This is a series about Korea’s National Parks.
In October 2015, I embarked on mission to visit every national park. Midway through this quest, I decided to visit every provincial park as well, during what I came to call my mountain mission year. The following list is organized by the order in which I visited each national park.
There are 22 national parks in South Korea. They are divided into three categories: mountainous, marine and historical. You can learn more about each of these parks here: click the image of a park in the list below to see photos and maps, read practical tips for visiting it and a description of my experiences there. Or, get started here with my introduction to the mountains of Korea here.
*Hallasan NP: Although I visited Jeju Island twice during my national parks mission year, I regrettably didn’t get to summit Hallasan. I had hiked Hallasan once in 2011, and my husband and I had an awesome summit experience in 2014. In October 2015, my husband and I completed the Olle courses that encircle the island. We had 12 days for that particular mission, which wound up being exactly what we needed – but not an hour more! The following October (2016), we returned to the island for another circumnavigation – this time by bike. We had less stringent time constraints on this trip. But the moment we finished our biking, the weather took a turn for the terrible. We ran around the base of the mountain a bit, but weren’t able to make a summit attempt. So naturally, we had to go back! In October 2017, Kent and I ran our first one hundred kilometer race, up and over Hallasan, and around on the Halla Dullegil!
**Taebaeksan NP: When I began my national parks mission at the end of 2015, there were only 21 national parks. Taebaeksan was upgraded from a provincial park to a national park in late 2016. I visited Taebaeksan in June 2016 as part of my concurrent provincial parks mission. At that time, work seemed to be already underway for the park’s status upgrade: there were brand-new signs, excellent maps and wide, well-maintained trails – all hallmarks of Korea’s national parks. I’ve included a link to Taebaeksan in both my national park and provincial park lists.
Want more info? Check out the Korea National Park Service website. For another perspective, great maps and photos, head over to this blog, which was super helpful to me when I was planning to visit all the parks! What’s next? Check out the provincial parks!