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Seoraksan National Park

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Dec 16, 2021

Seoraksan National Park (설악산국립공원), also spelled Soraksan, is a national park in Gangwon, South Korea.

Seoraksan National Park

. . . Seoraksan National Park . . .

Located in the relatively remote north-east of the country, the Seoraksan National Park covers an area of 400 km² and is known as the backbone of Korea, and offers a great deal of scenery with its mountains, cliffs and waterfalls. The mountains have multiple hiking courses, valleys, and cultural artifacts hidden in each valley, and are internationally renowned as a habitat for rare plants and animals. UNESCO designated the region in 1992 as a Biosphere Reserve.

Seoraksan as a National Park began in 1965, when 163 km2 of the Nature Protection Area was designated as a Korean Natural Monument number 171. This area was the further expanded in 1982, when 393 km² was designated as a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO and has been continually expanded since then.

The main attraction of the Seoraksan national park is Seorak Mountain, also referred to as Seolsan and Seolbongsan. The name of the mountain, Seor-ak, refers to its size (‘ak’ meaning ‘big’) and the white, snowy color of its peak (‘seor’ or ‘seol’), since its snow would not easily melt, keeping its high altitude rocks in a permanent state of white.

Seoraksan, or Seorak Mountain, peaks at 1,708 metres (5,603 feet), and is the third largest mountain on the Korean Peninsula. Seorak Mountain is the highest mountain in the Taebaek Mountain Range, which is the N-S trending belt which along the eastern margin of the peninsula. The Taebaek range, mainly composed of a single body of Jurassic granite, gently slopes inland to the west, with a significantly steeper decline to the east, falling into the Eastern Sea.

Map of Seoraksan National Park

Sokcho City bus number 7 ventures into the Park Village of Seorak-Dong and up to the park gates. There are express buses running from Gangnam Express Bus Terminal (in Seoul) to Sokcho City roughly every 30 minutes.

There are flights to the nearby (and extremely quiet) Yangyang airport from both Seoul Gimpo and Busan‘s Gimhae International Airport

There are express buses to Sokcho (속초) from two bus terminals in Seoul: Dong Seoul bus terminal and Gangnam Express bus terminal.

The park happens to be accessible from Vladivostok in Russia‘s far east via a ferry connection to nearby Sokcho.

. . . Seoraksan National Park . . .

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. . . Seoraksan National Park . . .