The end of September was the beginning of Korea’s 2017 Autumn season! With the 2016 fall foliage starting now and peaking in late October, BnBHero wanted to introduce to you the best places to enjoy Korea’s autumn! The top public mountains and parks to enjoy the autumn foliage is presented below!
The summer was unnaturally hot and long in Korea this year, making Korea’s Fall Foliage even more exciting! From late September Seoraksan National Park has already been covered in the first layers of fall, and the colors will deepen, heading South until it reaches Hallasan in Jejudo.
Normally, peak colors appear two weeks after the first fall foliage is observed.
|Seoraksan National Park (NaeSeorak)||September 29||October 20|
|Odaesan National Park||October 4||October 19|
|Jirisan National Park (Nogodan Peak)||October 12||October 25|
|Chiaksan National Park||October 14||October 27|
|Woraksan National Park||October 17||October 28|
|Bukhansan National Park (Dobong)||October 19||October 30|
|Palgongsan Natural Park (Gatbawi District)||October 20||October 30|
|Hallasan National Park||October 20||November 3|
|Gyeryongsan National Park||October 21||October 31|
|Naejangsan National Park||October 22||November 9|
|Mudeungsan National Park||October 24||November 7|
Seoraksan National Park
Address Buk-myeon, Inje-gun, Gangwon-do
강원도 인제군 북면
Also referred to as Seolsan and Seolbongsan, the mountain was named Seorak (‘Seol’ meaning ‘snow’ and ‘Ak’ meaning ‘big mountain’) because the snow would not melt for a long time keeping the rocks in a permanent state of white. In November 1965, the Seorak Mountain district was designated as a Natural Monument preservation area. Afterwards in December 1973, it was designated as a park preservation area, and in August 1982, as a Biosphere Preservation District by UNESCO.
The park is spread across 4 cities and counties: Sokcho, Inje, Goseong and Yangyang. The highest peak is Daecheongbong; to the east is OeSeorak and to the west is NaeSeorak, which is divided again into North NaeSeorak and South NaeSeorak. North NaeSeorak is composed of Bukcheon, which flows to Ingyecheon and Baekdamcheon streams. There are numerous valleys in NaeSeorak. Follow the Baekdamcheon Valley where all the streams meet and you will reach Baekdamsa Temple, which is known for its beautiful scenery. Upstream there is Gayadong Valley and Suryeomdong Valley, and past Yeongsiam and Mangyeongdae there is Madeungryeong Ridge (1,327m) that leads to Seorakdong.
From Dong Seoul Bus Terminal, take an intercity bus bound for Baekdamsa Temple.
Get off at the entrance of Baekdamsa Temple (백담사).
Walk 15min to the bus stop near Baekdam Ticket Box.
From the bus stop, take a local bus to Baekdamsa Temple.
Odaesan National Park
AddressDongsan-ri, Jinbu-myeon, Pyeongchang-gun & Beongnae-ri, Doam-myeon & Sinwang-ri, Yeongok-myeon, Gangreung-si, Gangwon-do
강원도 평창군 진부면 오대산로
Odaesan National Park was designated as a national park in 1975. Its name was derived from the the following 5 plateaus: Manwoldae, Jangryeondae, Girindae, Sangsamdae and Jigongdae. Featuring the 1,563m high Birobong Peak, Odaesan spreads southwest with Mt. Sodaesan, Horyeongbong Peak and Mt. Sogyebangsan. The east side is connected with Sangwangbong Peak and Durobong Peak, which are over 1,000m high.
Odaesan has the largest natural woods of Korea. Many wild animals and plants are known to exist here. The area of Birobong Peak is famous for its Nuncheunkbaek and Yew tree forests. The royal azelea and Geumgang Chorong from Durobong Peak to Sangwangbong Peak are famous and there are animals such as boars, musk deer, turtledoves and colorful woodpeckers living here.
From Dong Seoul Bus Terminal, take an intercity bus to Jinbu (진부).
From Jinbu Bus Terminal, take a local bus bound for Woljeongsa Temple (월정사) or Sangwonsa Temple (상원사).
* Local bus bound for Woljeongsa Temple: 06:30, 07:40, 10:20, 14:20, 18:30, 19:40
* Local bus bound for Sangwonsa Temple: 08:30, 09:40, 11:50, 12:50, 15:30, 16:40
* Bus schedules are subject to change.
Jirisan National Park (Sancheong)
Address Sicheon-myeon & Samjang-myeon, Sancheong-gun, Gyeongsangnam-do
경남 산청군 시천면 , 삼장면
(Korean, English, Chinese, Japanese)
Boasting breathtaking views, Jirisan National Park was the first park in Korea to officially be designated a national park in 1967. Its glorious mountain range extends across three provinces and five cities. The magnificent mountains and exceptional scenery make this one of the most famous mountains in Korea. Roughly 1,915 meters above sea level, Cheonwangbong Peak, considered to be the pillar of heaven, is the main peak. Jirisan also features Banyabong and Nogodan, and is home to over 10 famous temples. There are over twenty summits and valleys such as Baemsagol Valley, which are part of “Jirisan Ten Sceneries.” As this is the location of the most well-preserved virgin forests in Korea , the majestic and mystical mountain is highly revered. There are many species of animal and plant life, and as the first place to cultivate tea in Korea, herbal medicine cultivation still flourishes here.
Jirisan Mountain was also where the Buddhist culture prospered, and there are many cultural assets here, such as Baekjangam Three-Story Stone Pagoda (National Treasure No.10), the Silsangsa Three-Story Stone Pagoda (Treasure No. 37) and more. These regional cultural assets and the superb sceneries of nature give you a unique taste of local history and culture. The weather is temperamental and only 80~100 days out of the year are clear and sunny, but the mist and fog create rare, unparalleled scenes not found anywhere else.
[Bus] From Dong Seoul Bus Terminal, take a bus to Jinju.
From Jinju Intercity Bus Terminal, take a bus to Daewonsa Temple (대원사) OR take a bus to Jungsan-ri (중산리).
Chiaksan National Park (치악산국립공원)
Address Bugok-ri, Gangnim-myeon, Hoengseong-gun & Hoekgok-ri, Socho-myeon, Wonju-si, Gangwon-do
강원 원주시 소초면 학곡리, 횡성군 강림면 부곡리
Chiaksan National Park (치악산국립공원) was designated as a national park in December 1984. For years Chiaksan has inspired hikers with its towering mountain sides and magnificent deep valleys. Its was once referred to as “Jeokak,” but the name has since changed over time, due in large part to a mythical story. There once a man that rescued a pheasant from being eaten alive by a snake. When the man later found himself in danger, that pheasant saved his life in return. Because of this story the name became “Chiaksan.”
Also on the top of Birobong are the famous three stone pagodas (10m high). Guryongsa Temple was established by Monk Uisang (625~702) of the Silla Kingdom (BC 57∼AD 935), during the reign of King Munmu. Other attractions include Daewungjeon (Local Tangible Cultural Property No.24), Guryong Waterfall, the Turtle Stone, Tiger Stone and Dragon stone nearby.
For many years, Chiaksan was dotted with numerous temples. However, as time wore on, only Guryongsa Temple along with seven others remain today. At Guryong Valley there is a forest of pine trees that are hundreds of years old. The main ridges of Chiaksan are steep to the west but slope gently in the east.
In front of Wonju Station, take city bus No. 41 bound for Guryongsa Temple (40 min ride), No. 21 bound for Geumdaeri or Seongnam-ri (30 min ride), or No. 82 bound for Hwang-gol (30 min ride).
Get off at the entrance of Chiaksan Mountain.
Woraksan National Park
Address Hansu-myeon, Jecheon-si, Chungcheongbuk-do
충북 제천시 한수면 , 덕산면 수산리
The Woraksan Mountains are filled with valleys and beautiful waterfalls. Though the path to the peak of the Woraksan Mountain may be steep and rugged, once you’re up there, you are surrounded by Korean White Pine Trees and looking down on a stunning view of the lakes below. In wintertime the snow covered scenery of this National Park is breathtaking, and has been compared to Korea’s famous Geumgangsan Mountains. The park contains an abundance of wildlife and plants, many of which are extremely rare, so some hiking courses are regulated to prevent forest fires and ensure their protection. Within the park there are several traditional temples to visit and many attractions are located nearby, including the Suanbo hot springs.
From Dong Seoul Bus Terminal, take an intercity bus to Deokjusa Temple (덕주사).
* Bus Schedule: 06:40-18:40, 2hr intervals
From Chungju Bus Terminal (충주터미널), take Bus 222 or 246 (bound for Songgye/Naesonggye, 송계/내송계).
Get off at the entrance of Woraksan National Park (월악산국립공원).
* Bus Schedule:
– Bus 222: 08:00-19:10, runs 5 times a day
– Bus 246: 07:15-17:05, runs 6 times a day
Bukhansan National Park (Dobong)
Address Mangwol-ro, Uijeongbu-si, Gyeonggi-do
경기 의정부시 망월로
Mt. Bukhansan is situated in the northern part of Seoul. Designated as a national park in 1983, the mountain is 78.45km wide and has 6 districts and extends out into Gyeonggi-do Province. The name Bukhansan means “big mountain in the north,” and it is also called Mt. Samgaksan. Mt. Bukhansan has such smooth curves that the large granite rocks sometimes look as if they would slide down the mountain. The sharp peaks provide contrast to the dozens of valleys and rivers flowing below. The mountain has many different kinds of peaks but its main peak is Baegunbong. The granite peaks blend well with trees, and there are about 1,300 kinds of animals and plants living on the mountain. Among the granite peaks, the best known is Insubong Peak’s Giam rocks. The world famous granite rock peak Insubong is over 200m above sea level, and there are about 100 mountain paths leading to the rock. When you stand on Baegundae and look down, sometimes you can see as far as Seoul City and the Hangang River.
With its granite peaks and Bukhansanseong Fortress, Bukhansan is perfect for hiking in all seasons. In the spring, all kinds of flowers bloom, and in the summer, lush forests carpet the numerous valleys. The hiking path along the valley is perhaps the best summer mountain climbing course. And the fall is the perfect time to visit the temples and pavilions in their autumn colors. In the winter, the snow-covered mountain scenery is very beautiful. The park averages 5 million visitors and has received the Honor of being in the Guinness Book of World Records for being the national park with the highest number of visitors per square foot.
[Subway] Bukhansan National Park
Gireum Station (Seoul Subway Line 4), Exit 3.
Take Bus 110B or 143, and get off at the last bus stop.
Gupabal Station (Seoul Subway Line 3), Exit 1.
Take Bus 704 bound for Bukhansanseong Fortress (북한산성).
Get off at the Bukhansan Mountain entrance bus stop.
Mangwolsa Station (Seoul Subway Line 1)
Walk 10min to arrive at the Dobong management office of Bukhansan National Park.
* Public transportation routes are subject to change, please double check for matching direction from the official website before visiting.
Palgongsan Natural Park (Gatbawi District)
Address 229, Gatbawi-ro, Dong-gu, Daegu
대구광역시 동구 갓바위로 229 (진인동)
Palgongsan Natural Park (Gatbawi District) is centered around Palgongsan Mountain, one of the larger mountains in the Taebaek mountain range. Palgongsan Mountain is located 20km northeast from downtown Daegu, where Nakdonggang River and Geumhogang River meet. The mountain has three peaks in a row: Birobong Peak in the center and Dongbong (aka ‘Mitabong,’ 1,155m) and Seobong (aka ‘Samseongbong,’ 1,150m) on either side.
The park has numerous rocks and valleys and is carpeted with azaleas in the spring. In the autumn many visitors flock to the park to admire the falls leaves on the trees lining the 16.3km-long road through the park. With vibrant green leaves and a delicate snowscape in the winter, Palgongsan Mt is an attractive destination for visitors throughout the year.
‘Gatbawi’ is a statue of Buddha that sits against a rocky cliff of Gwanbong Peak that rises 850m above the sea level. The name ‘Gatbawi’ comes from the fact that the Buddha has a flat rock (‘bawi’) on its head that looks like a Korean traditional hat (called a ‘gat’). The statue, designated Treasure No. 431, is one of the most sophisticated Buddha statues of the 9th Century. Legend has it that the statue grants honest prayers, so every year at sunrise on New Year’s Day people flock to the Buddha statue to make a wish for the new year and see the rising sun.
Dong Daegu Station
Take Bus 401 or Express Bus 1 (급행1)
Get off at the entrance of Donghwasa Temple (동화사입구)
Hallasan National Park [UNESCO World Heritage]
(한라산국립공원 [유네스코 세계자연유산])
NoticesHiking on Hallasan Mountain is limited to daytime hiking, and mountain entrance hours (which vary by season) are strictly enforced to allow hikers to climb down the mountain before sunset.
Address 2070-61, 1100-ro, Jeju-si, Jeju-do
제주특별자치도 제주시 1100로 2070-61
Hallasan Mountain rises up proudly from the center of Jeju Island and is perhaps the island’s most memorable landmarks. Also called Mt. Yeongjusan, meaning “mountain high enough to pull the galaxy,” Hallasan Mountain is widely known by scientists for its geological value. Designated as a national park in 1970, there are 368 parasitic volcanoes called Oreums (peaks) around the main mountain.
Hallasan Mountain is famous for its vertical ecosystem of plants that results from the varying temperatures along the mountainside. Over 1,800 kinds of plants and 4,000 species of animals (3,300 species of insects) have been identified; to explore the mountain’s treasures, simply follow one of the well-developed mountain hiking trails.
Hallasan Mountain is relatively easy to hike. With hiking courses less than 10 km in length, it is possible to go to the peak and back in one day. However, the constantly changing weather brings a lot of wind, so make sure that you are well prepared before you start climbing.
[Bus] Jeju Intercity Bus Terminal – Eorimok
-Take Bus No. 740 (Jeju, Yeongsil, Jungmun), and get off at Eorimok Trail Entrance Bus Stop.
Travel time: approx. 45 min
Jeju Intercity Bus Terminal – Seongpanak
-Take Bus No. 781 or 781-1 (Jeju, Seongpanak, Seogui), and get off at Seongpanak Bus Stop.
Travel time: approx. 40 min
Gyeryongsan National Park
Address Banpo-myeon, Gongju-si, Chungcheongnam-do
충남 공주시 반포면
Gyeryongsan National Park stretches across Daejeon, Gongju, and Nonsan. This spectacular mountain is 845.1m above sea level and was made a national park in 1968. The origin of the word Gyeryong (‘Gye’ meaning ‘chicken,’ and ‘Yong’ meaning ‘dragon’) comes from the fact that the ridgeline looks like a dragon wearing a chicken’s crest on its head. The topographical features are what make this mountain stand out and its mysterious folklore is what makes it so interesting. There are 15 summits on this mountain, of which Cheonhwangbong (845.1m) is the main. Several others include the peaks of Sambulbong, Sinseongbong, and Gwaneumbong. This mountain is famous for its many interesting sites, with its fantastic rock structures, on the west side the Yongmun Waterfall, to the east Eunseon Waterfall, and to the south Amyongchu and Sutyongchu Waterfalls.
In the spring, cherry blossoms bloom on Donghaksa Mountain trail, and during the summer the lush green of the Donghaksa Valley is very beautiful. During the fall, the maple trees reveal their crimson colored leaves around Gapsa Temple and Yongmun Waterfall. And the snowcapped peaks of Sambulbong in the winter are simply breathtaking.
From Daejeon Station or Hyeonchungwon Station (Daejeon Subway Line 1, Exit 3),
Take Bus 107 and get off at Donghaksa Temple (동학사) (20min intervals).
Naejangsan National Park
Address Naejang-dong, Jeongeup-si, Jeollabuk-do
전북 정읍시 내장동 , 전남 장성군 북하면 백양로
Naejangsan is a famous mountain in the Jeolla-do province, and the best mountain in Korea for viewing autumn’s crimson leaves. The park is 76,032 sq. km. in size and became a National Park along with Baekyangsa District on Nov. 17th, 1971. The name Naejang means ‘many secrets’ in the mountain. Because of the bright crimson leaves that blanket Naejangsan Mountain’s fall scenery, the mountain is also referred to as “Geumgangsan of Honam.”
Inside the park, there are famous waterfalls, such as Dodeok Falls and Geumseon Falls, and temples such as Baekyangsa and Naejangsa temples. If you follow the valley left of the ticket booth, you can see the waters of Dodeok Falls, cascading down the cliff. If you go further along the valley you can see the waters Geumseon Falls where even the gods have supposedly bathed. Baekyangsa Temple is both majestic and serene, surrounded by Gulgeori trees that retain their lush green leaves even in winter, and also the Bija trees. Along with Baekyangsa Temple, the Naejangsa Temple is the place to visit during the fall for its lovely autumn leaves. Besides these, there are about 760 kinds of local plants, designated Natural Monuments, and various wild animals living inside Mt. Naejangsan Park.
From Central City Terminal (Honam Line), take a bus to Jeongeup Intercity Bus Terminal.
Take Bus No. 171 and get off at Service Area.Naejangsan Bus Terminal (휴게소.버스터미널) Bus Stop.
Mudeungsan Mountain National Park
AddressHwasun-gun & Damyang-gun & Jisan-dong, Dong-gu, Gwangju, Jeollanam-do
광주광역시 동구 동산길 29 , 전남 담양군, 화순군
Mudeungsan National Park (무등산국립공원) is a mountain at the edge of Hwasun-gun, Damyang-gun and Gwangju. Mudeungsan Mountain (1,186m) features three rock peaks called Cheonwangbong, Jiwangbong, and Inwangbong, also known as the “Jeongsang Three.”
Mudeungsan’s gradual slope makes it an easy climb for all. Locals once worshiped Cheonwangbong Peak as it was considered a mountain of God. Among the more majestic of these sites are the Seoseokdae, Gyubong, and Ipseokdae peaks. At the base of the mountain are several famous temples including Yaksaam, Jeungsimsa, and Wonhyosa. Mudeungsan Mountain is also known for its beauty throughout the year. The fall autumn leaves of Gyubongam and eoksae grass of Baekma Ridge are quite spectacular. In the winter, snow and ice on the mountain create exquisite scenery as well.
Below the mountain, there is a variety of recreational facilities and tourists sites for visitors. This includes Gwangju National Museum, a traditional Korean style building with exhibition space and artifacts on display. These items total 2,000 artifacts and include treasures excavated from the sea of Sinan, items from Honam province (made during the Seonsa, Baekje, and Silla periods), and paintings from the Joseon Period.
Gwangju Bus Terminal (U-Square Terminal).
– Take Bus 09 and get off at the entrance of Jeungsimsa Temple.
– Walk towards Mudeungsan National Park.
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