The nearest major city to Gayasan is Daegu. There is transport from Daegu to Haeinsa Temple in Gayasan. It is also possible to
get to Gayasan via Jinju.
DAEGU East Inter-city Bus Terminal => HAEINSA (Temple)
06:40 07:00 08:00 08:40 09:20 10:00 10:40 11:20 12:00 12:40 13:20 14:00 14:40 15:20 16:00 16:40 17:20 18:00 18:40 19:20 20:00
Price: 4,200 won
Journey Time: 2 hours
HAEINSA (Temple) => DAEGU East Inter-city Bus Terminal
06:40 07:20 08:00 08:40 09:20 10:00 10:40 11:20 12:00 12:40 13:20 14:00 14:40 15:20 16:00 16:40 17:20 18:00 18:40 19:20 19:50
Price: 4,200 won
Journey Time: 2 hours
Sleeping and Eating
As with most national park entrances in Korea, the area just below Haeinsa near the bus (Chi-in Village) has plenty of
minbak (민박) and a few motels 모텔. Prices are typical of the parks - 20,000 won - 30,000 won per night. Restaurants and
street vendors are scattered here and there, especially on the hill opposite the bus stop.
One of the best options for an overnight stay is Haeinsa itself. The temple provides room and board for 20,000 won per night.
Reservations are suggested, but unnecessary most of the time. Reservations can be made by following the directions at the
Temple-Stay website. Your fee gets you a place in one of the communal sleeping rooms (floor mattress, blankets, and pillows
provided), dinner, breakfast, and lunch the following morning. Lockers are provided for personal belongings. All the temple
asks is that you follow the rules:
(1) Go to bed at 9:00 PM.
(2) Get up at 3:00 AM and attend the 3:30 AM prayer service in the main Buddha hall.
(3) Be quiet and respectful on temple grounds.
(4) Be on-time for meals.
18:10 - Dinner
19:00 - Evening Prayer Service
03:30 - Morning Prayer Service
06:10 - Breakfast
11:15 - Lunch
There are three campgrounds just beyond Yongmun Falls and Chi-in Village at the main entrance to the park. A fourth
campground is located at the east entrance near Baengundong Village ticket office. Fees range between 3,000 won and 7,000
won per night.
Park Office: 123-1 Guwon-ri Gaya-myeon Hapcheon Gyeongnam. Tel: 82-55-932-7810
Gayasan (가야산) Hiking Routes
HIKE 1: HAEINSA TO SANGWANG / CHILBUL PEAK - 8 km roundtrip / 3 hours
Difficulty Rating: 2 - Moderate
This hike starts at Haeinsa (temple) and winds through the lowland forests to the top of the mountain. Maps show two peaks -
Sangwangbong (1,430 m) and Chilbulbong (1,433 m), but they are nearly identical in height and only 5 minutes hike from each
other. Sangwangbong is more famous and usually listed as the highest point on Gayasan even though Chilbulbong is actually a
tiny bit higher (by 3 meters). Total elevation gain is 833 meters with an average of 207 meters gained per kilometer of trail.
The elevation gain is very even until the last 200 meters, where the terrain grows slightly steeper.
This is a perfect hike both for beginners, who don’t want a long, strenuous climb, and experienced hikers who keep coming back
for more of Gayasan's raw beauty. The hike is easy-to-moderate, climbing gradually at the beginning, going up some wide wooden
steps, and then following a rocky trail for most of the rest of the way. The lush forest beyond Haeinsa is magical early in the
morning when rays of sunlight angle down in the mist.
Most of the hike has good tree cover. After about 90 minutes things open up and you begin to see sky above. The trial briefly
breaks out onto a huge mass of rock (Bongcheondae) with great views of the valley. The remainder of the mountain towers up above
this. The last kilometer is the steepest, ending below an exposed, rocky slope. From that point, it’s only another half kilometer
to Sangwangbong. Views from the top are fantastic in clear weather. You can see in every direction. To the south, the sharp,
dramatic ridges rise up like the dorsal fin of some strange sea creature rolling in the clouds. To the north, the mountain falls
steeply to the hilly terrain, villages, and towns of Seongju County.
It takes about two hours to reach Sangwangbong at a nice, gentle pace, and an hour to get down. Another trail runs directly from
Chilbulbong, past Yonggi Falls, and out the eastern park entrance at Baengundong (2.9 km).
Recommendations: Try to get to the peak for sunrise. You won't regret getting up early. Technically, Gayasan is open to climbers
from two hours before sunrise to sunset. The hike is one that's quite easy to do in the dark with a flashlight or headlamp. Locate
the starting point the day before so you don't have to search around in the dark.