Some of Korea’s best weekend destinations, in my opinion, are located outside the concrete of the cities. Boasting about 20 twenty national parks, it’s no surprise that hiking is the country’s No. 1 pastime. And no matter where you are located in the country, there is a national park with endless mountain trails, scenic vistas, and a scattering of hidden Buddhist temples near you. Hiking in Korea has a unique charm, which you will find out below;
Whether you are interested in hiking, camping, visiting temples or just a quick walk through a quiet forest, the national parks of Korea are the perfect place to experience Korea’s splendour.
The parks are beautiful—from the soft curvy crags of Seoraksan (mountain) in the northeast to its sharp rugged brother in the south, Jirisan.
I was brave/stupid enough to hike the entirety of Jirisan one fall weekend. It took three full days of hiking from dawn to dusk just to fall in bed (a.k.a. a blanket on the floor in a shared room at a trailside shelter) every night. It was an amazing experience, and since then, I have tried to see as many parks as possible.
Not only is the scenery alone worth it, but the friendly Koreans you meet on the trail really complete the experience. They will offer you the tea out of their thermos and the pork off their grill and probably even the clothes off their backs to make you feel welcome.
For a complete breakdown on Korea’s national parks, visit here. You can find detailed information on all 19 of Korean’s national parks including downloadable PDFs and maps, trail highlights, travel directions, flora and fauna, and more.