Incredible Juwangsan National Park – Hiking | South Korea

Juwangsan National Park is one of the many national parks dotted across South Korea. Through this article I’ll let you know how to get there and also give some information on one of the most popular hiking paths through the national park. So….let’s get started!

Juwangsan National Park, South Korea
First views of Juwangsan National Park

How to get to Juwangsan National Park

If you don’t live in Seoul, Andong or near the National Park itself, it can be quite difficult to get to this national park unless you are driving yourself. If you do want to take public transportation though, it’s probably best to get yourself to one of the cities I mentioned above as they have buses direct to Juwangsan National Park.

Even though there are direct buses to the park from the cities I listed above, they do not go very often, so its best to check the timetables for the buses in advance to make sure you aren’t waiting around too long. If you are leaving from somewhere else though, I’ll give you some more information. For myself, I was leaving from Incheon.

So first, I made my way to Gwangmyeong Station where I caught a KTX to Dongdaegu Station. I caught one of the first trains in the morning and it took roughly 1.5 hours to get to DongDaegu. Following that, I walked to the bus terminal that is connected to DongDaegu Station. I caught an immediate bus to Cheongsong.

This took roughly another 1 to 1.5 hours. Finally, in Cheongsong there are fairly frequent buses into Juwangsan National Park as this is the closest town to the park. So I got a bus roughly 10 minutes after I arrived into the park. This bus only took around 30 minutes. So in total, from Incheon, it took me a good 4 hours to get there. Not an easy task.

Even if you take a direct bus from DongSeoul terminal, it can take around 4.5 hours on the road as that bus first stops in Andong on it’s way to the park. So yeah, it’s not an easy park to get to.

As you enter Juwangsan, make sure you check the timetables to see when buses leave back to the city you need to go back to. As buses are infrequent, you don’t want to miss your bus back home. To see timetables from Juwangsan to other cities and towns from the Cheongsong website, you can see them here.

Hiking in Juwangsan National Park

Stunning scenery in Juwangsan National Park
Stunning scenery in Juwangsan National Park

Juwangsan National Park despite being a smaller sized park has some great hiking trails and amazing scenery. Especially during the fall time, visitor numbers surge here as the hills are full of trees that change to vibrant colors during the season. Despite there being lots of trails to choose from, there is one main route that I would say is the most popular route in the park.

It’s a roughly 4-5 hour loop trail that first takes you up to Jubong peak which is the highest peak in the park, and then as you loop around it brings you down into the main valley with waterfalls, cliffs and amazing scenery all around you. It’s truly a surprising park with it’s scenery.

Cliffs of Juwangsan National Park
Cliffs of Juwangsan National Park

The trail itself starts at Daejeon Temple which is worth some time exporing as well. Right in front of the temple there is a huge gingko tree that if you go at the right time provides an amazing yellow foreground with the rocky peaks behind the temple.

Daejeon Temple, Juwangsan National Park
The gingko tree at Daejeon Temple

From Daejeon Temple, the trail splits off and you will want to take the trail up towards Jubong Peak. Its a steady uphill climb, but nothing too difficult or technical as there are quite a few stairs. Also, along the way, there are amazing viewpoints and platforms to view the stunning mountainous landscape. As you continue along the ridge, you will then start to descend into the valley area.

Juwangsan National Park
Near the top of the trail

If you are coming here in the fall time, this descent into the valley provides some of the best views of the fall colors and is not to be missed.

Fall colors at Juwangsan National Park
Fall colors at Juwangsan National Park

Eventually, you reach the valley and are now crossing bridges over a small stream and the whole area is forested. It’s a very peaceful area and so beautiful.

Along the valley in Juwangsan National Park
Along the valley in Juwangsan

As you continue down the path, you will reach some of the waterfalls for which the park is famous. These have crystal clear pools and are great spots to take time to relax and enjoy a small picnic if you brought some food with you.

One of the waterfalls at Juwangsan
One of the waterfalls at Juwangsan National Park

Further down the valley, you reach what may be the most interesting part of the park and quite unique I think to Korean National Parks, where the trail is carved through massive boulders and rocks. As you weave through this cliffs it’s truly amazing to see the geography of this park and all it has to offer. In this area is another waterfall and you feel so small standing among the rocks and cliffs.

Among the rocks at Juwangsan
Among the rocks

Finally, you will finish the trail back at Daejeon Temple and can make you way back to where the bus dropped you off to go head back home. Like a lot of other Korean National Parks, the entryway to the park has tons of food stalls and places to eat and drink. If you have time, I recommend stopping at one of these places and getting back some energy from your long hike.

If you are looking for more information about Juwangsan or want to see a map of what this hike looks like on the map, you can see the english version of the national park website here.

Where to stay near Juwangsan National Park?

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If you don’t want to have a day full of getting to and from Juwangsan National Park, I would recommend spending a night in Andong. Andong is only about 1hr roughly from the park and has nice hotels and is actually a really nice city to explore as well as there is the Andong Folk Village there and other things to see.

So I would recommend making a weekend out of it and going to Juwangsan, spend the night in Andong, and then enjoy the next day in Andong before heading home. Below are a few hotels at Andong to help your search for a place to stay:

Andong Poong-Gyung Hostel N Library – A highly rated hostel in Andong with budget rooms and also double rooms for those who want privacy. Including a nice library and free continental bfast, it’s a great place to stay.

Jukheon Traditional House – Stay in this traditional house while you stay in Andong. With reasonable priced rooms (shared bathroom) and a simple breakfast, this is a popular place to stay as Andong is known to be a city with a lot of tradition.

Goryeo Hotel – A normal hotel with nice amenities and good location downtown. Reasonably priced and well rated.

Hopefully through this article, it was able to intoduce you to this beautiful national park known as Juwangsan. It’s worth the effort to get there and there is a lot to do once you get here. If you have any questions or comments about Juwangsan National park, please do not hesitate to contact us or comment on the article below!

Michael Mellinger

Having traveled to over 50 countries, travel is in my blood. When not working, I love to take trips to the countryside in Korea or go to other countries to experience the culture and sights. Travel enriches so much of our lives and hope to promote travel through my posts.

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