This article has partner links that I may receive compensation from at no cost to you. Thank you for supporting my site by using them!

I arrived back at the main entrance to Seoraksan National Park around 3pm. My hike to Biseondae and back had taken up most of the day. In the morning, I had passed the cable car station that takes visitors up to the top of Gwongeumseong Peak & Seoraksan Castle, also known as Gwongeumseong Fortress. Many visitors try to take the cable car first thing in the morning. I had skipped it rather than wait, but now it was time to check it out.

gwongeumseong cable car 700x467

Tickets for a specific cable car must be pre-booked for a particular time. When I arrived at the ticket office at 3:05, the sign said the next available cable car was at 4:55, the second to last departure of the day. This would only allow for 30 minutes at the top before departing. However, I managed to buy a ticket for 3:20, which was just 15 minutes away. This is one of the perks of solo travel; there often is one last ticket available even when things appear to be sold out.

seoraksan cable car tickets 700x525

Tip: If you’re the last person to board the cable car, you’ll end up with the spot closest to the door so you can get the best view. The cable car holds about 50 people, so many people end up in the middle. The ride up to the top of Gwongeumseong Peak takes about 5 minutes.

gwongeumseong cable car seoraksan 700x525

The cable car arrives at a building constructed on the edge of the mountain. The building has a couple of levels, with outside decks offering panoramic views of Sokcho, the surrounding mountains, and the sea. Gwongeumseong itself is about 700 meters above sea level.

gwongeumseong panorama 700x209

There’s also a small cafe at the top. I realized I hadn’t eaten in ages, so I had some honey pancakes with peanut inside. The peanut was a pleasant surprise. I imagine someone with a peanut allergy would find this surprise much less enjoyable.

Book your hotel in Seoraksan National Park now!

korean honey pancakes 700x525

The cable car doesn’t quite get you all the way to the top of Gwongeumseong Peak. There is a trail that leads to the top. It takes 10-20 minutes, depending on how quickly you can scale a staircase.

gwongeumseong peak hike 700x933

Once you’re at the top, you’ll see a massive bald rocky hill. This is Gwongeumseong Fortress. A castle was built here in the 13th century. Nowadays, aside from a stone wall below, nothing stands out as looking particularly man-made.

gwongeumseong fortress 700x525
gwongeumseong south korea 700x467

It’s a beautiful rock formation, and thanks to its position looking out over several valleys, the views are incredible. I could see all around Seoraksan National Park, including the Biseondae area, where I had just been, and over to Ulsanbawi, where I would go the next day.

gwongeumseong ulsanbawi 700x467
gwongeumseong castle 700x700

Even with cable car access limited to a certain number of people, it’s fairly crowded at the top of Gwongeumseong Peak. Still, there are plenty of spots where you can find a bit of quiet since there are many viewpoints to wander to. As always, be careful near the steep cliff edges.

seoraksan national park south korea 667x1000
gwongeumseong fortress south korea 700x700
gwongeumseong tree 667x1000

I stayed up at the top of Gwongeumseong Fortress for about an hour before taking the cable car back down. Since it was partly cloudy, the light kept changing on all of the surrounding mountains.

gwongeumseong shadows 700x525

Thanks to the 360-degree views, something nice will be in the sunlight no matter what time of day it is. The views up here would be particularly stunning at sunrise or sunset, but unfortunately, the cable car is only open during daylight hours.

If you’ve come to Seoraksan National Park for its hiking trails, you might consider skipping the cable car to the top of Gwongeumseong. However, given the incredible views, you’d be missing out on one of the best experiences in the park.

Here are some options if you are interested in visiting Seoraksan National Park on a tour.


What do you think? Add a comment!