal or the Dongseoul Express Bus Terminal. From there, transfer at the Icheon Intercity Bus Terminal before taking the Local bus No. 12. Your stop will be the Jisan Mart Entrance and you’ve finally made it to beautiful Jisan Ski Resort!
Taxi: A taxi will deliver you at the resort in about the same time as our shuttle service. Unfortunately, the cost is rather high. Depending on the cab company and traffic, we estimate the cost would be between $140 and $170. We should note that our transportation is included in the cost!
Drive: If you’ve rented a car, driving is always an option. Just be sure to buckle up!
Skiing vs Snowboarding in Korea
Skiing versus snowboarding in Korea is really a personal choice. Each offers its own challenges on the learning curve. In our experience, skiing is easier to pick up at first although, perhaps, more difficult to master. Snowboarding is something of the inverse. At first you’re likely to fall a lot but once you get the basics, it’s slightly easier to advance your ability level.
Best Options Based On Skiing Ability
Advanced skiers looking for the best skiing in Korea should absolutely head to Yongpyong ski resort. The giant mountain gives experts all the steep runs and challenging runs you could ever ask for. Those who are hoping to zip down the mountain with serious speed might be disappointed by the lack of dynamic runs at nearby Alpensia.
Families, on the other hand, or those with less advanced skiers in their group will be happy with the gentle slopes of Jisan. Families with small kids who might get a little anxious during a two and a half-hour car ride might want to choose Jisan as well since it is the closest resort to Seoul.
To Lesson Or Not To Lesson?
Definitely! Unfortunately, skiing and snowboarding aren’t such simple activities that anyone could just jump on the equipment and find themselves hurtling down the hills in no time. A good ski or snowboard instructor can help you find your feet quicker. We should also point out that all of our ski packages come with a complimentary lesson. Our ski and snowboard lessons will take you through your paces and greatly improve your experience. They’ll have you skiing in Korea in no time!
So where do you want to go skiing in Korea this winter?