If you are looking for a fun and beautiful mountain to climb, then Bukhansan might be the one for you. Besides the main route, you can also find the hidden trail that leads toward the Golden Buddha. This route requires you to follow a few steps, but it is relatively easy to find and it will take you up towards the peak.
You will likely take the 704 or 34 bus that both take you directly to the entrance of the mountain. You will notice that these buses will be packed with hikers as you make your way closer to the mountain, so this means you are on the right track! You have to first pass through the first Fortress Gate which you can find by following the main road. At some point, you will come across a signpost where you see 5 arrows. Follow the arrow pointing towards Daenammun (Castle Gate). Follow the signpost and you will eventually come across a second one. Stop here. Look to your right and you will see a path between two shacks. Follow that path and you will see a sign called Guknyonsa or you will see signs of a golden buddha. Continue on that path and it will take you directly to the Golden Buddha.
Here, you will find the Guknyeong Grand Buddha Statue. According to legend, Yongchul peak is known as a spot where a dragon ascended to heaven, thus the Grand Buddha Statue stands on the place that symbolize the heart of the dragon below the peak.
You will see the largest Buddha seated figure of Buddha in East Asia, not just Korea! This statue stands at 24 meters tall. He is the protector of Mt. Samgak, Seoul, and the entire city. The Grand Statue is surrounded by ten thousand Buddha statues as a representation of the endless testament of devotion. It is said that the Grand Buddha and the ten thousand Buddhas will bless all those who pray there with infinite virtue. The sight is beautiful during daybreak or sunset, as the statue stands tall to inspire endless glory.
If you want to continue further to the peak of the mountain, go to the middle temple and there is a hidden path to the right of it. This path will take you up!
Overall, it took 20 minutes to get to the Golden Buddha Statue and an additional 20 minutes to go to the peak. This hike is not as arduous as the Dobongsan trail, but it was certainly beautiful and fun to discover the Golden Buddha route.