Life in Korea 한국 Places in Korea

Hiking in Seorak National Park


(Entrance to Seorak National Park.)

This weekend a good friend of mine, K, came to visit. We decided to go to 속초 (Sokcho) and climb 설악산 ( Mt. Seorak). We didn’t pick the highest peak but we set out on a good hike early Saturday morning. We met up with two of her friends, one was totally unprepared and didn’t know we were going to be hiking.

The weather was a little overcast but really nice and it was GREEN! Very green indeed. I like the way the hiking trails are set up as there are rest stops along the way with covered tables and restaurants serving food. The hike itself was supposed to take 2 hours up and less time down.  We blazed through the first part of the hike as it was mostly flat ground. When we started to descend up we realized that we had to take breaks more often. I thought my legs would give out with all the stairs. I think  I like the natural stairs with the rocks than the man-made metal stairs. The variation in the natural steps is much easier to climb than a consistent step.


(Natural stone steps.)

We encountered a sign along the way that said : 10 minutes until the top. They lied. This part was steeper and it was not 10 minutes at all. And whoever encountered the second sign: 5 minutes until the top broke it in half. Because it wasn’t 5 minutes from that sign either. We made it to the top and the views were spectacular and lots of people. Children were able to receive an award with their names carved into it. We rested and headed back down and realized the signs were written by the person coming down the mountain.


(Views at the top of our hike.)

K and I took turns sliding down the mountain, I slipped on the stairs at the top, slipped again in the middle and got a rope burn on my arm and slipped one more time for good measure towards the bottom. Needless to say I am not graceful and at least I have enough balance to keep my head up so there are no cracked skulls. Go me~

We prepared lunch so we ate our sandwiches on a rock and rested for a bit. After coming down the mountain we took the taxi back to the bus terminal for some coffee. We all refused to ride the, “Oh, Hell no~” bus. ( Insert Gabriel Iglesias voice) That bus was loaded to the brim and none of us planned on being sweating sardines.

I feel really accomplished having made it to the top. My body aches all over even though it has now been two days. Might be worth going back to conquer the bigger peak once I’m in better physical shape. It was nice to have some fresh air for the weekend.


Me at the top of our route.

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