· Designated as the 11th national park in Korea in 1975, Odaesan National Park is divided by Baekdudaegan(Mountain range known as the backbone of Korea) into the Woljeongsa district and Sogeumgang district.
Odaesan is spread out across Gangneung-si, Hongcheon-gun, and Pyeongchang-gun in Gangwon-do(Province) over a total area of 303.929㎢, and based around the highest peak Birobong which stands at 1,536m above sea level, Dongdaesan(1,434m), Durobong(1,422m), Sangwangbong(1,491m), and Horyeongbong(1,561m) stand together like a giant folding screen. To the east, stands Noinbong(1,338m) all alone with the magnificent Sogeumgang(Valley) running below. Most of Odaesan’s peaks are flat ant the slopes are slow which are common characteristics of dirt mountains in Korea.
There are a total of 3,788 animal and plant species living in Odaesan National Park. Odaesan has 1.040 plant species which include 30 native Korean species and for animals, there are 28 mammal species, 103 bird species, 13 amphibian species, 12 reptile species, 35 fish species, 1,976 insect species, 157 spider species, and 147 benthic macro invertebrate species.
- Iris odaesanensis
- - Class II Endangered Species. Indigenous Plant of Korea.
- - Habitat : High mountain forests and meadows in Gangwon-do, Gyeongsangbuk-do, and other northern regions.
- - Shape Characteristics :
The leaves are shaped like a knife. Each flower stalk has two white flowers with yellow stripes that bloom from April through June.
- - Special Characteristics :
Its name includes the word “odaesan” because it was first discovered in Odaesan Mountain.
- Strix uralensis
- - Class II Endangered Speices. CITES Appendix II.
- - Habitat : A very rare resident bird found in mountainous regions in Gangwon-do, South Korea.
- - Shape Characteristics :
With a body length of 50cm, it looks very similar to other owls. Unlike other owls, it only has vertical stripes.
- - Ecological Characteristics :
It builds a nest on old trees in a high mountain forest.
- - Feed : Small insects
- - Special Characteristics :
These rare resident ducks live near mountain streams all over Korea, particularly in Gumisan Mountain and Tohamsan Mountain in Gyeongju National Park all around the seasons. They’re designated as a natural monument, and there is a need to increase their number as well as habitats.
The stories behind the name of Odaesan
There are many stories of how Odaesan got its name. The first one is that ‘Odaesan (Big Five)” was named after its five peaks; Birobong, Dongdaesan, Durobong, Sangwangbong , and Horyeongbong,. The second is that it was named after its five temples; Gwaneumam(East), Sujeongam(West), Jijangam(South), Mireukam(North), and Sajaam(Center). And the last is that it was named after Cheongryangsan in China which had the nickname Odaesan.
Jajangyulsa, a monk of the Silla dynasty, studied in China and upon his return he arrived at this mountain which he named Odaesan, because it looked so similar to where he had studied in China
Renamed to Odaesan National Park Office
Renamed to Odaesan Office
KNPS opened Odaesan Management Office
Opened Odaesan Management Office (Gangwon-do Office)
Odaesan Mountain designated as a national park (Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs Notice No. 24)
Sogeumgang River designated as a scenic area (Scenic Area of Republic of Korea No. 1)
Parking & Camping Fee Link
Hiking Course (1Day)
- Travel Time : 5 hours
- Distance : 12.4 ㎞
This mountain trail starts from Sangwonsa Temple and takes you to Birobong Peak before reaching Sangwangbong Peak. The Baekdu Mountain Range passes through Geumgangsan Mountain, Seoraksan Mountain, Daegwallyeong Peak, Taebaeksan Mountain, and Sobaeksan Mountain. Odaesan Mountain is located right before the Daegwallyeong Pass on the Baekdu Mountain Range, in between the Baekdu Mountain Range and Charyeong Mountain Range.
- Travel Time : 7-8 hours
- Distance : 13.3 ㎞
This mountain trail passes through Jingogae Pass, Noinbong Peak, and Sogeumgang River. The scenery of the gorges is so beautiful that it was designated the Place of Scenic Beauty No. 1. The place became widely known after the river was named Sogeumgang River in a book titled Cheonghak Sangi written by Lee Yul-gok, a well-known civil minister, scholar, and politician of the Joseon Dynasty in the mid 16th century. The place is like a miniature Geumgangsan Mountain with rugged gorges, strangely shaped rocks, rocky cliffs, waterfalls, and ponds.
- Travel Time : 10 hours
- Distance : 18.7 ㎞
This mountain trails passes through Sangwonsa Temple, Birobong Peak, Sangwangbong Peak, Durobong Peak, Dongdaesan Peak, and Dongpigol Campsite. Durobong Peak stands at 1,422 meters between the areas of Jinbu-myeon, Pyeongchang-gun and Nae-myeon, Hongcheon-gun and Yeongok-myeon, Gangneung, Gangwon-do. This high mountain peak commands the panoramic view of Birobong Peak and Sangwangbong Peak to the northwest and Horyeongbong Peak to the west, and Dongdaesan Mountain to the southeast.
Before reaching Sangwangbong Peak, there another great trail that starts from Duroryeong Pass and goes down to Sangwonsa Temple along Regional Road No. 446 (old). It takes about five hours to cover this hiking trail.
- Travel Time : 3 hours 10 minutes
- Distance : 7 ㎞
This mountain trail stretches between Sangwonsa Parking Lot and Birobong Peak. Along with the Three Sacred Mountains (Geumgangsan, Jirisan, and Hallasan), it’s regarded as one of the most sacred mountains in Korea. Odaesan Jeokmyeol Bogung is one of the five Buddhist temples with Sakyamuni’s sarira, namely Sangwonsa Temple in Odaesan Mountain, Beopheungsa Temple in Sajasan Mountain, Jeongamsa Temple in Taebaeksan Mountain, Tongdosa Temple in Yeongchwisan Mountain, and Bongjeongam Temple in Seoraksan Mountain. It’s a sacred ground of Buddhism containing the sarira of Sakyamuni, which was obtained by a Buddhist priest named Jajang Yulsa during the Silla period from Manjusri, the Bodhisattva of wisdom, while praying in Wutai Mountain, China.
- Travel Time : 2 hours 30 minutes
- Distance : 5.4 ㎞
This mountain trail stretches between Dongpigol Campsite and Dongdaesan Mountain. More than one million hikers visit Odaesan Mountain. The whole mountain is covered with big fir trees, and the mountain range that connects numerous peaks creates beautiful scenery unique to Korea.