Starting Point: Gupabal Station
Distance: 25-35 km
Bukhansan Dulegil (Bukhansan Perimeter Road) is a beautiful mixture of trail and road that runs from Northwest Seoul to Northeast Seoul. The terrain isn’t too difficult, but at times it can be hilly and challenging. It isn’t necessary to run the entire thing in one go. There are several points where the trail enters the city. You can always head to the nearest main road and catch a bus to a subway station (as I had to do my first time trying to take on the whole thing), or you can take on a bit at a time and then backtrack out. There are also several trails that branch off from Bukhansan Dulegil. If you’re lucky enough to live nearby, you could spend all year exploring all that this trail system has to offer.
To get to a good starting point, I recommend going to Gupabal Station in Northwest Seoul. The beginning is a bit tricky, so read closely. Come out exit 1. Immediately make a U-turn and walk toward the bus stops. Continue straight and cross the first street. Before you hit the second street, you will see a couple of signs near a stream (pictured below). Take a left toward Bukhansan Dulegil to go down the ramp onto the stream, where you will start seeing signs for Seoul Trail. Please see the pictures below.
Just to the left of the above signs, the trail begins on the stream below.
From the stream, it is fairly well-marked. Eventually, you will come up a short hill that branches off onto trails right before this temple. A Seoul Trail sign will point you up the stairs to the right. Follow the stairs for 500m or so until you reach a fork. The Seoul Trail signs will become very infrequent, and you will begin to see signs in many forms (like the ones below) for Bukhansan Dullegil.
Turn right at the first fork, and from there keep following the Bukhansan Dullegil signs. They come in many forms, but the trail is well-marked. Especially when in the city, keep your eyes open. I missed a few signs and ended up adding some extra kilometers and extra hills onto my run. However, this was because of my own neglect, and not because the trail was poorly marked. As a general rule, if you go more than 300m in the city without seeing a sign, you could very well have lost the trail. If you’re uncertain, just follow you’re route back to the last sign you saw.
This route will take you on mountain trails, over one summit, through ecological parks, on some back streets, past an extremely lavish and beautiful mountainside neighborhood, past a few quiet temples, and give you amazing views.
It is difficult to chronicle all of the twists and turns, all of the places that you will come out, and everything to expect (it wouldn’t be a good trail run, anyway, if you always knew what was coming). I will simply say that it is a great run. Beginners can definitely take on the first few kilometers before backtracking or catching a bus out when the trail hits a road after about 5km. More experienced runners can see some new sides to Seoul and get a good 5 hour run in. For those going for the big run, the trail directly passes Dobongsan Station in Northeast Seoul.
I know the distance is long, but trust me, there are several chances to duck off the trail. This trail is well worth checking out. Make sure you pack a good amount of water (I brought 76 oz., though due to all of the convenience stores on the way, that’s not necessary) and a few snacks.
If you want to get a more detailed look at the route of the run, then here is a link to Naver Maps simply paste this: 서울둘래길. This will show all of Seoul trail. Find Gupabal Station in Northwest Seoul, and follow it east until Dobongsan Station. Feel free to comment with any questions.