Seoraksan Cable Car, A Perfect Day Trip in Korea

by Mr Mike
Seoraksan Cable Car, A Perfect Day Trip in Korea

Seoraksan is my favorite national park in South Korea and the perfect day trip to this nature sanctuary definitely includes a cable car to the top of Gwongguemseong Fortress.  The cable car is a great way to see some stunning views without wearing out your legs and also allows you to explore some other Seoraksan highlights.

The Seoraksan cable car runs frequently from 9am to 6pm and will take you to the top of Gwongeumseong.  Be sure to buy your tickets as soon as you enter Seoraksan National Park because they always sell out!

Riding the Seoraksan Cable Car to the top of Gwongeumseong Fortress

The view at the top is reason enough to take the Seoraksan Cable car but it was also once an ancient fortress.  You’ll find signs telling the legend of two generals who built a castle here to avoid war almost a millennium ago.  This beautiful landmark is also known as Onggeumsan Castle and Toto Castle but today most people simply think of it as a great place to visit in Seoraksan National Park!    Keep climbing to the very top along some sketchy steps carved out of the rock and you’ll even find a flag at the summit, plus there’s another wonderful view of Seorak-dong, the giant Buddha and even Ulsanbawi in the distance.


Seoraksan Cable Car Tickets ALWAYS Sell Out!
Cable car tickets can only be purchased in person on the day of the visit.

The Seoraksan Cable Car tickets ALWAYS sell out and the best thing to do is run straight to the cable car office as soon as you arrive at the park.  The cable car fits 50 people and runs every 5 minutes but you’d be surprised how quickly the line can turn into a 2-3 hour wait so make sure the cable car is your first stop!  Once you see the available times you can plan the rest of your day with my recommended Seoraksan day trips below.

Seorak Cable Car Information

9:00am – 6:00pm
Adult – W10,000    Child – W6,000

The Seoraksan Cable Car takes you to a height of 700m (2297 feet) and will run whether it’s sunny, rainy or snowy but may be affected by heavy winds.  It only takes about 5 minutes to ride to the top or back down but be prepared for a line waiting to go back down.  It’s especially long near the end of the day.  

Seoraksan Cable Car Hike

After you get out of the cable car you’ll find follow the crowd and well-laden path a few sets of stairs before walk up a few sets of stairs and along a path for a few minutes before arriving at trail to the rocky summit.  There are a few nice viewpoints along the way and in the cable car building but its all better from the top!

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Exploring Mt Seoraksan National Park is one of my favorite things to do in Korea!  I lived in Seoul for almost 4 years and came to the park a few times each year.  Make sure you are careful on the trails.  I always use World Nomads travel insurance, especially since covers more than just injuries!


How to get to Seoraksan National Park From Seoul

The best way to get to Seoraksan national park from Seoul is to take a group tour.  I went a few times by myself and then did a Seoraksan National Park tour with Seoul Hiking Group and Bangawoyo Tours.  These Seoraksan Tours are great because they take care of your transportation and accommodation plus you don’t need to know any Korean to join them and there is always a fun crowd!   If you prefer to travel on your own then you can book a bus from Seoul to Seoraksan National Park.

Bus to Seoraksan National Park from Seoul

Go to Dong Seoul Bus Terminal (Gangbyeon Station of Seoul Subway Line No.2, Exit 4)
Take a bus bound for Sokcho –  ~3 hours busride runs 49 times daily from 06:25 – 23:00
Take a taxi or local bus 7 or 7-1 to Seoraksan National Park

When the path disappears you’ll know you are there!  Whether you’re looking for an adrenaline rush and want to take a selfie at the edge or just have a seat and enjoy the view you can be sure that this trip will be one to remember.  The view in front of you is one of the best in all of Seoraksan National Park.  You can see my favorite hike, Dinosaur Ridge, and if you climb a little further you’ll get a view of Ulsanbawi too.

Seoraksan National Park South Korea

When you’re at the top of the Seoraksan Cable Car you can take some fun photos near the edge and feel a rush of adrenaline but please be careful as you pose for your selfie!  Some people find the hike terrifying while others exhilarating.  If you’re not enjoying the walk then have a seat where the path ends and enjoy the view.

Seoraksan National Park Hiking

The cable car only takes up a few hours so what to do with the rest of your Seoraksan Day Trip?  Well here are a few half day hikes that I always recommend to help you take up the rest of your time when you aren’t on the Seorakansan National park cable car.


Perhaps the most popular hike due since its much shorter than the longer climbs up Daecheongbang or Dinosaur Ridge, Ulsanbawi yields an amazing view of the Seorak valley and East Sea.  Turn right as soon as you pass the Giant Buddha and follow the trails straight.  There are no turns so as longs as you stay on the trail you can’t get lost.

The first half of your journey is mostly flat but after you pass the 2nd temple with beautiful inscriptions in the rocky walls around it and will quickly turn into a seemingly endless staircase.  Take plenty of breaks and bring water but don’t despair.  Locals claim you’ll climb 888 stairs to your destination.  When you arrive there are 2 photo ops.  I prefer the first since it’s less crowded but the second often has a guestbook to sign along with trinkets you can buy.

Seoraksan Day Trips

I’ll write a better Seoraksan Day Trip Guide soon but until then you can ask the park ranger or just follow signs to these suggested Seoraksan Day Trip hikes

Biryong Falls
1.5-3 Hours
5 km

Biryong Falls is perfect for anyone who wants to keep their trail nice and level but still get a stunning scene at the end.  You won’t have a high mountain viewpoint (you took the Seoraksan cable car for that anyway), but you will find a picturesque waterfall at the end of this beautiful trail!

3-4 Hours

This hike is one of the most popular in Seoraksan because it gives you a great view but you don’t have to go very deep into the park.  You’ll be able to see the coastal city of Sokcho and the beautiful mountains of Seoraksan from the top of this viewpoint.  The hike is mostly flat until you reach the base of Ulsanbawi when you go straight up 888 stairs!

2-3 Hours

Bisondae is a famous rock formation at the entrance to Cheonbuldong Valley.  It’s an important landmark that will help keep you oriented if you choose to head further into the park.  But today I’m guessing you’ll probably just have a picnic here while you wait for your turn on the cable car.  The nice thing about hiking to Bisondae is that following the river is what you’re here to look at so you can turn back at anytime without feeling like you missed something beautiful!

Seoraksan National Park Accommodation

Be sure to book your Seoraksan National Park Hotel ahead of time because accommodation here sells out very fast!  The good news is there are dozens of hotels, hostels & pensions near the entrance.

I highly recommend the Seorak Kensington Stars Hotel.  Rooms start at $145 and its as close to the park as you can get!  This 5-star resort perfect for groups heading on a hike!  You’ll get actual beds which is hard to find in Korea since most places offer heated floor sleeping arrangements.

Goodstay Smile Resort – rooms starting at $41 – The Goodstay Smile Resort has a homestay feel with beds, bunks, a kitchen and more for you.  Its a short drive or medium walk to the Seoraksan’s main entrance in this budget-friendly hotel.

Reservations should be made ahead of time ESPECIALLY during high season.
You can also stay anywhere in Sokcho and simply follow the directions above

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Disclaimer:  This is the internet and It is safe to assume that links and content contained on this webpage provide compensation to the website’s owner.  The opinions here are my own and the information here is accurate as of February 2018.  Unless otherwise labeled, all photos were taken by Mike Still.

Mr Mike

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