An Autumn day in Seoraksan National Park

We woke up at Seoraksan Morning inn in Sokcho looking forward to a 2 kilometer walk to Seoraksan National Park.  The cute Korean couple who run the inn helped us find a local restaurant where Blaine, Katya, Masha, Varya, Nina and I ate some bibimbap before starting our stroll.

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The road along our 30 minute hike was packed with cars and buses; we made a few friends with the waving children as their parents asked where we were from.  Canada, America & Russia always got a laugh regardless of the order we mentioned our home countries.  I guess Koreans don’t expect us all to mingle.

Leaves shrouded the roadway and as we hiked onward the mountain view we first noticed at our hotel crept closer.  We passed a rocky riverbed and got our first real glimpse of the landscape. There were reds, oranges and yellows laced between the evergreens but an unfortunate number of bare trees too.

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Another kilometer up the road we came to the entrance of Seoraksan Natoinal Park and an overwhelming number of Koreans. We stopped briefly for some gimbap to take as a picnic lunch before buying our park tickets for ₩2500. Just inside the gate Nina and I stopped at a ranger station to get trail maps and determine the best way to spend our short day here.

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I was disappointed we couldn’t find a shorter route to the main peak, Daecheongbong (it was 6 hours each way) so I guess I’ll just have to come back again! The ranger mentioned a 2 hour hike to Ulsanbawi, a massive rock with a spectacular view, a 1 hour hike to the Biryeong & Towanseong Falls and the 30 minute cable car before a brief hike to Gwongeumseong, a “mountain fortress.”

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Back to Bukhansan National Park

Ben and I decided that our last big excursion would be to Bukhansan National Park.  He had visited earlier in the week doing the same hike I did on my first time in Bukhansan.  We were excited to see if any of the fall foliage was popping its head and planned on heading to Songchu Falls.  I hadn’t heard anything about them other than seeing them on the trail map so we picked a route that led us to Obong peak after Songchu Falls.

We got up bright and early having packed our bags and picked out lunch already.  I was bringing Gimbap that I made in cooking class and Ben grabbed a meal at 7-11; we had plenty of trail mix and grabbed our camelbacks out of the fridge before jumping on the subway.  Just over an hour later we arrived at Hoeryong Station.  You could immediately see the mountain range and we started out for Hoeryong Crossing.

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The hike started along a paved path; we were quiet surprised to share the road with a few vehicles, stepping aside as it grew more vertical.  Before long we came across a Buddhist temple at the end of the road.  There was a small celebration for what appeared to be a new monk with paintings and plenty of Koreans.  Ben and I focused on the gorgeous view in the background and were lucky enough to catch a glimpse of a hummingbird in the garden.

 


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