Gangwon-do, South Korea’s remote northeastern province, is the spiritual home of Korean skiing; the country’s first resort, Yongpyong (Dragon Valley), was built here for good reason. The Taebaek Mountains (Korea’s principle range) run down the east side of the peninsula, and are at their greatest in Gangwon-do; the province is home to many of the country’s highest peaks – and its best ski resorts.
Leading the way are High1 and Yongpyong, Korea’s two standout resorts – if you only go to one resort in Korea, try to make it one of those two. The latter, Yongpyong, is one of three resorts (along with Alpensia and Phoenix Park) situated in Pyeongchang County, which between them will host most of the mountain events for the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics (the remainder will be at the purpose-built Jeongseon Alpine Centre in neighbouring Jeongseon County).
The Pyeongchang resorts, Jeongseon, and High1, are in the east of Gangwon-do, a long way from the Seoul area, but there’s also a handful of resorts closer to the capital in west Gangwon-do; Oak Valley and Welli Hilli Park are just outside the city of Wonju (Gangwon-do’s largest city), Vivaldi Park is just a 90-minute bus ride from Seoul, and Elysian Gangchon is actually on the Seoul Metro system (and so is listed both here and under the Seoul Area resorts).
Here are the locations of all the Gangwon-do ski resorts (see below map for resort reviews):
2. Yongpyong & Alpensia
3. Jeongseon Alpine Centre (venue for Pyeongchang 2018 only)
4. Phoenix Park
5. Welli Hilli Park
6. Oak Valley
7. Vivaldi Park
8. Elysian Gangchon
There’s also the recently re-opened O2 Resort, which is located just outside Taebaek town (to the east of High1 on the map)