Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Korea's Seorak Mountains

Despite long work hours and the drag of Seoul's notoriously bad traffic, we have managed to get out on a few occasions to see some of the city and the surrounding country.   About a month ago, we drove over to the eastern side of the Peninsula with a few friends for a couple days to see and hike in the beautiful and rugged Seoraksan (Seorak Mountain) National ParkHome to craggy peaks, boulder-strewn creeks, steep trails, lush forests, and old temples, it is probably the most scenic and popular park in South Korea.  Of course, the popularity has its drawbacks.  Auto traffic coming in and out of the park is heavy, solitude on the trails is next to impossible, and to accommodate the large numbers of hikers, the trails themselves have been given many upgrades that take away from their backcountry feel, including trail side snack and coffee shops and an amazing number of metal stair cases.  Nevertheless, the mountains are beautiful and well worth the time.  We will certainly be going back.

The gateway to the park is the sprawling fishing East Sea (Sea of Japan) town of Sokcho, known for its seafood and beaches.

 The Seorak Mountains are the real draw though. 





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