This post is absurdly overdue. The weather has been absolutely perfect for hiking and beach lounging the last month. It’s been hard to tear myself away from the outdoors to be on the computer! Nevertheless, this is follow-up from my trip to Danyang, continued from this post.
After a disappointingly rainy Saturday, we set our alarms clocks bright and early Sunday with the hopes of heading to Woraksan National Park. Luckily, the weather had cleared up and it even looked as though the sun was going to make an appearance or two.
From our motel in Danyang, we hailed a cab to head to Janghoenaru, which was our best guess for where the trailhead was for Jebibong, our first peak of choice. At 8:30 am, the cab took about 15 minutes and was ₩21,000. Luckily for us, the cab dropped us off exactly where the trailhead was! The trailhead is a single cabin on the side of the major road that wraps around Lake Chungju.
Jeibibong is an extremely rewarding hike that is nestled in the northeast of Woraksan National Park. The rocky terrain is like something out of Jurrassic Park. The steep stairs climb up and over impressive rock formations. You also have the distinct pleasure of hiking along a rocky ridge of sorts that directly overlooks Lake Chungju. When we began our hike around 9am, we were completely alone on the trail, which is a rare treat in Korea. It took us about an hour and a half to ascend to the peak. Admittedly, the true peak of this hike is anticlimactic. After traversing diverse terrain: everything from dirt trails through the woods to a ridge composed of big boulders to stairs and stairs and stairs, the peak was surrounded by trees and offered almost no view. However, on the way back down, you are facing the lake and surrounding mountains and have clear, unobstructed views for a good portion of the hike.
When we began to descend from the peak, we realized there were the typical hoards of Koreans on their way up… we had just missed the crowd! I would highly recommend beginning this hike, around 4.6 kilometers in total, on the early side to avoid the crowds.
When we reached the bottom of the mountain, we continued down the main road towards where we guessed Oksubong and Guamabong were located. You have to walk along a busy, two-lane mountain road to get to the next trailheads, but it’s a short 20 minute walk and there are sure to be other hikers keeping you company.
Again, our timing could not have been better! This portion of Woraksan National Park was ridiculously, absurdly crowded. It has a reputation for unbeatable views and the hikes are extremely easy, so it’s often packed. However, heading there in the afternoon, the crowds were all on their way out! Oksunbong and Gudambong stem from the same trailhead at Gyeranjae. These hikes offer unmatched views of Lake Chungju and the surrounding scenery. There are also ample rocks overhanging the lake that were literally made for basking in the sun.
At a mere 286 meters, Oksunbong, in my opinion, offers superior views, but both Oksunbong and Gudambong (330 meters) are defiantly worth check out. Stunning!
Getting back to Danyang via public transportation after hiking also turned out to be remarkably easy. We walked back to the Jebibong trailhead (Janghoenaru) and inquired about public buses. We were able to able to quickly catch a bus back to Danyang for about ₩2,000. It took about an hour.
While neither of these three peaks are the true peak of Woraksan National Park, they are an absolute must-see that should be on everyone’s Korea bucket list, regardless of whether or not you share my affinity for hiking.