Centering on the Taebaek Mountain Range stretched from the north to south along the Korean Peninsula, 82% of Gangwon-do is a mountainous district with high mountains and deep valleys. Gangwon-do is the source of Namhangang, Bukhangang and Nakdonggan, and the place where prehistoric cultivation started with the heavenly-blessed natural environment of Geumgangsan, Soraksan, Odaesan, Taebaeksan, and Chiaksan etc. In the age of ancient Joseon, it was called Yemaek, and in the age of the Three States, it was the central place where the various cultures of Baekje, Shilla and Goguryeo were unified. Afterwards, since the age of united Shilla, the Yeongseo region was called Sakju and the Yeongdong region was called Myeongju. Sakju controlled 12 Sokguns and 26 Sokhyeons centering on the Chuncheon region at present and Myeongju controlled 9 Sokguns and 25 Sokhyeons centering on the Gangreung region at present.
Gangwon-do province in the age of Goryeo contained most of the area of the Yeongdong region, the east of Taebaeksan, the lower part of
Jeongpyeong(定平) in Hamgyeongnam-do, and most of Yeongseo Region except for some parts of the current southern part of Yeongseo region. According to Yanggye (double gye) system of the 5-Do (general administrative district system) and the 5-Do (military purpose), it belonged to Yanggwang-do, in Donggye until the end of the age of Goryeo.
In the age of the Joseon Dynasty, it was affirmed as an official administrative district and named Gangwon-do, unifying Gangneung-do and Gyoju-do, and some regions were changed into the administrative system. However,it was continued until the 8-Do system was cancelled and the 23-Bu system was executed in the 32nd year of King Gojong.