Seoraksan is an amazing place. We have gone there six times now I think, and each time I like it a little more. (Which seems improbable but it’s true.)
Rachel and I hiked to Daecheongbong a month or so ago, and it was a difficult 12 hour hike up and down the mountain…the kind of leg-destroying hike that takes a couple days to recover from. On the hike, we passed the path for a place called Dinosaur Ridge. When we got back, we realized we’d missed what sounded like a great hike.
So we came back with Climbing in Korea, our first time with them. They had an adventurous schedule: a 26 K hike (all up and down) with not much sleep the night before. We left Seoul on a night bus at midnight and drove up into the mountains.
We didn’t get much sleep on the bumpy bus ride and got to mountain just after 2 am. There were a thousand people there already; the first couple hours was more like being at Disneyland than on a hike.
We climbed up to Daecheongbong again; this time from the other side. It was much easier from this way; even though it took 5 hours, much of that was waiting in line with the many people.
We got to the top just before the sunrise. That was just the beginning. We walked down to a shelter and took a leisurely break for 45 minutes. Then we walked over Dinosaur Ridge (aka Dragon Bone ridge).
This was a beautiful area, but entirely up-and-down. The most fun parts were the high rocks with metal poles to climb up and down. It was busy, but understandably so. The autumn leaves were fairly exceptional.
All in all, we hiked for almost sixteen hours, almost all of it up and down and then got caught in an evening rainstorm. It was full-on but well worth the effort.