In the northeast of South Korea is where you’ll find Mount Seoraksan inside Seoraksan National Park.
Seoraksan National Park is in Sokcho. It’s on the east coast in Gangwon Province.
Going to the park for a day trip can easily be done.
There are heaps of other mountains and hills inside the park. You can book a tour or wander around the park by yourself.
There’s a guide to the park right outside the cable car/restaurant building. You can also get a map to bring along with you.
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About Seoraksan National Park
Seoraksan has been a UNESCO site since 1982.
It has been a designated nature reserve by the government since 1965.
The famous park spans 4 cities in Korea: Sokcho, Inje, Goseong, and Yangyang.
Seorak Mountain/Mount Seoraksan (설악산국립공원) is the third highest mountain in South Korea.
Its highest peak, Daecheongbong Peak, is a whopping 1,708 meters (5,603 feet). There are numerous trails and the views are breathtaking.
What to Bring
Since you will be doing a lot of walking, you’ll want a good pair of shoes. I love these Dansko waterproof hiking shoes with arch support that I got from Amazon.
I’d also recommend bringing a hat and some hiking gear.
Don’t worry if you forget anything, there is a 7/11 right before the entrance. There is also a store inside the park that will have what you need.
Seoraksan National Park Weather
If you go during the wintertime as I did, expect the falls to be frozen.
In late February, there was little water sliding down the rocks, but it was still an incredible experience.
I find that hiking is better in the winter because I sweat profusely.
How Long to Stay in Sokcho/Mount Seoraksan
If you are just going to Sokcho for the park, I’d say that spending two nights will be enough time. You can easily spend just one day inside the park and see the main attractions.
If you are going to Sokcho to see more of the city, then that just depends on what else you plan on doing. I will say that hiking Seoraksan National Park can be tough so plan accordingly.
How to Get to Seoraksan National Park From Pyeongtaek
Naver maps will be your best friend throughout your time in Korea. If you’re more of a Kakao fan, then use that. Always check those apps to see the fastest route.
From Anjung, Pyeongtaek, you can either take the bus to Pyeongtaek Station, which will be about 40 minutes, or you can simply take a bus that goes right to Seoul. Just head to the bus terminal to find out what’s best for you.
From Pyeongtaek, you’ll want to book a ticket right to Seoul. The office to book is across from Cafe Pascucci near AK Plaza Pyeongtaek. The one-way ticket to Seoul is only KRW 5,300 (USD 4).
Express buses are great cause they have their own lane. It only takes about an hour or less to get to the Seoul Express Bus Terminal from the Pyeongtaek one.
Here is a website to easily book your express tickets. You need to have a Korean bank account in order to book online.
How to Get to Seoraksan National Park From Seoul
Once you are in Seoul, you can buy a ticket at the station if you didn’t online.
I strongly recommend booking ahead though, especially if you are traveling on the weekends. But make sure you give enough time in between if you have to take multiple buses.
For example, my ticket to Sokcho from Seoul said it was going to take 2.2 hours but it ended up taking 4.
Once you get to the Sokcho City bus terminal, there will be plenty of taxis to choose from that will bring you to your accommodation.
Some of the bus terminals will have lockers where you can store your bags for up to 24 hours. The locker at the Sokcho Intercity Terminal has lockers for KRW 2,000 (USD 2).
Near the terminal, there is also a cafe Dongmyeong Cafe (동명카피) which has bagels! How exciting.
Side Note: Each major city in Korea will have an Express Bus Terminal and an Intercity Bus Terminal.
Seoraksan Park Hours & Fees
The park opens at 9 am and closes around 6 pm.
The admission fee costs only KRW 3,500 (USD 3).
Where to Stay Near Mount Seoraksan
You can stay right outside the park or near the park.
The Red House in Sokcho had a great location. It was only a 30-minute walk from the entrance to the park and it was only USD 62 for two nights.
You can take bus 7 to The Red House from the express bus terminal for 40 minutes, or you can take a taxi for around 20 minutes.
Breakfast at The Red House was only KRW 5,000 (USD 4).
If you don’t feel like walking the 30 minutes, because hey, you’re probably going to be walking A LOT inside the park, you can take the bus 7 or 7-1 to the park.
Be aware that if you go on a weekend, there will be a ton of traffic.
There is also a hotel that is closer to the entrance of the park called the Kensington Hotel.
Where to Eat Near Mount Seorak
연탄구이 (I’m not sure of the name in English) is right near the entrance to the park and also near The Red House.
Their kimchi jjigae (김치 찌개) was to die for.
The kimchi jjigae along with a bottle of soju costs around KRW 13000 (USD 10).
I actually ended up going to this restaurant for the two nights that I stayed near Mount Seoraksan because it was that good.
Seoraksan Cable Car Information
To get onto the Seoraksan cable car, you must buy your ticket at the booth for KRW 11,000 (USD 9).
You can buy your ticket at the booth. Keep in mind that the line can be pretty long on the weekends.
The cable car will bring you up 670 meters (2,198 feet) in about 5 minutes. It operates every 5 minutes.
Ulsanbawi Rock, sometimes called Ulsan Rock is a popular rock that consists of 6 granite peaks and is 873 meters (2,864 feet) above sea level. It is located at Seoraksan Mountain.
There are a few different mini restaurants inside where you get on the cable car. It’s kind of like a cafeteria setup.
The Sinheungsa Temple (신흥사) is only a ten-minute walk from the entrance. It was built in the 7th century. The wall paintings as well as the architecture are remarkable.
The Bronze Buddha (청동좌불상) stands at 14.6 meters (48 feet) high. The statue represents the hope of North and South Korea to be reunified.
From the Mount Seorak cable car stop at the top, you can go to Gwongeumseong Fortress (권금성). It’s about a ten-minute walk.
The Fortress was built by Gwon and Kim (Geum) as a shelter for their families during the Mongolian invasion. You can see the city as well as the East Sea.
Mount Seoraksan Hiking
As mentioned, there are tons of trails and paths to choose from when visiting the park.
So if you want to see some beautiful waterfalls, you came to the right place.
Biryong Falls (비룡푹포) is between Yukdam Falls (육담폭포) and Towangseong Falls (토왕성폭포).
Getting to Biryong Falls takes around 3 hours roundtrip and is 2.8 kilometers (1.7miles).
Once you get to Biryong Falls, there’s another trail that goes to Towangseong Falls Observatory (토왕성폭포 전망대).
From Biryong Falls to the Towangseong Falls Observatory was another 30-minute hike.
At the observatory, you will be able to see Towangseong Falls (토왕성폭포).