Gayasan National Park

gayasan-national-parkOne of the beautiful sights I've captured during my first climb to the spectacular Gayasan National Park! I surely would do it again and again.

gayasan national park

Gayasan National Park (or Gaya Mountain National Park "가야산 국립공원") is one of the top parks in South Korea. It is a mountain park consists of various peaks, most of which are over 1,000 meters above sea level.

This is my fourth national park hiking destination, and I so love it. See the photos I took, below, so that you will have more ideas on how this park looks like.

Gayasan, designated as National Park number nine, stretches its spectacular tops of the Taebaek Mountains from east to west. Sangwangbong Peak is Gayasan Mountain’s second highest peak, just 3 meters shy with Chilbulbong Peak (1433 meters high).

Watch the video, below, if you wish to see more ocular descriptions on the highest parts of the mountain...

TRANSLATION: Chilbulbong means “Seven Buddhas Peak.” It is standing just a couple of hundreds of meters from Sangwangbong Peak.

Many fantastic hiking trails are accessible in Gayasan. The park is open all year round except for some trails and areas due to particular reasons (such as preservation, conservation period).

As an ideal park for outdoor activities, many hikers and travelers spend days hiking, camping, relaxing, photography, among others. That’s because Gayasan is very accessible from various points in the country.

Entrance is FREE except when entering exclusive sites (e.g. through Haeinsa Temple).

gayasan-national-parkGayasan's Sangwangbong Peak taken from Chilbulbong Peak

exciting descriptions

The name ‘Gaya’ is a name after a town in India called Gaya. It is believed that Buddha reached enlightenment in Gaya. The term gaya is the Sanskrit for ‘cow.’ Locals agree that the peaks of this national park resemble a cow’s head.

Gayasan National Park (가야산 국립공원) is one of the oldest and first parks designated by the government at that time due to its stunning landscape, national heritage, and natural treasures.

Personally, I love the rock formations which I can only imagine but did not believe I could find them there.

The refreshing looks of the streams and creeks are very calming and inviting.

Aside from the natural beauty of Gayasan National Park, you can also find human-made structures and sites for entertainment and exploration.

gayasan-national-parkView of a temple area on Gayasan Mountain
gayasan-national-parkA sturdy pine tree within the granite rocks
gayasan-national-parkTaken from the peak of Gayasan Mountain - Chilbulbong Peak
gayasan-national-parkA rock formation that looks like a huge boulder visible along the way back to Haeinsa Temple
gayasan-national-parkAt Gayasan National Park, some special-looking rocks are like this one
gayasan-national-parkMy ascent started from this hotel visible below
gayasan-national-parkWooden and metal steps are available in very step rocky sides of the park
gayasan-national-parkAmazing rock formations along the steep trail
gayasan-national-parkI passed that trail... I'm moving higher!

Yes, I passed that peak some 30 minutes ago. I didn't stop to take that photo but to rest, then I saw that spectacle! Totally amazing! I just thought that maybe I could enjoy better its sight if I stayed longer... But I had to move on reach the peak on time.

gayasan-national-parkPassing through the 'eye of the needle'(s) is one of the things you need to accomplish on this mountain!

There are many trail paths that pass through narrow spaces. I believe that the experts who built such paths ensured that hikers should pass through challenging but exciting paths, turns, corners...

I took that photo (above) because I thought that the shapes of the huge rocks on both sides have very interesting forms--they look like well-shaven solid rocks almost looking like walls!

They look fantastic but intimidating at the same time. Because they could flatten down anything if it happens that they roll down!

gayasan-national-parkWooden steps on the cliff with great sights of the Gayasan's rocky mountain peaks

Above, looks really nice but it was pretty scary because that wooden steps and railings were built on the cliff of that mountain side. There are nothing below the steps but supporting iron bars.

gayasan-national-park-chilbulbong-peakOn the highest peak of Gayasan National Park - Chilbulbong Peak "Seven Buddhas Peak" (1,433 meters above sea level)

Yeheyyy... Yes, I made it to the highest peak of Gayasan National Park (가야산 국립공원). The day was perfect--some clouds but sunny and the temperature was temperate.

I took that shot from Chilbulbong Peak--the highest peak of Gayasan Mountain range. Around a couple of hundred meters from where I was standing is the Sangwangbong Peak, which is only 3 meters shy with Chilbulbong Peak.

gayasan-national-park-trailTrail guide at Gayasan National Park. (Right click the image to see the larger size)

But the highlight of the park should not be missed - Haeinsa Temple. You may hike Gayasan National Park from any point, and you may decide to end the hike at this temple.

Alternatively, you may start your hike from this temple and finishes somewhere else. Me? I decided to start from a challenging trail and end up at Haeinsa Temple and took the bus to return home.

Alright… back to Heinsa.

The temple is considered “one of the three most famous temples in South Korea.” Among the (religious) attractions of this temple area is the Tripitaka Koreana (Treasure No.32), a library of over 80,000 wood blocks and considered one of the oldest and most prominent in the world.

haeinsa-templeDaeungjeon Hall, Haeinsa Temple, Gayasan National Park

At Haeinsa Temple, you will discover lots of fantastic scenery, old temples, ancient Buddhist items inside and outside the temples.

Haeinsa Temple is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage. Among other cultural treasures, you can find the Jangkyunggak (Treasure No.52), Stone Buddha Figure (Treasure No. 518), Banya Temple Gyeonwangsa Monument (Treasure No. 128), and more.

available facilities

Once you are around Haeinsa Temple area, you can find everything you would need, the basic ones anyway, for your sojourn with friends or family in the park. Some of them are the following...

  • Parking Area
  • Camping Area
  • Hiking trail by the creek
  • Washrooms
  • Mountain Park Management/Information Center
  • Cafes
  • Food Stalls
  • Convenient shops
  • Restaurant
  • Street Food (local produce)
gayasan-national-parkPath in the woods near Haeinsa Temple
gayasan-national-parkHaeinsa Temple Information Centre
gayasan-national-parkRoad gate to Haeinsa Temple in Gayasan National Park

useful info

Other information related to Gayasan National Park (가야산 국립공원) are available at the link provided for you below...

Website: Visit Korea Site

Getting to Gayasan National Park

South Korea’s efficient transport system makes it much quicker for travelers to move around with various choices and can save much time.

To get to Gayasan, one can either take a bus or a combination of public transports depending on your point of departure. Here are the possible travel transports…

Bus from Hapcheon Intercity Bus Terminal
Take a bus from this terminal to Haeinsa Temple and then get off at its entrance area. The city bus runs only 8 times a day. The ride takes an hour each way.

Bus from Daegu Seobu Intercity Bus Terminal
At this terminal, take a bus that goes to Haeinsa Temple and then get off at its last stop. A bus departs every 20 minutes and takes an hour to reach the temple area.

Taxi from Daegu Seobu Intercity Bus Terminal
A taxi can take you from this terminal to Hongryudong Ticket Office within 40 minutes.

Dong Daegu Bus Terminal to Daegu Seobu Intercity Bus Terminal
More intercity and express buses travel in and out from this terminal. You can take a subway from here to Daegu Seobu Terminal then transfer to a bus from Haeinsa Temple. It takes around 1 hour and 10 minutes to get to the temple area.

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