Odaesan National Park Hiking
Birobong, Odeasan

Odaesan was designated a national park in 1975 and lies at the intersection of the Taebaek and Charyeongsan mountain ranges, connecting Taebaeksan, Seoraksan, Sobaeksan, and Chiaksan. It's one of the larger national parks in Korea with 303.9 km2, split between Pyeongchang and Hongcheon Counties in the west and Gangneung in the east.

The mountain was apparently named after a sacred peak in China, but Koreans have often referred to it by the nickname Sogeumgang (‘little Geumgang’), because its scenery compares to the Geumgang Mountains in the North. The mountain topography is said to resemble a crane with wings outstretched, as if about to take flight. About 1 million people visit Odaesan every year.

Major peaks at Odaesan include Birobong (1,563m), Horyeongbong (1,560m), Noinbong (1,338m), Maebong (1,173m), Durobong (1,422m), and Dongdaesan (1,434m). Hikers revere the park for its stunning Mureunggye Valley, waterfalls, and forests, which are made up of fir trees, yews, and Mongolian oaks and sustain populations of roe deer and wild boars.

In the spring, royal azaleas bloom on the slopes. During the winter, when snow lies heavy on the ground, Odaesan has a lonely, remote feel to it and a stark, cold beauty worth experiencing. Two beautiful Buddhist temples, (Sangwonsa and Woljeongsa) are found near the southwest entrance to the park.