Discover the World Class Volcano Trekking Course in Korea!

Hey there! Today, let’s take a trip to the breathtaking volcanic landscapes. This destination is quite far from the capital area, but there’s an easy way to get there. Just head to Kangbyun Station on subway line 2. It’s been a long time since you’ve been to Dongseoul Station, hasn’t it? As expected, there are many travelers, right? (Traveling by public transportation!) The bus that you’ll be taking today departs from platform 11. Although it’s the first train, the departure time is a bit late at 8:40 am. When I board the special bus, I always reserve seats between 13 and 15. That’s because they’re the least shaky seats on the bus. Let’s go! The first bus departure was at 8:40, so I had a good meal for breakfast 🙂 The weather looks amazing today too! After driving along the highway for a while, I arrived at Andong Station halfway. I rested here for about 30 minutes. Andong Terminal has good restaurants and supermarkets. There’s about a 30-minute stopover, so you can grab a quick lunch here. Snacks are available for purchase (11:40) The bus leaves again and passes near Andong Dam. I was surprised that the lake was much bigger than I expected. We arrived at the final bus station after driving for about 4 and a half hours, including a 30-minute break. Although it’s far from Seoul, you can directly reach it without transfers. You don’t have to worry about post-concert meals either. This is the “Geochongsong Geological Park” in Jeongpok. It’s also a heritage protection area. When you come from Seoul, move to “Mount Jwangsang” from Seoul East Station. If you take the first bus, you can conveniently reach there in one go. It’s also the only direct bus in the country that comes here. On the far right, there’s an extremely large rock face welcoming visitors. It looks like the shape of a hand, doesn’t it? The hours of admission to the geological park are from 9 am. Admission fees have changed to free now 🙂 The starting point is a temple called “Daejeonsa”. It’s a temple built in a stunning location with the magnificent rocky cliffs of Mount Jwangsang in the background. Mount Jwangsang was originally a massive lake. There was a huge volcanic eruption and volcanic ash accumulated, forming what is now known as Mount Jwangsang. So it’s recognized for its geological value. It has been designated as a famous geological park worldwide by UNESCO. The mountain terrain in Mount Jwangsang is unlike any other area in Korea. Its unique shape is due to the volcanic eruption that passed through “Daejeonsa Temple” and took the right path. There are good signboards everywhere, so there’s no need to worry about getting lost. After passing by “Daejeonsa Temple,” the trail continues through a dense forest. Clear valley water flows on the left side of the road, making it a wonderful path where you can walk while listening to the refreshing sound of water. The Mount Jwangsang trail is also good for barefoot walking. There are different grades for each section, so please refer to them when choosing. There is a shoe rack and well-equipped foot washing facilities. If you go straight from here, the trail takes you to “Jubong,” the summit of Mount Jwangsang. Since there’s almost no view from the hills up there. If you don’t want to go to the summit, just cross the bridge on the left. The course is much easier and more enjoyable. You can cross the bridge called “Giamjiwon.” After crossing the bridge, there’s a clean restroom, and the journey continues extensively. If you go a little further, there’s an interesting rock. There are many small rocks on the huge rocks in the valley. This rock is called the “Son’s Rock.” Face this way and throw a stone between your legs. It is said that if you climb on top of a rock, you will give birth to a son 🙂 And since it’s a UNESCO geological park, there are many wonderful rocks here and there. A small tree branch was put under the rock like this? It also has the meaning of praying for it not to collapse, and if the tree branch breaks, it also has the meaning of warning of the possibility of rock falls. Most of the courses are flat, and the roads are well-maintained. It was nice to have many rest areas everywhere. This is the “Kitchen Valley,” the sound of fresh water against the backdrop of the magnificent rocky cliffs was fantastic. “Andesite,” the dark red color produced by volcanic ash, can be seen everywhere. The hiking trail in Mount Jwangsang is still under improvement. Looking down, we see that a very large shelter has been completed. The spacious foot-washing area is particularly impressive. When it’s completed, it will be one of the best barefoot hiking courses in the country. There’s also a valley right next to the rest area. The water in the small valley surrounded by cliffs was truly wonderful. It would be really great to relax here in the summer. Now, “Juwang Crossroads” appears. I’ll head towards “Juwangam” from here. You can cross the bridge called “Jahaha.” This path goes along a short long-distance walking trail. This course is a hike through a dense forest where you can feel the flow of moisture all over your body. I definitely recommend going on this course first. Although it’s a deep valley in the forest, it has good platforms and wooden stairs. There was no trouble walking if you go a little further, you’ll reach “Juwanggol Intersection.” Here are two attractions that shouldn’t be missed: first, should we go see “Mujanggul” on the right? The road to Mujanggul is a very narrow mountain road. It’s not a path that many people are looking for, but it’s only a short distance, so please visit at least once. And suddenly, a huge gray cliff appears. This is the place where the Chinese “King Zhou” escaped to Silla. There’s a legend that weapons were hidden here. The scenery of “Juwangam” and “Gwaneumbong” in front of “Juwang Cave” is breathtaking. And though the mountain isn’t high, its majesty is awe-inspiring. “Mujanggul” was truly amazing. It’s a natural cave about 6 meters deep created by natural ventilation. If you look from the inside, does the light come in through the small hole above? I think it will become a famous photo spot. Let’s go back to the intersection again, and this time we’ll go to “Gawon Cave”. The road to “Gawon Cave” looked magical. They say the black butterfly symbolizes the soul, but I feel its unique energy. The beautiful double-flowered cherry tree at the entrance is also very beautiful. When you enter the entrance, you’ll be amazed at the site of this place. The amazing place is located behind the prison. It continues down the narrow valley, as if entering a sacred place in a martial arts novel. The yellow wishing paper with wishes written everywhere tells you what kind of place this is. If you climb the stairs along the picturesque valley, it literally appears as a secret scene. This is “Gawon Cave.” This place was created by the ventilation over a long period of time. It’s currently being used as “Sansingak.” Nature is amazingly great to the point where a cave like this can be created in the middle of a cliff. The scene looks more mysterious when going down. I understand that “King Zhou” hid here to avoid soldiers. Now, the trail continues along a dense forest. When it’s just finished happening on this side, I would be dumbfounded. This is the “Juwangam” referred to earlier. In this stunning location, I lived in a palace built on top of this cliff. And since the water was drawn from this place, it was named “Water Supply Station.” It looks like a black watermark on an inkwell, doesn’t it?

It’s strange how this amazing hiking route is so quiet. I guess most people go to comfortable places. And the trail continues between the “Water Fountain” and the “Folding Screen Rock” that we saw earlier. So, if you look to the left and right, you’ll see the stunning cliffs. A new surface road has been built in this section. I think it would have been difficult to navigate this first course without this new bridge. Now, the “Haksodae” three-way intersection appears. There’s a bathhouse here too. There’s the famous rock called “Sirobung”. They say it looks like a steamed rice cake “shiru.” In fact, it looks like a human face when looked at from the side. The “Youngchoo Waterway” starts from here. This is the unique section of this course. Just cross the “Haksujoo Bridge.” The valley is very deep and beautiful. You can also see the “Sirubong” side. Oh really! You can only see “Haksoodaie” when you cross the Haksujoo Bridge and look back. It was named as such because blue and white herons built a nest on this cliff. It’s really large in scale. From now on, the secret scene begins that will leave you speechless. This is the “Youngchoo Waterway.” This place, created by volcanic eruptions, is the only volcanic scene in Korea. The water is so clear that I’d want to drink it if I was nearby. This stunning waterfall is the “Youngchon Waterfall.” I can’t believe there was such a sight in the world! It’s unbelievable. “Youngchon Waterfall” is a two-tiered waterfall with two main turns. You can see it better if you go down. From this side, it looks like a waterfall. Now, let’s go to the second waterfall. Go about 200 meters from the intersection. The road to the waterfall was also nice. I would’ve regretted not bringing it. The road to the second waterfall is a narrow valley path. There are “Gulgu Waterfalls” at the end of the valley road. It looks small in the video. The actual height is over 10 meters. It’s a waterfall with two stages. And it’s strange that there’s a mud-like hole in the center. It’s a natural pit created over a long period of time by the waterfall. They say the air here is cold even in mid-summer. If you lie down on a mat and rest for a while. Please note that the road to “Gulgu Waterfalls” is a relatively unknown photo spot. Now, I’ll descend again when descending, you’ll get a different view! I returned to the intersection again, but this time, let’s go to the left? The road leading to the waterfall stretches along a huge valley. Can you hear the roaring sound of the waterfall from a distance? Even when you look at it from a distance, the scenery is no joke. This is the “Youngyoun Waterfall.” I can’t believe such a view exists in the world! It’s an incredible sight. “Youngyoun Waterfall” is a two-tiered waterfall with several other smaller ones. You can see it best if you go down. From this side, it looks like a waterfall. Now, let’s go to the second waterfall. Go about 200 meters from the intersection. The road to the waterfall was also nice. It would’ve been a regret if I didn’t bring it. The road to the second waterfall is a narrow valley path. There are “Geulgu Waterfalls” at the end of the valley road. It looks small in the video. The actual height is over 10 meters. It’s a two-tiered waterfall. And it’s strange that there’s a mud-like hole in the center. It’s a natural pit created over a long period of time by the waterfall. They say the air here is cold even in mid-summer. If you lie down on a mat and rest for a while. Please note that the road to “Geulgu Waterfalls” is a relatively unknown photo spot. Now, I’ll descend again when descending, you’ll get a different view! After crossing the last bridge, when you reach the waterfall intersection, you’ll arrive at the waterfall intersection. From here, you can go to both the left and right sides. Should we go to the left first? The road leading to the waterfall extends along a massive valley. Can you hear the roaring sound of the waterfall from afar? Even when looking from a distance, the scenery is no joke. This is the “Youngyoun Waterfall.” I can’t believe such a sight exists in the world! It’s incredible. “Youngyoun Waterfall” is a two-tiered waterfall with several main turns. You can see it best if you go down. From this side, it looks like a waterfall. Now, let’s go to the second waterfall. Go about 200 meters from the waterfall intersection. The road to the second waterfall was nice as well. I would’ve regretted not bringing it. The road to the second waterfall is a narrow valley path. At the end of the valley road are the “Geulgu Waterfalls.” It looked small in the video. Its actual height is over 10 meters. It’s a two-tiered waterfall. And it’s strange that there’s a mud-like hole in the center. It’s a natural pit created over a long period of time by the waterfall. They say the air here is cool, even in midsummer. If you lay down on a mat and rest for a while. Please note that the road leading to “Geulgu Waterfalls” is a relatively unknown photography spot. Now I’ll descend again. When you descend, you’ll get a different view! I returned to the intersection again.

Getting There

Kangbyeon Station

To access the volcano landscapes via public transportation, the best place to start is Kangbyeon Station on Subway Line 2. It has been a long time since you visited Dong Seoul Station, so it’s a great opportunity to see a different part of the city. As expected, there are many travelers at the station too, right?

Public Transportation

The bus you’ll be taking today departs from Platform 11. Although it’s the first train, the departure time is a little bit late at 8:40 am. When you board the special bus, I always reserve seats between 13 and 15. This is because they are the least shaky seats in the vehicle structure. Let’s go now!

Bus Ride

Departure Time

The first bus departs at 8:40 am, so I had a good meal for breakfast. The weather is also looking great today! After driving along the highway for a while, I arrived at Andong Terminal halfway into the journey. I relaxed here for about 30 minutes. Andong Terminal is conveniently located in front of the hotel. There are good restaurants and supermarkets at Andong Terminal. There is about 30 minutes of stopover time, so you can have a quick lunch here. Snacks are available for purchase.

Seating Options

I always reserve seats between 13 and 15 as they are the least shaky seats in the bus structure. The bus departs again at 11:40 am, passing by Andong Dam. I was surprised to see that the lake was much bigger than I expected. We arrived at the final bus station after approximately 4 and a half hours of driving, including a 30-minute break. Although it’s far from Seoul, you can directly access it without any transfers. It wasn’t difficult at all. There are commercial facilities along the way from the parking lot entrance, so there’s no need to worry about post-hike meals. This is the UNESCO-affiliated Chungsong Geological Park in Jeongbuk, also designated as a cultural heritage protection area.

Discover the World Class Volcano Trekking Course in Korea!

Andong Terminal

Restaurants and Supermarkets

Andong Terminal has good restaurants and supermarkets. You can have a quick lunch here as there is around 30 minutes of stopover time. Snacks are available for purchase, so you can grab some to enjoy during the hike.

Arrival at the Final Bus Station

Transportation Facilities

The final bus station provides transportation facilities for easy access to the volcano landscapes. It is directly accessible without any transfers. The facilities are well-maintained and make transportation convenient for visitors.

Commercial Facilities

There are also commercial facilities along the way from the parking lot entrance. This means there’s no need to worry about post-hike necessities or meals. You can find everything you need conveniently.

Discover the World Class Volcano Trekking Course in Korea!

Chungsong Geological Park

Access from Seoul

To access Chungsong Geological Park from Seoul, you can take the bus directly from Dong Seoul Station. It is the only direct bus service to the park. From Seoul, head to Mt. Juwangsan from Dong Seoul Station. If you take the first bus, you can comfortably reach the park in one go.

Entrance Hours

The entrance hours for the geological park start at 9 am. The admission fees have changed recently and are now free. The park holds significant geological value and has been recognized as a famous geological park by UNESCO. The unique mountain terrain in Mt. Juwangsan resembles no other area in Korea, thanks to its volcanic eruption and accumulation of volcanic ash, forming what is known as Mt. Juwangsan.

Starting Point: Daegujeon Temple

Historical and Geological Significance

Daegujeon Temple is the starting point of the hike. It is a temple built in an amazing location with the splendid rocky slopes of Mt. Juwangsan in the background. Mt. Juwangsan was originally a huge lake before a massive volcanic eruption occurred, resulting in the accumulation of volcanic ash and the formation of what is now known as Mt. Juwangsan. Due to its geological significance, it has been classified as a famous global geological park by UNESCO.

Discover the World Class Volcano Trekking Course in Korea!

Trail through Dense Forest

Walkway along the Valley

The trail continues through a dense forest, with clear valley water flowing on the left side of the path. This creates a beautiful and refreshing atmosphere during the hike. The Mt. Juwangsan trail is also well-suited for barefoot walking. Each section of the trail has different levels, so you can choose according to your preference. There are shoe racks and well-equipped foot washing facilities available.

Barefoot Walking

The Mt. Juwangsan trail is well-suited for barefoot walking, with various levels for each section. There are shoe racks and well-equipped foot washing facilities provided. It is a unique experience to feel the flow of natural pesticides throughout your body as you walk along the path.

Juwang Crossroads

Mujanggul Cave

One of the attractions not to be missed is the Mujanggul Cave on the right. The trail to Mujanggul Cave is a very narrow mountain path. It may not be the trail that most people are looking for, but it’s only a short distance, so please visit it at least once. Suddenly, a huge gray cliff appears. It looks like the shape of a hand, doesn’t it?

Juwangam and Gwaneumbong

The view of Juwangam and Gwaneumbong in front of Juwang Cave is stunning. Although the mountain is not very high, its grandeur is overwhelming. Mujanggul Cave is truly amazing. It is a natural cave created by natural ventilation and is about 6 meters deep. If you look inside, does the light come in through the small hole at the top? It is said to be a popular spot for photography.

Discover the World Class Volcano Trekking Course in Korea!

Haksodae Intersection

Cerobong Rock

There is a famous rock called Cerobong Rock. They say it resembles a steamed rice cake called “shiru” when viewed from the side. In fact, it looks like a human face when you look at it from the side. The Yongchudae Gorge starts from here. This section is the highlight of the hike.

Yongchudae Gorge

The Yongchudae Gorge is a deep and beautiful valley. You can also see the Sirubong cliff from here. It is only visible when crossing the Haksujiro Bridge and looking back. It is named after the blue and white cranes that built a nest on the cliff. The scale is truly large. From now on, the secret scene that will leave you speechless begins. This is Yongchudae Gorge, a volcanic landscape unique to Korea that was formed as a result of volcanic eruptions. The water is so clear that I would love to drink it if I was closer. The beautiful waterfall, Yongchudae Falls, is composed of two stages with two main turns. You can see it better if you go down. It’s an incredible sight that I can’t believe exists in the world!

Conclusion

Hidden Beauties of Mount Jiri

The hike through Mt. Juwangsan offers a unique experience to witness the hidden beauties of the volcano landscapes. From the historical and geological significance of Daegujeon Temple to the trail through dense forests and the breathtaking sights of Mujanggul Cave, Juwangam, Gwaneumbong, Cerobong Rock, and Yongchudae Gorge, every part of the journey is filled with wonders and natural beauty.

Recommendation for Quiet Enjoyment

If you’re looking for a peaceful and quiet hiking experience, I highly recommend visiting Mt. Juwangsan. It is less crowded compared to other popular hiking spots, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in nature and enjoy the tranquil surroundings. Don’t miss the opportunity to explore this hidden gem and create unforgettable memories.

Discover the World Class Volcano Trekking Course in Korea!