Travellers climbing Geumjeong-san (금정산; Geumjeong Mountain) expecting to see a fort will be disappointed because there isn’t one. Geumjeong Fortress consists of four gates and 17km of stone walls encircling 8 sq km of mountaintop. Not all is lost, though, because this is where you’ll find some of the city’s best hiking, and the opportunity to see Korean hikers sporting the very latest in alpine fashion. Most hikers start at Beomeo-sa or the Geumgang Park Cable Car.
Hikers looking for a sturdy workout begin at the northern leg of the trail, which is on the left side of Beomeo-sa. The steep walk to the main ridge takes about an hour. Follow the trail left and head to Bukmun (북문; North Gate). The 8.8km hike from Beomeo-sa to Nammun (남문; South Gate) is a comfortable walk with a couple of steep stretches.
The least arduous route is by cable car from Geumgang Park at the southern base of the mountain. From the mountaintop cable-car platform, it’s a 20-minute walk to the South Gate.