10 Hikes In Korea You Will Absolutely Love — Hiking Korea's Mountains: A National Parks Challenge

Rounding off the series on hiking Korea’s mountains with a bucket list to make the best of a year abroad, there are 10 more hikes in Korea I got to complete. I absolutely loved every moment spent on these trails, discovering as much of Korea’s landscape as I could — as would anyone!

Jeollabuk-do

There were quite a few parks on my list in Jeollabuk province, and since I lived in Busan, it was nice to get to spend time in a smaller city every once in a while. So, Jeonju being a convenient base for several hikes in Korea, and a town I happened to like a lot, I made it out there on three separate occasions.

Moaksan Provincial Park

I’ve written before about my bus ride to Moaksan Provincial Park, but I didn’t say much about the trail itself. I remember it being one of those quick and easy half-day hikes in Korea. As always when hiking Korea’s mountains, the scenery was stunning.

Misty mountain scenery from Moaksan Park.

Maisan Provincial Park

I spent New Year’s Day hiking at Maisan (Horse Ears Mountain) Provincial Park. The unique temple complex was just one of the highlights — the other a scarily-steep staircase.

Naejangsan National Park

The first time I went to Naejangsan National Park, in February, I didn’t think the weather would be a problem. I hadn’t encountered much snow yet this far south of the country. But when I got there, I realized there was no way I’d be able to hike that day — the park was closed due to a sudden snowstorm! I finally made it back to Naejangsan in May for a fantastic day of hiking Korea’s mountains. I would have loved to be able to return, since there were so many of the park’s trails I didn’t cover!

Lush verdant scenery from Naejangsan National Park.

Seonunsan Provincial Park

I’ve actually written about my trip to Seonunsan Provincial Park before. The thing is, I didn’t mention the hike one bit! I was more concerned with what happened afterwards… But now I can focus on the hike, since I’m lucky I even had one! When I got turned away at Naejangsan the first time, I made my way back to where I was staying in Jeonju and figured out an alternate plan for the next day. The difference in weather was incredible! Seonunsan isn’t all that far from the ocean, which contributed to the more temperate climate, I’m sure. And I even caught a glimpse of it here and there (smiley face).

Panoramic view from Seonunsan Provincial Park.

Jeollanam-do

A little bit harder to get out to from Busan, I nevertheless made it out to Jeollanam province several times — once during my Christmas vacation, twice in the spring for weekend hiking trips, and once on a summertime volunteer tour.

Mudeungsan Provincial Park *

I spent Christmas Day at Mudeungsan Provincial Park.* This was my very first time hiking outside of Busan — and one of my first hikes in Korea overall — and it was perfect in every way. The scenery was awesome, the trail was fun, and the sun shone most of the day. While visiting the temple at the end of the hike, it began to snow. The setting combined with the atmosphere gave the day a magical touch.

* Actually, I found out not too long ago that Mudeungsan became a national park a few years after I returned from Korea, which I highly approve (winky face).

Jogyesan Provincial Park

On Boxing Day, I spent a few hours hiking Korea's mountains at Jogyesan Provincial Park. I had a mysterious experience with a large white dog that appeared out of nowhere and guided me along for about half an hour before disappearing, but otherwise, it was one my most truly peaceful, mostly solitary hikes in Korea.

Jirisan National Park

Twice I made my way to Jirisan, once for a three-day springtime trek, and once for a weekend while volunteering for the Korea Wetland Project during the summer.

Wolchulsan National Park

I actually wrote a trek report of my day hiking at Wolchulsan National Park since it was marked by a very special event.

Views of Wolchulsan National Park seen while hiking Korea's mountains.

Jeju-do

I took an overnight ferry to get to Jeju Island, so it wasn't exactly something I could do often! In fact, since it was so far away, I spent an entire long weekend here.

Hallasan National Park

I got extremely lucky at Hallasan National Park. Yes, the weather was beautiful, but that's not it. Yes, the trail was one of the funnest hikes in Korea, but that's not it. Yes, the scenery was absolutely spectacular, but that's not it, either... I saw a roe deer!

Seongsan Ilchulbong

The only other hiking I did on Jeju Island was a short jaunt up Seongsan Ilchulbong, a volcanic crater. Once at the top, the forest inside the crater looked so lush and tempting, I really regretted not being allowed to walk around inside.

Seongsang Ilchulbong seen from the parking lot.

7 More Hikes in Korea

As much of an effort as I made to check off every park on my list, that just wasn’t possible — there are just way too many hikes in Korea to do it all in a year! If I’d been able to, I would also have hiked these trails in the Jeolla provinces:

  • Daedunsan Provincial Park
  • Deogyusan National Park
  • Byeonsan Peninsula National Park
  • Dadohae Maritime National Park
  • Duryunsan Provincial Park
  • Cheongwansan Pronvincial Park
  • Paryeongsan Provincial Park

Further Reading

For detailed trip reports on some of the hikes in Korea listed above, including lots of photos, park maps, and other important information, check out the following articles from Klimbing Korean Mountains: