Wolchulsan is a spectacular mountain with amazing views. Wolchulsan National Park is the smallest national park in South Korea, but it makes up for it in beauty. It also offers a bit of peace and quiet from the usual hiking crowds.
It also happens to be our family’s ‘local’ mountain, on the doorstep of Appa’s family home. The first time I hiked Wolchulsan was with my now in-laws, before kids, and before marriage. Grand memories from that day!
It’s a challenging hike up to Gureumdari (Cloud Bridge), but it’s totally worth the sweat. On a clear day, the view is great, but when the peaks are shrouded by clouds it takes on an eerie beauty.
This week, however, we were here with two little ones so no epic hikes. Instead, we took advantage of the camping ground at the park entrance and did some short walks.
Camping in Wolchulsan National Park
The campsite is run by the national park so you should book in advance online. It’s less than 20,000won a night and has clean, well-stocked toilets, dishwashing stations, and a large communal refrigerator. You can also access electricity if needed.
As with most official camping grounds in Korea, it doesn’t have a lot of privacy, and sites are too close together for my liking. Still, it’s better than many. On Friday night, it wasn’t busy at all, so we had no-one else around us. And it was a bonus to park the car just meters from the site for easy setup.
We came straight from work/school/childcare on Friday, so had our stuff set up just in time for dinner. We kept the kids busy, searching for kindling for the fire. Even if you don’t need it, this is a proven method of keeping kids busy while you set up camp. I look back on all my childhood camping trips and wonder whether my parents had the same idea, or did they really need kindling? Mum?
It’s unclear whether fires are officially allowed or not, but no one seemed to care that we had one and, what’s camping without a campfire?
Since the girl woke up with the birds, we went for a peaceful stroll through the forest to a giant rock. Later, the littles and I ventured further up the trail to the temple. We’d been up here before, so I knew the kids could manage the rocky path, but I regretted not having someone else to help them down again.
At only an hour from Gwangju, we’ll definitely be back!
If you’re looking for other camping spots, we enjoyed these.