Hiking in Gyeryongsan National Park in South Korea

Gyerangsang National Park

Another weekend, another day trip to hike in Korea. We traveled on the KTX from Seoul to Daejeon to check out Gyeryongsan National Park and the beauty it has to offer. After grabbing a few snacks and bottles of this area’s signature chestnut makgeolli we were ready to get hiking.

The hike we did was perfect for a day trip and full of stunning views. We hiked on a comfortable overcast day in June. The total hike took us about 4.5 hours to these five different sites.

We started the hike at the main entrance from Daejeon. At the sign with a map of the park take a right up a hill and start your hike to do the path exactly as we did.

Gyerongsan National PArk

Turn right at this sign!

Pro Tip
If you start to the right of the sign you will not have to pay admission to the park.

Nammaetap Pagoda

About an hour after beginning the hike and going up several uneven stone steps you will reach a well deserved break at Nammaetap Pagoda. There are plenty of places to sit and enjoy a picnic surrounding the temple and stone pagodas. You have climbed a ways up the mountain already and have views overlooking the mesmerizing landscape.

 There are restrooms here!

Sambulbong (Sambul Peak)

Only about a 15-20 minute hike from Nammaetap Pagoda is Sambulbong or Sambul Peak. The peak rests at 775 m (~2,546 ft) and is known as the Three Buddhas Peak. After hiking to Nammaetap Pagoda, this is a quick climb up. This peak is not ideal to sit and relax, just more of a photo spot and to take in the beauty of the park. From this peak you will begin the journey across the ridgeline to Gwaneumbong or Gwaneum Peak.

Gwaneumbong (Gwaneum Peak)

After crossing the ridgeline from Sambulbong it will take about an hour to reach Gwaneumbong the highest peak on this hike standing at 816 m (~2,677 ft). There are breathtaking views and it is a great place to sit on a giant rock on top of the mountain to rest and finish off the rest of that chestnut makgeolli you bought!

Eunseon Pokpo (Eunseon Waterfall)

On the descent down from Gwaneumbong you will walk along a stream of calming and soothing trickling mini waterfalls. This is a relaxing way to climb down 816 meters! We stopped off and took a few pictures along the mini waterfalls before we reached the observation deck and main Eunseon waterfall. The height of the skinny, trickling falls is approximately 50 m (~154 ft.). The main waterfall itself is not very impressive during June, but definitely a beautiful site. It might be nice to see the waterfalls just after winter when the ice melts.

Gyerangsang National Park
Gyerangsang National Park

Gyerangsang National Park

Donghaksa temple

Once you reach Donghaksa Temple you know you’ve made it. This gorgeous temple is known for housing and teaching a large amount of female Buddhist monks. The grounds consist of multiple buildings to worship with stone pagodas tucked between buildings. There are many visitors at this temple due to its location close to the entrance of the park.

You could actually do this course in reverse and this would be the first place you pass.

One last drink before we hit the road…

After completing our hike we headed back to the small town at the entrance of the park where we had to catch our bus. Along the way we saw some restaurants located right next to the stream that leads to Eunseon Waterfall. We decided to stop and enjoy one last bottle of chestnut makgeolli at a riverside restaurant. The place we stopped at also offered seating on blankets right on the river where the food would be brought right down to you. This place was romantic and beautiful. Not only was it great for couples, but a great place for families to eat too.

Overall, Gyeryongsan was a beautiful and an awesome day hiking trip. After hiking 4.5 hours we were ready to call it a day and head home. We recommend making the journey to at least spend one day hiking here.

Directions to Gyerongsan National Park

KTX from Haengsin to Daejeon

23,900 KRW (~$23.90) per person

1.5 hour ride

Daejeon KTX to Gyeryongsan

Take bus 107 to the last stop Gyeryongsan National Park

Approximately 40 minutes

1,100 KRW (~$1.10) fare per person

Looking for other day trips to do in Korea? Here’s a couple suggestions

Have you been to Gyeryongsan National Park? Share your hiking experience below! Like or Follow us on Facebook,Instagram, and Twitter!

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About the Author

Scott Herder

Scott has been traveling with his Fiancé Megan since 2014. Prefers slow travel, beer, spicy food, and motorbikes. When Scott isn't thinking about travel he is either shooting hyperlapse or speaking about hyperlapse photography at international conferences.I love travelling and learning. Currently trying to learn how to take better photographs, use this website, and begin travelling the world. Life goals to have Anthony Bourdain's job and travel through India on a motorbike!

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  • This looks like another great Korean hike. I haven’t been to the Daejeon area at all; I think I need to change that! Great photos! Also, how was the chestnut makgeolli?

    • Thanks Nathan. The area was pretty cool. The chestnut magkeolli was pretty good. Wasn’t crazy about it on the first bottle, but actually really liked it after trying it some more!

  • qiranger

    Man, that looked like a great hike. Wonderful place to hike and explore. Hoe to get there this summer! Thanks for helping me plan my vacation!

    • Haha no problem! It was pretty nice and not too challenging. Although there was one spot that was 250 stair steps at the very end that was a bit of a challenge.

  • Laura

    It looks stunning! I can’t believe Daejon is only an hour and a half on the KTX! and the restaurant you guys went to looks so lovely! Thanks for sharing these tips!

    • Daejon is actually quite pretty and it’s awesome that it is reasonably close. If I were to do it again, I might have gone to Gwangju saturday, then headed back to Daejon saturday night or sunday morning and done the day trip in Daejon and headed home Sunday night.

  • Carl Hedinger

    Beautiful pics! Seems like you might’ve gone at about the same time that we encountered cloudy skies on Namhae. Still great views though. Thanks for sharing.

    • Thanks for the comment Carl. Clouds, haze, pollution, yellow dust, not sure but if the skies were clearer the shots would be pretty stunning!

  • I was planning on going to Daedunsan (which is also close to Daejeon) next weekend but I hadn’t realize there was another national park in the area. Guess I need to research to see which one would be better. Gyeryongsan looks quite nice though. And chestnut makgeolli sounds pretty awesome!

    • Sounds like their close, you could also just do one saturday, stay near by and hit the other one sunday so you don’t have to make two trips and save some money!

  • I don’t go hiking nearly as much as I should anymore, but your article just inspired me to make it a priority this summer. Also, another good motivator is the Chestnut Makgeolli. That’s my favorite kind! You also inspired me to write my own hiking blog entry. So, if I had to describe this post in one word, it would be… inspiring.

    • qiranger

      Hiking is indeed awesome. I just penned a hiking them column for the Business Post and thought to myself, I really need to get back and hit some of the trails this summer. I would so enjoy that!

    • thanks for the kind comment! It has definitely been one of our favorite things to do in Korea so far. Looking forwared to seeig your post on your hikes!

  • LifeOutside of Texas

    I haven’t made it to Daejeon yet. We haven’t been into hiking much, but we are trying to get fit so we are thinking about working our way up to things like this. Looks really awesome!

    • Thanks! This definitely was a lot harder of a hike than we were anticipating. But there are a ton of different courses that are harder and easier than this for all comers!

  • Evan and Rachel

    Wow, I’ve never been to Daejeon either! We really need to change that. You captured some great images on this trip even though it seems like it was a bit overcast.

    I’ve also tried the chestnut makgeolli before and I loved it. Nothing like a post hiking makgeolli and pajeon. 😉
    Great post!

    • Thanks for the comment Evan & Rachel. Pajeon and Makgeolli are definitely a great pair after a hike!

  • Nicola Ng

    Wow, the hike looks awesome! I was wondering if it’ll be alright to hike up during Winter this January. It’ll be our very first trip to Seoul for my family and I!

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