Last updated on September 5th, 2022
Skiing in Korea – There’s no better way to spend the chilly winter months in the country! As the days get cooler, and Korea’s ski season starts approaching, there’s excitement in the air.
The country provides several entertaining options to keep you occupied throughout the winter season and one of them is skiing at some of the best ski resorts in Korea.
This guide details 12 of the best Korea ski resorts near Seoul and what to expect for your first time skiing in Korea. I’ve also included tips on how to plan your ski trip, packing lists, and so much more!
When to go Skiing in Korea
The winter season runs from late November until early April, making a ski trip one of the must-do activities on any South Korea winter itinerary.
Many of the ski resorts in Korea are open from the beginning of December until late March, but peak ski time is during January and February when schools are on their winter break.
It’s also coldest during this time, with a greater chance of snowfall – but this also means busier slopes!
Planning Your Trip to Ski in Korea
You’re probably wondering, “Are there any ski resorts in Seoul?” Unfortunately, there aren’t.
But, most of the best Korea ski resorts are found within an hour or two of the capital city.
Doing a skiing day trip from Seoul will be easier on your pocket and also allows you to explore a variety of ski parks in Korea instead of just one.
Best Korea Ski Packages
I prefer to travel independently and avoid group tours if possible.
Trust me on this one. I personally booked all my ski tours through them as they are the most affordable and reliable tour operators in Korea.
Both Klook and Trazy offer massive discounts to foreigners. Just take a look at the affordable prices here! You can customize your tour package depending on whether you’re looking for a return shuttle service, gear rentals, or an all-inclusive Korea ski package.
Skiing in Seoul
Many ski resorts near Seoul can be accessed via public transport or shuttles provided by the ski resort. These often depart from the Myeongdong district of Seoul.
But most of the information online is in Korean, and it can be overwhelming. As a foreigner, you will struggle to plan your ski trip, so I highly recommend booking a tour instead.
Skiing Near Seoul, Korea: The Reality
Korea has stepped up its game since hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics. Since then, the country has been put on the map as one of the leading ski destinations in Asia.
It’s a great place for beginners to learn how to ski before heading to the bigger (and better) slopes of Japan, Europe, or America.
But you need to manage your expectations before visiting these ski resorts near Seoul. If you’re an advanced skier, you may be disappointed.
Here’s what to expect when skiing in South Korea for the first time.
1. Snow quality of Korea skiing resorts
Unfortunately, the quality of snow in Korea is nothing compared to that of Europe, the USA, and Japan.
Despite what you may read, there isn’t much natural snow!
The slopes are mostly made of artificial snow, and they can get icy in some areas.
Don’t get me wrong, if you’ve never skied before, you’ll love it here. But if you’re an experienced skier, you would have seen better elsewhere!
2. Slope variety
Korea’s ski resorts are much smaller than what you may be used to, so don’t expect long runs. There also isn’t much variety, so you might get bored after a day or two.
This is why I don’t recommend that you base yourself at one ski resort in Korea for the duration of your stay. Instead, visit at least 3 of the below ski resorts near Seoul and do day trips to each of them.
3. Crowds of ski resorts near Seoul
Skiing is one of the most popular winter activities in Korea.
Come the weekend, everyone (and their dog) heads to the countryside to spend the day on the slopes. If you’re going skiing in Korea on a weekend, be prepared for queues at the ski lifts and crowded slopes.
To avoid this, try to go skiing during the week or even on a Sunday when it’s quieter.
Everything in Korea operates like clockwork. It’s one of the many things I love about living here!
And this filters through to all aspects of the country, including the ski resorts in Seoul.
Fast, high-tech lifts, large gondolas, safety crew patrolling the slopes. This means you won’t have to wait in long queues (unless it’s super crowded).
5. Food and Restaurants
Most restaurants at ski resorts in South Korea offer a mixture of western and Korean food. But the western food choices are often limited so be prepared to eat bibimbap for breakfast, as I did!
Also, if you’re backpacking Korea and you just want to enjoy a few drinks on the slopes (as is common in Europe), think again.
There aren’t any outdoor bars with music, and the vibe isn’t much to write home about. Hence, it’s best to spend the day on the slopes and head back to Seoul after.
Top 12 Best Korea Ski Resorts Near Seoul
Gangwon-do Province, on the east of Seoul, is home to the highest concentration of Korea skiing resorts. These can easily be accessed on a day trip from the capital.
However, as you venture further out of the city, you’ll find bigger ski resorts with better quality snow and fewer crowds.
Here’s my list of the best places to go skiing in Korea!
Yongpyong Ski Resort: The Overall Best Ski Resort in Korea
Yongpyong Ski Resort is arguably the best ski resort in Korea.
Not only was it home to the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, but it also has the longest slope in the country. Yongpyong Ski Resort also receives the most snowfall.
The park allows for a fun day in the snow as it has a large variety of slopes and caters to all levels, from beginners to those who are more advanced.
Due to its prime location, it operates longer than most Korea ski resorts. (Late November until April)
Yongpyong Ski Resort at a glance
- Distance from Seoul: 3 hours | 150 km
- Yongpyong Ski Tour: Shuttle service from Seoul to Yongpyong
- Number of slopes: 28
- Longest slope length: 5 600m
- Best for: More experienced skiers and snowboarders
- Cons: Further from Seoul than most other ski resorts in Korea
High1 Ski Resort: The Best Korea Ski Resort For Beginners
High1 Ski Resort is another one of the best ski resorts in Korea. It’s only matched by Yongpyong in terms of its size and slope variety.
With long, wide slopes, it’s perfect for the whole family and is a great place for beginners learning how to ski.
Because of the size of the ski park, the slopes are not as crowded, and there are very few queues for the ski lifts.
I spent 2 days at the resort, and here’s my detailed travel guide to skiing at High 1.
High 1 Ski Resort at a glance
- Location from Seoul: 3 hours | 170km
- Best tour: 1 Day Ski Package
- Number of slopes: 18
- Longest slope length: 2 300m
- Best for: Skiers and snowboarders of all levels, great for the whole family
- Cons: Longer drive from Seoul than most other ski resorts in Korea
Vivaldi Park: Best Ski Resort near Seoul for Families
Vivaldi Ski Park is the most visited ski park in Korea, but with that title comes the large crowds and queues on all slopes. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!
What makes Vivaldi such a great resort to visit in Korea is its close proximity to Seoul as well as its state-of-the-art facilities, which are constantly upgraded.
Each slope at Vivaldi Park is identified by a funky slope name, such as Jazz, Reggae, and Techno. Accompanying each of these slopes is music that is played throughout the course, related to the name.
Vivaldi is a trendy ski park with a family-friendly snow zone, Snowyland, which will keep your kids busy for hours on end.
I visited Vivaldi at the beginning of December, hoping for less crowded slopes, and I suggest you do the same. Here’s my review of Vivaldi Ski Resort near Seoul.
Vivaldi Park at a glance
- Distance from Seoul: 2 hours | 90km
- Number of slopes: 12
- Longest slope length: 900m
- Best for: Couples, young adults, and families
- Cons: Crowded slopes on weekends
- Where to stay: Sono Felice Vivaldi Park
Vivaldi Park ski packages
- Vivaldi Park Snowyland (The kids will love this tour)
- Vivaldi Ski Lift Pass and Equipment Rental
- Seoul to Vivaldi Shuttle Bus
- 1 Day Ski Package
Oak Valley Ski Resort
Oak Valley Ski Resort is a less commercial ski park compared to other South Korea ski resorts.
It prides itself on being a premium ski park for the whole family and lives up to this reputation with great facilities and signage in both Korean and English.
The beginner slopes are long and wide, and it’s a great place to try your hand at snowboarding.
Here’s my detailed guide to Oak Valley, including my thoughts on how it compares to other ski resorts in Korea.
Oak Valley at a glance
- Distance from Seoul: Under 2 hours | 100km
- Number of slopes: 9
- Longest slope length: 1 600m
- Best for: Beginners learning to ski in Korea, foreigner-friendly
- Cons: Limited slope variety for those with more experience
Oak Valley Ski packages
- Oak Valley Ski Day Tour (Including rout-trip transfer, lift pass, and ski equipment)
Bears Town Ski Resort: Best Ski Resort near Seoul
Bears Town Ski Resort may be one of the lesser-known parks in Korea, but it’s also one of the closest ski resorts to Seoul.
I spent a day here, and it was one of my favorite ski resorts in Korea.
In my opinion, Bears Town is perfect for beginners as the slopes are long and wide, with a gradual incline. This makes it a great place for those learning to ski or snowboard near Seoul.
Bears Town Ski Resort at a glance
- Location from Seoul: 1.5 hours | 50km
- Best tour: 1 Day Ski Package
- Number of slopes: 11
- Longest slope length: 2 500m
- Best for: Beginners and more advanced snowboarders, a quick day trip from Seoul
- Cons: Limited number of slopes
Phoenix Ski Park: The Best Place to Go Snowboarding in Korea
Phoenix Ski Park is another top ski park in Korea, located near Yongpyong Ski Resort in Gangwon Province. Spread over two peaks, it offers a wide variety of slopes and top-class facilities, including a 5-star hotel.
Phoenix was home to freestyle skiing and snowboarding events in the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics and has made a name for itself as a snowboarding hotspot in Korea.
It sits at a lower elevation than Yongpyong and High1 and so the park relies heavily on artificial snow.
Phoenix Ski Resort at a glance
- Distance from Seoul: 2.5 hours | 150km
- Best tour: 1 Day Ski Package
- Number of slopes: 21
- Longest slope length: 2 400m
- Best for: Freestyle snowboarding
- Cons: Slightly further from Seoul than other Korea ski resorts
Alpensia Ski Resort
Located a stone’s throw away from Yongpyong Ski Resort, Alpensia was home to the ski jump event during the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.
It’s quite a bit smaller than its neighbor, Yongpyong (which is my favorite Korea ski resort), but still offers top-class facilities.
If you’re planning on spending the weekend in Pyeongchang, it’s best to pair a trip to Alpensia Ski Resort with Yongpyong Ski Resort.
Alpensia Ski Resort at a glance
- Distance from Seoul: 3 hours | 150km
- Number of slopes: 6
- Longest slope length: 1 350m
- Best for: Beginners as it’s less crowded than Yongpyong and Phoenix Ski Park
- Cons: Only 6 slopes available so not very attractive for advanced skiers
- Best tour: 1 Day Ski Package
Elysian Gangchon: Closest Korea Ski Resort to Seoul
Elysian Ski Resort is great for beginners looking to learn how to ski in Korea.
The slopes at Elysian Ski Resort aren’t too long, and the park is pretty small, so it’s not recommended for more advanced skiers.
Elysian Ski Resort at a glance
- Location from Seoul: 1.5 hours | 60km
- Number of Slopes: 8
- Longest slope length: 1500 m
- Best for: Beginners, those wanting to visit Nami Island
- Cons: Small ski park, gets crowded and busy
- Best tour: 1 Day Ski Package
Jisan Forest Ski Resort
Jisan Ski Resort is another one of the most popular ski resorts near Seoul as it’s a quick drive from the capital city
It gets quite busy over the weekend and is recommended for those who are learning to ski as the park is rather small.
You can also pair a trip to Jisan Ski Resort with Everland as they are not too far from each other.
Jisan Ski Resort at a glance
- Location from Seoul: 1 hour | 56km
- Number of slopes: 7
- Best for: Beginners, close to Everland
- Cons: Busy on weekends, small ski park
Jisan Ski Resort Packages
Konjiam: Another Top Ski Resort near Seoul
If you’re looking to go skiing near Seoul, Konjiam is the perfect getaway as it’s a 45-minute drive.
The resort offers 11 superb slopes but the unique selling point is the number of skiers permitted. At a limit of 7 000 visitors per day, Konjiam Resort doesn’t get too crowded.
Konjiam Resort at a glance
- Distance from Seoul: Less than an hour | 40km
- Number of slopes: 11
- Longest slope length: 1 400m
- Best for: a quick trip from Seoul
- Cons: Small ski park with mostly artificial snow
Welli Hill Snow Park
Welli Hilli Snow Park is located near Oak Valley and is one of the few ski resorts in Korea with a halfpipe.
Welli Hilli Park at a glance
- Distance from Seoul: 2 hours | 100km
- Number of slopes: 19
- Longest slope length: 2 600m
- Best for: epic freestyle hill for advanced skiers
- Cons: downhill skiing not as impressive as other Seoul ski resorts
Welli Hilli Ski Packages
Muju Deogyusan Ski Resort: Best skiing south of Seoul
Muju is a great option for those living south of Seoul. It’s one of the 3 biggest ski resorts in Korea, alongside High1 and Yongpyong.
Unfortunately, it’s not one of the closest ski resorts to Seoul, and hence it’s ranked 12 on my list of best ski resorts near Seoul.
Because it lies towards the center of the country where it’s slightly warmer, Muju relies heavily on artificial snow and it can get quite icy in parts.
Muju Ski Resort at a glance
- Distance from Seoul: 3 hours | 200km
- Number of slopes: 22
- Longest slope length: 4 300m
- Best for: People living south of Seoul
- Cons: If you’re coming from Seoul, it’s a far drive and Yongpyong and High1 are better options
Tips for visiting Korea Ski Resorts
- The winters in Korea are harsh and freezing cold. Make sure you come prepared and include lots of warm clothes in your Korea packing list.
- There are lockers available at the ski resort to keep your valuables safe.
- Take cash or your bank card with you on the slopes as there are restaurants and cafes throughout the park.
- If you’re joining a ski tour, don’t be late as they will leave without you!
- If you’ve never been skiing or snowboarding, you can book an hour lesson with an English-speaking instructor.
What to Pack When Visiting Ski Resorts in Korea
If you don’t have the below items, don’t stress! There are ski shops at the resorts where you can buy everything you need.
- Thick socks (bring a pair for after as they will get wet)
- Scarf or buff
- Beanie or warm hat
- Sunglasses or goggles (Check if your tour operator can provide goggles)
- Thermal underwear to wear beneath your ski clothes
- Gloves (you can purchase these at the resorts)
- Extra pair of clothes to change into after
- Hot packs
- Lip balm and sunscreen
What Ski Tour Operators Will Provide
Be sure to check with your tour operator that the below is included in your ski package.
If you’re planning your trip independently, it’s best to hire the below equipment from a ski shop en route to the resort.
- Waterproof ski jacket and pants
- Ski boots
- Helmet (confirm this with your tour operator)
- Ski poles
- Ski’s or snowboard
- Ski passes
Does Korea have good skiing?
There are lots of great places to go skiing in Korea. But it’s not the best skiing in the world and is better suited for beginners.
Is skiing expensive in Korea?
No, skiing is not expensive in Korea. A day tour costs on average $80 per person (90 000 KRW), which includes return transfers, lift passes, and equipment rental.
Where is the best skiing in Korea?
Yongpyong Ski Resort is regarded as the best place to ski in Korea. But there are many other places to ski near Seoul, including Oak Valley and Bears Town Ski Resort.
Overall Thoughts on the Best Korea Ski Resorts Near Seoul in 2022
Before I moved to Korea, I knew little about the country. But after each and every day, I fell more in love with what it has to offer.
No, I wouldn’t come to Korea just to ski! But by spending a few days on the slopes, eating the delicious food (Korean BBQ is my favorite), exploring Seoul, checking out Jeju Island (The so-called “Hawaii of Korea”), and getting to know the Korean culture, you’ll make it a trip to remember!
Looking for more Korea travel information? Check out my other posts!
- The Ultimate Guide to Hiking Bukhansan Mountain in Seoul
- Jimjilbangs in Korea: 10 Things You Need To Know About Korean Saunas
- 24 Strange Things About Life In Korea
- Why Gangchon Rail Bike Is A Must Do
- Getting Lasek/Lasik In Korea
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