Seorak mountain is the highest mountain in Gangwon Province as it’s the third highest mountain in South Korea. The main entrance of Seorak mountain is 30 mins away from the nearest Seokcho City.
Seorak mountain is famous for its waterfall and peaks which you can reach by hiking for some hours such as
- Biryeong Waterfalls (2,4 km – 1 hour per way, difficulty 2 out of 5 )
- Biseongdae Cliff (3,6 km – 1,5 hour per way, difficulty 3)
- Ulsan Bawi Rock (3,8 km – 2 hour per way, difficulty 5)
- Cheonbuldong and Baekdam Valleys (3,5 km – 1 hour per way, difficulty 2)
- Daesung Waterfalls (0,9 km – 1 hour per way, difficulty 3)
- Baekdamsa Temple (7,5 km – 3 hours per way, difficulty 2)
** However, they also provide the easiest way to get to the Gwongeumsong Fortress by riding a cable car in Sinheungsa Temple area (1 km from main entrance) which cost you 10,000 won (round trip).
When you get off the cable car, you can follow the road and get to Gwongeumsong Fortress which is about 500 m away from the cable car station to get the full picture of Seorak mountains from 1200 m altitude.
The best thing if you visit Seorak Mountain in mid-late October is that you can witness the colorful image of autumn foliage from above
Seorak mountain is famous for its beauty and colorful maple trees during autumn season. For 2016, the autumn foliage first appeared on September 29 and get its peak on October 20 (earlier than last year’s autumn foliage).
I visited Mount Seorak back in October 14, 2015, one week before it hit the peak time for autumn foliage. I took the bus from Seoul to the Seokcho bus terminal, proceed with local bus and arrive at the main entrance at 11am. I didn’t get the cable car ticket during the lunch time (packed of guests) so I decided to take the cable car later at 5pm as I planned to hike Ulsan Bawi Rock first (I bought the 5pm ticket at around 11pm).
I started hiking around 11.30am and arrived at two temples and a spherical rock Heundeulbawi at around 12.30pm (already halfway to Ulsan Bawi).
Ulsan Bawi (울산바위) is a rock formation of Seorak Mountain, one of the famous peak spot for hiking. It takes you 2-2,5 hours total for 3,8 km (one way) from the main entrance. To get to the peak, you gotta climb over 888 steps before you can see such amazing view of the Ulsan Bawi Rocks and Seorak mountains.
You can also see the Seokcho City which is exactly next to sea.
I spent 5 hours long for Ulsan Bawi trip (2 hours climbing up, 1 hour rest, 2 hours going down) and managed to comeback before 5pm to ride the cable car to Gwongeumsong Fortress.
- From Seoul Express Bus Terminal or Dong Seoul Bus Terminal, take a bus to Sokcho City ( 2,5 hours, 18.100 won)
- From Sokcho Express / Intercity Bus Terminal, across the street and take bus No. 7 or 7-1.
- Get off at Sogongwon Bus Stop (45 mins away)
- If you want to take 2 courses (cable car and Ulsan Bawi) but for only one day trip in Seorak Mountain, you gotta leave Seoul early in the morning and comeback later in the afternoon.
- If you want to enjoy more Seorak Mountain, you can stay over in Seokcho and play Pokemon Go!
- Check the temperature before you come so you can prepare jacket if its cold.
- Don’t forget to bring water and food.
- Hiking during rainy day is dangerous, you can just take the cable car course instead
- If you don’t like hiking, you can take the cable car course.
- Come during weekday if you want to visit during peak autumn foliage. You might have to wait for a long time for cable car (1-2 hours to get your turn)
- The best view of autum foliage of Seorak Mountain is from the Gwongeumsong Fortress, which means you have to take the cable car for this.
- 7.30 leave from Seoul Express Bus Terminal
- 10.00 arrive at Seokcho Bus Terminal
- 10.15 take bus no 7 or 7-1
- 11.00 arrive at main entrance of Seoraksan
- 11.30 buy ticket for 4pm cable car
- 11.30 – 15.00 climb up to Ulsan Bawi
- 4.00-5.30 take cable car, Gwonggeumsong Fortress
- 6.00 go back to Seokcho Bus Terminal
- 7.00 take bus to Seoul Bus Express Bus Terminal
- 8.30 arrive at Seoul