This past weekend I went to Seoraksan National Park via Sokcho with the Busan Daytrippers–from the name you can tell it’s not normally a weekend thing.

There didn’t seem to be much in Sokcho, but it is a port village so I’m sure the seafood is great. We saw a boat come in with the morning catch.

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You can take a taxi to the park entrance for less than 15,000 won, or take a bus for 1,000 but the buses didn’t come on schedule so we decided to take the taxi and got a mini tour while doing it as the driver pointed out various mountain names and such. Entrance is 3,500 won. The park is beautiful.

Here’s a map of the hike we did (but starting from the National Park Office):

Hike Route

The first part (before the big turn) is called Dinosaur Ridge, then we stayed at Suryeomdong Shelter and went to the highest peak there, Daecheongbong, for sunrise at 5am. This is also the 3rd highest peak in South Korea.

Around the information shelter there is a giant Buddha.

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Before hitting Dinosaur Ridge there is a river just begging to be jumped in.

Sokcho and Seoraksan National Park 083There were a couple temples along the way (labeled in English as caves as they have to be inside one), but after going up you have to go back the same way, so just keep that in mind. There was a lady working in there and we all wondered how she was sitting there not at all sweaty–but she must have gotten there ages before us and has time to cool off as it was almost cold inside.

Sokcho and Seoraksan National Park 112Here’s a good view of Dinosaur Ridge and shows you how it got it’s name. There were so many different types of trees along this part of the trail (and the park as a whole) I was amazed.

Sokcho and Seoraksan National Park 136We also saw a double rainbow! And the top one was a circle around the sun! I’m still confused by this because there hadn’t been rain for days!

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From the temple (not marked on my map) to the shelter it is mostly downhill. We started the hike around 9am and ended up at the shelter around 6pm and went for a little swim in the river there to try and clean off the sweat.

From the shelter to the peak it is mostly uphill–as you can tell from the fact that one of the signs says part of the route is 1.1 kilometers but will take 1 hour to go up. We left the shelter at midnight and got to the peak for sunrise at 5am. Look at those clouds rolling in over the ocean!

Sokcho and Seoraksan National Park 195From there it was mostly downhill and covered by a forest.

Near the place we ended there are hot springs, but we decided to head on back instead of going in them, as most were headed to Seoul and wanted to go to the jimjjilbang (spa) there. From this exit you can take buses in may directions: Seoul, Sokcho, Hwacheon…To get to the bus stop and the ticket place you going straight out the exit and walk about 10 minutes to a shack to buy the tickets and across the street is the bus stop for Hwacheon and Seoul and on the same side is Sokcho. The ticket lady helped me flag the bus down, because you need to wave at it to make it stop.