Elysian Gangchon Ski Resort

Elysian Gangchon piste map

(click to enlarge)

Elysian Gangchon is located in Gangwon-do province, but due to its excellent train connection to Seoul you can pretty much think of it as a local Seoul hill along with those in Gyeonggi-do province (in fact it’s even easier to get to than most of those, especially if your starting point is in northern Seoul); hence it’s listed here under both Gangwon-do and the Seoul area.

Elysian Gangchon ski slopes

It’s a fairly typical Korean resort, modest in stature and part of a larger resort concept including a golf course and some large hotel/condo developments, with excellent base facilities and good lift infrastructure. The flexible ticketing and ease of access from Seoul give it top marks for convenience.

Elysian Gangchon: the hill

Mountain stats
Highest lifted point: 260m
Lowest skiable point: 88m
Vertical drop: 172m
Lifts: 6
Runs: 8
Longest run: 1,500m (‘Dragon’)
Terrain park: yes (small)
Halfpipe: no

Homepage: English version (limited; piste map at bottom of page) and full Korean version

Elysian Gangchon ski resort

I like these handy little strapping-in perches they use in Korea! Also in this pic note the hillside golf course to the left, and the train station visible down the valley

Elysian offers 6 chairlifts, essentially all accessing the same top station from two base areas (Ski House and Challenge House); with a vertical drop of just 172m from the top, you roughly speaking have three short options down. Skier’s right takes you for a cruisy run down ‘Dragon’ & ‘Rabbit’ to the Challenge House base; the central option and skier’s left both go down to the main Ski House base, with a couple of route options each. The further over to the left you go, the more challenging the run; the ‘Jaguar’ run at far skier’s left is one of the few genuinely steep slopes in the Seoul area.

The terrain park, such as it is, is located under the central chairlift; it’s a rather humble effort and isn’t always maintained. Here it is looking rather sorry and unloved on a quiet March weekday:

Elysian Gangchon terrain park

Elysian Gangchon terrain park

For beginners, the bunny slopes ‘Panda’ and ‘Rabbit’ (with their own chairlifts) are at the Challenge House base; intermediates will probably be happiest starting with the ‘Dragon’ run from the top down to there, and progressing to the other side. Advanced riders will have the whole hill skied out several times over within a 4-hour ticket, and will be happiest on ‘Leopard’ and ‘Jaguar’ over towards the left boundary.

Elysian Gangchon is good for:

Convenience. It’s the most convenient Gangwon-do hill from Seoul (along with Vivaldi Park), and one of the most convenient Korean hills full stop.

Combining skiing with a more general sightseeing trip, especially for fans of Korean drama – Elysian Gangchon is near Gapyeong, home to the Petite France theme park and Nami Island (famous for the TV drama Winter Sonata)

Long hours – open until 5am at weekends!

Learners, and those progressing to intermediate.

Despite the small size, the runs & layout are actually quite well-designed and mix it up better than the other similarly sized resorts.

Flexible ticketing.

Elysian Gangchon is not so good for:

Size. Small even by Korean standards, it’s the smallest hill in Gangwon-do except tiny Alpensia.

Freestyle. Though there is a terrain park, it’s a bit of an afterthought.

Elysian Gangchon lift tickets

Elysian does well on this front, as your ticket runs from whenever you buy it rather than requiring you to start and finish at set times; prices start at 56,000 won for a 4-hour ticket. The only slight issue is the 90-minute snow grooming break from 17:30 – if you have unused time on your ticket, you can use it when the slopes re-open at 19:00, but to avoid a forced 90-minute break you should aim to start skiing by 13:30 at the latest.

They open at 9am and close at 5am(!) on Fridays, Saturdays, and holidays, and 3am on other days.

Elysian Gangchon: accommodation

If you want to stay at the resort itself, you can book Elysian Gangchon’s slopeside accommodation here

If you’re intending to ski at Elysian Gangchon as part of a visit to Gapyeong, you can search for Gapyeong hotel deals on Agoda; another option is to base yourself at one the hotels in the nearby city of Chuncheon (Gapyeong is a couple of subway stops before Elysian Gangchon, while Chuncheon is a few stops beyond it; see below for access details)

However, the majority of skiers will probably want to stay in Seoul and take the train out to the hill – for the best rates search Agoda for hotel deals in Seoul

Airbnb is also a great choice for Seoul or Chuncheon – hosts usually have it set up so you can arrive & check in by yourself without having to wait around or meet anyone, and the housing standards are decent with underfloor heating and excellent internet connections as standard. If you haven’t used Airbnb before, you can get a 35-dollar discount off your first rental by signing up through Snow Guide Korea; simply click on this link and register!

How to get to Elysian Gangchon

It’s easy to get there by train; Elysian is located about 2km from Baegyang-ri Station, with regular shuttle buses between the station and the resort.

Baegyang-ri Station is located on the Gyeongchun Line, which has two types of trains running on it. Regular subway trains run from Sangbong station (platform 5), stopping at all stations from there to the terminus at Chuncheon; it takes about 50 minutes from Sangbong to Baegyang-ri, plus however long it takes from your originating station to Sangbong, with the whole trip covered by one Metro fare. This is the cheaper option, but could take up to two hours depending where you start from.

The other type of train is the ITX-Cheongchun (ITX is ‘Intercity Train Express’), which starts from Yongsan Station in central Seoul and runs along a combination of the Jungang and Gyeongchun lines, making only limited stops; effectively it’s an express train, but not part of the Seoul Metro. It only takes an hour from Yongsan to Baegyang-ri by ITX, but costs 6,000 won and requires a separate ticket if you transfer from the subway to the ITX; for comparison, Yongsan to Baegyang-ri by Metro takes about an hour and 45 minutes, and costs 2,550 won.

You can board the ITX at Yongsan, Ichon, Oksu, Wangsimni, Cheongyangni, and Sangbong stations. If transferring from the subway, it isn’t necessary to go through the ticket barriers as the trains share the same tracks and stop at neighbouring platforms.

Here’s the Gyeongchun subway line platform at Cheongnyangni Station:

Transferring at Cheongnyangni for Elysian Gangchon

You can go directly up & over from there to the ITX platform without exiting the barriers. So don’t go this way:

Transferring at Cheongnyangni for Elysian Gangchon

But you do need to swipe out of the subway and buy an ITX ticket, so you need to find these machines (located on the platform or in the walkways between platforms):

Machines for transferring from Seoul Metro to ITX

These are specifically for transferring between subway & ITX; swipe your subway card on the transit card reader (the ones on the left in the above pic) to officially exit the Metro, and buy an ITX ticket from the Korail ticket machine (on the right in the above pic). When you swipe out of the Metro, do it on the right-side panel of the transit card reader:

Machines for switching from Seoul Metro to ITX

When going the other way (from ITX to subway), you can just swipe yourself into the Metro using the left-side panel on the transit card reader.

If you’re boarding the ITX without riding the Metro first, just buy your ticket from a counter or machine on the station concourse as usual. The train will be announced as bound for Chuncheon, the final stop; Baegyang-ri is a couple of stops before Chuncheon.

The ITX doesn’t stop at Baegyang-ri year-round though; it’s only included as a stop from mid-December to early March, and only for some trains, so check the schedule on the Korail website. If you go very late or early in the season, the ITX may not be an option.

Once at Baegyang-ri, the shuttle bus (or a minivan in less busy periods) pulls up and waits on the road just outside exit 1; it’s free of charge, runs every 20 minutes, and can drop you at the main Ski House base or the Challenge House base (the latter being where beginners should go).

Elysian Gangchon also operates resort shuttle buses directly to / from various points in Seoul, free of charge; when heading home in the evening, it’s simple enough to jump on one of these from the shuttle bus stops outside the Ski House base (there’s a small shuttle bus office in the parking area there, but with limited English spoken by the staff present when I went to make enquiries). It takes 2.5 hours from Elysian to Myeongdong; buses also go to Dongdaemun, Seoul Station, Hongdae, Gangnam, Jamsil, Jongno, and points between. Unfortunately, to take one of these buses to the mountain in the morning requires a reservation, and the only way I could establish for making one without Korean language ability is to have a Korean-speaker do it for you. Therefore my advice is go there by train, and return either by train again, or by shuttle bus if the time suits you (departure was 6pm in the 2016-17 season).

Typically impressive base facilities at Elysian Gangchon:

Elysian Gangchon cafeteria

Elysian Gangchon cafeteria

Any questions about Elysian Gangchon? Leave a comment below!

For more Seoul area ski resorts, see here; for more Gangwon-do resorts, see here; for full reviews of every Korean ski resort, see here

Also check out the best Korean ski resorts according to various criteria, and this size comparison of Korea’s ski resorts using satellite imagery

If you’re visiting before/during the Olympics, see the top 5 hills to ski at during Pyeongchang 2018, and for more information and the latest updates on Pyeongchang 2018 see here


22 comments on “Elysian Gangchon Ski Resort
  1. Joan says:

    Hi! I would like to know when will you open this 2017. Me and my friends are planning to visit Korea this November 20 to 25. Thank you

  2. Sarah says:

    Hi,
    I would like to know the shuttle bus time table from baegyangri station to elysian ski resort as i plan to go to nami island first before elysian. Or if i cab opt for taxi, how much is the cost from baegyangri station to elysian ski park.
    Tq

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi Sarah, there’s no fixed schedule as such, the shuttle bus just runs back & forth every 20 minutes from the station to the resort. There aren’t any taxis around there – if you’re worried about time you could pre-book one to pick you up from the station at a fixed time, but you should be fine just using the shuttle bus.

      Let me know if you have any more questions, and have a great trip!

  3. Nurhidayah says:

    Hi! I want to go back to Seoul from the resort via the ITX, how do I leave the resort? Where do I wait for the bus to the ITX?

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi, the shuttle bus stops outside the two base areas. The same place you get off when arriving, you can get on again when leaving. If you’re not sure, just ask a staff member

  4. hidayah says:

    Also, is Baeyangri station and gongchan station the same thing? haha i am quite confused as I cannot book an itx ticket online baack to yongsan (SEOUL) from baeyangri but I can do so from gongchan

    • Simon Norton says:

      Gongchan is the next station after Baegangri. What date are you trying to book? The ITX only stops at Baegangri for a limited period each winter, so if you’re looking in March it won’t be possible (in that case you can still go to Elysian, you just have to use the slower Metro train instead of ITX)

      • hidayah says:

        I’m going probably on Jan 24

        • Simon Norton says:

          oh, well in that case the ITX should definitely be available from Baegangri. If you’re unable to book it online, it must be a problem with the website. But you don’t need to worry too much about making advanced online reservations for the ITX – you can also just buy the tickets in person at Yongsan Station (maybe a day or 2 before, if you have time and you’d like to book ahead). And if for some reason you can’t, you wouldn’t be stuck because you can still take the slower train.

  5. mars says:

    are there still snow or ski on March 18, 2018?

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi, the resorts haven’t announced their closing dates yet as it’s still too early in the season, but I would expect Elysian to still be open on March 18th. Please note that I can’t guarantee this, so do check again closer to the time.

  6. Janine says:

    Hi. I plan to ski at Elysian Ski Resort this February 2018. Is reservation required? Thank you

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi Janine, if you’re just going to ski then no reservation necessary. Obviously if you want to stay there you’ll need an accommodation reservation, but that’s all. Have a great trip!

  7. Vicky G says:

    Hi

    I am visiting Seoul with my family in 2nd week of Feb. Could you please tell me if kids under 7years can Ski at Elysian Resort?
    If not then which other resort would you recommend for that age.
    My kids are (4yrs and 6yrs) of age.
    Also I saw some pictures of Elysian with marshy mud on ice, is it really that dirty?

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi Vicky, I’m afraid I don’t know what the rules are regarding minimum ages at Elysian. Can your kids already ski? If so, I can’t imagine there’d be a problem. However, if you’re talking about them taking lessons, I’m fairly sure that 4 years is too young (I used to be an instructor in Canada, and the minimum age was 5).

      I guess 6 years is probably old enough, but I don’t know this for sure. You’ll need to contact Elysian directly for a definite answer (send them a message via their facebook page – the link is at the bottom of their homepage). If your kids aren’t allowed to ski, you can do snow sledding instead.

      The snow condition should still be good in February, the muddy conditions happen later on in spring. Hope you have a great trip!

  8. Nike Dattani says:

    Here: http://elysian.co.kr/global/eng/index.asp there is a window that says there’s a special discount for people who show their ITX ticket: 49,000 KRW for 6 hours including (?) ski rental. Without ITX ticket it is 66,000 KRW for lift and 38,000 for rental. But the ITX just costs 5,800 so why are they giving such a HUGE discount ?? Can I trust this discount offer I’m seeing? I messaged them at their FB page but they haven’t replied yet. I want to go tomorrow. Has anyone used this discount or heard of this discount? Is it legitimate? Is it really 6 hours of skiing + rental included, for only 49,000 KRW ? Can it be any 6 hours or only morning 6 hours?

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi Nike,

      Sorry, I can’t see the window you mentioned… but if you do go tomorrow, please let me know if you’re able to get this discount so I can update the page for other readers!

  9. Nurul says:

    Hi,

    I’ll be going to Korea by end of February.
    I would like to know:
    1. What is the easiest way to go to Elysian from Nami Island?
    2. After Elysian, I will be staying somewhere in Gangchon-ro, Namsan-myeon. What is the easiest transportation to go to Gangchon-ro?

    Thank you

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi Nurul,

      You can use the Gyeongchun Line of Seoul Metro. Nami Island is near Gapyeong Station, which is 2 stops before Baegangri. From Gapyeong you need to take a taxi or local bus to Nami Island, but I’m not sure of the details. From Baegangri, you just hop on the Elysian shuttle bus to the resort.

      After that, Gangchon Station is one more stop after Baegangri, and it sounds like your accommodation is near there (but please make sure to double check that). You might be able to walk from the station, or you might need a taxi, I’m not sure.

      You could also just use taxis for all of it, the distances aren’t far (but obviously the train’s cheaper)

      Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any more questions

  10. nadia malek says:

    haii

    i need to know the resort still open on 11 march 2018

    tq

    • Simon Norton says:

      Hi Nadia,

      I think they’ll still be open then, I guess they’ll close in late March – they haven’t officially announced their closing date yet though, so please keep checking their homepage

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