22 comments on “Naejangsan National Park (내장산)

  1. Great post and amazing pictures! A Friend and I did the full loop yesterday, but the leaves are completely off the ridge tops. Looks like we were a few days late.

    • Thank you for reading and the compliments! I’m glad you made it to Naejangsan, but bummer about the leaves on top. Do you live near Gwangju? If you’ve been to other national parks in Korea, how do you think Naejangsan compares?

      • My wife and I live in Gwangju. We’ve been here since February. We have done a fair bit of local hiking, but only four of the national parks. Of those, I think that Wolchulsan is probably our favourite. It has a lot of different routes and really varied scenery. We hope to get back there sometime soon. How about you? Favourites?

      • Nice, Gwangju is great! Four National Parks is four more than most foreigners here, so I applaud to hear “only four”… I think that’s awesome! I agree, Wolchulsan is amazing, that bridge is one-of-a-kind. For me it’s hard to pinpoint my favorite so far, they’re all so unique and beautiful. I’d say Jirisan (due to size of park and length of hikes available) is up there along with Deogyusan (where Muju Ski Resort is – it has an excellent ridge) and Woraksan (super tough, but seeing the lake from above was so cool) have been my top three so far! The leaves at Naejangsan were brilliant, too. Heck, they’ve all be great so far and I look forward to seeing the rest sometime soon.

    • Hello! Thanks so much for saying hello!! It’s fun to hike, explore and take pictures here in Korea… it’s so beautiful and we enjoy getting out there to see nature! We’re missing you guys, too. We hear there’s snow up north (yikes!) – here it’s still 50/60s but soon colder weather will be here…

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  3. Hi, I have come across ya blog when surfing on mt naejangsan hike. Nice pictures! My friends and I are going to hike in mt naejangsan in August. As this is our first time there, would like to know if it is difficult to hike there without a guide, considering that we do not speak/read Korean? In addition, would it be difficult to travel there from Seoul? Would appreciate any advice. Many thanks!- jasmine

    • Hi Jasmine, thanks for stopping by. In my opinion, no, it’s definitely not too difficult without a guide. My recommendation would be to either use a phone with a Korean map (like Naver or Daum) and you can see the trails right on those maps as you walk along. Or, you can always grab a map or two at information centers upon arriving at Naejangsan (or print them and bring them with you). I think from Seoul you’ll want to travel first to Gwangju – from there I believe it’s about 20km back up to Naejangsan park. You should be able to find a bus from Gwangju bus terminal to Naejangsan. My advice would be to start early if possible – the transportation and getting started always take a bit longer than you think. Have fun and if you have more questions please let me know!

      • PS – the northern part of the park is where Naejangsa Temple is – that could be a good starting or finishing point for you. The trail that follows the ridge of the 600-700m mountain tops are arranged like a horse-shoe – – so if you’re up to it, hiking the whole thing is really cool! Bring some snacks and water (from Seoul or you can buy at convenience stores in Naejangsan entrance area).

  4. Hi there! I’m planning to go to Korea this November to catch some autumn sights. I would like to know when exactly did you go to Naejangsan Park. I might go there this Nov. 6. I hope there will still be good autumn foliage by that time. Also, how long did you stay at Naejangsan? Thanks!

    • Hey Mark – that’s cool you’re coming to Korea! Where are you coming from? Naejangsan is a great spot to see the foliage. For this park, the first foliage will be Oct 18 with the peak to be expected on November 7. So it appears you’ll have good timing! Please check out this site for good information:

      We made a day-trip, so we stayed from about 9:00am until 6:00pm. There are minbaks (민박), motels (모텔) and pensions (펜션) nearby you could utilize if you wanted to spend two days in the park. The hiking course is great and I highly recommend it.
      Thanks for stopping by and enjoy your time in Korea. Let me know if you have any further questions. -Tom

  5. Thank you so much for this lovely and informative post on Naejangsan. I’m planning to go on an autumn hike there during my trip to Korea this November. I just have a few questions that I wanted to ask you since you’ve been there already. We’re planning to leave Seoul early morning of 10 November and take the bus to Jeongeup then onwards to Naejangsan. Do you think that we will be able to do good hiking even with just one day (less than 1 day)? Second, do you have recommendations on where we can stay (hostel/ hotel/ homestay) either in Jeongeup or in Naejangsan park for 1 night? I’m having difficulties looking for a hotel/hostel with an English website in either of those places:( I see that you’ve mentioned in your reply to above comment that there are motels and pensions near the park where we can stay—do you think we should just wing it and go there without any bookings or reservations? My concern is that since we’re planning our trip on November 10, which is near the date of the peak of the park’s colors, there may be a lot of hikers around and not having reservations may be an issue.

    As an alternative, will it be doable to do a hike all day then just leave in the evening for Seoul via KTX train (I hear there’s one from Jeongeup)? Would appreciate your thoughts. And thanks so much for the helpful link on Visit Korea’s fall foliage forecast. Looking forward to your reply :) Cheers!

    • Hello, thanks for stopping by and I’m happy to hear you’ll see Naejangsan for the colors, it’s a perfect one to visit I think! I’d recommend leaving as early as possible from Seoul, so you can have the most amount of time with daylight (sun will likely set around 6:00pm in mid-November) at Naejangsan. If you have one day or less, I think it’s still ok since this particular park isn’t huge. Obviously the more time the better, but I’d set aside at least 4-5 hours if you want to take in the temples and some hiking trails (including at least a summit or two). The U-shaped ridge we did was really awesome, it allowed us to see the majority of the hiking trails in the park.

      We often don’t have reservations beforehand, but we can speak a hint of Korean and have phones with mapping, etc. If you’re visiting, I’d highly recommend having a reservation somewhere becuase it may be booked up like you mentioned. It definitely will be busy, and it can be a bit intimidating to secure a place to sleep as sometimes there isn’t a lot of English signs or English-speakers around. Perhaps a night in Gwangju (just to the south) would be worth-while, there’s plenty there. Or, like you mentioned, you could probably catch the train (or a bus) back up north to Seoul after you’ve finished hiking. This is the English site for KORAIL (KTX), take a look at the Honam Line for planning:


      I used Naver Maps and looked for Motels (모텔) in Jeong-eup (정읍) and found there are at least 15 motels within walking distance from the Jeong-eup Train Station (bus terminal is right next to it, also). I’m confident you could show up un-announced without a reservation at one of these motels and find one will have room. Expect to pay about 30,000-50,0000won for a room. You can look for the bright lights on top the 3-7 floored buildings and it’ll clearly say ‘motel’ (모텔). We often do this and it works out fine! Just last weekend we walked around after a bike trip and found one, easy as pie. They’re usually all lumped together, and restaurants are always nearby. I hope this helps, feel free to email me if you have more questions!

      • PS – So, in summary, I would probably avoid staying right next to Naejangsan Park and instead recommend either 1) going to Gwangju with a hotel reservation (or guesthouse/hostel) to see that city for a night/morning (Mudeungsan National Park is located next to Gwangju) 2) get back to Jeong-eup and find a motel (no reservation necessary) or 3) go all the way back to Seoul for that night (it’ll make for one really long day!) Cheers!

  6. Nice blog!
    I’ve taken interest in hiking beginning only in Sept of 2014.
    I think I’m gonna read all your posts.
    Please don’t take your blog down, hahaha

    I’ve hiked Naejangsan in Nov. 2014 and it’s awesome! Crowded though, as you have noted.
    Passed by 정읍 and the roads leading to the entrance of the park on April 11 and the cherry blossoms are awesome.
    And the whole place is deserted!

    • Hi Lance – thanks for your kind words! Although my wife and I are about to leave Korea, I’ll continue to add, modify and maintain this site into the future. Glad you found it of use! I hope you get to explore many of Korea’s parks and mountains… They’re awesome!

      Happy Trails –


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  8. Hi, beautifull pictures, nice blog. I did the run yesterday, the same start, and pushed to the complete end … (lucky for me I met overall ~20 persons) !
    My gps lost so much signal It did not give the cumulated elevation … As I train for Trail event, I was willing to get it … Any chance you get it recorded ?
    Thank in advance

  9. Hi Thomas,

    I’m intending to hike Naejangsan with my parents this autumn – one of whom has knee problems and the other of whom is a heart patient. They’re gung-ho but physically not in the best shape because of their age. I’ve seen some photos of the trails and some of them look like a via ferrata lol, not sure my parents can handle that. Which difficulty level has the long staircases and the via ferrata-type ropes? I’ll need to avoid those, so grateful if you could let me know!

    Also, where are the carparks? I can’t find them on any map anywhere. Are they near the visitor centres? We’re driving, so I have no clue where to GPS to…

    Thanks in advance! :)

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