In a country of mountains, Daedunsan Mountain stands out for its famous suspension Cloud Bridge and its colorful contributions to the South Korea fall.
And what a feat, for South Korea is full of mountains! Early European visitors to the Korean Peninsula are said to have likened the region to “a sea in a heavy gale,” because of the numerous mountain ranges snaking up and down the entire peninsula. About 70% of South Korea’s land is mountainous, meaning no matter your position in the country, the mountains won’t be far away. Autumn may well be the perfect time to go hiking South Korea’s mountains. But the perhaps the best mountain to enjoy the South Korea fall? We’d venture to say Daedunsun Mountain.
Whether you’re planning on visiting for the South Korea fall colors or for another season, here’s our Ultimate Guide to visiting Daedunsan Mountain and the Cloud Bridge!
This guide includes the following sections:
- Daedunsan Mountain: The Highlights
- Autumn Weekend Trips in Korea
- Daejon to Daedunsan
- To Hike Daedunsan or Take the Cable Car?
- The Cloud Bridge: Daedunsan’s Famed Suspension Bridge
- Daedunsan Stairway
- Daedunsan: A Spectacular South Korea Fall Display
- How to Get to Daedunsan
- What to Bring to Daedunsan in Autumn
- 1 Daedunsan Mountain: The Highlights
- 2 Autumn Weekend Trips in Korea
- 3 Daejeon to Daedunsan
- 4 To Hike Daedunsan or Take the Cable Car?
- 5 The Cloud Bridge: Daedunsan’s Famed Suspension Bridge
- 6 Daedunsan Stairway
- 7 Daedunsan: A Spectacular South Korea Fall Display
- 8 How to Get to Daedunsan
- 9 What to Bring to Daedunsan in Autumn
- 10 Like this post?
- 11 You Might Also Appreciate…
- 12 Are you scared of heights? Would the Cloud Bridge ruffle your feathers?
Daedunsan Mountain: The Highlights
Named one of our top Romantic Spots to Enjoy Autumn in Korea, Daedunsan Mountain is renowned throughout Korea, not just for its spectacular granite cliffs, but also for its suspension bridge known as the Cloud Bridge (Geumgang Gureumdari), its spine-tingling stairway, and its cable car. Daedunsan Mountain is also justly renowned for its brilliant South Korea fall colors at the end of October and the beginning of November.
Looking for more spectacular South Korea fall photographs?
Autumn Weekend Trips in Korea
We’ve listed some of the Top Autumn Travel Destinations around the world, but we easily could’ve filled half the list with some of the South Korea fall gems.
South Korea’s compact size and extensive system of public transportation makes it super easy to bask in the glory of the South Korea fall during weekend trips. Coming from the summer beach paradise of Jeju Island, we sought a mainland getaway to fully appreciate the South Korea fall colors. We combined our weekend Daedunsan Mountain and Cloud Bridge visit with a one-day visit to Seoul, where we visited the palace of Changdeokgung and its famed Secret Garden to enjoy its South Korea fall colors.
Daedunsan Mountain is located partway between the cities of Daejeon and Jeonju, both of which are easily reachable from Seoul. For our trip, we spent the night in Daejeon, which we reached after a two-hour train ride.
Daejeon to Daedunsan
Waking up early the next morning, we caught bus #34 at 6:45 am from Daejeon’s Seobu Bus Terminal. Daedunsan Mountain is about a 45 minute to 1 hour ride from the terminal, at the end of the bus route. You can see Daedunsan Mountain from where you get off the bus, and it’s a 15-20 minute walk down the road to the park at the base of the mountain.
Now don’t be alarmed if your bus ride is shrouded in mist! For practically our entire bus ride, we could hardly see anything at all due to incredibly thick mist cloaking the valleys and hilltops. To add to my unease, from this (rather limited) vantage point it seemed that most of the trees we passed were already bare of leaves! Oh no, I said to myself, are we too late?
Luckily, our fortunes turned around when we got off the bus. It was definitely clearer up there, and yes! The hillsides were indeed tinted with autumn’s pallet of yellows, oranges, and reds. It looked like, at the first weekend of November, we weren’t too late to enjoy the mountain and its Cloud Bridge after all!
To Hike Daedunsan or Take the Cable Car?
If you hike up Daedunsan Mountain, it’s only about a 2.1 km hike one way, but it’s very steep. Don’t let the short distance deceive you! It’s a quite strenuous walk up and down, taking 4-5 hours total to go up and down the mountain, including your walks on the Cloud Bridge and exposed stairway.
There’s also a cable car you can take if you choose to bypass the hike. A one-way ticket costs 6,000 won each, while a round-trip ticket costs 9,000 won each. After a 5-minute cable car ride, you disembark at the upper station, which has a small café and restrooms. Then it’s a short climb up some steep stairs, where you reach the famed suspension bridge known as the Cloud Bridge.
We decided to take the cable car up to save time (we were on a tight schedule). Our reasoning was to try and beat the crowds on the Cloud Bridge and the stairway, because they can get rather crowded later in the day, especially during the South Korea fall season. After spending a good amount of time at the top of the mountain, we realized we didn’t have enough time to hike back and ended up taking the cable car down as well.
The Cloud Bridge: Daedunsan’s Famed Suspension Bridge
The Cloud Bridge (Geumgang Gureumdari), a 50-meter-long (164 feet) suspension bridge, stands 81 meters (243 feet) high over a narrow canyon between two rock formations.
Saying farewell to the suspension bridge, the path up Daedunsan Mountain climbs steeply past a couple restaurants. Yes, there are restaurants on the mountain (this is Korea, after all)! These rough-and-tumble establishments are quite impressively built right into the face of the cliffs. All supplies must be sent up via a small tramway. You can try some local delicacies, including the intriguing fried ginseng. There are also restrooms here.
The exposed stairway is a short distance from the restaurants. We had to wait for 10 minutes before embarking on the stairs. The wait was entertaining, though, as we could hear more screams and macho-yelling from hikers on the stairway.
Daedunsan: A Spectacular South Korea Fall Display
The vibrant South Korea fall colors cover Daedunsan Mountain. Bold splatters of color coat the top of the mountain—but the lower slopes of the mountain are just as stunning! We enjoyed watching the the stunning South Korea fall colors pass by below us as we took the cable car down the mountain. The autumn colors on Daedunsan’s lower slopes were so vivid that we just had to hang around for a while after we got to the bottom. The bright sunshine made the trees glow in yellows, oranges, and reds. Coming from Los Angeles, I’d never seen such vivid fall colors until coming to Korea.
We could have spent an hour or more enjoying the scene at Daedunsan Mountain, but unfortunately we had to catch that bus to Daejeon! Our KTX train to Seoul left at 3:30, and we didn’t want to miss it. The walk back to the bus stop revealed how much busier the mountain had gotten over the hours. In the morning, there were no cars, and only one other man walking from the bus stop to the base of the mountain. Now, parked cars on both sides of the road stretched at least half a mile towards the bus stop. The whole mountain area was so busy! South Korea fall destinations are very popular (for good reason), so be sure to visit them early to beat the crowds.
With its robust expression of color, Daedunsan Mountain stands firmly at the top of our list of our South Korea fall experiences. The mountain met our every expectation, from the suspension Cloud Bridge to the stairway to the autumn hues! The fact that Daedunsan has a cable car is a huge plus for travelers with limited time, as the cable car eliminates the need to spend hours climbing up and down. And as if the destination needs any more reasons to stand out, the park at the base of the mountain is equally spectacular in its strong show of color. For any South Korea fall visit, a trip to Daedunsan should be a top priority—but likely for any other time of the year, as well: blooming spring, lush summer, or white winter!
How to Get to Daedunsan
- The bus leaves every 45 minutes, starting at 6:00 AM, 6:45, 7:30, 8:15, 9:00, 9:45, 10:30, 11:15, 12:05, 12:55, 13:50, 14:45, 15:35, 16:20, 17:05, 17:45, 18:30, 19:15, 20:00, 20:40, 21:20, and 22:00.
- You don’t need to go into the terminal to catch the bus. Go to either the stop at the front or the back of the terminal, where the regular city buses stop, to catch the bus. It’s a green bus.
- It’s about an hour’s ride to Daedunsan 대둔산, which is the last stop of the route. Get off the bus and walk down the hill toward the mountain. It is about a 20 minute walk from this bus stop to the cable car station.
- The bus leaves from Daedunsan to Daejeon (대전) every 45-50 minutes at 6:00 AM, 6:35, 7:15, 7:50, 8:40, 9:30, 10:15, 11:00, 11:45, 12:30, 13:20, 14:10, 15:05, 16:00, 16:50, 17:35, 18:20, 19:05, 19:50, 20:35, 21:20, and 22:00. Make sure you note the times that the bus returns to Daejeon! Don’t forget to add an extra 20 minutes’ walk back to where to pick up the bus from the bottom cable car station.
What to Bring to Daedunsan in Autumn
- It can get quite cold and windy up on the mountain in autumn, so dress accordingly.
- A hat, jacket, and scarf will all help with the cold and wind.
- You can bring snacks and water if you want, but there are a few convenience stores located near the bottom cable car station if you want to buy them there. There are also several restaurants along the road to the cable car station, as well.
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Are you scared of heights? Would the Cloud Bridge ruffle your feathers?
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