The Best Ski Resorts in Korea

I’m often asked which is the best ski resort in Korea, and I always answer that it depends what you’re looking for. So here’s the lowdown on the best resorts in Korea, presented in top-3s:

Best All-Round Korean Ski Resorts

High1, view from the gondola

High1

=1. High1 & Yongpyong

For all-mountain riding, High1 and Yongpyong are the two standout ski resorts in Korea. Yongpyong was the original (built in the 70s), while High1 is just a decade old. Both are high enough to not be reliant on snowmaking (as most Korean resorts are), are relatively large, have a good mix of terrain, and make reasonable effort with their terrain parks.

3. Phoenix Park

Phoenix Park is mostly famed for its freestyle offerings, with a halfpipe and arguably the country’s best terrain park (see below) along with Welli Hilli Park. Freestyle aside though, Phoenix Park is larger than Welli Hilli and is the 4th-largest ski area in Korea; this means it offers decent downhill skiing in addition to great freestyle, making it a good all-round option.

Best Korean Ski Resorts for Freestyle (Park)

Terrain park at Welli Hilli Park

Welli Hilli Park

=1. Phoenix Park & Welli Hilli Park

Phoenix Park and Welli Hilli Park are the two standouts in this department, each having solid, well-maintained terrain parks with a good variety of features for all levels of park rider.

=3. High1 & Yongpyong

High1 and Yongpyong are great all-round resorts, and they don’t neglect their freestyle offerings; while not nearly as impressive as Phoenix and Welli Hilli, they do both have sizeable, decent quality terrain parks.

Best Korean Ski Resorts for Halfpipe

The Pyeongchang 2018 Olympic halfpipe at Phoenix Park

Phoenix Park

There are only four halfpipes in Korea. In no particular order:

Phoenix Park

Phoenix Park has a superpipe and will host the Pyeongchang 2018 halfpipe events (if you want to ride pipe in the 2017/18 season, go to one of the others!)

Welli Hilli Park

The halfpipe at Welli Hilli Park is almost always well-cut and in good nick; it’s also located right in front of the base area, so everyone can see you eat shit!

Vivaldi Park

Vivaldi Park‘s is the closest halfpipe to Seoul, and the only one you can reach by free shuttle bus.

High1

High1 and Yongpyong are the best two resorts in Korea, but if you’re a pipe enthusiast only the former ticks that box!

Best Korean Resorts for Downhill Skiing

On the slopes at Muju Deogyusan Resort, Korea

Muju Deogyusan

 

1. Muju Deogyusan

The southern location isn’t great for the snow quality, but Muju Deogyusan has the biggest vertical drop and the longest runs in the country. The setting in Deogyusan National Park also gives it the best views!

=2. High1 & Yongpyong

All-round star resorts High1 and Yongpyong don’t quite match Muju Deogyusan for vertical drop, but they’re not far off and both offer a good selection of sections and runs. They also both get better snow than Muju so will often actually be better, especially early or late in the season.

Most Convenient Ski Resorts from Seoul (without a car)

Konjiam Resort

Konjiam

1. Konjiam

Konjiam can be accessed by subway (with a frequent shuttle bus from the station) or by free shuttle bus from Sadang & Jamsil, taking under an hour depending on your starting point; they also have a flexible ticketing system, making this by far the most convenient hill from Seoul. The quality of the riding is also reasonable for a Seoul area local hill.

2. Elysian Gangchon

Although located in Gangwon-do province, Elysian Gangchon can be reached on the Seoul Metro or the ITX Cheongchun express train (with regular shuttle buses from the station) which actually makes it easier to reach than the other resorts closer to Seoul (excluding Konjiam). They also have free shuttle buses, though the driving time to Elysian is a fair bit longer than to Konjiam.

3. Vivaldi Park

Vivaldi Park is another Gangwon-do resort which is actually very convenient to Seoul, thanks in particular to their free shuttle bus for international tourists. It takes 2 hours from Myeongdong and costs you nothing, making Vivaldi almost as convenient to reach as Seoul hills like Jisan Forest and Yangji Pine while being a bigger & better hill (Vivaldi is the biggest hill you can reach from Seoul for free)

What do you think about this list? Agree? Think it’s nonsense? Leave a comment below!

Best Korean Ski Resorts During Pyeongchang 2018

Be aware that the four Pyeongchang 2018 host resorts will be partly or completely closed if you visit during the Olympic season, so check out the best Korean ski resorts to hit in the 2017/18 season

Also see here for full reviews of every resort in the country; and here for a size comparison of all ski hills in Korea using satellite imagery!

If you’re looking for Pyeongchang 2018 accommodation options, see here


51 comments on “The Best Ski Resorts in Korea
  1. Weian says:

    I’m planning to stay at Yongpyong ski resort right before April 2018
    Is there still open for ski and how about snow conditions then
    It would make my life much easier if u got d answer
    Thanks lot

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi Weian, if you go to Yongpyong in late March they’ll still be open. The snow condition will be pretty mushy, and the best sections are already closed due to the Olympics, but anyway you can still have a decent day of skiing there. Enjoy!

  2. Vidya says:

    Hi . Would Vivaldi Park have snowboarding/skiing in the last week of March 2018 ? Because of the proximity to Seoul as compared to Yongpyong looking at it. Thx

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi Vidya, sorry they closed on March 11th. Your best chance in late March is High1, but I’m not sure their exact closing date so make sure to check with them. Good luck!

  3. Teeya says:

    Hi I plan to go to a ski resort around 30th December 2018 and we will be staying at an apartment in Itaewon. Which ski resort is the easiest to go to by bus or subway?

  4. Eng Khoon says:

    Hi Simon,
    Your site are wonderful! I get lots of information about Korea ski here. Thanks for all efforts!
    I’m planning Korea ski trip with my children (8 and 10) in Dec 2018, I would like to get your advice that which ski resort is best suitable for children and not too expensive. My initial plan is YongPyong Ski Resort as the room rate is reasonable, there is water playground for children and highly recommended by many bloggers. Beside that, it is out of Seoul which I think will not be too crowded.

    Many Thanks
    Eng Khoon

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi Eng,

      Thanks! Yes, I think Yongpyong’s a good choice for you. Let me know if you have any questions about it

      • Eng Khoon says:

        Thanks Simon for quick respond! Appreciate that.
        Do we need to book the ski lesson in advance with YongPyong ski resort or whether you have any recommendation of any Ski class nearby? Roughly how much for a group lesson? Do you have any advice for first time ski like us?
        Thanks again!
        Eng Khoon

        • Eng Khoon says:

          Hi again, I read that there is gift card for YongPyong ski resort which can get up to 50% discount on accommodation. May I know how that work since we need to book in advance for the room and pay online before check in.
          For us 4 people, should we get 4 gift card (100k) each or it will be good to buy 1 card and use for all?
          Sorry to ask here as I not able to get gift card information in YongPyong ski resort website
          Regards
          Eng Khoon

          • Simon Norton says:

            Hi again, you can use the gift card for discounts on your lift tickets, but I’ve never heard of such discounts on their accommodation. Did you read this somewhere?

            • Eng Khoon says:

              Hi Simon
              I read at YongPyong website
              https://www.yongpyong.co.kr/eng/etc/giftCard.do
              It mention up to 50% on accommodation with gift card

              Regards,
              Eng Khoon

              • Simon Norton says:

                oh right, I’ve never noticed that before!

                But yeah, you’d need to have the card already to make the reservation, which isn’t possible without coming to Korea first… but perhaps you can find a good discount without the card by regularly checking booking sites like Agoda, they sometimes have really big discounts available. Hope you can find something!

        • Simon Norton says:

          You don’t need to book in advance, you can just arrange it when you arrive. The prices are here

  5. Kathleen says:

    I’m planning Korea ski trip with my children in Nov 2018. How is the snow condition in 11 Nov onwards? When is the best time for skii? How is the temperature like??

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi Kathleen,

      The higher resorts do open in November, but the 11th is a little early. You can expect Yongpyong, High1, and Phoenix Park to open some time in mid-late November, depending how early the temperature drops low enough to make snow. Be aware that they usually only have a couple of runs open to begin with, so it’s better to wait until December if possible. I’m not sure what temperatures you’re used to, but it’s cold!

  6. annis says:

    which ski resort is the most fun and good ppl who like to ski? Any recommend ? Thx

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi Annis,

      If you’re not into freestyle skiing, the best resorts for downhill skiing would be Yongpyong, High1, or Muju Deogyusan.

  7. Lee Jie Sheng says:

    Hi. I’m planning to g lo Korea on this year end of November and December. Any recommendation for me?

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi, I’d be happy to give you some recommendations… are you planning to go skiing?

      • Lee Jie Sheng says:

        Thanks Simon. Can u kindly chat with me on Gmail hangout so that I can direct ask question. My travel at Korea is 5th to 17th of November.

        • Simon Norton says:

          Hi again, sorry but I’m not available for live chats. If you’d like to ask more directly than via these public comments, feel free to email me via the contact page.

          Cheers

  8. Yoan says:

    Hi Simon, im planning to go korea in the early of jan 2019, any suggestions beside yongpyong resort since i have been there before. I plan to take ski lesson and im a beginner, please advice. Thanks in advance

  9. Lauren says:

    Hi Simon,

    I am planning for a ski trip in early Dec. My children age range from 5 – 14 years old. Can you recommend which ski resort will be good for us? The older ones will be taking ski lessons. Hopefully there will be some other activities for the younger ones too. We have been to Phoenix Park. Would like to go to another resort with thicker and more fluffy snow. Thanks!

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi Lauren,

      Well, to be honest unless you get lucky you’re unlikely to experience thick, fluffy snow in Korea. But generally speaking the higher the resort, the better the snow quality. As you’ve already been to Phoenix Park, the only higher options are Yongpyong and High1 so those are the ones I’d recommend. Yongpyong is more convenient to reach from Seoul, whereas High1 is a more modern resort with better accommodation & facilities; in terms of ski terrain & conditions they’re about the same size, but High1 is the best bet for snow quality.

      Hope this helps, and feel free to ask any further questions you may have. Cheers!

  10. Shahriman says:

    Hi Simon,

    what an incredible site u have going here. Keep it up. Just dropping by to ask for your recommendations.

    I’m planning to bring the missus and our 2 young kids (7 and 3) to south korea in early december. I would like to stay at a ski resort for a few days and do some skiing but the rest of my family doesnt ski.

    Which ski resort do u think will have the best non ski entertainments for my wife and kids? In other words, if you weren’t a skier, which resort will you enjoy the most to spend a few days in? At the moment, I’m considering either Pheonix or Vivaldi.

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi Shahriman,

      Cheers! I’d say Vivaldi’s better than Phoenix for non-skiers, but if you’re willing to travel a bit further the best options would be High1 or Muju Deogyusan.

      Let me know if you have any more questions!

      • Shahriman says:

        Thanks Simon!

        I dont mind the long journey, so im ok with the farther resorts.

        How about between high 1 or muju then?

        Shahriman

        • Simon Norton says:

          Muju has a nice resort base area (the nicest out of all Korean resorts) and is in a really beautiful national park, but from High1 it’s easy to go down into the towns of Sabuk or Gohan to find non-skiing things to do. In terms of transportation, High1’s easier to get to as you can take a direct bus from Seoul (you have to change once or twice for Muju)

  11. Roberto says:

    Hi Simon,

    Nice site.

    It will be my first time in Korea and also my first time skiing.

    What city outside outside of Seoul you could recommend me to go with my friends, we are all adults and we are going for New Year’s this year.

    Thank you very much.

    • Simon Norton says:

      Cheers Roberto!

      You mean a city outside Seoul for sightseeing? I’d usually recommend Busan which is great for nightlife, shopping, food, and beaches. Obviously winter isn’t a good time for beaches though! Jeju is also very popular, or if you’re looking for a more traditional historical place consider Gyeongju.

  12. Gregory says:

    Hi Simon,

    Me and my friends will be in korea this coming november. We are planning to have a ski on Nov 10. Can you recommended which resort we could come just to experience snow?

    Thank you.

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi Gregory, sorry but Nov 10th is still to early to ski. The higher resorts in Gangwon-do e.g. Alpensia & Yongpyong will already be making snow by then, so you could still visit to see the snow but there won’t be much happening.

  13. Kate Chen says:

    Hi Simon,

    We will be going for ski from 3/12-5/12 from Seoul. Both my older children age 13, 15 is at early stage of intermediate level while my husband at beginner. My youngest 7 is still learning and would like to place him in ski school.

    We are considering Phoenix but after second thought understand is more suitable for free style ski. My fmly would prefer just a downhill ski but within their level of expertise and not too steep.

    May I know what resort will be suitable and not too crowded, less waiting time for lift? We do not want to travel too much. Anything less than 3 hours travelling from Seoul would be good.

    Thanks for your advice.

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi Kate,

      Actually Phoenix would be fine for you – it’s famous for freestyle, but it’s also good for downhill skiing and they have plenty of suitable beginner & intermediate terrain.

      If you do want to look at alternatives within 3 hours, have a look at Vivaldi Park and Welli Hilli Park (both around 2 hours by bus, or slightly faster to Welli Hilli if you take KTX & shuttle bus). There’s also Yongpyong, which is slightly further (about 3 hours, or 2 hours if you take KTX & taxi) but much bigger.

  14. Kate Chen says:

    Hi Simon,

    Thanks a lot for your advice. What about Alpensia Resort? Suitable for beginner/intermediate? Will they be opening for Ski early Dec?

    Actually we will be there on weekday Mon-Wed. Heard that Phoenix and Vivaldi normally has longer waiting time for lift and gondolas. Was wondering if is week day would it be better? Appreciate your advice on this. Thanks.

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi Kate, yes weekdays are much better. I always advise people to try and avoid weekends, especially for Vivaldi.

      Alpensia will be open by then, sure, but I didn’t recommend it as it’s only really good for beginners. Intermediates will quickly run out of options at Alpensia, so Yongpyong’s probably better for them. However, thinking about it more, you did actually say they’re low intermediate, so maybe Alpensia would be ok for them after all – the resort itself is newer & nicer to stay at than Yongpyong, so you might want to consider it.

  15. Nurul says:

    Hi Simon.

    My family and I are planning for a quick ski trip(half day skiing) on early(9-13 december). We will be staying at sinchon. Would you recommend which ski resort most suitable for us where we can enjoy both ski (beginner) & sled activity?and experiencing build a snowman?
    For your info, there will be my niece (8-12 yrs) in this trip.i’ve read most of sled activity will be opened on mid dec. Do you know where is best place to play sled on early december?

    Higly appreciate for your recommendation & advice. Thank you!

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi Nurul, hmm that’s a tricky one. As you’ve already read, you’re probably going to be a bit too early for sledding at most resorts – the best chance would be to visit the higher resorts like Yongpyong or Alpensia, but those are further away. If you’re okay with travelling 3 hours each way, Alpensia might be your best bet.

  16. Rizza says:

    Hi Simon,

    Me and my mom are planning to go to Korea this December 22 – Jan 1. My mom is old but is willing to go to a ski resort and other activities. It’s our first time in Korea and first time for snow. We’ll enter Seoul and leave via Busan. Any recommendation on what ski resort for us? How many days should we a lot for Seoul and Busan? Thank you!

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi Rizza,

      Sounds like a nice plan. I really like Busan, but you probably only need 3 nights there, especially as you have 10 nights total. Seoul’s much bigger, with more to see.

      There’s a big ski resort between Seoul & Busan, Muju Deogyusan, so one suggestion would be e.g. Seoul 5 nights, Muju Deogyusan 2 nights, Busan 3 nights.

      Alternatively, base yourself in Seoul for a week with a side trip to a ski resort, then take the bullet train to Busan for the last few days. For this option you could do a day trip to one of the ski resorts near Seoul (Vivaldi Park or a Gyeonggi-do resort), or go for 1 or 2 nights to e.g. Yongpyong or Alpensia.

      Note that you’re going during the peak ski season, so it might be hard to get accommodation at the resorts. If you want to visit a resort for 1 or 2 nights, advise booking ASAP.

      You might be interested to see my travel blog too, it has some pages about Korea e.g. travel info, Seoul palaces, hiking.

      Hope this helps and let me know if you have any more questions.

      • Rizza says:

        Thanks Simon!

        You’ve suggested 3 nights in Busan, what places should we go there? I read that Busan is famous for their beaches, but it’s winter time, so what alternative places should we go to?

        • Simon Norton says:

          Actually, I’d still recommend going to the beach even in winter. Gwangnalli Beach has a famous view of the bridge which is lit up beautifully at night (I went recently, see pic here), and there are restaurants and cafes all along the beach road.

          I’d also recommend visiting Haedong Yonggungsa Temple & Jagalchi Market, and the Seomyeon area if you’re interested in a busy downtown shopping & entertainment district.

          • Rizza says:

            Hi Simon!

            After a short discussion with my mom about the ski resort, we decided for a day trip only. Maybe in Vivaldi or any possible day trip resort. As per your recommendation on Vivaldi, I’ve read from your blog about the free shuttle bus (?), would it be possible to avail it on late December (Maybe 28 or 29). I really have no idea about skiing, but I wanted to try ski lessons. Still deciding on whether to book a package tour or do a DIY (free shuttle, rent your own and pay for your own ski lessons). Any further recommendations?

            • Simon Norton says:

              Hi again Rizza,

              Yes you’ll be able to use the shuttle then, you just need to make the reservation on their site. But if you’re planning to rent ski equipment & wear and have a lesson, it works out cheaper to book a package; if you look here you can see the ‘ski lesson package’ for 90,000 won, which includes everything you need (if you pay for all those separately, it’s significantly more expensive) or the ‘ski beginner lesson package’ for 67,000. Meanwhile your mom could take the ‘gondola package’ for 12,500 won (the gondola’s 15,000 if you buy it there), and she can go up and enjoy the view from the cafe at the top. Feel free to ask if you have any more questions!

              • Rizza says:

                Thank you so much for response Simon ^^

                Here’s another question, since we are now thinking of Vivaldi or Elysian for the ski resort, which of the two has more to offer for non skiers? And has better view for pictures? Thank you!

                Oh and for the note, we will be doing the DMZ tour thanks to your blog! ^^

                • Simon Norton says:

                  Good idea, the DMZ’s fascinating.

                  I’d say Vivaldi’s better for non-skiers – Vivaldi Snowy Land’s better than the sledding at Elysian, the gondola’s more comfortable to ride and the view at the top’s better, and Vivaldi has more shops etc

  17. Benny says:

    Hi Simon,

    We plan to join the skiing lesson at Vivaldi Park and stay there for 3days 2 nights, but i contacted many travel agent, all replied the resort sold out. How can i reserve the resort?

    Total of us 6 (4adults and 2kids), check in 28Dec2018 check out 30Dec2018.

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