Hiking Daedunsan Provincial Park (대둔산도립공원)

IMG_20160501_211101I’m checking a visit to another Korean park off my list. This one has a cable car, a suspension bridge and a dizzying staircase.

On Sunday we made a long-awaited trip to Daedunsan Provincial Park. Daedunsan is located in Chungcheongnam-do, about an hour south of Daejeon. To get there, we took bus #34 from the Seobu Bus Terminal (West Daejeon).

 

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A co-worker told us about this hike months ago, but we just hadn’t been able to make it happen. Sunday was finally the day! A small group of us headed south and arrived on the mountain about 11 a.m.

Daedunsan has an elevation of about 2,880 feet. Korea’s landscape really changes in a hurry. Drive just an hour south of Daejeon and big craggy mountains start cropping up. Daedunsan has these incredible peaks, and it’s a killer uphill workout.

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A view of the Geumgang scenic suspension bridge from below

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The boys and me on the Samseon stairway

There is a cable car for folks looking for a slightly easier hike. You still have some steep hiking to get to the top. If we ever make it back, we’ll be taking that cable car for the view! The other big attraction on this mountain is the Geumgang Scenic suspension bridge and Samseon stairway. However, if swinging in the breeze over a rocky drop-off isn’t your thing… this is not for you. I’ve never been afraid of heights, but I was a bit nervous swinging the selfie stick around up there.

I believe the cable car, suspension bridge and staircase are in the Wanju part of the park. According to Visit Korea, the mountain is divided into three areas (Geumsan, Nonsan, and Wanju).

The Geumsan area is home to a battlefield from the Imjin Waeran War (Japanese Invasion, 1592-1598) and the historic Taegosa Temple. The Nonsan area is noted for its scenic forests, valleys, and brooks, while the Wanju area is defined by grandiose rock peaks. – Visit Korea (http://bit.ly/1NRO0wD)

We made it to the top of Macheondae after only about two hours of hiking. We passed a ton of people on the way up because we were moving at a pretty fast pace (I was trying to keep up with three dudes). At the top we found a place to rest, have a few snacks and take in that sweet view.

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We made it!

We took a different route going down, passing the Yongmungul (cave), which was seriously not a cave at all. The descent was steep and rocky, and it made my legs feel like Jell-o. All in all, we were off the mountain by about 4:30-5:30 p.m. We wrapped up the day with a much-needed meal at one of the several restaurants in the park.

It was a great way to spend a sunny Sunday in South Korea. I can’t recommend this hike enough! Click here to check out the rest of my photos from the day.

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