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Best Hiking Trails in North Korea

Overview

Mostly closed off to visitors, North Korea contains beautiful mountain landscapes that could make this a great hiking destination were it open to foreigners.  The Baekdudaegan mountains offer up plenty of hiking possibilities but currently the main areas available for hiking are Mount Paekdu (shared with China), Mount Myohyang and Mount Kumgang.  One must go with an organized tour to these areas. The best months to hike in North Korea are April to October. Read on for more information on hiking in North Korea.

Capital: Pyongyang

When To Hike in North Korea?

April – October: For the north, May – September are the best months (June – August are rainy). For the south, April – June and September – October are ideal, as July – August are rainy.
October – April/November – March: Too cold

Climate: Continental: Cold in winter, hot in summer.  Winds from Siberia. Affected by Asian monsoon – opposite of Mediterranean climate (dry in winter, rainy in summer). Can be windy (particularly in spring). 

 

North Korea Monthly Weather

Accessibility of Hiking

Very Hard:  To enter the country, one needs a permit, go with an organized tour and visit only approved sights.  Quite expensive.

Most popular hikes in North Korea

Baekdudaegan is the mountain system that basically runs the length of the peninsula from Paekdusan in the northern border of North Korea to the south of South Korea – there’s many branches off this main ridge. Highest Mountain: Paekdusan (2744 m); on the northern border with China, shared with China. The main areas that are possible for a visitor to hike in are highlighted in the map.

Filter out hiking places of North Korea by month

Click on the red map pointers to see more info.

Mount Myohyang

  • Apr – June; Sept – Oct

Mt Kumgang National Park

  • Apr – June; Sept – Oct

Paekdusan

  • May – Sept
  • Site of the stunning Heaven Lake, shared with China

Long Distance Trails of North Korea

  • There are tour companies offering multi-day treks in the moutnains

North Korea's Walking & Hiking Resources

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North Korea Hiking Books: 

  • North Korea: Bradt Travel Guide, by Henry Marr, 2018, Bradt Travel Guides – https://amzn.to/3TCdXoD
  • North Korea Baekdu Daegan, by Roger Shepherd, 2019, Independently published – https://amzn.to/49gWtEj
  • Lonely Planet Korea, by  Damian Harper, MaSovaida Morgan, Thomas O’Malley, Phillip Tang, Rob Whyte, 2021, Lonely Planet Publications – section on North Korea – https://amzn.to/3xfiXrM
  • Rough Guide to Korea (Travel Guide eBook), by Rough Guides, 2018, published by APA Publications – has a section on North Korea – https://amzn.to/3xfumbc

 

Best Hiking Trails in North Korea:

You can find more details on hiking these trails from trail maps/apps, and tour companies:

  • Mount Paekdu
  • Mount Myohyang
  • Mount Kumgang

 

North Korea Hiking Websites:

 

North Korea Weather Website: 

 

North Korea Official Tourism Organizations:

 

North Korea Hiking Apps: 

 

North Korea Hiking & Road Maps:

What Else To Do

  • The Mass Games

Other Important Points