advertisement

Hiking Trails -- Past the temple complex, hiking trails continue up the various peaks of the park. The trail that leads up to the Munjangdae peak is a relatively easy one, and by far the most popular in the park. The entire hike, which offers some fantastic views, should take about 5 hours round-trip on foot. If you want a little variety on the hike back, take the trail down to Shinseondae and then down past the Geumgang hut. That will lengthen your trip another 2 hours. If you want to start early in the morning, take the trail up to Munjangdae and follow the ridge trail to Chonhwangbong, coming back past Sanghwanam and Sanggoam. This itinerary will take about 10 hours, so plan ahead and bring plenty of water.

North of Beopjusa is the middle section of the park, which is split into two sections. The largest is the narrow valley of Hwayangdong Gugok. A beautiful area with white rocks lining the bottoms of clear streams, a small temple, Chaeunsa, sits overlooking the valley from its rocky perch. At the eastern end is a nature preserve.

From Osong Falls, on the slopes of Sinseondae, there is a short cut to climb up to the summit of Munjangdae, which takes about 2 hours to reach the top. On the way to Osong Falls from Jangamgyo (bridge), you will find an old mountain fortress Geyonhwon sanseong, if you walk about 25 minutes along the trail to the right. Originally measuring 650m (2,132 ft.) around, only parts of the fortress remain today.

The other waterfall in the area is the Janggak Falls that descend to a deep pond below. The waters are actually a bit dangerous and about three people drown here every year, so it's best not to swim in the pond (though you may be tempted in the summer heat). Nearby is the pretty Geumranjeong Pavilion sitting on a cliff covered with pine trees. About 1.5km (1 mile) up from the falls is the seven-level Sangori Pavilion, which was originally built during the middle of the Goryeo Dynasty. Destroyed during the Japanese colonial period, it was restored in 1977. A large temple is said to have been in the area, but there are no remains of its structure today. The trail that leads directly to the peak from Janggak Falls had been closed for years to help preserve the natural environment, but was opened again recently. It takes about 5 1/2 hours round-trip to the peak and back down to the waterfall.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.