I admit that, up to this point in the hike, I had not been terribly impressed with the views in Jirisan National Park. That changed when I reached the top of Cheonhwangbong, which at 1,915 meters above sea level is the highest mountain peak in mainland South Korea.
The views from the top of Cheonhwangbong were pretty sweet.
As you can see on the map, the peak is very near Jungbong (which I described in the previous post), and is in the eastern part of Jirisan, which means it’s in Gyeongsangnam Province.
Once I was at the top of Cheonghwangbong, I suddenly saw lots of people.
I hadn’t met many people on the way up. Where had they all come from?
As you can see in the above photo, there is a very steep trail which joins the ridge trail I had hiked up right at Cheonghwangbong. This is the Jungsanri Course, which allows people to go to mainland South Korea’s highest peak as a day trip, without having to stay in Jirisan overnight, and thus is very popular.
If you want to see what the Jungsanri Course to Cheonhwangbong looks like in a season when the trees actually have leaves, you can check out Kliming Korean Mountains.
Above is a nice photo of Jungbong, the second highest peak in Jirisan and mainland South Korea
The peak of Cheonhwangbong is full of this rock outcroppings – if they’re weren’t a sign marking the true summit, I wouldn’t have been sure which rock outcropping was the highest.
Well, I certainly couldn’t sleep on top of the peak, and the place where I was to stay overnight was over five kilometers away.
Well, I had to get on my way while I still had daylight.