Enjoy hiking in Seoraksan National Park in Korea!
Seoraksan National Park, also referred to as Seoraksan or Mount Sorak, offers stunning landscapes and gorgeous trails all year round, making it one of the best hiking destinations in Korea.
Located in Gangwondo Province in the eastern part of Korea, you can reach Seoraksan within 3 hours by car, which is close enough to make a day trip or weekend getaway from Seoul.
If you want to step back to nature and enjoy a hike or short walk, then Seoraksan National Park is a must-visit for you!
Hiking in Seoraksan National Park
You can visit and hike in Seoraksan National Park at almost any time of the year, but the landscape is particularly beautiful during winter.
In winter, you can enjoy hiking through the icy waterfalls, snow-capped mountains and trees, which is definitely a one-of-a-kind experience Seoraksan National Park has to offer.
If you don’t want to miss out on its winter splendor, make sure to plan ahead to make the most of your visit!
Tips for One-Day Hikers
1. Take a tour – In order to go to Seoraksan National Park, you must travel out of Seoul which can be very tricky. If you want to take the hassle out of organizing your trip, taking a tour is highly recommended.
2. Pick up a free map from the National Park Visitor Centre – Know where you are going! But don’t worry about getting lost as all the signs showing you distances and directions are written in Korean and English.
3. Know your hiking ability – There are plenty of walks for all levels of hikers in the park, but make sure to hike according to your level.
4. Prepare hiking gear – Bring your own hiking gear. If you don’t have any, shoes, hats and hiking poles are readily available at the park. But do take note that they are for Korean sizes.
Top 5 Attractions in Seoraksan National Park
1. Ulsanbawi Rock
One of the must-sees in Seoraksan National Park is Ulsanbawi Rock, a unique rock formation composed of six granite peaks, at an 876m high peak.
In order to reach Ulsanbawi, you will have to climb over 800 steps, which are relatively steep.
However, it is definitely worth the hike to the top as you can enjoy the panoramic views of Daecheongbong, Sokcho and the East Sea.
2. Gwongeumseong Fortress
For those who opt for an easy hike but wish to see on a mountaintop, going up to the Gwongeumseong Fortress is highly recommended.
Though you only can see some remains of this ancient fortress today, this is a great site where you can admire the breathtaking scenery of Seoraksan and its surrounding areas.
3. Seoraksan Cable Car
Seoraksan Cable Car is another popular attraction at Seoraksan National Park, which offers the fascinating views of the park during the ride!
Seoraksan Cable Car Info
| Operation Hours: 9:00am~18:00pm (departs every 10~15 minutes)
| Round-trip Ticket Price: Adult (14 yrs~): 10,000 KRW, Child (3~13 yrs): 6,000 KRW. Children under 36 months old are free.
|NOTE: Tickets can only be purchased onsite and they are given out on a first come first serve basis. The cable car may not operate on days with bad weather, and the waiting line can be long during the weekends.
4. Sinheungsa Temple
Sinheungsa Temple, built in the 7th century, is a head temple of the 1,200-year-old Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism,where you can admire the beautiful traditional Korean architecture and wall paintings.
The temple is only a 10-minute walk away from the entrance to Sogongwon Park, so make sure you drop by during your visit!
5. Bronze Buddha Statue
Near the Sinheungsa Temple stands a 14.6m-high (48ft) seated bronze Buddha statue called the Bronze Jwabul Statue.
The statue was built as a symbol of hope for the reunification of North and South Korea so it is also known to as the Great Unification Buddha or “Tongil Daebul”.
5 Best Hiking Trails in Seoraksan National Park
Whether you are a beginner or an expert, Seoraksan National Park has a variety of trails to suit all levels of hikers.
Here we’ve picked five most popular trails in the park according to their levels of difficulty.
Check out our Seoraksan National Park Hiking Map below to find the hiking trail perfect for you!
| NOTE: In this map, all the featured trails starts from Sogongwon Park, the entrance of Seoraksan National Park.
1. Gwongeumseong Fortress Course
A Family-friendly Trail
Hiking with the entire family? This is the perfect trail for you!
This trail requires only a little bit of walking and includes a fun, exciting cable car ride to the top of Gwongeumseong Fortress where you will only have to take a short 10-minute walk before you witness the magnificent mountain landscapes.
| Route: Sogongwon Park (Entrance) ~ Gwongeumseong Fortress
| Level: Very Easy
| Distance/Duration: 3km round-trip (2.4km by cable car + 0.6km on foot); 40 minutes without waiting time
2. Biseondae Rock Course
A Brisk and Easy Trail
This trail is fairly easy but has stone steps with a slight incline along the way.
The trail offers glimpses of three great attractions in Seoraksan National Park, and they are Sinheungsa Temple, Bronze Jwabul Statue and Biseondae Rock, a flat-topped rock with letters written by ancient poets.
| Route: Sogongwon Park (Entrance) ~ Biseondae Rock
| Level: Easy~Moderate
| Distance/Duration: 6km round-trip; 2.5 hours
3. Heundeulbawi Rock Course
A Breathtaking Fall Foliage Trail
Take this hiking trail if you want to capture Seoraksan’s absolutely gorgeous fall foliage in autumn!
Known as one of the best fall foliage destinations in Korea, Seoraksan National Park offers colorful leaves, which you can usually enjoy from mid-October until early November.
On this trail, you will see Shinheungsa Temple, Bronze Jwabul Statue and make a final stop at Heundeulbawi Rock, a famous spherical rock located on top of a larger rock, which you can try and push it for fun.
| Route: Sogongwon Park (Entrance) ~ Heundeulbawi Rock
| Level: Easy~Intermediate
| Distance/Duration: 5.6km round-trip; 2 hours
4. Biryong Waterfall & Towangseong Falls Observatory Course
The Best Waterfall Trail
This is a scenic trail that will take you to the beautiful water falls in Seoraksan National Park.
On this trail, you will see Yukdam Falls, a water fall made up of six small waterfalls and a deep pond, Biryong Waterfall, a waterfall which looks like dragons flying up towards the sky, and Towangseong Falls, a huge, three-tiered waterfall known as one of Asia’s tallest waterfalls and an observatory.
Take note that you will have to cross a 400m-long section of steep wooden steps, which stretches from Biryong Falls to Towangseong Falls Observatory.
| Route: Sogongwon Park (Entrance) ~ Towangseong Falls Observatory
| Level: Moderate~Intermediate
| Distance/Duration: 5.6km round-trip; 3 hours
5. Ulsanbawi Rock Course
A Challenging Yet Stunning Trail
While this is one of the most difficult hiking courses, it is also one of the best trails Seoraksan has to offer, rewarding hikers with magnificent views of the Seoraksan panorama with dramatic peaks and the East Sea.
Take note that the slope gets relatively steep and severe from Heundeulbawi Rock to Ulsanbawi Rock, and hikers must climb a steep steel staircase of over 800 steps to reach the top of Ulsanbawi Rock.
| Route: Sogongwon Park (Entrance) ~ Ulsanbawi Rock
| Level: Easy~Advanced
| Distance/Duration: 7.2km round-trip; 4 hours
Visiting Seoraksan National Park for the first time? Check out our travel guide:
For those who want to visit Seoraksan National Park and other nearby attractions in Gangwondo Province in one day, make sure to check out more of our Seoraksan Tours on Trazy.com, Korea’s #1 Travel Shop!