Bukhansan National Park, Madang Rock Trail

Posted By on October 19, 2019

Bukhansan National Park, Madang Rock Trail

4 miles;  1,272 ft. elevation gain; Seoul, South Korea

So as I mentioned in my Seoul Adventures post, I needed to go hike in Bukhansan National Park. It’s a national park, complete with mountains, in the middle of the city, and I was able [successfully this time] to take the subway there from my hotel. I could tell I was on the right train when I noticed all the folks around me were in hiking gear. Yay!

Speaking of gear…

Just the brief walk from the subway stop to the park entrance was a revelation. There were literally dozens of places along the route selling hiking gear, from international chains like The North Face to little mom and pop shops to booths covered by tents. And as it turned out this was a good thing, because before I left home I had bought a new hydration pack specifically for this trip, but hadn’t taken it out of the packaging till the morning I wanted to use it. Huh, turns out it was missing a crucial part… the part that keeps the water inside. So here I am in Seoul South Korea, faced with the task of replacing it.

Now I want you to imagine me pantomiming a hydration pack to a very kind and patient shopkeeper who doesn’t speak a word of English. It actually worked. He offered me a choice between 3 different brands, and even gave me some bottled water to put in it! On to the trailhead!

Park Entrance

It was just me and a couple thousand of my close friends. Not kidding, this trail was packed. I had little old Korean ladies pass me like I was standing still. Which, to be fair, was actually true lot of the time. The trail was essentially all uphill, for about 1300 feet elevation.

Some of my Fellow Hikers

See the cat motif at the bottom of that orange lantern? I think it’s advertising a Buddhist Temple which has resident cats. At least that’s what I gathered when I stopped there for a breather.

Petting the Temple Cat

“Wait a minute, Auntie,” I can hear you thinking, “Did you just say a Buddhist Temple? On the trail?” Yes, that’s basically what I said. Fun fact, Bukhansan National Park is home to around 100 Buddhist Temples. This particular one is cat-oriented.


Here’s another one, located closer to the park entrance. Please don’t ask me what they are all called. Because I have no idea. But the trail goes right by and in one case almost through a part of one of them.

In a Temple Pavillion

This is not to say it’s not a “real” hiking trail, by the way. There were stretches of very rocky climbs.

[Part of] The Trail

But the reward at the top? Me and my several hundred friends were loving it!

Madang Rock

The views were as you might expect, spectacular. Remember the Namsan Tower from that last post?

Namsan Tower

That’s it off in the distance. Wow, huh?


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