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Korea’s BEST 5 Mountains and Temples in Fall

  • Tag etc Event
  • Date11/23/2021
  • Hit175696
Fall foliage of Baeyangsa Temple on Naejangsan Mountain

Korea is known for its prestigious mountain temples and monasteries called “sansa.” Koreans from the past believed that mountains embodied holy energy that governed over the country, which led to the construction of temples and pagodas to pray for the country’s prosperity. Hence, many of Korea’s mountains are home to several temples, both big and small, attracting tourists and mountain-goers who seek to admire the picturesque autumn beauty. Read on for a list of Korea’s most prominent mountains that boast majestic fall foliage and temples.

Seoraksan Mountain in Inje-gun, Gangwon-do

Fall at Seoraksan Mountain and Baekdamsa Temple
  • Fall at Seoraksan Mountain and Baekdamsa Temple
  • Fall at Seoraksan Mountain and Baekdamsa Temple

When it comes to autumn destinations, the first mountain that comes to mind for most is Seoraksan Mountain. A feast for the eyes throughout the year, rich colors make Seoraksan a main attraction in autumn. In particular, Beakdamsa Temple located on the Maeungnyeong Pass, the mountain’s highest point, is known for thousands of rock piles and Baekdamgyegok Valley set against the background of the mountain range. Some of the best places to enjoy the autumn leaves are at Cheonbuldong Valley, Osaek Mineral Spring, and Osaek Jujeongol Valley.

  • Seoraksan National Park (Inner Seorak), Seoraksan National Park (Outer Seorak)
  • Directions: Take Bus No. 7 (Yeonggeumjeong.Daepohang Port) from Sokcho Express Bus Terminal to Seoraksan Small Park Bus Stop and walk for approx. 3 min to Seoraksan National Park
  • Nearby attractions: Baekdamsa Temple, Seorak Waterpia, Naksan Beach, Daepohang Port

Odaesan Mountain in Pyeongchang-gun, Gangwon

Fir forest and Sangwonsa Temple in fall at Odaesan Mountain
  • Fir forest and Sangwonsa Temple in fall at Odaesan Mountain
  • Fir forest and Sangwonsa Temple in fall at Odaesan Mountain

Odaesan Mountain’s vibrant fall foliage puts it on the map as an autumn destination. This mountain is where you can appreciate the beauty of autumn foliage as well as valuable cultural heritages by visiting the 1,000-year-old Woljeongsa Temple. The 1-kilometer forest path leading to the temple is lined with 1,700 fir trees and easy to walk on, allowing hikers to pause and take photos of the vibrant attention-grabbing fall foliage along the way. The neighboring Sangwonsa Temple is another fall attraction that is well worth your time.

  • Odaesan National Park
  • Directions
    - Take Nongeochon Bus No. 55 from Jinbu Station (KTX Gangneung Line) to Odaesan Mountain Entrance Bus Stop
    - Take Nongeochon Bus No. 55 from Jinbu Intercity Bus Terminal to Odaesan Mountain Entrance Bus Stop
  • Nearby attractions
    Sangwonsa Temple, Woljeongsa Temple, Daegwallyeong Sheep Ranch, Alpensia Resort, Yongpyong Resort

Songnisan Mountain in Boeun-gun, Chungcheongbuk-do

Songnisan Mountain and Beopjusa Temple
  • Songnisan Mountain and Beopjusa Temple
  • Songnisan Mountain and Beopjusa Temple

Songnisan Mountain is designated as one of the eight scenic sights of Korea for its unique cliffs and majestic mountain range. The mountain blooms with mountain cherry blossoms in spring, and becomes covered with shades of red and yellow in fall. The mountain is home to a 33-meter Buddhist statue and the UNESCO-designated Beopjusa Temple, welcomed by a 2-kilometer entrance path with beautiful autumn alder forest. The best hiking trail for enjoying Songnisan Mountain’s fall foliage takes you from Beopjusa Temple, past Sesimjeong Pavilion and finish at Birobong Peak, where you can see a magnificent panoramic view of Beopjusa Temple surrounded by autumn colors.

Naejangsan Mountain in Jeongeup-si, Jeollabuk-do

Autumn scenes and Baeyangsa Temple at Naejangsan Mountain
  • Autumn scenes and Baeyangsa Temple at Naejangsan Mountain
  • Autumn scenes and Baeyangsa Temple at Naejangsan Mountain

Naejangsan National Park boasts a high volume of visitors in late October, as to be expected from a top foliage destination since the Joseon dynasty. The best places to enjoy fall foliage are Naejangsa and Baegyangsa Temples. Naejangsa Temple is noted for the tunnel of multicolored maple trees that connects the temple and Iljumun Gate, while Baegyangsa Temple is famous for its pond that reflects the beauty of its surroundings, including Baekhakbong Peak. Visitors are recommended to take the cable car and view the colorful mountain ridgelines from above.

  • Naejangsan National Park
  • Directions
    - Take Bus No. 171 from Jeongeup Intercity Bus Terminal Bus Stop to Naejang Terminal Bus Stop (estimated 40 min) and walk for approx. 3 min
    - Take Bus No. 171 from Jeongeup Station (KTX Honam Line) to Naejang Terminal Bus Stop (estimated 40 min) and walk for approx. 3 min
  • Nearby attractions
    Naejangsa Temple, Geumseongyegok Valley, Pihyangjeong Pavilion, Jeongeupsa Culture Park, Naejangsan Sculpure Park, Baegyangsa Temple

Daedunsan Mountain in Wanju-gun, Jeollabuk-do

Daedunsan Mountain and Taegosa Temple
  • Daedunsan Mountain and Taegosa Temple
  • Daedunsan Mountain and Taegosa Temple

Daedunsan Mountain stretches across the border of Jeollabuk-do and Chungcheongnam-do and has an elevation of 879 meters. The mountain eludes a unique atmosphere with its notable rocky peaks, tree forests, and Macheondae Terrace. It is also equipped with a cable car and Geumgang Suspension Bridge to allow visitors to take a closer look at the maple leaves. In particular, the view from the overpass built 81 meters above ground offers both thrill and pleasure, attracting visitors non-stop. Another draw to Daedunsan Mountain is Taegosa Temple, built by one of the most well-known monks of Korean Buddhism, Monk Wonhyo. The temple sits on Macheondae Terrace, making it look like a temple in the air.

  • Daedunsan Mountain
  • Directions: Take Bus No. 34 from Daejeon Seonambu Terminal Bus Stop to Daedunsan Rest Area Bus Stop and walk for approx. 25 min
  • Nearby attractions
    Taegosa Temple, Surakggyegok Valley, Daedunsan Village Water Park, Geumgang Suspension Bridge

More info

  • Korea National Park Service website: www.knps.or.kr (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)
  • National Park admission: Free
    * Separate fees apply to many of the temples and cultural assets located along the hiking paths. The standard adult fee is 3,000 won.
  • Related column
    - Pleasant Streets and Trails for an Autumn Stroll
  • 1330 Korea Travel Hotline: +82-2-1330 (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese, Russian, Vietnamese, Thai, Malay)

* This column was last updated in November 2021, and therefore information may differ from what is presented here. We advise you to check details before visiting.

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