Introducing Seoraksan National Park
This park is one of the most beautiful and iconic on the entire Korean Peninsula. Designated by Unesco as a Biosphere Protection site, it boasts oddly shaped rock formations, dense forests, abundant wildlife, hot springs and ancient Shilla-era temples. Seoraksan (Snowy Crags Mountain) is the third-highest mountain in South Korea, with its highest peak, Daecheongbong, standing at 1708m. Set against this landscape are two stately temples, Sinheung-sa and Baekdam-sa.
Peak season is July and August, while in mid-October visitors flock to see the changing colours of the autumn leaves – best appreciated over a bottle of meoruju (wild fruit wine). Given the park’s size (nearly 400,000 sq km), sections are sometimes closed for restoration or preservation, or to prevent wildfires. Check with the Visitor Centre before you head out.
The park is divided into three sections, unconnected by road: Outer Seorak is the most accessible and popular area, nearest to Sokcho and the sea. Seorak-dong has hotels, motels, minbak, restaurants, bars, norae-bang and general stores; Inner Seorak covers the western end of the park and is the least commercialised; Southern Seorak is the name given to the Osaek (Five Colours) area, which is famous for its mineral springs.