South Korea National Parks

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About South Korea National Parks National Parks

South Korea’s national parks offer a captivating journey through diverse landscapes and rich cultural heritage. From the dramatic peaks of Seoraksan National Park to the pristine coastlines of Hallyeohaesang National Park, each park presents a unique blend of natural beauty and cultural significance.

Seoraksan National Park, located in the northeastern part of the country, is renowned for its rugged mountains, deep valleys, and colorful foliage, especially during the autumn season. Hallyeohaesang National Park, situated along the southern coast, features scenic islands, rocky cliffs, and sandy beaches, as well as traditional fishing villages and historic temples.

Other notable parks include Jirisan National Park, with its ancient forests and mountain temples, and Bukhansan National Park, which offers panoramic views of Seoul from its peaks. These national parks not only preserve South Korea’s natural heritage but also provide opportunities for outdoor recreation, cultural experiences, and spiritual renewal amidst stunning landscapes.

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South Korea National Parks's National Parks

Bukhansan National Park

Bukhansan National Park

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Hallasan National Park panoramic view

Hallasan National Park

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Jirisan National Park hwaeomsa fall foliage

Jirisan National Park

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Naejangsan National Park

Naejangsan National Park

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Seoraksan National Park stream

Seoraksan National Park

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Songnisan National Park aerial view of temple

Songnisan National Park

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FAQ’s

1. How many national parks are there in South Korea?

South Korea has a total of 22 national parks. These national parks protect diverse ecosystems, including mountains, forests, coastlines, wetlands, and cultural heritage sites, and offer opportunities for outdoor activities, wildlife viewing, and cultural experiences.

2. What is the largest national park in South Korea?

The largest national park in South Korea is Jirisan National Park (지리산국립공원). Covering an area of approximately 471 square kilometers (about 182 square miles), Jirisan National Park is located in the southern part of the country, spanning across three provinces: South Gyeongsang, North Jeolla, and South Jeolla.

Jirisan is known for its rugged mountains, deep valleys, pristine forests, and cultural heritage sites, including Buddhist temples and traditional mountain villages. The park is a popular destination for hiking, camping, wildlife observation, and cultural tours, attracting millions of visitors each year.

Jirisan National Park is also home to diverse flora and fauna, making it a significant conservation area in South Korea.

3. What is the smallest national park in South Korea?

The smallest national park in South Korea is Wolchulsan National Park (월출산국립공원). Covering an area of approximately 56.6 square kilometers (about 21.9 square miles), Wolchulsan National Park is located in the southwestern part of the country, in Jeollanam-do Province.

Despite its small size, Wolchulsan National Park is known for its dramatic landscapes, including steep cliffs, rocky peaks, deep valleys, and lush forests. The park is popular among hikers and outdoor enthusiasts, offering various hiking trails with stunning viewpoints, waterfalls, and cultural landmarks such as temples and shrines.

Wolchulsan National Park also features unique geological formations, including the famous Cloud Bridge (Cheonhwangbong Bridge), which offers panoramic views of the surrounding area.

4. What was the first national park in South Korea?

The first national park in South Korea is Jirisan National Park (지리산국립공원). Established on December 29, 1967, Jirisan National Park is located in the southern part of the country, spanning across three provinces: South Gyeongsang, North Jeolla, and South Jeolla.

Jirisan is known for its rugged mountains, deep valleys, pristine forests, and cultural heritage sites, including Buddhist temples and traditional mountain villages. The establishment of Jirisan National Park marked the beginning of a concerted effort by the South Korean government to preserve the country’s natural and cultural heritage through the creation of national parks.

Today, Jirisan National Park remains one of the most visited and revered national parks in South Korea, attracting millions of visitors each year.