Inwangsan Trail: Hiking with a Twist

Share This:

It was an early November respite and I was excited to hike with cheerful friends. It was also a perfect day, not warm and not chilly either. Just the soft, cool breeze that offered welcome relief when the body warmed up from the unexpected steepness and challenges of the hike.

We didn’t really know how to go and which way to take towards the Inwangsan Trail. We just decided to meet at Gyeongbukgung  Exit 1 and allowed the phone’s GPS to direct us to Inwangsan-gil. Thanks to these lamps, we knew we were on the right track.

street lamps photo 14915309_10209438821160651_743843904178933713_n_zpsbdhmynly.jpg

the lamps that led our way

And… we found the end of Inwangsan-gil!

 photo 14980796_10209438961924170_1394920366492117670_n_zpst63nuesq.jpg

the end of Inwangsan-gil and the beginning of our hike to the unexpected tracks

From this road onwards, we took to laughter and gut-feel as to which way to go. I don’t know about the 3, but in my mind I didn’t expect to reach the peak. We were just there for fun, anyway. So, the moment we reached the first top with a steep incline, I allowed myself to fall into the magic of being on top of the world!

on top of Inwangsan photo 14906895_10209424942893703_3297862754721418868_n_zpsugm3gent.jpg

looking down at the natural and man-made creations

I’m on the top of the world looking down on creation
And the only explanation I can find
Is the love that I’ve found ever since you’ve been around
Your love’s put me at the top of the world

Something in the wind has learned my name
And it’s telling me that things are not the same
In the leaves on the trees and the touch of the breeze
There’s a pleasing sense of happiness for me

But it wasn’t enough. Lured by the beautiful rock formations, we kept on:

 photo 14947831_10209439494737490_1176119057898260582_n_zpspt4uyiwr.jpg

rock formation

We reached a Buddhist Temple carved inside big rock formations. We explored the surroundings a little bit and were ready to call the hike done as it was the end of the trail… until we saw a man emerged from somewhere and decided to ask if there is a trail going up the peak. The friendly gentleman nodded and tried to explain the path that we were about to take. He assured us that it was going to be easy.

And that was when the real struggle began:

 photo 15000819_10209439415695514_4568645138196460974_o_zpsscy83vbn.jpg

yes, the struggle was real!

Armed with no hiking stick, you bet! I resorted to crawling! … Wait, did we say we were going to bring glamour to the mountain, thus the photo with heels? Epic fail, right? lol!

But that was not the end of it.

Apparently, it was a steep no-trail trail.

the steep climb photo 14910479_10209439468016822_9148946623226573429_n_zpspu6tac60.jpg

this is the “easy trail”

The “easy trail” turned up to be a climb using ropes and squeezing through rocks:

 photo 14917308_10209439429335855_3027272951951479989_o_zpskdww11tw.jpg

the smile is just for photo-op… but I was scaredy cat in there

If it was just me, I wanted to turn back and go home. I got my photo on top of the hill in my heels, anyway! hahaha!

 photo 14993370_10209439469696864_5560372484031414005_n_zpsnldwo3ph.jpg

this is the real candid scared face

My! Was I glad I had them cheerful 3 and the ajussi angel who told us that it was going to be an easy path up – he ended up helping us through the ropes and the rocks. It was a glorious feeling when we were finally steps below the Seoul Fortress Wall.

And when we reached it, we carefully battled the fear of the ridges at the other side of the wall:

 photo 367941e8-f9de-428f-a624-3d9e9d4ba66a_zpsgqlgq0fk.jpg

on top of the Seoul Fortress Wall (photo credit to Alfonso of A Pinoy in Korea)

Victors! The picture tells of no fear. The cheerful 3 had their solo photos standing on the wall while I contented myself just sitting on top of the wall lest I be humpty dumpty and no kings’ men could put me together again.

It was exhilarating to be up there.

 photo 14956530_10209416800730154_5558387363440020612_n_zps0uzw6uh6.jpg

on top of Inwangsan

Inwangsan isn’t a very high mountain. There are more challenging and higher mountains in Seoul but I love this Inwangsan hike. I’m sure those who have reached it will have their own different and unique stories to tell….

What’s yours?

Facebook Comments
Blog Widget by LinkWithin

You may also like...

20 Responses

  1. Jackie says:

    OH MY GOSH ang kulit! How fun! I want to do this with my good friend in Korea when the kids are ready to stay home alone or at least with their grandparents for a day, haha! Thank you for sharing such a fun post!
    Jackie recently posted..20 DIY Christmas Cards Using HandprintsMy Profile

  2. Alla says:

    See, the company you keep motivates and pushes you to do the things you wouldn’t have done otherwise. I love that about activities with friends, but I also love hiking and sightseeing alone, so no one makes fun of me taking too many pictures or hiking in heels. Nicely done!
    Alla recently posted..Daejeon Arts Collective 10th exhibitionMy Profile

  3. I can’t believe you climbed in those heels! That was my first shock when I saw the first image before you even mentioned them LOL. Looks like a great little hike. Perfect for beginners craving a stunning view. I think I’d like to test this out on a winter hike!
    Kate Carter Hickey recently posted..Happy, Healthy, Fit: Easy Weight Loss Tips!My Profile

  4. Looked like a fun day! I’m really into hiking, so I enjoy hearing about other people’s experiences out on the mountain. Isn’t it nice to get away from all the hustle and bustle of the city sometimes?

    • wendy says:

      It was a perfect timing for me as I was in the middle of preparation for our school’s gala. So, it was a welcome rest:-).

  5. You guys certainly took the scenic route hahaha! We hiked the fortress wall and just climbed the stairs straight to the top. I think the stairs were killer, but at least there was no ropes involved! Also, thanks for getting the Carpenters song stuck in my head 😉

  6. Izzy says:

    I’d say that was a mislabeled easy mountain! Seems like you did a lot of grunt work to get up to the top! But I love all your pictures and those swirks of blended mineral deposits would lure me up as well! Good for you for not turning back!
    Izzy recently posted..The 2016 Traveler’s Holiday Gift Guide Part TwoMy Profile

    • wendy says:

      A great company is always helpful to keep you going, right? I’m glad I was with them. And they like to take pictures, too so it was really a wonderful time.

  7. Nicky Kim says:

    Looks like you had a great day out on the mountain! Nowadays it’s way to cold to hike though 🙁 Enjoy it while you can!

  8. Rocio Cadena says:

    Sounds like your hike was a success despite the challenging moments you encountered. I haven’t hiked in a while and I’m itching to get out there before it gets too cold!
    Rocio Cadena recently posted..The Quinceañera: a Latino celebration of womanhood, family & communityMy Profile

  9. Nicole says:

    I love hiking in Korea. This looks like a really varied hike with loads to see. Thanks for sharing- will definitely look into this the next time I’m in Seoul!

  10. It looks like you had fun! I wanna experience the climb using ropes. Bukhansan and Gwanaksan trails are too easy for me. Thanks for this! I’ll add Inwangsan in my bucketlist!

    • wendy says:

      Yes, Karla, it was fun! Especially with great company. Go for it! Great for you that you have already done Gwanaksan. I did a Bukhansan hike with friends but I guess, we were on the easy trail up. I didn’t have time to go up the peak though since I needed to be back home in time for my kids.

  1. February 17, 2017

    […] went on an interesting hike at Ingwangsan and it was a hike with an attempt to have a bit of a glamour twist. But before going up that unforgettable hike, we passed by Inwangsan-gil and found this red-framed […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge