Bears Town is the largest ski area in Gyeonggi-do (the province surrounding Seoul); if you’re looking for the biggest ‘local’ hill for Seoul, this is it.
Bears Town: the hill
Highest lifted point: 460m
Lowest skiable point: 175m
Vertical drop: 285m
Longest run: 2,500m (’88challenge’)
Terrain park: yes (small)
The vertical drop of 285m may seem small, but it’s decent for a Seoul area hill. From two base areas a total of 8 lifts ferry skiers to the top, from where you can aim for the main base to skier’s left, or go skier’s right for the longest runs as that base is at a slightly lower elevation than the main base. As is usually the case in Korea, the base areas consist of enormous hotel and condo buildings which my seem rather out of proportion to the scale of the hill itself (as usual in Korea, it’s a golf & leisure resort as well as a ski resort), and the facilities there are excellent.
From the top lift there are a few options going down both sides, but advanced skiers will have the whole place skied out in fairly short order. There is a park, but there isn’t much to it beyond a medium kicker and a couple of jib features.
It’s a good hill for learning, with plenty of gentler terrain, and good for progressing from bunny slopes to intermediate; more advanced riders will have to make do with cruisy piste runs or sessioning the mediocre park. If that’s you, you should be able to have a fun day as long as you set your expectations fairly low.
Bears Town is good for:
Learners and those progressing to intermediate.
Being the largest hill in Gyeonggi-do i.e. largest in the Seoul area.
Good shuttle bus access (much-improved service from 2018/19)
Long hours; it stays open until 4am.
Freestyle (well, it at least has a terrain park)
Bears Town is not so good for:
Freestyle! Lapping the terrain park is done on a long, slow fix-grip chairlift, which isn’t ideal.
Bears Town lift tickets
Hours: 9am – 4am!
Following the standard model in Korea, Bears Town lift tickets are available for AM, PM, Night, and Overnight blocks, individually and in combination, with a 90-minute snow grooming break at 5pm. Prices range from 59,000 for a 4-hour ticket (AM or Overnight) to 75,000 for an 8-hour ticket (AM&PM or PM&Night); details here, and here’s a photo of their 2017 rates (click to enlarge):
Bears Town: accommodation
Most visitors will probably want to stay in Seoul and take the bus to Bears Town (see below for access details); for the best rates, search Hotels Combined for deals in Seoul
Airbnb is also a great choice for Seoul – hosts usually have it set up so you can arrive & check in by yourself without having to wait around or meet anyone, and the housing standards are decent with underfloor heating and excellent internet connections as standard. If you haven’t used Airbnb before, you can get a 35-dollar discount off your first rental by signing up through Snow Guide Korea; simply click on this link and register!
If you do want to stay at Bears Town Resort itself, accommodation is available in their condos at the base of the slopes; you can check their accommodation page here.
How to get to Bears Town
Bears Town has shuttle buses (50 minutes to 2 hours, depending where you board) from various points in Seoul, but unlike other Seoul area resort shuttles it isn’t free – the price is 9 dollars return. Reservations are required online by 5pm the day before, you can do this here; discount lift ticket & rental packs are also available which are great value e.g. 56,000 won for round-trip, lift pass, and rental equipment – definitely worth it. Note that it’s necessary to make payment by PayPal, but if you have the KakaoTalk app you can contact them quickly using the Kakao button on the reservation page – I did this when I had a PayPal issue, they have English-speaking staff and arranged for the shuttle to pick me up and I could pay cash when I arrived. Great shuttle service actually, only 50 minutes from Taereung Station.
The easiest way to get there is actually with a day tour like this, but that’s not cost-effective if you already have your gear etc and just need transportation only; however, for beginners who are looking for transportation, rental, and a lesson, it’s the best way to go.
Alternatively, there’s also public transport; I don’t recommend it (takes ages), but if you need to then access is by bus number 11 from Gangbyeon Station (Line 2). The bus does NOT go from the large bus station at Gangbyeon called Dong Seoul (East Seoul) Bus Terminal, but rather from the bus stop just up the road (stand A).
To find the stop, come out of Gangbyeon Station exit 4 and turn right:
Walk north (straight) for 50 metres or so and cross over; the bus stops are located on the other side of the crossing, and you should wait for number 11 at stand A:
It operates from 5am to 11pm, runs every hour or so, and costs around 2,000 won (if you pay with T-money card and transfer from the Metro, it calculates a discounted combined subway & bus fare).
The ride takes around 1h 45m, and you need to get off at the penultimate stop; each stop is announced over the speakers, and fortunately the stop is called ‘Bears Town’:
Once you get off the bus, there’s a 15-minute walk to the hill. With the main road on your left, walk past all the ski shops:
…and then, ahem, bear right across the small bridge over the creek:
…and follow the access road around to the right:
When you get up to the car park and base area facilities, the ticket office is over to the right.
The schedule for the return buses, as posted on the bus stop (subject to change, but gives you an idea):
Bears Town has the usual mega resort thing going on at the base, with condo towers everywhere plus plenty of food & drink options:
Any questions about Bears Town Resort? Leave a message below!
For more Seoul area ski resorts, see here; for full reviews of every Korean ski resort, see here
Also check out the best Korean ski resorts according to various criteria, and this size comparison of Korea’s ski resorts using satellite imagery
Thanks so much for taking the time to make this website…really helpful for foreigners!
You’re very welcome – thanks for taking the time to say thanks!
Thank you for the information! May I ask if there are many taxis around?
Hi Joan, there aren’t usually any taxis waiting around at Bears Town – you’d need to call one, or ask the resort staff to arrange one for you.
For day tripper,
Can u suggest
^ the mode of transportation to go there.
^ from seoul
^ last bus from bear mountain
^ things to do there?
Hi Oshmam, as described above, you can go by Bearstown shuttle bus or by public bus from Gangbyeon. The shuttle bus details for this season are here, and you can make the reservation here. The return bus leaves at 17:30, and in high season there’s also a return shuttle at 1:00 a.m.
As for things to do, to be honest there’s just skiing and sledding. The base area has plenty of cafes and restaurants, but there isn’t much else around there.
Hello! Does equipment rental only include skis and boots? Can we rent outfit like ski bib jacket goggles and helmet?
Hi JK, yes you can also rent jackets, gloves, goggles, etc. They have everything you need!
Thank you Simon appreciate it
Is snow still exists on 9th March 2018 at beartown resort?
Hi Rose, there will still be snow there at that time, but you’ll need to check what their closing date is (it’ll be some time in March, and they’ll probably announce it in late February)
Wonder if you have been to Everland Korea? If yes, is it more convenient to go from Everland to Beartown resort?
Hi Cheryl, I’ve never been to Everland but it’s pretty far from Bearstown. The nearest ski resort to Everland is Yangji Pine Resort, also Jisan Forest Resort and Konjiam are in the same area. However, I’m not aware of any public transport options from Everland to those ski resorts – you’d be looking at 30 to 40 minutes by taxi, for around 30000 won (30 US dollars)
Hi there! What is their normal ski season? We are hoping to go during our winter break in December.
Hi Danielle, they should be opening by the end of November so you’re all good!
hi. Can we rent ski attire, boots and equipment at resort?
Yes you can rent everything there, but if you need full rental equipment & wear plus transportation it’s cheaper to book the package
Hello! I m planning to planning to take my kids to ski in Dec. Bearstown shuttle bus still operate in 2018 winter season? How much for run-trip fare? Where is the pick up location in Seoul? reservation require? Please advice
Hi Robert, sorry they still haven’t updated their website for the coming season. They probably won’t do so until the last minute before they open, and it’s been a warm November so the resorts are opening later than usual. We won’t know the shuttle bus details until they update it, but in any case if you also need to rent equipment & wear it works out cheaper to book a package (see here)
Let me know if you have any further questions
Thanks so much for the info. My family has booked 2 nights here next month and i wonder if they have transportation from the condo to the ski area?
I saw there are villas and condos, which on do u recommend better?
Hi Neeta, I’ve never stayed there (only day trips) so I’m not really sure. But you don’t need to worry about transportation – the accommodation is slopeside so you can just walk out & onto the snow
Thanks for this site very useful.
Can we get straight to the resort from the international airport?
Bears Town doesn’t have a direct airport bus, you’d have to travel via Seoul.
If you’re flexible about which resort you want to visit, for direct airport transfers try Yongpyong or High1.
hi simon. we are staying for a week at bearstown as we are a group of beginners. how do we go about organising ski school before we get there?
Hi Gavin, I don’t think it’s necessary but if you really want to I’d suggest just calling them (communicating by email, FB etc can be pretty frustrating)
Thanks so much for your website – helped make a decision on where to ski ? for the day – chose Bears Town it was just as you said, perfect for pushing beginners a bit harder. It also offers great discounts and is far less crowded than Vivaldi was on a weekday last week (jan 7 to 10th) – maybe cause it doesn’t offer the bells and whistles such as bowling alleys and VR worlds – but these only distract the kids from the slopes anyway!
Cheers, always good to hear the site’s been useful. I was at Vivaldi yesterday actually, the crowding was nuts despite it being a weekday – as you say, Vivaldi has all the bells & whistles, also Snowyland & Ocean World attract a lot of non-skier tourists and they’re just generally killing it in the marketing department. Glad you had a good day up at Bears Town!
Re the transfers from the international airport to Bears Town. Is it possible to book a private transfer and can you advise how to do so?
Hi Chris, I’m not aware of any way to do this other than hiring a taxi from the airport. That would take about 90 minutes and cost in the region of 100 dollars. Otherwise, you could ride the train into Seoul and then the Bears Town shuttle up to the resort, but that’ll only work out if your landing time lines up well with the shuttle times; best shuttle boarding point would be Seoul Station (7am bus) as it has a direct train from the airport; if the 10am bus fits go for Myeongdong Station, if the 11am bus fits go for Taereung Station (that’s a trek though). Let me know if you have any more questions
Hi.. Can i go there just for enjoyed the snow and cable car?
Because i dont want to play ski. Thanks
If you don’t want to ski it’s best to go to Vivaldi Park and get a ticket for their Snowy Land attraction, see here
Hi Simon, thanks for all the info. Am interested for sledding only. Will they have the sled to rent and how much? Thanks.
Hi Haz, yes they do, it’s about 15 dollars per person
Thanks for your ongoing help.
We will get a taxi from the airport to Bears Town – although it seems impossible to book anything in advance. Any ideas?
Also please could you recommend a ski school in Bears Town. We are a party of 6 with 3 intermediates and 3 beginners. 2 are in the group are under 10.
Hi Chris, taxi should be around 90 minutes and 100 dollars, no need to book in advance.
They have their own ski school and it’s the only option, you can arrange lessons when you arrive.
Let me know if you have any more questions
Am I reading the Bears Town site correctly, that their ski/sled season ends Feb 28? That is the day we arrive. 🙁
Hi Erin, I just asked them and the closing date hasn’t been fixed yet but is expected to be early March. However the shuttle bus is definitely finishing service on Feb 28th, which may be what you read. If that’s an issue try Vivaldi Park instead.
Great site full of so much info thanks so much for putting it all together!
Me and the Mrs are going to be in Seoul for a couple of nights with all our snowboard gear, so figured it’d be rude not to check out one of the local hills! Bears town seems to be a good choice since we are staying in hongdae. I was just wondering about taking boards onto the shuttle. I guess we will need to secure these in a boardbag and store below the bus like a normal coach? If so, are there lockers we could store a board bag and other bits around near the bottom lift(s)?
Yeah if you want to go somewhere not too far from Hongdae then Bears Town works, their shuttles are running until Feb 28th. Yes you have to put your boards below but you don’t actually need to use a snowboard bag, I just chuck mine under as is – obviously you might prefer to use a bag anyway, in which case yes they do have lockers in the base area. Give me a shout if you think of any more questions. Cheers!
Firstly this is such a great webpage. A Lot helpful for me.
May I ask about transportation between Seoul & Bears town?
I will go to Brears town on 1 March which is alreay the end of shuttle bus available.
1.Can I take a bus from Lotte world (Jamsil) to bears town?
2.And back from Bears town to any places in Seoul there will be a plenty of bus available for whole day right?
Thank you in advance.
Thanks, always good to hear the site’s been useful!
To get there from Jamsil you should ride Line 2 to Gangbyeon Station (only 2 stops from Jamsil) then take the public bus as described in the transportation section above.
However, note that this bus is really slow – I’d recommend you consider visiting Vivaldi Park instead, taking the free shuttle from Dongdaemun History & Culture Park.
Let me know if you have any questions.
Thank you for kindly reply.
Wow intresting read up and super clear。ill be staying there this dec fr 3 nights would like to know if theres any indoor facilities？ i inderstand theres outdoor slides but wil it operate in winter？
Hi Joejo, you mean outdoor water slides? I don’t know anything about those to be honest, but I doubt they’d be operating in winter. The hotel’s pretty nice and does have indoor facilities, sauna etc, but I’ve never stayed there so I haven’t personally used them
Bears Town sledding fees seem to be the most expensive – is it also the best ?
I am planning a snow experience for myself and kids, from 10-13 Dec. Given my kids vary in age from young to teen , which resort do you recommend for balance sledding and skiing/snowboarding ? Also, how about, in your opinion, which has best sledding facilities ?
The sledding tracks at Bears Town are really long so you can go nice & fast, so yes in that sense it may be the best. On the other hand you could consider Vivaldi Park which has sledding as part of its Snowy Land attraction, the sledding tracks aren’t as long but Snowy Land has various other attractions. On balance I’d say Vivaldi is better all round, but Bears Town if sledding is the main priority.
Unfortunately Snowyland only opens Dec 20 this year ? That will be after when I am in Korea …
Ah, yes you’re right, that was a poor suggestion, sorry! So, yes the sledding at Bears Town has an extra long track compared to the other resorts, so it’s a good choice if sledding is a priority for you.
Such useful information that you’ve covered throughout your entire blog, so thank you firstly for that. For 3 beginners looking to stay in Dec for 4 nights (2 adults + 1 moody teen!), would you suggest hitting Bears Town or Elysian Gangchon Ski Resort? We’re only keen to spend 2 days on the slopes and the other 2 days checking out the area close by. Which resort out of the 2 would offer more than just slope activity? Thanks Simon!
Hi Shubee, definitely Elysian. There isn’t so much to do near Bears Town in winter, whereas from Elysian you can easily visit Gapyeong & Nami Island, which are very popular sightseeing spots. You could also visit Chuncheon city (I haven’t been though so don’t know much about it).