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.
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.
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.
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.”