Korea has twenty national parks, designated in areas along the picturesque
coast and deep in the grand mountains, most harboring historic old temples
and relics. All these parks have their own splendid hiking trails but
some trails may not be permitted to eter for the sake of ecological restoration.
Admissions range from 1 000 to 2 500 won. The below numbers follow the
order of designation. Contact www.npa.or.kr
for more useful information, operated by the National Parks Authority
1. Jirisan National Park
You can enjoy the panorama of the largest, majestic mountains in Korea,
trekking up and down peaks higher than 1 500 meters above sea level.
2. Gyeongju National Park
Gyengju itself, a huge historic site with many relics, some used for nearly
a thousand years and all remaining intact for another thousand years afte
the fall of the Silla Kingdom
3. Gyeryongsan National Park
These mountains were named from their ridges, one resembling a dragon
with a rooster´s head. They have been known as center for shamanism.
4. Hallyeo Maritime National Park
This maritime park stretches widely from east to west, covering both land
and sea. Many like to go cruising around the archipelago at Tongyeong,
Namhae, Geoje or Yeosu ferry terminals.
5. Seoraksan National Park
This 354 km2 park is famous for lush green valleys, granite peaks, glorious
waterfalls, several temples, and two hot springs.
6. Songnisan National Park
Songnisan Mountains (1 058 m) have a time-honored Beopjusa Temple, a pine
tree titled as Jeong-ipum-song that was actually granted government ministership,
Munjangdae Flat Rock Peak, and Hwayang, Seonyudong and Ssanggok Valleys.
7. Hallasan National Park
Hallasan Mountain (1 950 m) is home to many endangered plant species and
has abundant subtropical and temperate vegetation. Some hiking trails
will take you to the top, Baengnokdan Crate Lake.
8. Naejangsan National Park
Comprised of Naejangsan Mountains (763 m) centering on Naejangsa Temple,
famous for red maples in autumn, and the Baegamsan Mountains (741 m) with
Baegyangsa Temple which is loaded with cherry blossoms each spring.
9. Gayasan National Park
Gayasan Mountains (1 430m) are famous for historic sites and scenic landscapes,
such as Haeinsa Temple, Yongmun Falls, and Hongnyudong Valley renowned
for autumn colors.
10. Ceogyusan National Park
Deogyusan Mountains (1 614 m) are famous for Muju Gucheondong Valley with
crystal clear streams creating 33 scenic views. Other attractions are
Muju Ski Resort, the site of the 1997 Winter University Games, snow-capped
yew and fir trees creating splendid scenery in winter.
11. Odaesan National Park
This park consists largely of Odaesan Mountains (1 563 m) and Sogeumgang
Valley. Odaesan has a large fir forest around Woljeongsa Temple and smooth
ridgeline connecting five peaks. Sogeumgang Valley features beautiful
rock formations, lush forest, and many waterfalls.
12. Juwangsan National Park
Juwangsan (721 m) has spectacular rocky peaks forming a "stone folding
screen", scenic valleys, several waterfalls and mineral springs temples,
13. Taean Seashore National Park
Located along the Yellow Sea, this park offers many beaches, some 430
km of saw-toothed coastline, about 130 islands, and picturesque rock formations.
14. Dadohae Maritime National Park
Dotted with about 1 700 small and large beautiful islands sucha s Jindo,
Hongdo, Heuksando, and bogildo. The emerald sky above the sea of cobalt
blue, unusual rock formations, and unending stretches of sandy beach present
a world of untamed splendor.
15. Bukhansan National Park
This park, within Seoul and embracing Bukhansan (837 m) and Dobongsan
Mountains, is a must-see for visitors asi t provides good hiking or rock
climbing. In addition to famous temples sucha s Doseonsa and Hwagyesa,
other historic relics include a stone stele erected by King Jinheung (r.
540 - 576) of the Silla Kingdom, and ancient mountain fortress walls.
16. Chiaksan National Park
Chiaksan Mountains (1 288 m) attracts throngs of visitors throughout the
year, for its natural beauty and easy accessibility from Seoul.
17. Woraksan National Park
The summit of Woraksan reches a modest 1 096 meters, but i tis a tough
challenge to hikers for its steep slopes.
18. Sobaeksan National Park
Magnificent yet soft Sobaeksan Mountain (1 441 m) are famous for a unique
beauty ushering in each season, such as royal azaleas in blossom around
Yeonhwabong Peak in spring and yew groups around Birobong Peak. The park
also has several temples including Buseoksa and Guinsa.
19. Wolchulsan National Park
Wolchulsan (809 m) is famous for its craggy rock formations, very dramatic,
and has old temples such as Muwisa and Dogapsa.
20. Byeonsan Peninsula National Park
This only peninsular park in Korea has a number of beautiful sights to
offer, such as oddshaped mountain peaks, historic temples, Jikso Falls,
Bongnaegugok Valley, Chaeseokgang Seashore Cliff, and four nice beaches.