Seoraksan Overview

Seoraksan National Park, designated in 1970, is a revered natural sanctuary located in the Gangwon-do province of South Korea. This stunning park covers an area of approximately 398 square kilometers (about 154 square miles), making it one of the most prominent national parks in the country. The park is named after its centerpiece, Seoraksan, or Mount Seorak, the third highest mountain in South Korea, which reaches a peak of 1,708 meters (5,603 feet) at Daecheongbong Peak. Seoraksan National Park is renowned for its breathtaking natural beauty, diverse ecosystems, and significant cultural heritage, drawing visitors from across the globe.

The park’s landscape is characterized by rugged peaks, deep valleys, and towering granite rock formations, alongside clear streams, waterfalls, and high-altitude lakes, creating a picturesque setting that changes with the seasons. Seoraksan National Park is particularly famous for its vibrant autumn colors, when the mountain slopes are ablaze with reds, yellows, and oranges, making it a popular destination during the fall season.

The biodiversity within Seoraksan National Park is remarkable, home to a wide array of plant and animal species, some of which are rare or endangered. The park’s flora includes ancient forests of pine, oak, and maple, as well as a variety of alpine plants that thrive at higher elevations.

Seoraksan National Park also holds significant cultural and historical value, with ancient temples nestled within its forests, including the notable Sinheungsa Temple, a site of deep spiritual importance. The park’s cultural sites offer a serene and spiritual dimension to the natural beauty of the landscape.

For adventurers and nature lovers, the park offers a network of hiking trails ranging from easy walks to challenging treks to the mountain’s summit, providing opportunities to explore its natural wonders up close. Cable cars also offer a more accessible way to enjoy the stunning views of the park’s dramatic scenery.

With its unparalleled natural beauty, rich biodiversity, and cultural significance, Seoraksan National Park stands as a testament to the majestic wilderness of South Korea, offering a peaceful retreat and a source of inspiration for all who visit.

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Park Map
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Seoraksan National Park Pictures

Seoraksan National Park Trails

Ulsanbawi Rock Trail

Rating: Difficult

Distance and Elevation Gain: 3.8 kilometers one way, with an elevation gain of about 800 meters.

Description: The Ulsanbawi Rock trail is a challenging hike leading to a dramatic series of rock formations offering panoramic views of the park.

The trail includes steep stairs and metal ladders. Hikers are rewarded with stunning vistas of the East Sea and Seoraksan’s rugged terrain.

It’s particularly popular in autumn when the foliage is spectacular.

Biseondae Trail

Rating: Easy to Moderate

Distance and Elevation Gain: 3 kilometers one way, with minimal elevation gain.

Description: This scenic trail follows a river to the Biseondae Rock formation, passing through lush forests and offering views of towering cliffs along the way.

It’s a relatively easy walk suitable for families, ending at a large rock platform where hikers can relax and enjoy the natural beauty of Seoraksan.

The trail is well-maintained and offers numerous photo opportunities.

Gwongeumseong Fortress Trail

Rating: Moderate

Distance and Elevation Gain: 1.5 kilometers round trip, with an elevation gain of about 300 meters.

Description: Accessible by cable car or on foot, this trail leads to the ruins of Gwongeumseong Fortress atop a high peak.

The hike offers breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and valleys, with a relatively short but steep path.

The fortress site provides a historical context to the natural beauty, making it a perfect blend of culture and nature.

Daeseung Falls Trail

Rating: Moderate

Distance and Elevation Gain: 7 kilometers round trip, with an elevation gain of about 200 meters.

Description: Leading to the spectacular Daeseung Falls, Korea’s highest waterfall, this trail takes hikers through diverse terrains, including dense forests and rocky paths.

The trail is moderately challenging, with some steep sections, but the sight of the waterfall is a rewarding experience, especially after rainfall when the falls are most powerful.

Cheonbuldong Valley Trail

Rating: Moderate to Difficult

Distance and Elevation Gain: Varies, up to 10 kilometers one way, with significant elevation gains depending on the chosen path.

Description: Often considered the backbone of Seoraksan, the Cheonbuldong Valley Trail is a stunning hike through the park’s most picturesque valley.

Hikers can enjoy the diverse landscape, including rugged peaks, deep gorges, and serene streams.

The trail can be challenging, with rocky paths and steep climbs, but it offers some of the most breathtaking scenery in Seoraksan National Park.

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