7 Best Ski Resorts in Gangwon-do

About Skiing in Gangwon-do

Gangwondo has a variety of resorts and offers the best skiing and snowboarding in South Korea. Gangwon-do takes up the northeastern part of South Korea. Mountains cover the vast majority of Gangwon-do. If you love skiing or snowboarding, you will love a day on the slopes of the ski resorts included in this blog post . As always, you can find such resorts in the South of Seoul app which can be downloaded from Google Play or the Apple App Store.

Gangwon-do hosted the 2018 winter Olympics which means a number of ski resorts like Aplensia Ski Resort received a little extra funding to make things extra nice. The area looks like a classic western ski resort. This resort feels like you have been transported to Colorado while the neighboring Yongpyong Ski Resorts feels like classic Korea in all the best ways.

Ski Season in Gangwon-do

Depending on the weather, the ski season in Gangwondo runs from December through March. If you have questions about ski season you can contact 1330. Calling to check on the status of the slopes is especially important during the early and late ski season or during warm winters.

Snow Conditions in Gangwon-do

During the early and last season, much of the snow on the slopes may be man-made. To get the best snow, ski in the morning and evening. Additionally, soft and powdery days do exist if you get lucky but it will not be knee-deep.

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Managing Snow Expectations

Obviously, it’s better at Whistler but don’t live anywhere near Canada. Skiing in Korea isn’t about the fact the slopes are perfect. It’s about a passion for the snow and carving your joy down a mountain. It’s about time with family and friends. It’s about pushing yourself to try new things, in a new play, in a new way.

If you are a super picky snow connoisseur who can’t enjoy life if the slopes are not exactly like that one resort you visited somewhere else once on a perfect snow day, skiing in Gangwon-do might not be your thing. No one is trying to sell you Korea as the world’s best ski destination. We encourage you to stay home mad about it this weekend and miss the joyful feeling of wind in your hair, fresh mountain air, and stunning mountain views.

Resort Route Maps Available on Naver Maps

The Naver Maps app makes it easy to see what routes exist at each ski resort. Since Naver Maps has an English language option, you can use the app to easily navigate between ski lifts during your trip. You can use the app to answer questions you have regarding difficulty level, number of lifts, number of runs, and more.

Naver Maps uses the following colors for the following difficulty levels:

  • Green = Beginner
  • Blue = Intermediate
  • Red = Difficult
Welli Hilli Ski Resort Sample From Naver Maps
Welli Hilli Resort Sample From Naver Maps
Vivaldi Ski Resort Sample from Naver Maps
Vivaldi Resort Sample from Naver Maps

When you zoom in on the map, you can also see which lifts take you to each part of the run. Some runs may require two lifts and other lifts may provide access to more than one run. All of this detail can be easily accessed through Naver Maps.

YongPyong Ski Resort Lift Detail in Naver Maps
YongPyong Ski Resort Lift Detail in Naver Maps

Tips for What to Take

A few quick tips for packing for your trip to the mountains:

  • Dress in layers when you are in the mountains. The weather changes quickly and you want to avoid either sweating or getting chilled. Additionally, when you are in action you may get hot and when are taking a rest you may get cold. Dress so that you can easily adjust to changing temps.
  • Dress for the wind. Wear hats, gloves, and jackets that can withstand strong winds. One of the biggest concerns is not really the temperature but the wind chill.
  • A spare battery or portable charger. Your phone will have limited life in the cold and you will likely need your phone for reconnecting with others after you finish your runs.
  • Hat and gloves. These items generally are not rentable gear.
  • Glove liners that work with a smartphone. Since route information is on Naver Maps it can be helpful to be able to use your phone while you are on the slopes.
  • Shoes that can handle ice and snow. Consider your footwear carefully.
  • Snacks. Sometimes you can get crazy desperate for calories on a run. Keep something in your giant jacket pockets. Makes sure it’s something you can easily eat with gloves on. Great time for a power bar and a bad time for potato chips.
  • Games to play at the end of the day. Pack the VR set or board games so that you have a fun activity in your room at the end of the day. You might be too tired to go out but still, feel like having fun.

Lift Tickets

Lift tickets are available for purchase in-person at each Gangwon-do resort or online. They can be purchased for the morning, afternoon, evening, and all day, and some resorts even offer one-run passes. Additionally, annual passes can be purchased. Prices vary by resort. Online and in-person lift ticket purchases may vary. If you are determined to pre-purchase tickets, you can use a bi-lingual concierge service.

Skiing in Gangwon-do for Beginners

Don’t hesitate to try skiing or snowboarding in South Korea. Due to the fact gear is easy to rent and lift ticket prices are affordable, there has never been a better time fall in love with either skiing or snowboarding. If you hate the slopes, you can enjoy the surrounding lodges and mountain views.

Gangwon-do ski resorts generally have ski and snowboard instructors for all ages and lessons can often be scheduled on the same day. Of course, reservations will help ensure a more smooth process. Because of the pandemic, ski and snowboard class schedules and class sizes may vary based on current local procedures. You can use a bi-lingual concierge service to help schedule your lessons.

Some resorts may have a small slope where beginner ski and snowboarders can walk up the baby slope and practice their skills for free. Such access varies depending on the resort. This can make learning quite affordable. We often spend a few hours on these slopes at the beginning of each ski season getting back in the groove before taking the lift.

As a beginner, no one expects you to be on the slopes all day. Plan for a few hours and then take a rest and reflect on your experience. Nobody has to be a hero on the first day. Give yourself permission to be terrible, to spend most of the day in the lodge, enjoy things at your own pace, and be happy about just showing up.

Lift Ticket Discounts

Korean ski resorts offer lift ticket discounts via a variety of platforms such as KLOOK, Coupang, Yanolja, GMarket, Auction, and more. Many of these apps require a Korean ID and banking information to make purchases.

Yanolja app for lift passes

X3 Multi Resort Ski Passes in Korea

In 2021 YongPong, Phoenix Pyeongchang, and High1 Resort began offering the X3 Season pass. The prices ranged from 400,000 – 650,000 won for the ski season depending on when and where the passes are purchased. Hopefully, more multi-pass ski resort options will become available in future years. If you are determined to get a lift ticket multi-pass, you can use a bi-lingual concierge service.

X3 Multi resort season pass
2021 Sample Pass

Gear Rental at Gangwon-do Ski Resorts

Each ski resort may have a different rental situation as they are all managed and operated under different conditions. While some may offer ski and snowboard rentals while others may need you to rent from nearby independent rental shops. We often prefer indie rental shops as they may offer 24-hour rentals which means we can ski in the evening and in the morning.

Independent rental shops also offer goggles, jackets, pants, and helmet rentals (gloves and hats you usually need to bring). We have easily found clothing for women up to size 16. Such rentals are also surprisingly affordable. Around 15,000 – 45,000 for the day depending on what you need.

7 Best Gangwon-do Ski Resorts

You can’t go wrong with any of the ski resorts in Gangwon-do.

High1 Ski Resort

High1 Ski Resort0

1588-7789

Copy and paste phone numbers into Naver Maps to get directions

Hangul Address

강원 정선군 고한읍 하이원길 424

A popular ski and snowboarding resort in southern Gangwondo.

(Listing information provided by the South of Seoul app)

Want to know more about High1 Resort? Check this blog by Molly Hayden.

Yongpyong Ski Resort

Yongpyong Ski Resort0

033-335-5757

Copy and paste phone numbers into Naver Maps to get directions

Hangul Address

강원 평창군 대관령면 올림픽로 715

Korea’s first ski resort. A wide variety of runs.

(Listing information provided by the South of Seoul app)

Phoenix Ski Resort

Phoenix Ski Resort0

1588-2828

Copy and paste phone numbers into Naver Maps to get directions

Hangul Address

강원 평창군 봉평면 태기로 174

(Listing information provided by the South of Seoul app)

Alpensia Ski Resort

Alpensia Ski Resort0

033-339-0318

Copy and paste phone numbers into Naver Maps to get directions

Hangul Address

강원 평창군 대관령면 솔봉로 325

One of Korea’s newest ski resorts. Made popular by the 2018 Winter Olympics. Great for snowboarders.

(Listing information provided by the South of Seoul app)

Welli Hilli Ski Resort

Welli Hilli Ski Resort5

1544-8833

Copy and paste phone numbers into Naver Maps to get directions

Hangul Address

강원 횡성군 둔내면 고원로 451

(Listing information provided by the South of Seoul app)

Vivaldi Ski Resort

Vivaldi Ski Resort0

1588-4888

Copy and paste phone numbers into Naver Maps to get directions

Hangul Address

강원 홍천군 서면 한치골길 262

Located on the west side of Gangwondo, Vivaldi is easy to reach from Seoul.

(Listing information provided by the South of Seoul app)

Elysian Ski Resort

Elysian Ski Resort0

033-260-2000

Copy and paste phone numbers into Naver Maps to get directions

Hangul Address

강원 춘천시 남산면 북한강변길 688

(Listing information provided by the South of Seoul app)

Learn More About Resorts in Gyeonggi-do

Gyeonggi-do also has a number of smaller resorts that may offer easier access.

Ski Resorts in Gyeonggi-do

Learn More About Back Country Skiing in South Korea

One company does offer backcountry skiing and you can learn more on the South of Seoul blog.

Back Country Skiing in South Korea