Seoraksan National Park Hiking Guide in South Korea- All You Need to Know

Seoraksan is a world-famous South Korean national park. Located close to Sokcho, a small fishing town, you can even visit the park without having to take a car ride.

However, the park spreads out over 4 cities and counties. The park is named after Mount Seorak, which is found within the park. The park is a UNESCO biosphere reserve. 

seoraksan national park hiking guide
In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous” –Aristotle

One of the things that stand out about this great park is its ability to offer hikers a chance to have the time of their lives with its great hiking trail.

The park has very breathtaking peaks and deep valleys that make it an ideal hiking destination for hikers throughout the year.

That is why it remains a top destination for visitors to Korea. Here is a closer look at the famed Seoraksan hiking trail and how to enjoy it the best. 

Seoraksan Hiking Trail:

Generally, as you hike the Seoraksan, you have two options: you can go to the Osaek trail, or the Outer Seorak, or hike the NaeSeorak, which is also called the Inner Seorak.

One of the benefits of this part is that you can visit at any time of the year and still have a fantastic time. 

What is the Best Seoraksan National Park Hiking Trail?

The best trails are the Osaek trail or the Outer Seorak. In comparison to Inner Seorak, this trail offers its visitors more scenic views of the immense and diverse natural beauty that makes the Seoraksan National Park such a huge draw for many world-class hikers and tourists.

In addition to seen amazing cliffs, you will also get a chance to enjoy beautiful waterfalls in addition to other great forms of scenic beauty. 

hiking the Ulsanbawi Rock
“Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out going to the mountains is going home; that wilderness is a necessity”. ― John Muir

But again, how good a hiking trail is for you, will depend on your experience level and the nature of the challenge you were expecting when you first began.

So, if you would like a hiking experience that is a little more gentle, you might opt for the Inner Seorak trail. Whatever the case, be sure to bring with you your Seoraksan National Park travel guide.

How to Get to Seoraksan National Park from Seoul?

If you are in Seoul, you can take a three-hour car ride to get you to Sokcho fishing city. After that, you don’t need any other drive as you can access the entrance to the Seoraksan National Park and you can begin your day hiking trip from there. 

Other than taking a car ride, you can also take a train from Seoul, but that trip will not end in Sokcho, which means you have to finish the journey by bus. 

But you can also decide to take a bus ride from the Dong-Seoul bus terminal and it will take you right to Sokcho. From Sokcho take an inter-city bus to Seoraksan National park. 

As soon as you enter the park, the hiking trail of Seoraksan mountain begins once you have paid the Seoraksan National Park entrance fee 3,500 KRW (USD $3.50).

In fact, the terrain changes quickly soon after as you will have to pass over boulders and rough natural surfaces. However, the hiking trail is well-marked out so that you don’t get lost along the way.

There are even rope railings and information to help you know the tricky areas so that you navigate them with greater caution. Otherwise, you will also readily find the maps you need to navigate the park. 

How to Hike the Seoraksan trail?

Hiking is not hard if you have prior experience. But for first-time hikers, this adventure can seem a little overwhelming. It is therefore advised that you take a short hike or a guided tour of sorts if it is your first time hiking. 

But otherwise, you should ensure that you have the right hiking gear first and that you carry supplies such as water and some snacks and food since hiking tends to be exhausting and physically demanding, but it’s certainly no fun when you have to do it with an empty stomach. 

Hiking Seoraksan National Park best trail.

Ulsanbawi Rock Trail: (3.8 Km One-Way)

  • The best trail to hike in Summer. The view you would see is stunning. It’s a strenuous hike and You have to endure 800 stairs to the top. This trail is moderately difficult and takes 3-4 hours to complete.

Daecheongbong Peak Course

This is the highest peak of Seoraksan National park. You could start hiking from Seoraksan park entrance or Osaek to the top peak. This a hard course and take about 11-12 hours.

Hiking Trail: National Park Entrance – Biseondae rocks – Heeungak Shelter – Daecheongbong Peak – Seorak Falls – Osaek

Gwongeumseong Fortress Trail For Beginner.

After getting off from the cable car, take a 10-minute walk to the peak of the Gwongeumseong Fortress. You would see magnificent rock formation with the best scenic top view. This is a one way 1.5 km trail that takes about 1 to 2 hours.

Seoraksan National Park Trail Map.

What to bring to hike Seoraksan?

Basically, you should have hiking boots, a camera, water, cold weather clothing when hiking in winter, a map of the park, and even hiking insurance in case of any accidents. 

five highest mountain hike in korea
“I walked slowly to enjoy this freedom, and when I came out of the mountains, I saw the sky over the prairie, and I thought that if heaven was real, I hoped it was a place I never had to go, for this earth was greater than any paradise.” – Daniel J. Rice

With a guide leading the way, you can learn how to navigate various obstacles along the way. You will also get the added advantage of having someone who knows the park inside out making sure you get views of all the interesting spots along the way. 

However, you can also tag along as other experienced hikers take on the adventure. In case you get stuck in any way, chances are that many of them would willingly offer you some tips and even a helping hand when you face a challenge that seems too much for you. 

Also, be sure to keep tabs on the Seoraksan National Park weather forecast so that you know which kind of gear to bring with you during your hike. 

Seoraksan National Park Travel Guide. 

Seoraksan Cable Car:

“Now I see the secret of making the best person, it is to grow in the open air and to eat and sleep with the earth.” —Walt Whitman

If you would like to enjoy the beauty and the wonders that the Seoraksan national parks in a more comfortable manner, then you can use the Seoraksan cable car service.

Another great thing about this touring mode is that it will give you spectacular views of the park and the mountain. A cable car is a great option if you don’t have all the time to hike the mountains, or if you are not particularly up for the idea of hiking.

The cable car service was also added because hiking would not be a viable option for all the visitors to the park. 

Tips on Hiking Seoraksan National Park.

The park is also accessible by wheelchair, although it is not very flat. From the nearby fishing town, the park is even accessible on foot. However, from the capital Seoul, the trip to Seoraksan takes about 3 hours by car. 

If you are sure you are not up to the challenge of going on a hike in this park, then you should try the cable car. For instance, you might have bad knees, or you might have a child tagging along,

or you might not have the time to go a day-long hike but would still settle for watching breathtaking views of the park while touring South Korea. 

Common FAQs about Hiking Seoraksan National Park:

1. Taking Baths and Swimming 
There are rivers, waterfalls, and pools in the park, but you cannot take a dip since the park is highly protected. 

2. Littering 
You should not drop litter as you move along, you have to keep it and dispose of it properly once you are off the hiking trail. 

3. Main Sights of Seoraksan National Park.
As you hike on this park, you will see many natural wonders including the Biryong Falls, the Yongso Falls, the Ulsanbawi Rock, Geumganggul Cave, and so forth. 

4. Language
Make sure you know some basic Korean words, especially when communicating things like destinations as English might be an issue for you. 

Comments if you need any more info. Thank you for reading.

More Important FAQ’s to Know on Hiking Seoraksan.

How do you get from Seoul to Mount Seorak?

Take a bus from Dong-Seoul Bus Station (near Gangbyeon Subway Station) to Sokcho. From Sokcho intercity bus terminal take 7 or 7-1 bust to Seoraksan National Park. 3 Hours bus ride from seoul to sokcho.

How long does it take to hike Seoraksan?

I hiked Osaek trail (5km). It took about 4 hours to reach the Daecheongbong Peak. You could take the same trail to go down or take the outer Seorak trail (10.9km) and about 6-7 hours One way to the main Seoraksan National Park entrance.

How far is seoraksan National Park from Seoul?

149 KM total distance between Seoul to Seoraksan National Park. Bus from Dong-Seoul bus station is the best way to go to this park.

What is the best time to visit Seoraksan National Park?

I hiked this beautiful mountain in Winter and Autum and I loved both. You would be absolutely fall in love with it’s fall color. In summer the Ulsanbawi Rock Course view is just stunning.

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