Many of the ski resorts of Korea are scattered throughout Gangwon-do Province, the region that gets the most annual snowfall. However, skiers based in Seoul will be happy to know that there are a number of great ski facilities just past the city limits, allowing for quick, convenient ski trips during the weekend.
Most ski resorts are large leisure centers that offer pleasant accommodations and convenient facilites to visitors throughout the entire year. Of course, the most popular time to visit the resorts is during the peak ski season from mid-December to the end of February. During this time, prices for accommodations go up and rooms fill up fast, so visitors who are unable to get lodging within the resort complexes are advised to check out hotels, motels, or pensions (inns) in the surrounding area.
All of the resorts on our list offer both skiing and snowboarding, with new snowboarding facilities constantly being added to keep up with the increasing demand for this popular new sport. Skiing & boarding facilities at the resorts are usually open from mid-November/early December until March or April. During these times, Korea’s ski resorts become the nation’s vacation hotspots, attracting visitors from home and abroad to the pristine mountainsides for unforgettable wintertime fun, whether that be adrenaline-packed runs down the mountain, sledding with the kids, or long, luxurious soaks in slopeside hot tubs.
Ski resort in Gang Won
Yongpyong Resort:Professional Facilities & Filming Location ofWinter Sonata
Yongpyong Resort lies on a stretch of land 700 meters to 1,500 meters above sea level, an altitude range that is said to be ideal for the human biorhythm. Yongpyong Resort was the first ski resort in Korea to offer modern facilities, and is fondly known as the “Alps of Korea.” Many people even go so far as to say that this particular resort has become synonymous with the development and popularization of skiing across the nation.
Yongpyong Resort can accommodate more skiers at a time than any venue in the country and has successfully hosted the World Cup Ski Championship, the Winter Asian Games, and other international ski competitions for many years, building a strong international reputation. Widely known as a filming location of the famous drama ‘Winter Sonata,’ this ski resort is particularly popular among tourists from Japan and other Asian countries.
Yongpyong has taken full advantage of the natural terrain and has developed top-notch ski facilities that are said to be the best ski facilities in Korea. The resort’s 28 slopes (6 slopes of which have been approved for international competitions), half-pipe (which is bigger than regulation size), and 15 lifts (including a 7.4-kilometer round-trip gondola) offer visitors a variety of ski and snowboarding facilities for a wintertime getaway that’s out of this world.
The slopes at Yongpyong see an average annual snowfall of 250 centimeters, meaning that this excellent facility can stay open from mid-November to early April (slightly longer than the regular ski season).
Daemyung Vivaldi Park:The Thrill of Nighttime Skiing
Daemyung Vivaldi Park Ski World was the first ski resort in Korea to offer nighttime skiing and has since become the place to be for Korea’s young skiers. The catchy names of the slopes, such as ‘Hip-Hop,’ ‘Techno,’ and ‘Funky,’ are all geared towards young adult skiers and some of the more advanced slopes are uniquely designed with unexpected twists and turns for maximum thrills.
For those who are new to winter sports, Daemyung Vivaldi Park Ski World offers the perfect setting to safely learn skiing and snowboarding (ski and snowboard lessons are available). Slopes of varying inclines and distances give new snow sport enthusiasts the perfect chance to gradually work their way up from the bunny slopes to the more advanced courses. Daemyung offers a total of
13 different slopes and 10 lifts.
Phoenix Park Ski Resort:Snowboarder’s Heaven
Not only known for its 21 broad meadow slopes—with panoramic views!—Phoenix Park has gained attention nationwide for its “Extreme Park”: a snowboarding park complete with a halfpipe, tabletop, round quarter, and rails. Visitors can also expect a fairly easy time of getting around within the park, with 8-person gondolas and a system of 8 lifts that is differentiated by skiing ability.
Located 700 meters up the side of Mount Taegisan (1,261 meters above sea level), Phoenix Park, though large, seems to harmonize well with the surrounding landscape. The beautiful natural scenery, perfect powder, and special facilities (llike the mountaintop Mount Blanc restaurant) all make for a stellar ski or snowboarding experience.
Sungwoo Resort:International Snowboarding Mecca
Recognized for its size and safety by the International Ski Federation (FIS), Sungwoo Resort is equipped with half pipes and boardwalks that meet the size qualifications for international competitions. Its FIS certification and variety of facilities has made it a popular destination for hardcore snowboarders.
The resort offers 18 slopes for everyone, from beginners to professional skiers, as well as a mogul course for the utmost in fun and thrills. The mogul course is a steep run with mounds of snow placed where snowboarders least expect them. Naturally, it is the ultimate challenge for snowboarders who want to perfect their skills! The Fun Park, the largest of its kind in Korea, offers more than 10 facilities including C Box, X Box, and Wall Box for snowboarders to try out their tricks.
High 1 Resort:Fantastic Natural Slopes
Located in one of the most pristine regions of Gangwon-do Province, High 1 Resort offers 18 fantastic slopes each beginning at one of three peaks. For beginners, there is a 4.2 kilometer-long gently sloping course that starts from 1,345 meters above sea level. High 1 Resort also has two slopes that have been used for World Cup ski competitions and was the venue for the very first “Disabled Alpine Skiing World Cup.”
High 1 Resort offers state-of-the-art lift facilities, the nation’s first hands-free check zone, and an automatic reading system for lift passes. Nearby attractions include Kangwon Land (the only casino in the nation that is open to Koreans), a theme park, trekking routes, a sleigh ride, and a golf course.
Elysian Gangchon Resort:Closest to Seoul
Elysian Gangchon is a deluxe leisure complex only an hour away from Seoul via public transportation. The ski resort at the complex has 6 lifts, snowboarding facilities, and 10 slopes for beginner, intermediate, and advanced skiers. Channel Park (the main snowboarding area) is designed for beginner and intermediate riders. Winter sport enthusiasts who need a little extra help with their techniques can sign up for boarding or skiing lessons before striking out on their own. One thing that sets this resort apart from others is the relatively open layout of the slopes (all of which are 1km in length). By skiing down the ridges, skiers are treated to a wide-open view of the beautiful scenery. The ski resort is typically open December to March of each year. During the ski season, shuttle buses run to and from the Seoul metropolitan area.
Oak Valley Snow Park:Ski Resort in Nature
Adjacent to a forest of oak trees, Oak Valley Snow Park is smaller than most other ski facilities in Korea. As a result, it offers a cozy, welcoming atmosphere and skiing slopes free from the usual crowds. The resort has 9 slopes, and operates a high-speed lift for skiers to enjoy as many runs as possible during their stay. Oak Valley Snow Park is one of the best parks for snowboarders because there are no crowds and plenty of space to try new maneuvers! The resort operates a ski and snowboarding school, as well as sleigh rides for beginners.
O2 Resort:Skiing for the Whole Family
O2 Resort is located in Taebaek, Gangwon-do Province, the first place the snow falls in the winter and the last place it melts in the spring. The resort has a total of 12 slopes of varying difficulty levels. The easiest slope, which starts at 1,420 meters above sea level, is 3.2 kilometers long from top to bottom. On another slope, skiers of all levels start together at the top, but split into different courses depending on their skill levels, and meet again at the base. The Kids’ Park and sleigh rides make the resort a great family destination.
Alpensia Resort is situated 700 meters above sea level, an altitude considered to be ideal for the human body and the body’s biorythmns. The resort is known for its excellent snow quality and commands a great wide-open view of the scenic Daegwallyeong Range. Of the 8 different slopes, one slope is reserved exclusively for snowboarders. The ski resort’s maximum capacity is 3,000 people, so with the high-speed lift (transporting 2,400 ~ 3,000 skiers an hour) visitors won’t have to edure long lines to get to the slopes.
Ski resort near Seoul
Bears Town Resort
Located in Pocheon, Gyeonggi-do, Bears Town Resort is a great option for a one-day ski and snowboard trip since it’s only about 50 minutes away from Seoul. The resort offers a slope exclusviely for expert skiers, two slopes for advanced skiers, two slopes for advanced/intermediate skiers, and three slopes for beginners. All slopes are open for snowboarding and there are four lifts, including one express lift. The resort is a popular family destination because of its long sledding hill measuring 400 meters in length.
Star Hill Resort
Located in Namyangju-si, Gyeonggi-do, Star Hill Resort is 32 km away from Seoul (City Hall), making it possible for visitors to enjoy a full day of skiing without having to stay overnight. Each of the six slopes has its own exclusive lift, drastically cutting down on wait time. This small, cozy resort nestled in the foothills has well-developed facilities and a convenient location that has made it become increasingly popular among visitors from Seoul and the nearby metropolitian areas.
Jisan Forest Resort
Located in Icheon, Gyeonggi-do Province, Jisan Forest Resort is only 40 minutes away from Gangnam (south of Seoul), meaning that even when accommodations are booked, visitors can make a daytrip out to enjoy a fun-filled day of skiing. There are seven main ski slopes and 3 sub-slopes, all of which are open to both skiers and snowboarders. Thanks to the 5 high-speed lifts, there is no waiting in line, and there is even an escalator for children and beginners. The new 6-person lift is equipped with heated seats for a warm, comfortable ride. Even though this particular resort is on the smaller side, it is packed with convenient facilities at affordable prices. The resort is a great value for the money and gives its visitors an affordable skiing without sacrificing quality.
Yangji Pine Resort
Located in Yongin, Gyeonggi-do Province, Yangji Pine Resort Ski Valley offers a sledding hill, 6 ski lifts, and 9 slopes of varying levels of difficulty. Night skiing is very popular at Yangji Pine Resort and the well-lit slopes give visitors a nighttime ski experience that is as safe as it is thrilling. The resort offers a mogul ski course for experts and thrill seekers along with ski and snowboard lessons.
Located in Gwangju, Gyeonggi-do Province, Konjiam Resort is the largest ski resort in the Seoul vicinity and is the first resort in Korea to limit the number of daily skiers (maximum: 7,000 skiers per day). The resort has a total of 11 slopes (beginner, intermediate, advanced, and expert) and even offers extras such as an arboretum, ecological river, and spa.
For more information about ski resorts in Korea you can visit http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/SI/SI_EN_3_6.jsp?cid=860692 or KTO’s main homepage http://visitkorea.or.kr
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