With its magnificent, towering hilltops and more than 2,000 species of animals, Seoraksan National Park is a UNESCO Biosphere Protection site and ranks among the most beautiful parks on the Korean Peninsula. Well-marked trails lead past Buddhist temples as they wind through the picturesque landscape.
This national park protects 154 square miles (398 square kilometers) of land, including South Korea’s third highest peak. Because of its proximity to Seoul, this park is popular with weekenders and day trippers from the capital. Many guided excursions include a hike to the summit of Mt. Seorak and a visit to Naksansa Temple, also located within the park. Some trips combine the national park with a trip to Nami Island or Sokcho City.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Seoraksan National Park is a must-visit for adventure travelers and outdoor enthusiasts.
- Wear comfortable and sturdy hiking shoes.
- Don’t forget to bring sun protection and plenty of water.
- Day trips to the national park from Seoul last eight to 12 hours, depending on the activities that are included.
How to Get There
If you’re not exploring the area as part of a guided tour with included round-trip transportation, the easiest way to get to the park is to take an intercity express bus from the Seoul Express Bus Terminal, or from the Dong Seoul Bus Terminal, to Sokcho, and then change to bus No. 7 or 7-1.
When to Get There
Plan to visit the park on a weekday, because many Seoul residents flock to the park on weekends, and buses and hiking trails can be crowded. Though summer is the most popular season to visit, spring brings colorful wildflowers, autumn offers a show of bright foliage, and winter snows turn the park into a winter wonderland.
Seorak Sogongwon Cable Car
If you’re pressed for time (or simply don’t relish the climb), you can reach the top of Seoraksan Mountain by riding the Seorak Cable Car. From the top cable car station, it’s a 30-minute hike to Gwongeumseong, a lookout point affording panoramic views of the surrounding rocky scenery.