Dobongsan Mountain, my favorite mountain, is located in Seoul. I love it because it is simply majestic, and its beauty varies according to the season.
It is one of the natural blessings accessible at the heart of the city. It is a symbol and representative mountain of Dobong District from which the district is named from.
Its peaks are the gems of Dobong Mountain. Among many peaks or summits, there are four of them that are more popular...
For a quick Korean language lesson (if you don't know it yet), the ending syllable "bong" means 'peak' in English. Yes, that's right!
So, Dobongsan Mountain offers fantastic scenery of thick forests, valleys, rocky peaks, streams, and interesting rock formations.
Dobongsan District was once part of Seoul before it became independent in 1973. Therefore, it is not difficult to understand if I say that Dobongsan Mountain extends the Seoul area.
Part of the mountain extends to Uijeongbu City of Gyeonggi Province, and Jangheung-myeon of Yangju City.
Dobongsan Mountain boasts its grandiose rocky cliffs, beautiful valleys (such as Munsadong, Wondobong, Musugol, and Obong). That scenic somehow resembles the famous scenic sights of Geumgangsan. For that reason, Dobongsan was called Seoul's Geumgangsan in the old days by locals.
Dobong Mountain (note: 'san' means mountain, so you will notice that I sometimes interchange them) is fundamentally composed of solid big rocks and boulders, and high granite rocks that form such fantastic views.
Some rocks look like, some people say, a 'spewing white light high into the sky,' which is the sight you can see due to the whitish color of the granite rocks that the various parts of the whole mountain.
Most of the highest peaks are 'easy' to navigate because they are somehow connected to each other with spine-looking rocks.
Some people describe the connecting rocks like a dragon soaring up towards the sky, while others say they look like a turtle. By the way, both animals are essential, significant symbols in this culture and its dominant religion (Buddhism).
As I love movies, I have fantasies of seeing out-of-this-world rock formations when I hike Dobongsan. In my fertile imagination, I can see alien-shaped rocks (like those in Star Wars ^^), dinosaurs, animals, among others. Yes, it is quite entertaining!
Now, if you found this article for some reason, like wanting to learn about this mountain, I am providing you the trails accessible on this mountain.
The trails below are the recommended ones by Dobongsan District Office as they are maintained and safe for hikers. I mean, they are recommended because they offer you great vantage points to scenes and skylines surrounding the area.
Here they are...
Main Hiking Trail
Dobong Visitor Center--Bomun Ridge--Dobong Main Ridge--Podae Ridge--Sapae Ridge--Sapaesan Mountain--Angol Park Visitor Center
This trail is 9.8 kilometers and takes around 5 hours to accomplish. Time is relative to the speed of the hiker.
Crossing Hiking Trail
Dobong Visitor Center--Mountain Rescue Unit--Jaunbong Peak--Obong Ridge--Songchunam Ridge--Obong Visitor Center
This trail is 7.6 kilometers long and can take more than 3 hours to complete.
Wondobong District Hiking Trail
Wondobong Visitor Center--Deokjesaem Spring--Mangwolsa Temple--Podae Ridge--Hoeryong Valley--Heoryong Visitor Center
This trail is about 5.8 kilometers long and could take almost 3 hours to accomplish.
Dobong District Hiking Trail
Dobong Visitor Center--Mountain Rescue Unit--Jaunbong Peak--Dobong Main Ridge--Bomun Ridge--Dobong Visitor Center
It is 7.3 kilometers far and could take almost 4 hours to finish the trail.
Songchu District Hiking Trail
Songchu Branch Office--Songchu Falls--Obong ridge--Songchunam Ridge--Obong Visitor Center
This trail is 6.4 kilometers long and could take around 3 hours to accomplish.
Dobong Visitor Center--Dobongsa Temple--Bomun Ridge--Cheonjinsa Temple--Uiam Rock
This trail is 2.5 km long and could take 1 hour and 30 minutes to complete the course.
Dobong visitor Center--Dobongseowon Confucian Academy--Dobong Shelter--Seokguram Grotto--Sinseondae Terrace
It is around 3.52 km, and it takes 2 hrs to complete.
Dobong visitor Center--Gwangnyunsa Temple--Geumgangam Hermitage--Dobong Shelter--Manworam Hermitage--Podae Ridge
This course is about 2.5 kilometers in the distance and could take around 1 hour and 20 minutes to accomplish.
Don't worry as there are many ways to get to Dobongsan Mountain area. The cheapest way to get there is by public transports--subway (metro) and bus.
Via Subway (Seoul Metro)
From anywhere you can take a subway, take or transfer to Line 1 or 7, then get off at Dobongsan Station.
Find your exit then cross the main road, and you should see Dobong High School on your left, then Seoul Garden Apartment (and Dobongsan Parking Lot on your right). Continue walking ahead, passing Dobong Eco Park until you see Dobong Visitor Center.
Take the Blue bus 141 or 142; Green bus 1127 or 1128 (Ajin Bus Stop)
Because buses could be confusing at times, I suggest, from my experience that you take the Subway. It is easier to find guides in the subway station than on buses.
I hope this is useful. Enjoy your mountain hiking and exploration!