I feel like March is running away from me at breakneck speed. Between freelance, the kids’ modeling jobs, schoolwork for the boys, my photography business, and life, we barely have a moment to breathe right now. Cherry blossom season is rapidly approaching here in South Korea, and before that hits and overtakes my weekends for the latter half of March, we’ve made a point of getting out and doing things first. We spent Saturday hiking Sangtubong Peak in Asan, and it was a perfect spring today to stretch our legs.
Hiking Sangtubong Peak in Asan
You may remember that we first visited Yeonginsan Natural Forest back in February. We’d planned to hike Sangtubong Peak then, but we didn’t really have our lay of the land, and there was snow on the ground. We also parked in the wrong lot, and we’d ended up chopping off about half the hike, so we did a simple perimeter loop instead. This time, however, we parked at the bottom lot before entering Yeonginsan and, instead, hiked from the bottom, through the park, and then all the way up to Sangtubong Peak.
Saturday turned out to be a gorgeous day. It was in the upper 50s when we hit the trail, and by the time we got back, it was about 70 degrees. While the AQI wasn’t good, we actually managed to hike out of the bulk of the yellow dust and ended up pretty significantly above the pollution line, which was really neat!
Sangtubong Peak South Korea
We chose to hike Sangtubong Peak for a few reasons. First, we’re just starting to extend the distance of our hikes this year. Second, we wanted a challenge that was within a comfortable driving distance. Because Seoul is still off limits, we still can’t go to Bukhansan National Park or Seoraksan National Park to hike. Sangtubong Peak is just 30 minutes from Camp Humphreys in Asan, and it presents a pretty good challenge.
This was our seventh hike of the year. We did a lot of hiking in 2021, but we tapered off while we attempted to acclimate to South Korea last summer. Now, we’re building mileage again, and this was the perfect place to start! Mieke ended up doing the first 3/4 of a mile, which was significant because it was almost all straight uphill. Porter, in true Porter fashion, complained the first hour, then raced us all to the top and beat us.
Sangtubong Peak in Chungcheongnam-do
Like most South Korean trails that we’ve done thus far, there are a lot of stairs. While parts of the trail were really well maintained, there was definitely some erosion in a few sections, as well. Once you do the first 1.25 miles, you enter Yeonginsan Natural Forest, and you have to pay to continue on the trail and up to the peak. For our family, it was W4,000, and Mieke was free because she’s under two.
The last half mile is a killer, and you go straight uphill before you hit the steps, which are brutal whilst carrying a toddler. The views though? They’re 100% worth the climb! We planned well, and we took a solid break at the top, took photos, and snacked, and we commended Porter for his victory, which definitely fueled him for the journey back out.
Tips for Hiking Sangtubong Peak
Trail Length: This is a 3.8 mile out-and-back trail starting from the bottom lot at Yeonginsan Natural Forest.
Level of Difficulty: Moderate, though it depends on skill level. It’s very steep in places, and it’s not very gradual.
Cost: While free to park at the bottom lots, you do have to pay once on the trail. We paid W1,000 for each of us (except Mieke) for a total of W4,000. Bring small bills or a Korean card.
Address: We couldn’t find it on either Waze or Naver, but we copied the GPS coordinates from AllTrails, and it got us to the trailhead. Input these GPS coordinates into Waze – 36.85095, 126.95806