Hiking Trails in South Korea – 8 Best Trails You Must Try!
South Korea, known for its vibrant cities and rich cultural heritage, also boasts breathtaking natural landscapes, a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. 70% of South Korea’s land is mountainous, which makes it perfect for avid hikers seeking adventure and picturesque views. In this article, I will share the best hiking trails in South Korea you can try as you travel the country.
South Korea’s hiking trails are a perfect blend of nature and culture, from lush forests and serene lakes to rugged mountains and historic landmarks.
Lace up your hiking boots and embark on a memorable journey as we unveil the most captivating hiking trails in South Korea.
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Best Hiking Trails in South Korea
There are a lot of mountain you can conquer in South Korea. However, I can only list some of the best hiking trails in South Korea you can visit with your loved ones including.
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Bukhansan is the best short hiking trail for those with little time. It is located north of Seoul and only takes less than three hours to complete the courses.
These hiking trails are great ways to experience outdoor activity while enjoying the beautiful panoramic views of Seoul.
The only downside of this hiking trail is it is usually flooded with people because it’s the most accessible hiking trail from the capital.
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Jirisan is the second tallest mountain in South Korea, offers stunning sunrise views from the top of Cheonwangbong Peak.
The hiking trails vary from the quick three hours return to a multi-day hike for advanced hikers, so you will find all kinds of hikers here.
In addition, Jirisan national park is the first largest national park in South Korea which houses seven Buddhist temples over three provinces. The picturesque temples and ancient relics just add a cultural touch to this invigorating hike.
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Seoraksan offers 360-degree views of the East Sea beyond Sokcho City. The best time to visit this mountain is autumn, when the leaves start changing colors.
In addition, Seoraksan is only 2.5 hours away from the capital city. If you feel tired after your reach this place, you can opt to ride the cable car and enjoy the beautiful views and nearby tourist spots.
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Hallasan is the tallest mountain in South Korea, known as the crown Jewel of Jeju Island. This volcanic island is 1950m above sea level; most tourist visit this mountain as they enjoy other attractions on Jeju Island.
Little did people know that some old Koreans believed spirits lived on this mountain. Whether a beginner or a pro hiker, you can reach the top in hours or a day to enjoy the captivating volcanic landscapes.
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Naejangsan is one of Korea’s most beautiful mountains to hike in autumn, as the stunning foliage covers this mountain area.
If you prefer cherry blossoms and azaleas, you can visit during the spring; if you love the lush green colors, visit during the summer season in Korea.
In addition, Naejangsan National Park is home to incredible waterfalls, the red leaves tunnel, and the Naejangsa temple.
Stroll along picturesque trails adorned with fiery red and golden leaves, leading to the charming Naejangsa Temple, and offer a grateful prayers to God.
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Odaesan National Park treats hikers with the Birobong Peak trail. It takes about 3 hours to finish the Birobong course.
While most of the mountains in Korea usually have a sacred temple, Odaesan is uniquely considered a holy mountain because of its connection to Manjushri Bodhisattva.
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The Cloud Bridge in Wolchulsan National Park offers an exhilarating hiking experience for adventure seekers.
This suspension bridge spans between two peaks, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and valleys below.
The most famous trail here is Wolchulsan Loop, a short 3.2-km loop trail near Yeongam county, which only takes 2 hours to finish.
Wolchulsan is also a habitat for 693 plant species, such as the Camellia and Japanese evergreen oak.
In addition, it also houses more than 800 animal species, including mammals, birds species, amphibians, reptiles species and insects.
Credit to nationalparks
The Beopjusa Temple Course in Songnisan National Park is a top choice for a harmonious blend of hiking and cultural exploration.
The trail leads you through dense forests, past ancient temples, and up to the majestic bronze Buddha statue. The serene atmosphere and captivating architecture make this hike an unforgettable experience.
Songnisan is excellent for pro hikers who can do rock climbing; if you are not a pro, you better not choose this mountain. The hiking trails are more advanced, and some areas are steep.
South Korea’s hiking trails delight adventure lovers, encompassing diverse landscapes and cultural wonders.
From the iconic Seoraksan National Park to the breathtaking Cloud Bridge in Wolchulsan National Park, each course promises an unforgettable experience.
Whether you’re an amateur hiker or a seasoned trekker, these best hiking trails in South Korea offer an opportunity to immerse yourself in the country’s natural beauty and heritage, creating memories that will last a lifetime.
So, lace up your hiking boots, pack your backpack, and embark on an enchanting journey through the heart of South Korea’s magnificent outdoors.
Have you ever try one of these hiking trails in South Korea? How’s your experience? Let me know in the comment sections below!
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