Odaesan (오대산) and the rest of the mountains in Odaesan National Park are considered among the most beautiful in South Korea.
Odae Mountain is at the divergence of Baekdu Mountains and Charyeong Mountains across yeongchanggun, Hongcheon gun and Gangneung city. The name of Odae was given by Jajangyoolsa who was a sainted Buddhist monk during the Silla Dynasty. There are Dongdaesan (Hangul: 동대산, - means the name of small mountain) on the east, Durobong (Hangul: 두로봉, - bong means 'peak of mountain') on the west, Sangwangbong (Hangul: 상왕봉) on the south, Virobong (Hangul: 비로봉) on the north, and Horyeongbong (Hangul: 호령봉) at the center.
By walking along the path toward Woljung Temple (Hangul: 월정사), you will encounter Sangwon Temple (Hangul:상원사), where you can see the true beauty of Odae Mountain. Sangwon Temple is famous for the story of Sejo of Joseon (Hangul:세조; Sejo was the seventh king of the Joseon Dynasty of Korea). After Sejo deposed Danjong of Joseon (Hangul:단종, Danjong was the sixth king of the Joseon Dynasty. He was forced to abdicate by his uncle, who became Sejo of Joseon), He met by chance the Moonsubosal, the Bodhisattva of wisdom at Odae Mountain. Also you can see a copper bell of temple Sangwon, which is the oldest copper bell in South Korea.
The park was established in 1970 as a scenic spot of River Sogum, and then in 1975 as a National Park of Korea. The area of the park was extended again in 2011.
The geology of Odaesan is mostly granite and gneiss and the major of main peaks are mostly flat-topped summit. There are lack of exposure to rock formations and due to prolonged weathering and erosion, soil deposits are relatively thick.
The main stream of the river flows into the woljeongcheon and the naerincheon , which is joined by cheokcheon. Jingogae between dongdaesan and noinbong becomes the watershed for odaecheon and yeongokcheon. Odaesan is representating korean forest zone and has abundant biodiversity.
Flora and fauna
There are a total of 2,748 species of animals living in Odaesan. In particular, the Geumgang River is designated as 'Special fish protection zone', which is a habitats of Manchurian trout, liver raven and Korean catfish, designated as endangered species. The park is also home to 1,040 species of plants, including needle firs, Khingan firs and Mongolian oaks. It is famous for clusters of Thuja orientalis, Taxus cuspidata near the Virobong and clusters of Ulmus laciniata in the Horyungbong Valley. Also the Ericaceae and Hanabusaya asiatica are very famous for their beauty. If you climb the mountain ridge in the winter, you will see dead trees and snow. Because The four kilometers of Sangwangbong through Virobong are covered with reed beds, you can also experience superb scenery unblocked by trees.
1 Jinbu Intercity Bus Station is located in Jinbu town to the south of the park and that makes a good connection:
- Seoul- Dong-seoul intercity bus terminal ~ Jinbu intercity bus terminal ~ Jinbu city bus (2 hours and 50 minutes)
- Busan- Busan-dongbu intercity bus terminal ~ Wonju intercity bus terminal ~ Jinbu city bus (5 hours and 40 minutes)
- Daegu- Daegu-seobu intercity bus terminal ~ Wonju intercity bus terminal ~ Jinbu city bus (4 hours and 30 minutes)
- Gwangju- Gwangju-Gwangcheon intercity bus terminal ~ Wonju intercity bus terminal ~ Jinbu city bus (6 hours)
- Daejeon- Daejeon-dongbu intercity bus terminal ~ Wonju intercity bus terminal ~ Jinbu city bus (4 hours)
- Pyeongchang- Pyeongchang intercity bus terminal ~ Jinbu city bus. (1 hour)
Fees and permits
There is no entrance fee, but you have to pay a daily parking fee, as shown on the table below.
|Off-peak season||Peak season|
|Parking Fees||compact vehicle
- 1 Woljeongsa Temple (월정사), 374-8, Odaesan-ro, Jinbu-myeon, Pyeongchang-gun. A head temple of the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism, was founded in 643 by the Silla monk Jajang and located on the eastern slopes of Odaesan mountain.
- 2 [dead link] Sangwonsa Temple (상원사). A Jogye Order temple built in 742.
See map for the starting locations.
- 1 Durobong Course (Korean: 두로봉코스). Durobong Course is a field work course by way of Duroryung ~ Durobong ~ Dongdaesan ~ Jingogae. It is about 10-km course and takes around 5 hours for round trip. The Durobong course is the most challenging and rough course among the eight hiking courses. There is not many mountaineer and snows a lot in winter, so it is recommended to avoid hiking in winter season.
- 2 Dongdaesan Course (Korean: 동대산 코스). has a most beautiful wild flowers on its course. It is a hiking course by way of Jingogae ~ Dongdaesan ~ Dongpigol. It is about 4.4 km for one-way and it takes about 2 hours. The Dongdaesan course is relatively gentle slope then other courses.The Dongdaesan course is idle for hiking exactly in the spring. When the spring comes, this area around Dongdaesan course is colored with pastel tone because of the many beautiful wild flower. Especially, the flowers are in full bloom to create a picturesque scenery around Ulregegunrak (Hangul: 얼레지군락) along with the course from Jingogae to Dongdaesan in May. If you plan to go hiking this course by one-way, you have to find the way to move on wheels because there is not any public transportation.
- 3 Sangwangbong Course (Korean: 상왕봉 코스). is idle for enjoying the natural site and Korean culture both at one time. It is a hiking course by way of Sangwonsa ~ Virobong ~ Sangwangbong ~ Duroryung. It is 13.3 km for one-way and it takes around 7 to 8 hours. This course is not rough but it is a long way. A hiker can meet the various temples and hermitage containing Mirukarm (Hangul: 미륵암, stone in Buddha shape), Sazaarm (Hangul: 사자암, stone in lion shape) and Sangwonsa (Hangul: 상원사, name of temple). On way to Sangwangbong, There are huge cluster of trees which are aged more then 300 years and many alpine plants are bloom.
- 4 Sogeumgang Course (Korean: 소금강 코스). Sogeumgang Course is famous for showcasing the most beautiful sight of the Odaesan National Park: the Sogeumgang (Hangul: 소금강), which is also considered the most beautiful river in Korea. It is a hiking course by way of Jingogae ~ Noinbong ~ Sogeumgang. It is 13.3 km for one-way and it takes 7 to 8 hours to travel. It is all uphill climbing until you reach the Noinbong, but after you pass the Noinbong, it is gently downhill. The downhill course from the Noinbong leads to a valley during the whole downhill. This course is particularly beautiful during leaf-changing season in the fall.
- 5 Virobong Course (Korean : 비로봉 코스). Virobong course is most friendly courses of the Odaesan because of the adequate length of the courses. It is a course by way of Sangwonsa ~ Jeokmyeulbogung ~ Virobong. It is 7 km to travel back and forth and it takes about 3 hours to hike. The Virobong course is gentle and suitable for hiking, which is the preferred course for hikers. As well as the beautiful scenery that you will see at the top of Virobong, Many spots that are in the middle of course provide a variety of attractions to hikers. It is suitable for the round trip course and is idle for half day schedule. The course to the Jungdaesa is gentle to climb and that is why it is the best course of Odaesan for men, women, elders and children.
|District Car Camping site||Adult||For one night, one person||1,600||
|Car camping zone||For one night, one car, one camping zone||13,000||
|Caravan||16㎡ (4 people)||For one night||60,000||
|26㎡ (6 people)||100,000|
|33㎡ (8 people)||120,000|