Naejangsan Overview

Naejangsan National Park, established in 1971, is a renowned natural reserve located in the Jeolla-do region of South Korea, spanning across the districts of Jeongeup, Gwangyang, and Sunchang. This park covers an area of approximately 81.7 square kilometers (about 31.5 square miles) and is celebrated for its spectacular autumn foliage, making it one of the most popular destinations in South Korea for witnessing the vibrant colors of fall.

Naejangsan, which means “many secrets in the mountains,” lives up to its name with its hidden scenic spots, waterfalls, temples, and especially the breathtaking autumnal displays of maple leaves and other deciduous trees. The park is centered around Mount Naejangsan, which rises to a height of 763 meters (2,503 feet) and is home to a beautifully diverse landscape that includes lush forests, striking rock formations, and serene streams that weave through the valleys.

One of the most iconic features of Naejangsan National Park is the Naejangsa Temple, an ancient Buddhist temple that dates back to the Baekje Dynasty, nestled amidst the stunning natural backdrop of the park. The temple, along with the park’s two famous waterfalls, Dodeok Falls and Geumseon Falls, adds a layer of cultural and spiritual significance to the natural beauty of the area.

Naejangsan National Park offers a network of hiking trails that cater to all abilities, from gentle walks enjoying the serene beauty of the natural scenery to more challenging hikes up to the peaks offering panoramic views of the entire park. The park is also known for its rich biodiversity, including a variety of plant species that contribute to the spectacular autumn foliage, as well as numerous animal species that inhabit the area.

With its stunning natural beauty, rich cultural heritage, and reputation as one of the best places in South Korea to experience the fall season, Naejangsan National Park provides a perfect escape into nature for visitors seeking to experience the tranquility and splendor of the Korean landscape.

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Park Map
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Naejangsan National Park Pictures

Naejangsan National Park Trails

Naejangsan Circuit

Rating: Moderate

Distance and Elevation Gain: 5 kilometers round trip, with an elevation gain of about 500 meters.

Description: This trail offers a comprehensive tour around Naejangsan National Park, taking hikers past the famous Baekyangsa and Naejangsa temples, as well as the stunning Naejangsan Waterfall.

The path winds through dense forests of maple trees, providing breathtaking views of the park’s renowned autumn colors.

It’s a moderate hike that is especially popular in the fall but offers beautiful scenery year-round.

Baekyangsa Temple Trail

Rating: Easy

Distance and Elevation Gain: 3 kilometers one way, with minimal elevation gain.

Description: Leading to the historic Baekyangsa Temple, this easy trail is perfect for families and those seeking a leisurely walk.

The path meanders through a picturesque valley adorned with colorful foliage in autumn and lush greenery in spring and summer, ending at the serene temple grounds.

It’s an ideal route for experiencing the cultural and natural beauty of Naejangsan.

Uhwajeong Pavilion Trail

Rating: Easy to Moderate

Distance and Elevation Gain: 2 kilometers round trip, with an elevation gain of about 100 meters.

Description: This scenic trail leads to the Uhwajeong Pavilion, set on a small pond that reflects the surrounding mountains and forests.

The hike is relatively short and easy, suitable for all ages, and offers stunning views of the park’s landscape.

The pavilion area is a perfect spot for rest and photos, especially during the fall foliage season.

Naejangsan Summit Trail

Rating: Difficult

Distance and Elevation Gain: 8 kilometers round trip, with an elevation gain of about 600 meters.

Description: For those seeking a challenge, the Summit Trail to the top of Naejangsan Mountain offers steep climbs and rugged terrain.

The hike rewards adventurers with panoramic views of the entire national park, including its valleys, waterfalls, and the expansive sea of colorful trees in autumn.

It’s a demanding hike, recommended for experienced hikers.

Bulchulbong Peak Trail

Rating: Moderate

Distance and Elevation Gain: 4 kilometers round trip, with an elevation gain of about 300 meters.

Description: This trail takes hikers to Bulchulbong Peak, offering spectacular views of the park’s dramatic landscapes.

The path is well-maintained with some steep sections, making it a moderate hike.

From the peak, hikers can enjoy sweeping vistas of the surrounding mountains and valleys, making it a popular spot for sunrise and sunset views.

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