The Best Hiking Trails are in Daegu South Korea

You’ll climb, you’ll pant heavily, sweat, and curse your way through some of the most beautiful scenery, temples, and vistas you’ll ever see. And you’ll find humility on the side. Eighty-year-old men pass you by with their hands behind their backs. But you’ll be rewarded because Daegu, South Korea, has some of the best hiking trails in the world.

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5 Reasons to go Hiking in South Korea

The Best Hiking Trails in Daegu

This is the best time to experience the fauna and flora covered landscape. Although packed with hordes of hikers in brightly colored hiking gear, walking sticks and backpacks. And many of them carry a bottle of soju. There are many paths and reasons to take a hike. Here are just 5 reasons to go hiking in Daegu, South Korea.

You are really missing out on a memorable spiritual experience if you don’t climb to the top of one of South Korea’s many, many mountaintops. Seventy percent of the country is covered by mountains and almost all of that are trails navigable by dirt, stairs, or boulders. If you’re like me, it’s a great idea from the time you lace up your expensive Merrill hiking boots and throw your backpack on in the parking lot right up to the moment you notice the landscape’s incline.






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Temples and Monk Chants


Just about all the temples worth seeing in Daegu reside at the top of a big hill or a small mountain. You have to go hiking just to see them. I guess you can’t help that when 70% of the country is not flat. So if you have a desire to chat with a monk, participate in a temple stay or just rest your weary mind– you probably need to lace up your sneakers. One of my favorite hikes in Daegu is to the top of Palgonsan Mountain to make a wish to the Gatbawi Buddha while listening to the monks chanting.


There are several trails where you can experience the beautiful temples and more of the best hiking trails in South Korea… read Three Hikes in Daegu South Korea: Apsan, Gatbawi, and Palgonsan.


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Great Pictures


The temples are located on the best hiking trails in South Korea. The temples offer sweeping views and colorful hikers (both in attire and personality) make great photo opportunities too.


Hike in Goryeong combines history and exercise… read Daegaya Museum in Goryeong.


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Outdoor Activities in Daegu


The air below can be less than fragrant. So it’s nice to get above it all and smell the wild jasmine and woodsy green moss, as well as other foliage that grows along the hiking trails all over Daegu.


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The natural beauty surrounds you from the moment you leave the parking lot. Many of the trails are marked with the particular trees, flowers, and birds you may encounter along the way. Again the temples, gigantic boulders, wild blooms, and trickling streams are actors in a movie set only nature can create.


Take a hike up Apsan and check the dinosaur footprint in Hiking Apsan– Kosangol Valley Trail.


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Great Exercise

Hiking Near Camp Walker and Daegu


There are a lot of people in Korea. More than 50 million and the streets are always packed. Thankfully you don’t have to go far to escape the crowded streets of Daegu. Or the tedium of Camp Walker. The hiking trails offer a little reprove from the crowds. There are approximately 1500 steps to get to the feet of Gatbawi and that’s only the stairs. It takes a couple of hours to climb to the peak. And many locals do it daily. I prefer it to work out in the gym or running at sea level.


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  1. Kathy

    I never went hiking before we moved here. I walked, but didn’t “hike”. But everyone hikes here, so I figured what the heck. Now I hike every chance I get. There are so many trails and like you said. Most of the temples sit on top of a mountain, so if you want to see them, you gotta go hiking.

  2. OvenStruck

    Thank you so much for sharing your experience in South Korea! Your photos are beautiful and lend to a warm place that people want to travel to. It’s hard sometimes to pull the beauty out of commercial photos of different parts of the world and I applaud you for doing this so others can learn more about South Korea.

    1. duffelbagspouse

      You are welcome. I have loved my two years here, I think its someplace everyone who wants to travel should visit.

    1. duffelbagspouse

      I hear that a lot, but I don’t know why. LOL Its so much more inexpensive than China and Japan with just as much to see and do.

  3. Sauumye

    If the scenery is amazing, I could hike all day long to go there!! I love seeing nice vies & personally feel hikes give you the best view of the place & not to mention the peaceful environment.

  4. Leo T. Ly

    All the scenery in your pictures look so breathtakingly beautiful. I have never been to South Korea before, but if I do, I will definitely want to climb one of these mountains.

    1. duffelbagspouse

      I hope you get a chance to visit South Korea. It is a beautiful place and while its a great inexpensive alternative to its neighbors, China and Japan. Don’t get me wrong, go to China and Japan too if you have the option. But South Korean has just as old a culture, modern conveniences and good food at a much lower price.

    1. duffelbagspouse

      There are a FEW temples that are at sea level. But just about EVERYTHING with seeing sits on a hill or mountain because the country is 70% mountainous.

  5. Rosey

    Look at those pictures! I’m not sure I’d head over to Korea right now, just because I have a little one and it’s a long flight. Maybe someday. 🙂

    1. duffelbagspouse

      Thank you. It is a long flight– longer with kids– and I don’t love them either. I have managed to find ways to entertain myself because I can’t see life without them.

  6. Elizabeth O.

    I don’t think I even need reasons but these are great! I would love to see the temples and enjoy the view. It’s really worth it.

  7. maria

    OMG!! The skyline looks amazing! Five reasons to go hiking in Korea, really one was enough! The pictures look amazing! It looks like a very tranquil, calming and rewarding experience!

    1. duffelbagspouse

      Thats cool. Its even more interesting a culture looking in. I’ve made some good friends here and enjoyed exploring the country.

  8. jenny

    this is awesome keep posting more! good work I actually think you are very good in writing your thoughts and I learned a lot from you 😀 love the pics btw 😀

    1. duffelbagspouse

      Thank you its always nice to hear a compliment every now and then and to know someone enjoys my work.

  9. Elizabeth Brico

    Ahh I never knew any of this about South Korea. It sounds like my kind of place. I guess I”ll have to add it to my (sigh) already extensive to-go list….whenever I ever get to make it, if ever.

  10. Nancy G

    Wow! You´ve inspired me. Am more of a sand and sea kind of person, but now hiking is on my bucket list.
    Question, is there a particular reason they put their hands behind their backs when hiking?
    Just an observation am curious about.

    1. duffelbagspouse

      I don’t know why they do it. It just seems to be the way they enjoy hiking. I am also a sand and sea person but I’ve found a peace and quiet in the wind that blows in the mountains.

  11. Hatsuharu

    Hiking! I’m not really into it but I sometimes wonder if it will be great. There are a lot of places I can go to just outside the city that offers great places for hiking.

    Anyway, I love the photos.

    1. duffelbagspouse

      Hiking is not for everyone. I didn’t enjoy it at first, but it grows on you especially when there is so much beauty to see.

  12. Angel

    Wow! I would love to visit the temples, and take in this culture. I don’t think I would travel there, though, voluntarily, but thanks for sharing the pictures.
    Tell your spouse I thank him for his service in keeping our country safe.

    1. duffelbagspouse

      You’d like. I wish it wasn’t a twelve or thirteen hour flight so many of my friends and family could experience it too. But that distance is what keeps it so different, so I am happy its not.

  13. Milica

    Wow, I didn’t know that South Korea is 70% covered by mountains! I would definitely love to visit that country and use the opportunity to go hiking there. Loved your post!

  14. Author Brandi Kennedy

    Sounds like South Korea is a great place to work on one’s fitness – and perhaps one’s sense of spirituality as well. It’s so cool that with your husband being in the Army, you’ve been able to see so many beautiful places.

    1. duffelbagspouse

      I totally agree– for the most part. This county will also break you if you aren’t strong. lol, so many people, crazy habits, pollution, etc. But the temples, mountains and hikes are a respite for peace and tranquility if the cities aren’t.

    1. duffelbagspouse

      If you compare yourself to the locals, no one is a hiker. These people are bionic when it comes to mountains and stairs. lol

  15. duffelbagspouse

    Thank you. You can go hiking right where you are and hopefully there is some pretty scenery to enjoy while you do it. Thanks for stopping by my little blog in South Korea. ?

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