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Jugwangsan National Park South Korea Travel

South Korea’s Juwangsan National Park and Good Apples

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No more beaches and sunsets to enjoy. Summer is gone and it’s time to say goodbye to those warm weather months. Now is the time to dust off those hiking shoes and get back to the mountains, where the weather is becoming perfect for a road trip enjoy some of Korea’s brighter spots. Two great people offer us a ride to witness a truly uncovered gem—Juwangsan National Park. Small in stature compared to the big players of Seoraksan and Jirisan, this little jewel holds its own for those in search of lovely waterfalls and smaller crowds.

Juwangsan National Park

This Juwangsan travel guide is part of our series on South Korea Travel and East Asia Travel. It was originally created on October 7, 2014. It has been maintained and updated (as of December 28, 2018) to reflect current viewpoints and travel trends.

Apples!

The trip starts on the right foot thanks to an unexpected arrival—apples, tons of apples! On the drive east, stands sprout up along the highway and a curious stop leads to a discovery that massive apple groves accompany each one. The vendors are selling from their own collections and at a much better price than one finds at the marts and superstores back in the cities.

Hiking

After securing a massive haul and arriving at Juwangsan’s campgrounds, more friendly shop owners greet us along the path leading to the trails and there they are again! From apple chocolates to key-chains, it is official that this is Apple Country. Being a smaller park, our late arrival at around 1 PM still allows for a hike around most of the highlights. A walk to the top of Juwangsan’s second-highest peak leads us through waves of friendly Korean hikers. There’s always a “hello” followed by “nice to meet you” instinctively uttered at each notice of a new face.

Peak View

Views of waterfalls and walks through tiny canyons round out daylight as the sun makes its way down. An anticlimactic peak really doesn’t hurt the gorgeous day either. Getting to and from the top proves the best parts of it. Sharing the weekend with two people whose positivity can barely be summed up within a paragraph and full of spirit. Without doting on them too much, one thing is clear. Their exciting existence thrives on a “Life’s a Journee” mantra that inspires if not impresses all who’ve come into contact with them.

Dinner and Juwangsan Waterfalls

One of their stated goals (while living in Korea) was to visit all of the country’s national parks and “Klimb” along the way. It’s something they pulled off months after this time in Juwangsan. Sharing dinner and some rice wine flavored with (of course!) split apples and ginseng completed the perfect day. After a light sleep and a walk to more waterfalls that Juwangsan is known for, it’s time to head back. Summer’s death knell makes itself clear during the cold night that renders our “sun canopy” useless after so many peaceful nights camping on beaches.

More Apples?

As we drive back and all contemplate buying more fruit from a local seller, one thing dawns on me. We didn’t need any more apples, and not just because there were 40 in the trunk. Those would suffice our appetites while the two bright and shiny ones driving us home make for more than enough great memories and conversations to start this year’s Fall.

Ever visit this awesome park? What did you make of it? I’d love to hear about it in the comments section below!

21 thoughts on “South Korea’s Juwangsan National Park and Good Apples

  1. Nathan Anderson says:

    Great read, thanks for writing this! A friend and I are thinking of going to Juwangsan this weekend, as long as the weather holds. I’m really hoping that happens now.

    Hope you’re having a great time in Indonesia!

  2. Pingback: Sobaeksan National Park (소백산) | KLIMBING KOREAN MOUNTAINS

  3. Pingback: Juwangsan National Park (주왕산) | KLIMBING KOREAN MOUNTAINS

  4. Nailah Rivers says:

    Yes, summer is gone again. Hello Autumn! Great photos 🙂 I especially love the one with the sun peaking through the tree leaves.

  5. Taylor says:

    Fall hiking is so much better than summer hiking! No need to be drenched in sweat and carry 50 water bottles with you. Also, beautiful pics. There is just too much great hiking here to get it all done!

  6. rafiquaisraelexpress says:

    I don’t like hiking much but I do like your pictures! You should add more photos, they are really lovely and give people like me a chance to see the views from atop of these mountains that I highly doubt I will climb!

  7. mariawh says:

    Your pictures are awesome!! I love hiking, and this looks like the perfect place to hike and get some fresh mountain air! And those apples look delicious! Have never been to Korea or really considered going there. But after seeing your beautiful photos, I really want to visit Korea! 🙂

  8. usaabroad says:

    I love the weather now, it’s perfect for hiking! Seeing the leaves changing in the mountains is a really special part of being in Korea right now. It’s definitely one of my favorite seasons. You’ve captured that feeling of summer ending and autumn coming perfectly!

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