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HIKING IN SOUTH KOREA

Overview

National Parks are an amazing piece of Korean culture and a great way to explore Korea's beauty! Parks are well maintained and full of fit hikers and enthusiasts. As of 2021, there are 22 National Parks in South Korea. 

Although the mountain peaks in Korea max out at approximately 2136m or 6400ft, be prepared for lots of stairs! Switchbacks are few and often far between, but the rapid ascents make for breathtaking views!

National Parks  in South Korea are categorized into three major groups:

  1. Mountain National Parks

  2. Marine and Coastal National Parks

  3. Historical National Park

Pro Tip: When resting on the mountain top or along the hike, it is not uncommon for Korean hikers to offer you a granola bar or some of their snacks. It is considered good "jun" to share and offer something from your snacks in return. For this reason, I will often carry an extra cliff bar or two in my pack to be ready to "trade". 

Note: Most National Parks do NOT allow dogs. However, there are many regional parks that do not expressly prohibit your furry friends.

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Top 3 Most Famous Mountain Hikes in South Korea:

       1. Seoraksan 

       2. Hallasan (Jeju Island)

       3. Bukhansan (Seoul)

Top 3 Most Interesting Mountain Hikes within 2 hours of Pyeongtaek            (Not Including Seoul):     

1. "Cloud Bridge"

     (Daedunsan Mountain Regional Park)

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2. Songnisan National Park

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3. Woraksan National Park

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Daedunsan

Transportation

To get to most hikes, a car is your fastest method of transportation. However, city buses, rental cars, and taxis are okay secondary options.

1. Personal Car - best option for shortest travel time and greatest flexibility. Check out the awesome Korea rest stops along your route!

 

2. City Bus - most of the larger national parks have bus stations and regular schedules. Naver (Korean map ap) will display availible times. Often you need to purchase in-person at the local bus station.

3. Rental car - pricey, but an option if you cannot find a car to borrow or a compatible bus route. 

4. Taxi - consider the range. Most national parks are a 2 hour drive minimum from Pyeongtaek. An easy option for hikes in Seoul (example: Bukhansan).

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2021

"Cloud Bridge" Daedunsan Mountain

2 Hour drive South of Pyeongtaek, with a cable car that can take you up the mountain, or hike the whole thing to get your steps in for the day. Breathtaking views from two epic "cloud" bridges and a scenic mountain overlook!

Naver Pin: Type "Daedunsan" into Naver, and select Daedunsan Mtn or "DaedunsanCableCar".

Image by Andre A. Xavier

More Info:

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2021

Seoraksan's Dinosaur Ridge

Seoraksan's iconic "Dinosaur Ridge" hike is not for the faint of heart. Split the journey into two days (check to ensure the overnight rest stop on the mountain has availability), or start early (before sunrise), and hike it all in one day.

Naver Pin: Seoraksan Park Main Entrance

Image by Ravit Sages

More Info:

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2021

Hallasan (Jeju)

Korea's tallest mountain! Fly down to Jeju-do island for a full-day hike up this amazing feature.

Mount Fuji

More Info:

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