Hike Korean National Parks in a Year

Would you like to visit all the Korean National Parks in one year but it seems like an impossible task? We’ve got you! Here is an easy, one-year plan for visiting all of the National Parks. It’s likely you may need a car or a friend with a car to accomplish this goal. Click here if you want to get right to the plan and skip the intro.

About Korean National Parks

Korea has 21 National Parks and Hallasan on Jeju. Many people love visiting these parks and hiking the beautiful trails, visiting temples, or just relaxing in nature. Eighteen of the National Parks are mountain parks, three are marine parks, and one is a historical park.

If you are living in Korea for a year, it’s fun and possible to take on the challenge of visiting all these parks in one year. South of Seoul volunteers break down how you can make your dream a reality in the following post.

Make Sure You Reach Your Goal

Reaching all the National Parks in one year takes 1) a clear plan of action and 2) motivation to follow the plan. It’s easy to become overwhelmed with choosing which parks to visit each month and planning the trips themselves. In order to make it easier, South of Seoul volunteers have created this post and tools to help support your progress in achieving your National Parks medal with your National Parks Passport.

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Use fun tools to stay on track with visiting each national park. The best way to stay motivated and enjoy the fun of reaching all the Korean National Parks. There are three fun tools that work together to help you make sure your plan to see all the national parks in a year happens.

This plan can be done with a car or without a car, however, car access makes it all much easier. Additionally, this itinerary assumes you live in Korea on a work visa and only have weekends to travel and explore the country.

Tools for Reaching Your Goal

There are three tools that you may choose to use in order to reach your goal of visiting all South Korean National Parks in one year. Sout of Seoul developed two of the tools and the National Parks of Korea provide the third tool.

South of Seoul Yearly Planner

The South of Seoul yearly planner allows you to plan out your year” adventures and make sure that you don’t have FOMO. In addition, South of Seoul provides monthly blog lists which include sample itineraries for visiting Korean National Parks so that you can make sure your trips are well-planned.

South of Seoul ‘Korean National Parks Adventure Map’

South of Seoul created the National Parks Adventure Map in 2021 and it’s been a huge hit since then. The adventure map is printed on canvas so that it can travel with you during your trips or it can survive family life on the fridge. It’s your weekly motivation so watch your progress toward your goal!

The Korean National Parks Passport

In addition to the National Parks Adventure Map, you can also get the Korean National Parks Passport which you can get stamped at each National Park Office as you visit parks around Korea. You can use your stamps to receive medals for your accomplishments.

The Park Service gives out free Korean National Parks Passports at National Park Offices at all of the parks across Korea. The passports can’t be ordered online or shipped to a particular address. You simply need to get lucky and arrive at a National Park Office that has them on hand.

Korean National Park Passports may run out each month. The park service prints out new copies regularly and delivers them to National Park Offices across the country. You may need to use 1330 to confirm if the National Park Office you plan to visit has Passports available before heading out.

South of Seoul includes stamp locations for each National Park in this post. It’s important to note that each National Park in South Korea may have a variety of locations to get a stamp. Additionally, stamp locations may or may not be located near popular hiking locations. Finally, stamp locations may change over time or have damaged stamps. Such issues may mean that locating a stamp at each National Park may take time.

Korean National Parks sample passport and medal.

Korean National Parks Hiking Plan

The following Korean National Parks in a Year plan takes into consideration important factors such as:

  • spring flowers
  • fall foliage
  • seasonal temperatures
  • seasonal ease of access
  • park proximity (for visiting two parks on the weekend)

In other words, this Korean National Parks in a Year plan includes attention to detail and considers the feedback of dozens of National Park visitors over many years. In fact, images have been provided by Camp Humphreys Hike & Bike group admins and founders.

If you mix and match the parks in new ways, you can also be successful. Remember, this plan creates the outline for empowering your personal success. You haven’t failed simply because you need to deviate. Keep up the momentum of 2 parks a month and you can reach your goal. Let’s get started

January

Since January exists as one of the colder months in South Korea, we recommend visiting parks further south and we recommend only visiting one. The temps during January are as follows.

Average Temperatures

  • Gyeonggido (north) 3° / -7°
  • Namhae (south) 6° / -2°

Byeonsanband National Park is stunning in winter. You have a variety of short and easy hikes that look beautiful when it snows. Our volunteers personally hiked in this park in January and found it lovely. During our visit there was snow in the mountains and on the roads, however, we easily navigated the roads without snow tires.

Photo Credig: Lenina Clark at Byeongsanbando National Park
Byeonsanbando National Park Offic

Byeonsanbando National Park Offic0

063-582-7808

Copy and paste phone numbers into Naver Maps to get directions

National parks office where you can learn more about the park and get a Korean National Parks Passport.

Hangul Address

전북 부안군 변산면 방파제길 11

(Listing information provided by the South of Seoul app)

Read more about visiting Byeongsanbando in the following South of Seoul post:

February

February is still cold, so head down to Wolchulsan on the southern coast of Korea. They say that Wolchulsan means “mountain where the moon rises.” The park consists of starting rocky peaks with Cheonhwangbong Peak (810.7 m) in the middle. You only need to do this one park during the coldest of the winter months, so take your time and enjoy it.

Average Temperatures

Keep in mind that you also need to seriously consider windchill in the winter months. It’s certainly possible to hike year round as long as you dress with care.

  • Gyeonggido (north) 7° / -4°
  • Namhae (south) 8° / 0°
Photo Credit: Sheryl Terry at Wolchulsan National Park
Wolchulsan NPO

Wolchulsan NPO0

Get your National Park passport stamped.

Hangul Address

전남 영암군 영암읍 천황사로 280-20

(Listing information provided by the South of Seoul app)

You can also visit Dogapsa Temple and a sitting Buddha statue called Maaeyeoraejwasang which is a National Treasure.

March

March means warmer weather and it’s time to pick up the pace in order to visit all of the Korean National Parks in a year. The perfect early spring weather makes it a great time to visit both Juwangsan National Park and Gyeongju National Park located in the central-eastern region of South Korea.

You can easily visit Juwangsan National Park and Gyeongju National Park in one weekend. You may not want to climb both mountains in one weekend. Visit one park on Saturday and the other park on Sunday.

In a pinch, if you don’t plan to actually hike, you could even visit both parks in one day since they exist somewhat close to each other.

Average Temperatures

March means taking layers. The temps can either end up very cold or quite warm.

  • Gyeonggido (north) 13° / 1°
  • Namhae (south) 12° / 4°
Photo Credit: Sheryl Terry at Juwangsan National Park
Juwangsan NPO

Juwangsan NPO0

Get your National Park passport stamped!

Hangul Address

경북 청송군 주왕산면 공원길 169-7

(Listing information provided by the South of Seoul app)

Photo Credit: Lenina Clark
Gyeongju National Park Namsan

Gyeongju National Park Namsan 0

This National park has several districts and this one is closest to downtown Gyeongju. This visitor center leads you to Geumobong peak and all kinds of rock buddha carvings. Great for all hiking levels and good fun hike for kids where they can get a paper to check each site along the hike.

(Listing information provided by the South of Seoul app)

April

In April, Naejangsan National Park and Mudeungsan National Park have exceptional spring flowers. The images below do not show such flowers since Ms. Clarn and her family chose to visit these two parks in winter. However, if you would like to maximize your park experience, visit Naejangsan National Park and Mudeungsan National Park where you can enjoy the blossoms.

It’s possible to visit Naejangsan National Park and Mudeungsan National Park on the same weekend, although it might feel a bit hectic. However, it’s worth it to get epic spring flower photography as well as two stamps on your National Park Passport.

Average Temperatures

April can become intensely hot during the day. Make sure to dress in layers that take into consideration that big temperature changes between day and night may occur.

  • Gyeonggido (north) 17° / 9°
  • Namhae (south) 20° / 8°
Photo Credit: Sheryl Terry at Naejangsan National Park
Naejangsan NPO

Naejangsan NPO0

Get your National Park passport stamped.

Hangul Address

전북 정읍시 내장호반로 328

(Listing information provided by the South of Seoul app)

Photo Credit: Sheryl Terry at Mudeungsan
Mudeungsan NPO

Mudeungsan NPO0

Get your National Park passport stamped.

Hangul Address

광주 동구 동산길7번길 5

(Listing information provided by the South of Seoul app)

May

Average Temperatures

May often feels like one of the best hiking times of the year. It’s often comfortably warm without the big temp swings between day and night. However, it just depends on the time of year. It’s possible that May turns hot early.

  • Gyeonggido (north) 25° / 14°
  • Namhae (south) 22° / 14°
Photo Credit: Sheryl Terry at Jirisan
Jirisan Jeonbuk NPO

Jirisan Jeonbuk NPO0

Get your National Park Passport stamp.

Hangul Address

전북 남원시 주천면 정령치로 255

(Listing information provided by the South of Seoul app)

Photo Credit: Lenina Clark
Gayasan NPO

Gayasan NPO0

055-930-8000

Copy and paste phone numbers into Naver Maps to get directions

Get your National Park passport stamped.

Hangul Address

경남 합천군 가야면 가야산로 1200

(Listing information provided by the South of Seoul app)

June

Once summer hits, you may not want to spend a lot time hiking because of the intense heat. Additionally, you likely want to go on vacation with the family. That makes Hallasan the perfect park to visit. We recommend visiting two beautiful parks in the southern most parts of Korea for vacation, Hallyeohaesang National Park and Hallasan National Park.

Keep in mind, you need to plan your June vacation in Jeju a few months in advance. That’s because many Koreans will also be heading south for summer fun. Don’t put off planning this trip or you may lose out! You also may need to register to climb Hallasan in advance.

Average Temperatures

  • Gyeonggido (north) 29° / 20°
  • Namhae (south) 24° / 18°
Photo Credit: Lenina Clark at Hallyeohaesang National Park
Hallyeohaesang National Park

Hallyeohaesang National Park0

055-860-5800

Copy and paste phone numbers into Naver Maps to get directions

Hallyeohaesang National Park was designated as a national park in 1968 as the second and first marine park in Korea. It is a treasure trove of marine ecosystems. Hallyeosudo, famous as the most beautiful sea road, seems to have 71 uninhabited and 29 inhabited islands scattered with jewels. The entrance to the Geumsan Nature Observation Road is built 100m above the Geumsan Entrance (Geumsan Exploration Support Center), and it takes approximately 1 hour to go around the 1.2km section.  https://www.knps.or.kr/front/portal/visit/visitCourseMain.do?parkId=120300&menuNo=7020103

(Listing information provided by the South of Seoul app)

Photo Credity: Lenina Clark at Hallasan Park
Hallasan National park Gwaneumsa

Hallasan National park Gwaneumsa 0

Hallasan National Park Gwaneumsa trail which is one of the two trails to lead to the peak of Hallasan mountain. It’s the highest mountain in South Korea

(Listing information provided by the South of Seoul app)

Hallasan National park Seongpanak

Hallasan National park Seongpanak0

Hallasan National Park is the only national park in Jeju and it has the highest peak of 1950 meters. This trail is Seongpanak which leads to the top.

(Listing information provided by the South of Seoul app)

Read more about visiting Hallasan in the following South of Seoul post:

July

In the summer, it’s a great chance to fit in both a mountain hike Gyeryongsan National Park and some beach visits at Taeanhaean National Park which is actually a marine park. Remember that July tends to be hot and rainy. Always hike safely during Jangma.

Average Temperatures

  • Gyeonggido (north) 31° / 23°
  • Namhae (south) 27° / 22°
Photo Credit: Lenina Clark at Gyeryongsan National Park
Gyeryongsan National Park

Gyeryongsan National Park0

042-825-3002

Copy and paste phone numbers into Naver Maps to get directions

Gyeryongsan National Park was designated as the 2nd national park in Korea in 1968. Gyeryongsan National Park spreads across Gongju-si, Gyeryong-si and Nonsan-si in Chungcheongnam-do and Daejeon Metropolitan City over a total area of 64.71㎢. Gyeryongsan has about 15 valleys in between its 20 peaks based around the summit Cheonhwangbong(845m). The mountain is called “Gyeryong(Rooster dragon)” because the ridge line looks like a dragon wearing the crown of a rooster. Gyeryongsan has a snug appearance and is kaleidoscopical. It is crowded with visitors all year round because day trips are possible from metropolitan cities such as Seoul and Daejeon.

Hangul Address

충남 공주시 반포면 동학사1로 474

(Listing information provided by the South of Seoul app)

Photo Credit: Lenina Clark at Taeanhaean National Park
Taeanhaean National Park Office

Taeanhaean National Park Office0

The main office where you can get a Korean National Parks Passport

Hangul Address

충남 태안군 태안읍 귀실길 9

(Listing information provided by the South of Seoul app)

August

In August you will visit Taebaeksan National Park and Sobaeksan National Park. Again, we have put two National Parks together which can be visited over one weekend. These are beautiful parks with lovely hiking.

The weather in August may be very hot and you may still be dealing with a lot of rain due to either Jangma or Typhoons.

Average Temperatures

  • Gyeonggido (north) 31° / 23°
  • Namhae (south) 27° / 22°
Photo Credit: Sheryl Terry at Taebaeksan National Park
Taebaeksan NPO

Taebaeksan NPO0

Get your National Park passport stamped!

Hangul Address

강원 태백시 번영로 59

(Listing information provided by the South of Seoul app)

Photo Credit: Lenina Clark at Sobaeksan National Park
Sobaeksan NPO

Sobaeksan NPO0

054-630-0700

Copy and paste phone numbers into Naver Maps to get directions

Get your National Park Passport stamped.

Hangul Address

경북 영주시 봉현면 소백로 1794

(Listing information provided by the South of Seoul app)

September

September brings the best hiking weather in the entire year. The month can also have some of the best fall colors. It’s time to visit two of the best National Parks in Korea which an be visited in one weekend or separately.

Keep in mind, hiking during the peak of hiking season brings complications like heavy traffic on the roads and trails. However, we feel it’s worth it. We love the communal feeling of hiking together with the rest of the country. We also have a post about tips and tricks for surviving fall hiking season.

Average Temperatures

  • Gyeonggido (north) 27° / 17°
  • Namhae (south) 26° / 19°
Photo Credit: Lenina Clart at Seoraksan National Park

Read more about visiting Seoraksan in the following South of Seoul post:

Photo Credit: Sheryl Terry at Odaesan National Park
Odaesan NP Office

Odaesan NP Office0

033-661-4161

Copy and paste phone numbers into Naver Maps to get directions

Stamp your National Park passport here.

Hangul Address

강원 강릉시 연곡면 소금강길 500

(Listing information provided by the South of Seoul app)

October

Visit Bukhansan National Park and Chiaksan National park on two different weekends. These parks exist in very different locations. Bukhansan sits in northern Seoul while Chiaksan is east of Seoul. However, both locations are perfect for fall colors.

Average Temperatures

  • Gyeonggido (north) 21° / 8°
  • Namhae (south) 21° / 13°
Photo Credit: Lenina Clark at Bukhansan National Park
Bukhansan Visitor Center

Bukhansan Visitor Center0

Get your National Park Passport stamped.

Hangul Address

서울 성북구 보국문로 215

(Listing information provided by the South of Seoul app)

Photo Credit: Lenina Clark at Chiaksan National Park
Chiaksan NPO

Chiaksan NPO0

Get your National Park Passport stamped here.

Hangul Address

강원도 원주시 판부면 금대리 1343

(Listing information provided by the South of Seoul app)

November

November will be your last two-park month and you will visit Woraksan and Songnisan. Once again, it’s possible to fit these two parks into one weekend. Doing both hikes in one weekend will depend on your fitness level and ability. Depending on the route, Songnisan can be a long day.

In November, the cold begins to return but mid-day can still be the perfect time to enjoy some mountain hiking. Remember to pack windproof gear and dress in layers since the weather can vary drastically during the day.

Average Temperatures

  • Gyeonggido (north) 13° / 2°
  • Namhae (south) 15° / 7°
Woraksan NPO

Woraksan NPO0

Get your National Park Passport stamped here. Other locations around the park also available.

Hangul Address

충북 제천시 한수면 미륵송계로 1647

(Listing information provided by the South of Seoul app)

Photo Credit: Lenina Clark at Songnisan National Park
Songnisan NPO

Songnisan NPO0

Get your National Park Passport stamped here.

Hangul Address

충북 보은군 속리산면 법주사로 84

(Listing information provided by the South of Seoul app)

Songnisan National Park

Songnisan National Park0

This address takes you to parking where you can follow signs toward the National Park Office and hiking.

Hangul Address

충북 보은군 속리산면 사내리 201-1

(Listing information provided by the South of Seoul app)

December

You are almost finished, only Dadohaehaesang National Park is left to finish! Since the cold returns in December, let’s head south to finish with one of Korea’s maritime parks! Dadohaehaesang National Park provides a spot to escape the cold and take a break from the heavy hiking. Instead, explore the sea and islands.

Average Temperatures

  • Gyeonggido (north) 6° / -4°
  • Namhae (south) 9° / 1°
Photo Credit: Lenina Clark at Dadohaehaesang National Park
Dadohaehaesang National Park

Dadohaehaesang National Park0

Dadohaehaesang National Park Jeongdori Visiting Information Center

Hangul Address

전남 완도군 완도읍 구계등길 48

(Listing information provided by the South of Seoul app)

Join Camp Humphreys Hike and Bike

If you would like to join a wonderful hiking community then Camp Humphreys Hike and Bike is the group for you! The group was created by folks at the Camp Humphreys US Army Base in Pyeongtaek and they welcome everyone.