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near Illon, Gangwon-do (South Korea)
This hike starts at the Geumdae Ranger Station in Chiaksan National Park. There are 2 parking options. The large free parking area is about 1.5 km before the ranger station on the right with a big sign indicating you have arrived at Chiaksan National Park. The second small parking area is at the campground right by the ranger station and cost 5,000 won per day. This trail navigation starts at the small parking area. If you park at the large area, you just have to walk up the road. There are restrooms at both parking areas. I rated this trail difficult because it is very steep and the fortress wall trail is very rough, steep, and rocky, and the ridge between the two peak is rocky in places. Also watch out for snakes along the ridge and fortress wall trail. There are signs warning you to beware of snakes and I did see one.
Nice parking area but it cost 5,000 won for the day.
The trail head is right by the ranger station a hundred meters or so from the parking lot. There are several signs with maps and information. The first 1.3 km follows a road up to a temple. The turn off to the trail is just before you reach the temple.
Follow the road to go to the temple or take the stairs into the wood to get on the trail.
The lower part of the trail is not too steep and follows a stream for a while. It does have stairs in the steeper sections.
By this point the trail is getting really steep and is mostly staircases.
When you reach the top of the ridge, take the trail to the left continuing uphill.
The summit is not a sharp distinct summit, but rather has a summit marker, helipad, and ranger hut. There are also some log stools to sit on to take a break.
As you follow the ridge west from the Namdaebong, there is a nice observation platform with better photo opportunities that the actual summit.
Go left here to follow the fortress wall trail to go back to the ranger station/parking. Go straight to go to Hyangnobong. Coming back from Hyangnobong you will turn right here to go down the fortress wall trail.
The observation deck here has a good view of Wonju.
This is the steepest rockiest trail I have hiked in Korea.
Lower down on the trail there are restored remnants of the original wall as well as information signs about the history of the area.
There is more restoration lower on the trail.
I forgot to mark this intersection on the way up. Left for the fortress trail and right for the main trail to Namdaebong. I came down that trail.