This past weekend we had decided to go to Soraksan for the weekend to do some serious hiking. But between not being able to get the bus tickets we wanted and the fact that my boyfriend had to teach at our Korean class this weekend it wound up being impossible. So, instead, we opted to climb Yongmunsan a mountain an hour or so outside of Seoul. I went to Yongmunsa , a temple at the bottom of this mountain around this time last year and found it a great place to do some leaf peeping.
The leaves were out in full splendor and I suspect they should be worth seeing for another week or two if you haven't gotten out of the city yet.
The hike was a bit harder than expected. Though we only hiked for 4 hours and didn't make it to the top of the mountain, but only a minor peak (we didn't start hiking until 2 pm) my knees have been feeling the pain today.
As you can see, there was a lot of scaling of rocks to get up to the top. Actually, it seems a little dangerous if you're not careful.. one slip could send you down the side of the mountain... literally... as the path goes along the ridge of the mountain, steep sides on either side of the path.
But, as always, the view from the top is worth it. The fall colors were fantastic and the air was fresh.
When we came down, we passed through Yongmunsa, the temple we visited last year. The really noteworthy part of this temple is the 1,100 year old ginko (은행) tree. The tree is massive and is pretty hard to get to fit into the frame of the photo. It was about 6:30 by the time I took this photo, it was getting very dark. We got out of the mountain just in the nick of time (as usual).