High1 Ski Resort is one of the largest ski parks in Korea. With the winter season coming to an end, I wanted to see what all the hype was about and if High1 Resort really is all it’s made out to be.
Having already visited various ski destinations in Korea including Vivaldi, Oak Valley and my favorite, Bears Town, I’ve discovered that the ski parks here are generally limited in size, and they are often very crowded. But coming from sunny South Africa, I had a “take what you can get” attitude. Any form of skiing, no matter how good or bad, was something I was not used to.
About High1 Ski Resort, Korea
High1 Ski Resort lies 3 hours east of Seoul in Gangwon Province. Unlike Vivaldi Park and Oak Valley, it is a bit further from the capital city. However, what’s waiting for you when you arrive is worth the time it takes to get there.
High1 has the highest elevation in the country and offers the best ski slopes I’ve come across in Korea.
It’s a much larger resort compared to other ski parks in Korea, covering 3 mountain peaks. It offers something for the whole family, including many kiddie slopes and snow sledding, saunas, a casino and numerous hiking trails.
The Ski Park
High1 Ski Resort is said to have more powdery snow than any other ski park in Korea. But after spending 2 days on the slopes, I found the actual quality of the snow was no better than the other resorts I’ve visited. Most of the ski slopes are made of artificial snow and as a result, there are a few icy patches.
What sets High1 Ski Resort apart from the others is the dynamic ski park, with many long runs and slope varieties. But there is no escaping the crowds and so you will have to bite the bullet and do your best to avoid any collisions!
The ski park itself is easy to navigate but it’s best you take a High1 ski map from the Mountain Ski House before you hit the slopes.
The Mountain Top offers exceptional views of the surrounding mountain ranges as well as many picturesque photo opportunity spots. Halfway up the mountain is the Valley Hub where you can grab some lunch and take a rest before heading back up to the peak or down the slopes again.
The Slopes At High1 Ski Resort
High1 is made up of 18 slopes covering a total area of 21 km. Moving between the slopes is easy with the 3 gondolas and 7 ski lifts. Despite the crowds, there was no waiting time to get on any of the ski lifts but the gondola leading to the Mountain Top was certainly the most popular.
The beginner slopes at High1 Ski Resort are long and wide which is perfect for those just starting out. There’s a variety of these slopes for newbies to choose from, each with their own ski lifts.
The intermediate slopes offer a long, fun ride. These tend to be a bit crowded in places and empty in others but altogether it will test your abilities and allow for a 3.8km downhill ski.
High1 Ski Resort has a number of advanced and expert slopes but these aren’t very popular as they were all very steep. Experienced skiers and snowboarders will enjoy the emptiness of these slopes!
The Facilities at High1 Resort
Yet again I’m amazed by the efficiency of Korean systems in general. High1 resort is extremely foreigner friendly with all facilities, from restaurants to rental shops, being clearly marked.
The High1 staff are able to assist in English and if you need further assistance, there is a foreigner desk at the entrance. This was specifically helpful to me as I was traveling alone and had no idea where anything was.
Lockers are also available for rent. Small lockers cost 1 000 won but if you have large luggage, you can rent a bigger locker for 3 000 won. Also, you can lock up your ski’s overnight for 1 000 won.
How many days to spend at High1
Unfortunately, there are no budget friendly motels or hostels near High1 Resort in Korea. (If there are, they aren’t easy for foreigners to find or make reservations at.) Therefore, the only options are to book a condominium or hotel near the resort, which can be quite pricey.
I decided to spend the night at High1 Resort, but if you’re looking for a budget option, I’d recommend that you opt for a day trip instead. Yes, the drive is long but you can sleep the entire way there and back, and you’ll still have over 6 hours on the slopes.
But, if you’re a ski fanatic, and are willing to pay a premium for accommodation, then an overnight stay is for you!
High1 Ski Prices
Booking a trip to High1 is so much easier if you can read Korean! But if, like me, you can’t, I suggest you book a tour package through a foreigner friendly tour group such as Trazy, Klook or Koreal Trip.
For a 1 day ski package from Seoul to High1 Resort, expect to pay between $110-$130. This will cover your transportation, full day lift pass and ski/snowboard rental. Glasses, gloves and helmets are an additional cost.
An overnight trip will cost $230 which includes all of the above for 2 days, as well as 1 nights accommodation at Kangwonland Hotel.
Alternatively, you can book a shuttle here from Seoul to High1. The trip will take you approximately 3 hours (if you leave from the Sports Complex pick up). A one way ticket will cost you 23 000 won ($20).
A full day lift pass costs 72 000 won ($65) and equipment rental is 28 000 won ($25). For more details on these prices, check out High1’s website.
Ski jackets and pants are available for rent at the ski park for 20 000 won ($18) per day. Unfortunately, ski goggles cannot be rented from the resort so you would need to purchase a pair from the ski shop on site.
There is a 40% foreigner discount offered on lift passes and equipment rental if you provide either your ARC or passport. This discount isn’t advertised but you can get your coupon from the foreigner’s desk.
How To Get From Seoul To High1 Ski Resort in Korea
It’s best to take a pre-booked shuttle from Seoul to High1. I was told that it’s a 4-hour drive from Seoul, but in fact, it’s only 3 hours. That’s if you take the direct route from Sports Complex and don’t stop off at numerous points (as we did with my tour group).
After the shuttle fetched me at 08:00 from Myeongdong, it made its way to the Sports Complex pick up. Here we changed busses. This bus left at 9:00 and arrived at High1 before 12. If you choose to do a day trip only, I’d advise you book the earlier bus so that you’re able to hit the slopes by 09:30.
If possile, meet the bus directly at Sports Complex and as a result, you’ll enjoy a shorter trip.
Shuttle Service Around The Resort
If you choose to visit High1 for the day, you won’t need to leave the ski resort.
However, if you’re spending the night at a hotel or need to get to town, there is a free shuttle that runs from the Mountain Ski House to various drop off points in the area. This includes Kangwonland Hotel and Casino as well as Gohan Station.
Kangwonland Hotel At High1 Ski Resort
As I arrived at 12:00, I decided to spend the night in order to maximize my time on the slopes. I treated myself and stayed at the 5* Kangwonland Hotel. However, I wasn’t spoilt for choice. Kangwonland Hotel was my only option as everything else I found in the area worked out to be similarly priced.
The hotel was luxurious indeed. After 8 months of living in Korea, and adapting to their small living areas, I had finally come across a “normal” room and bathroom. My normal!
Firstly, the bathroom wasn’t a wetroom. It had a bath (YES) and big white towels. If you’ve lived in Korea you would understand my excitement. The bed was amazing and surprisingly it wasn’t as hard as you would find at most motels.
At around 10 pm there was a fireworks display right outside my window which was totally unnecessary but beautiful at the same time.
Kangwonland Hotel is home to a casino which attracts many Koreans and foreigners alike. There are a few restaurants and room service is also available. I’d just splurged on the room and so I had to count my pennies and decided to have ramen for dinner instead. Considering the average meal at the restaurant cost over 35 000 won ($30), I think my 2 000 won ramen was great value for money!
Overall thoughts on High1 Ski Resort
If you’re a regular skier or snowboarder, High1 Ski Resort in Korea should definitely be on your list of resorts to visit. It’s a much bigger ski park compared to those closer to Seoul offering fun runs for all levels.
Practical Information about visiting High1
- Costs: $120 for a day trip
- Distance from Seoul: 3 hour drive
- Time needed: Full day
- Best time to go: During the week when it’s less busy
Looking for more Korea travel information? Check out my other posts:
- A Guide to Oak Valley Ski Resort in Korea
- Vivaldi Ski Park in Korea: A Day on The Slopes
- A Day At Bears Town Ski Resort In Korea
- Things To Do in Jeju: 5 Day Itinerary
- How to eat a Korean BBQ (Like a Korean)