Star Hill Resort is a real local hill located on Cheonmasan in Gyeonggi-do province, just northeast of Seoul. With just a handful of lifts and runs this is as small as it gets, and it doesn’t have the usual condo-golf-water-park mega-development at the base (though the hotel there is actually still pretty big!)
The hill seems to be popular with local schools and ski clubs for their training, but it doesn’t get the crowds you see elsewhere and doesn’t run shuttle buses. If you’re in northeast Seoul and have a car it’s a convenient hill, but otherwise the access isn’t great (see below for access details)
Homepage (Korean only) and piste map:
One thing I did like about it was the gradient; although hardly anything extreme, Star Hill probably has the steepest overall gradient of the hills near Seoul. There’s no park though, so this hill really is just about short but reasonably steep groomers – perhaps hence the popularity with ski clubs.
Star Hill is good for:
Steepest overall gradient in the Seoul area.
Star Hill is not so good for:
Size. It’s tiny!
Freestyle – there’s no park.
Lift infrastructure; while most Korean resorts are all gondolas and high speed detachable quads, Star Hill’s lifts are slower fixed-grip chairs.
No English website (snowguidekorea to the rescue!)
Star Hill lift tickets
Star Hill follows the standard model in Korea, with passes available for AM, PM, and Night blocks, both individually and in combination, with a 90-minute snow grooming break at 5pm.
Star Hill is open from 10am to midnight.
Details are listed on their site here (it’s the one page on the site with an ‘English’ button!), and here’s the 2017 season information as displayed at the ticket windows:
Star Hill: accommodation
If you want to stay at Star Hill’s hotel, it doesn’t appear to be possible to book online; the information is on their website here, with the phone number at the bottom.
Otherwise, just stay in Seoul and take the bus or Metro to the hill: search for hotel deals in Seoul
Airbnb is also a great choice for Seoul – 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 Star Hill
You can take the subway to Cheonmasan Station on the Gyeongchun Line, then either walk (see map below) for 20 minutes or so, or drop a few thousand won on a taxi.
Coming out of the exit on the north side of the station, turn left along this road:
After a few hundred metres, turn right at this church:
When you reach the main intersection with Ediya Coffee and a GS25 store on the corners, turn right up Meokgat-ro. Follow it round to the left at the top, then head up the access road to Star Hill.
Alternatively you can go by bus; take the number M2316 express bus from the underground bus transfer centre in the Lotte World labyrinth at Jamsil Station. Follow the signs to find this place:
The bus numbers are shown on screens with the departure time & platform. It’s usually platform 5, but obviously this may change so check the screens. It takes 30 minutes and costs 2,400 won, but if you use your T-Money card to transfer from the subway it calculates a discounted combined fare; get off at the Cheonmasan Rest Area stop (천마산 휴게소, Cheonmasan Hyugeso), it’s the first stop after Jamsil but make sure the driver knows you want to get off there (there’s a buzzer you’re supposed to press to signal the driver). The stop’s directly in front of this building:
Again, from there either walk up to Star Hill (15 minutes, see map) or jump in a cab. From the stop, simply head north on Meokgat-ro and follow it up to the Star Hill access road.
Going to Jamsil then taking the bus will be faster than taking the subway, unless your starting point is in northeast Seoul.
Despite being much smaller than at other Korean resorts, the base area still has good facilities and easy-to-use ticketing machines (with English) in the cafeteria:
Any questions about Star Hill Resort? Leave a comment below!