Seoraksan National Park Hiking: Best Trails & Attractions

Enjoy hiking in Seoraksan National Park, the best mountain 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

seoraksan-(23)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!

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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.

Find the best Seoraksan National Park Tours here.

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

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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

seoraksan (5)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

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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

seoraksan-(29)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

seoraksan-(30)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”.

Seoraksan National Park Map with 5 Best Hiking Trails

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!

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Click to enlarge Seoraksan National Park Map

| NOTE: In this map, all the featured trails starts from Sogongwon Park, the entrance of Seoraksan National Park.

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Sogongwon Park (Entrance)

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.

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Gwongeumseong Fortress

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Seoraksan Cable Car

| 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.

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Singheungsa Temple
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Bronze Buddha Statue
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Biseondae Rock

| 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.

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Spectacular fall foliage in Seoraksan National Park
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Heundeulbawi Rock

| 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.

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Biryong Waterfall
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Towangseong Falls

| 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.

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A staircase to the top of Ulsanbawi Rock
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Panoramic view from 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!

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Photo Credits
Ilweranta Biryong Waterfal via photopin (license)
Ilweranta Sinheungsa in Seoraksan National Park via photopin (license)
Ilweranta Bronze Buddha of Sinheungsa (Buddhist Temple) near the main entrance to Seoraksan National Park via photopin (license)
Ilweranta Sinheungsa in Seoraksan National Park via photopin (license)
Ilweranta Bridge via photopin (license)
Ilweranta Sinheungsa in Seoraksan National Park via photopin (license)
Fabian Matthias Hutter Seorak Mountain via photopin (license)
BaboMike Seorak Buddha via photopin (license)
BaboMike Seorak Snow Temple via photopin (license)
ejorpin Seoraksan National Park via photopin (license)
donuzz korea-seoul-sokcho-44 via photopin (license)
HopeLand 넙뜩이들 설악산 나들이 via photopin (license)
HopeLand 넙뜩이들 설악산 나들이 via photopin (license)
ejorpin Seoraksan National Park via photopin (license)
rbitting _MG_2583.jpg via photopin (license)
randomwire Don’t Look Down via photopin (license)
jbeaulieu Co-Sokcho-Seoraksan-Montagne (13) via photopin (license)
Seoraksan Cable Car Official Website

3 Best Beaches in Korea Worth Traveling For

It’s summer in Korea and you should be taking time out on the beach!

As the Korean peninsula is surrounded by ocean on three sides, there are countless beach options for beachgoers to choose from.

Sure the Haeundae Beach in Busan is a great option as it offers luxurious five-star hotels and buzzing nightlife, but there are plenty of other beach destinations across Korea that are absolutely worth a visit.

For those who are planning a beach getaway, here we’ve got the inside scoop on some of the best beaches in Korea you must visit this summer.

And whether you’re looking for relaxing break or action in or out of the water, these beaches have something for you.

1. Jangho Beach – Best for snorkeling

Slip beneath the waves and enjoy snorkeling!

| Where: Samcheok City, Gangwon Province

janghoLocated on the east coast of Korea, Jangho Beach is often referred to as ‘the Naples of Korea’ as it offers a beautiful crescent coastline with unique rock formations.jangho-2In addition to transparent kayaking, Jangho Beach offers an excellent snorkeling experience, thanks to its crystal clear waters.

If you want to experience Jangho Beach’s snorkeling scene, take a day trip via Trazy.com. And you’ll definitely want an underwater camera for this trip!

| Book Jangho Beach 1 Day Tour (+Snorkeling)

2. Surfyy Beach – Best for surfing

Get wave-ready! Swim, surf, soak up the sun!

Where: Yangyang County, Gangwon Province

yangyangIf you want to avoid the big summer crowds or need seaside chillaxing, and have maybe a cocktail or two, ‘Surfyy Beach’ is your go-to beach.

Hidden in Yangyang County’s Hajodae Beach, Surfyy Beach is a strip of private beach that offers a laid back surfing vibe and new generation surf facility for hip surfing crowds. yangyang-3There are also separates zones for surfers and swimmers, which allow surfers to enjoy the waves without crashing into the beach crowds.

While most of the visitors are locals, Surfyy Beach is also visited by Korean celebrities, including Kang So-ra, San E and Jessi.yangyang-2If being in the water isn’t for you, you can just kick back and laze around the loungers and parasols that line the white sandy beach.

Those who want to visit Surfyy Beach can book a trip via Trazy.com, which includes a round-trip transportation and the use of shower facilities and a locker.

If you are a surfer, you don’t even have to bring your own board if it’s too much of a hassle: a surf lesson, a surf board and shower facilities and a locker are provided at an additional cost.

| Book Yangyang Private Beach 1 Day Tour (+Surfing)

3. Daechon Beach – Best for zip lining

Fly high and zip across the ocean!

Where: Boryeong City, Chungcheongnam Province

daecheon-2If you like buzzing beaches, head to Daecheon Beach, the largest beach located on the west coast of Korea.

While Daecheon Beach is best known for its annual summer festival, Boryeong Mud Festival, which takes place around late-July, there are numerous exciting activities for the beachgoers to enjoy by the beach.daecheon-3daecheonOne of the top-rated activities to try is the exhilarating zip line experience. With Daechon Zip Trek, you can fly down the 52m-high zip line at up to 80km per hour over the Daecheon Beach!

Otherwise, you can opt for riding a scenic rail bike along the 2.3km-long old train track, which has been transformed into a bike trail, offered by Daecheon Sky Bike.

A tour to Daecheon Beach is available on Trazy.com until the mud festival period, before the summer crowds rush in. Zip line and rail bike experiences are available at an additional cost.

| Book Daecheon Beach 1 Day Tour (+Zip Trek)

Traveling to Korea this summer? Find out more things to do in Korea in the summer and start hunting for the best summer travel deals today at Trazy.com, Korea’s #1 Travel Shop!

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Photo Credits
Surfyy Beach
Boryeong City Official Homepage

Seoraksan National Park Guide & Tips for First-Time Visitors

Visit Seoraksan National Park, one of the best national parks in Korea!

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Seoraksan National Park, home to Seoraksan or Mount Sorak, which is the third-highest mountain in Korea, is a popular hiking destination blessed with dramatic peaks, deep valleys and jagged ridges.

Offering spectacular landscapes all year round and awe-inspiring scenery at every turn, it is no wonder Seoraksan is one of the top-rated destinations in Korea.

For those who are planning to embark on your first adventure to Seoraksan National Park, here’s a comprehensive guide with great tips for you!

1. Where is Seoraksan National Park?

Located in Gangwon Province in eastern Korea, Seoraksan National Park spans across 4 cities and counties, Sokcho, Goseong, Yangyang and Inje, and the park can be divided mainly into two areas – OeSeorak; Outer Seorak and NaeSeorak; Inner Seorak.

From Daecheongbong (1,708m), the highest peak in the park in the center, the eastern area is referred to as OeSeorak, and the western area as NaeSeorak.

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Click to enlarge

2. How long does it take to get to Seoraksan National Park from Seoul?

seoraksan-national-park-(16)Within 3 hours by car, you can reach Seoraksan National Park, which is close enough to make a day trip or weekend getaway from Seoul.

Since getting to the park without a car can be tricky, it’s best to take a tour if you want to take the hassle out of organizing your trip.

To see Seoraksan National Park tours, click here.

3. Where to visit Seoraksan National Park for the first time

For first-time travelers, visiting OeSeorak, or Outer Seorak, is highly recommended.

Compared to NaeSeorak, the overall size and scale combined with the views of the surrounding landscapes of OeSeorak are much more spectacular.

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OeSeorak (Outer Seorak)

4. What to do & see in Seoraksan National Park

For hikers and nature lovers, Seoraksan National Park offers an incredible hiking experience.

The park has several scenic hiking trails, featuring spectacular cliffs, beautiful waterfalls and many other natural wonders, and they can be accomplished in few hours, making the park ideal for a day-hike.

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Sinheungsa Temple
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Ulsanbawi Rock

Amongst all the attractions in Seoraksan National Park, some of the must-see attractions are the beautiful bronze statue of the Buddha at Sinheungsa Temple and a famous unique rock formation composed of six granite peaks called Ulsanbawi Rock.

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Seoraksan Cable Car

For a quieter thrill, you can opt for the Seoraksan Cable Car. It’s a popular cable car that takes you up to Gwongeumseong, a stone fortress at the top of Seoraksan Mountain, which offers fascinating views of the park.

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Gwongeumseong Fortress

5. When is the best time to visit Seoraksan National Park?

Seoraksan National Park is a wonderful place to visit any time of year as it offers stunning scenery all year round.seoraksan-national-park-four-season.jpgIn spring, you can enjoy hiking in a mild weather while admiring the beautiful blooms.

In the summer, you can enjoy lush greenery and gorgeous cascading waterfalls, especially after the rain.

In autumn, you can capture the breathtaking fall foliage, which is certainly a sight not to be missed.

In winter, you can enjoy hiking through the icy waterfalls, snow-capped mountains and trees, which is definitely a one-of-a-kind experience in Seoraksan National Park. So if you have the chance to visit the park, don’t miss its winter splendor!

Looking for tours to Seoraksan National Park and nearby attractions? Check out:

For those hoping to visit Seoraksan National Park, browse our collection of Seoraksan National Park tours at Trazy.com, Korea’s #1 Travel Shop!

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Photo Credits
cc.photoshare 설악산 단풍, by 서배이 via photopin (license)
stacya October 12 via photopin (license)
Seoraksan National Park Official Website
Seoraksan National Park Cable Car Official Website