I don’t know about where you live in the world, but here in South Korea, we’re having what feels like our first taste of spring! It’s supposed to be in the upper 40s and low 50s every day this week, and I am so excited about it. It was even a little bit warmer on our adventure this past weekend to the Sogeumsan Suspension Bridge in Wonju. While windy in the canyon, it was more tolerable than past hikes because the air wasn’t quite so frigid, which made us enjoy it that much more! This was a fun one, guys…and it was a hit with all of us.
Sogeumsan Suspension Bridge in Wonju
There’s something about bridges on hikes. (Remember this one?!) Anyway, we decided to merge a hike with the Sogeumsan Suspension Bridge. What we didn’t realize about this adventure, however, is that there are actually two incredible suspension bridges here in Wonju! About 1.5 km up and around the canyon wall from the first bridge – literally, mind you – lies the second bridge. The first bridge, the Sogeumsan Suspension Bridge is know for being the longest and largest pedestrian bridge in all of Korea at 200 meters long, 1.5 meters wide, and soaring 100 meters above the ground. And yes…it weebles, wobbles, and sways as you cross it.
Sogeumsan Mountain Suspension Bridge
We knew that, as a designated tourist attraction, the area would fill up fast, and it did. Thankfully, the are well-prepared for crowds, and we parked at a third overflow lot about 1.5 km from the entrance to the Sogeumsan Mountain area. After parking, we followed the crowds across the road, up and over a large hill, and into a little street packed with cute restaurants, cafes, and shops. It was a good place to peek at because we promised the kids ice cream upon completion of the hike!
To enter the area, we quickly used Papago to pick up our entrance wrist bands for a very reasonable fee, and we began the initial 578-stair climb straight up towards the Sogeumsan Suspension Bridge. While incredible crowded, people here are so orderly and polite, and we all just sort of trucked our way up to the first bridge where, in true Korean style, there was a spot for instagram-worthy images. The bridge, too, was crowded, but it was so cool to cross the canyon below even though it terrified the daylights out of Porter.
Sogeumsan Suspension Bridge Trail
Now, we were there to hike, but after you cross the first bridge, you have a few choices. First, you can turn around and go back down the way you came. Second, you can follow a winding footpath down the mountain that leads back to the town below. Or, you can choose to continue your hike along the Sky Walk, which literally weaves through the woods, then up and directly along the mountainside to the second bridge.
Needless to say, we chose the second. While it seems a little daunting to continue climbing, it actually went quite quickly, and though we climbed a good bit, we made our way to the second bridge within about 35 minutes. Upon reaching the second bridge, you reach a tower that overlooks the whole of Wonju’s recreational area and Sogeumsan Mountain where the wind literally screamed its way through the tower. Then you climb down the tower and cross the yellow bridge, which actually has glass panels, too. Frankly, I liked the second bridge better! But I digress. After crossing the second bridge, you start climbing…but down this time. It’s steep, and it’s an ordeal on the knees whilst carrying littles, but it’s doable, and it was awesome. And yes, the kids 100% earned their ice cream! In fact, a little ajumma told us to eat inside because they thought Mieke was too cold eating hers…win, win!
Tips for Visiting the 원주 소금산 출렁다리
Cost: To cross the bridge and enter the area, it was W3,000 for adults and W1,000 for children. The fees are lower for Wonju residents, but you must indicate it at the time of purchase. They will provide wristbands with a QR code to scan across the bridge.
Address: In Waze – 26, Sogeumsan-gil, Wonju-si, Gangwon-do; In Naver or Kakoa – 강원도 원주시 지정면 소금산길 12 — they will direct you to overflow parking
Tips: Bring Won and small bills. There are lots of restaurants and shops, as well as little vendors before and after the mountain where you can just purchase water and sotteok and hotteok. Also, wear layers for wind and sun coverings for the hotter months!