What: Wolchulsan National Park (월 출 산)
Our route followed the most popular hike: Cheonhwang Parking Lot -> Baram Waterfall -> Cheonhwangbong Peak (809m) > Gujeongbong Peak (711m) -> Eoksaebat (Pampas Grass Field) -> Dogapsa Temple.
Where: Wolchulsan National Park near city of Yeongam in Jeollanam-do, South Korea.
Elevation: Cheonhwangbong Peak (809m) and Gujeongbong Peak (711m)
Get There: We took a bus to Yeongam bus station. Local/regional buses work great to city-hop within Korea. They run often and are reasonably priced. Within two minutes of arriving, we were in a taxi headed towards the trail-head and 10 minutes later, we arrived at the Cheonhwang Parking Lot where you can grab maps from the information center and plan your adventure.
Typical bus in Korea. They run on time, and are cheap.
Inside is clean and spacious.
Wolchulsan adventures begin here.
Grab maps, food & drink at the information center.
Map of Wolchulsan National Park.
Our fancy hiking equipment: a backpack filled with extra layers, 2 water bottles, and snacks.
Bamboo forest within first 1km.
Cheonhwangasa Temple is only 0.1km off the trail, and worth a quick visit.
Trail signs like this are plentiful.. and helpful!
Trail to Baram Falls is gradual, not too difficult.
Hikers pile up rocks along the trail. Reminded me of the Inuksuk in Canada.
Quick rest. At this spot you can see Book-Shaped Rock and Gureumdari Bridge.
View of Book-Shaped Rock and the bridge.
Gureumdari Bridge, after we hiked up a bit more.
6 Brothers Rocks. Wolchulsan is filled with rocky formations like this.
Rocky terrain on trail up to Cheonhwangbong Peak. Then, tons of really steep stairs.
Cheonhwangbong Peak. Hard-earned 809m.
Can see for miles and miles. Stunning.
From atop the peak, views of Yeognam city are below.
More Hiking Highlights:
Down the summit, onto the ridge we went, traversing through formations like this.
Beteulgul Cave was on the way to next peak.
Thankful for ropes to help pull ourselves up the REALLY steep parts!
Views from Gujeongbong Peak.
On the way down to Eoksaebat, then to Dogapsa Temple.
Cherry blossoms in full beauty mid-April.
Several kilometers later we arrvied at Dogapsa Temple. 700+ monks used to live here.
Final Thoughts: Weather was perfect for this six hour hike, sunny and 60 degrees. Total this was 9.7km and much of it was pretty difficult, but well worth it. There are other routes within this national park, but we wanted to see as much as possible since we had the full day to explore. This park offers caves, waterfalls, and lots of rocky formations that pop up around every corner while hiking. Overall I am really glad we took our time and made it to the end! From the temple we took a taxi back to Yeongam bus station, then on a bus back to Jangheung where we are currently staying.