Attached here are more photos of the beautiful entrance area of Sobaeksan National Park. After you trekking to Birobong Peak, it is worthwhile spending sometime here to relax while waiting to take the public bus back to Danyang town.
After walking about 200-300 metres from the park entrance via a well-laid path through the bridge and Darian Waterfalls, you will reach the park headquarters area. You can get maps of the various trekking trails here, as well as get some brochures and even sign a guestbook. There are toilets here as well.
If you need further information, you can speak to the park rangers on duty and they can communicate in English. From here onwards, the official trek (or hike) up Birobong Peak, spanning a distance of about 7-8km one way will start.
Overall, the entire climb will take an average person about 6-7 hours return, so do start early in the morning.
The reward for the 6-7km trek (or climb) one way is reaching the summit of Birobong Peak at about 1430 metres above sea level. There is a stone monument here that marks the summit as well as some seats for you to rest and admire the sceneries (too bad it was cloudy when I was there).
Sobaeksan National Park is a very big park, and there are other trails branching from Birobong Peak, some of which will take more than 1 day so do check and plan your trip properly. For the trek up Birobong Peak and back, it will take 5-7 hours for an average person.
Personally, I enjoyed this trek or climb at a leisurely pace. The cool and dry autumn weather makes it much easier. Lovely day trip out of Danyang town.
After the first 1-1.5km of easy walk, the next 1-1.5km or so will be tougher as the terrain is more steep. Take your time, walk slowly and enjoy the scenery especially in autumn season.
The trail is wide, so no problems here. After about 2 hours walk, you should reach the mid-way rest stop area about 1035 metres above sea level (see my tip at the "restaurant" section for more information. Take a rest here, buy some drinks and you can go to the toilet.
After leaving the half-way rest stop, this section of the trek is tougher as it is steeper and the path is rocky and narrower. Do take your time and be carefully of slipping from the rocks. If you are tired, rest for a while and continue (you have enough time to make it to the top).
You will also notice that the trees here are getting shorter due to the height, and some of them form wavy patterns which look very interesting. This is also the cloud line area, meaning that clouds can gather here and greatly reduce the visibility. After trekking for about 1.5km here, you will see wooden steps (see photos) and this will mark the start of the less phase of the trek.
The last part of the trek (about 1km) is to the top of Birobong Peak (about 1430 metres above sea level). During this part of the trek, you will be above the tree line and the surrounding is all grass.
In the summer months around July every year, this part of the trek is filled with beautiful pink flowers of the Azalea plants.
On a clear day, the sceneries are very beautiful (unfortunately it was cloudy during the day of my climb). You will notice that you are now walking on well-laid path on top of the grass to prevent damaging the fragile environment. Shortly, you will see the final staircase up to Birobong Peak.
Overall, I would say that this climb is not very tough and can be done by an average person. Also, this place is very popular and you will see many local people doing the trek/climb so safety is assured.
After about 30-45 minutes bus ride from Danyang town, you will alight at the Sobaeksan Park entrance area which consist of a huge manicured park with open spaces and beautiful trees especially during the autumn season.
From here, follow the direction signages and there is a trail which will lead to the park headquarters of Sobaeksan National Park. More information and photos are at part 2 of this tip.
While heading to the Sobaeksan National Park headquarters area from the park entrance area, you will walk through a bridge (next VT tip) and there is a waterfall here called the Darian Waterfalls.
During the rainy summer months, there would be a lot of water at the waterfalls. However when I was there in autumn, the water here is very little (almost dried up) due to less rain.
There is a bridge you need to cross to view the Darian Waterfalls and get to the Sobaeksan National Park headquarters area, which you would officially start your trek (or hike) up to Birobong Peak.
The surrounding views from this bridge is very amazing, especially the mountains and forests.
The first 1-1.5 km is rather simple and terrain is rather flat. The trail is wide along the mountain stream, and you need to cross a few wide bridges. Enjoy the scenery here.