Korean Trails

Over the Mountain, is a Mountain

                Gyeongsangbuk-do 경상북도

North Gyeongsang Province includes all land east of the Baekdu-daegan ridgeline from near Daedeok-san in the south, a border of three provinces, to beyond Sobaek-san National Park in the north, where it greets Gangwon-do near the great mountain Taebaek-san.
The Gyeongsangbuk-do section of the range includes some of the standout peaks of the long Baekdu-daegan trail. Over the bold ridge of Samdo-bong and Hwangak-san, the ridge crosses through the rocky peaks of Songnisan National Park, through the famous gated pass of Mungyeong-sae-jae, along the lonely eastern ridges of Worak-san National Park and over Sobaek-san's Biro-bong (1439m), the highest peak in the province. Subsidiary ridges leaving the Baekdu-daegan run east into the Gyeongbuk plains, rising to form dramatic peaks west of the Nakdong River such as Hakga-san, Gapjang-san and Geumo-san.

Just north of the Gangwon-do border the Baekdu-daegan meets the Nakdong-jeongmaek ridge, the eastern wall of the southern peninsula, stretching south through Gyeongbuk province on it's journey to the sea at Busan. The northern section of this ridge passes through some of the most remote and least populated land in South Korea, over the peaks of Tonggo-san and Baekdam-san in the lonely countryside of Uljin and Yeongyang counties and south to Juwang-san National Park, a spectacular mountain formed of ancient volcanic domes, carved with spectacular valleys. As the peninsula widens, the Nakdong-jeongmaek forms the western border of the ancient capital city Gyeongju, and the southern border of Gyeongsangbuk-do at Munbok-san, in the very north of the Yeongnam Alps range.

Nakdong River through Cheongryang-san Provincial Park


A scattered web of subsidiary ridges of the Nakdong-jeongmaek form the rugged heartland of eastern Gyeongbuk, and connect to every peak east of the Nakdong river, stretching far wider than those leaving the Baekdu-daegan on it's eastern side. In the north these shape the formidable landscape which runs over the peaks of Ilwol-san and Cheongryang-san. Through the centre large ridges run west from the Juwang-san area, crossing the parks of Palgong-san and Geumseong-san, and in the south the network stretches from Gyeongju west to Biseul-san.


The ridges of the Baekdu-daegan and Nakdong-jeongmaek are the watershed for the Nakdong River, channeling water into tributary streams of the nations longest waterway, providing fresh supplies of water, the stuff of life supporting the intensive agriculture of the Gyeongbuk plains, and filling the dams and water resoirvoirs of the major cities. The Nakdong River is sourced from Taebaek-san and runs south through North and South Gyeongsang provinces to meet the ocean in Busan.


Ridges running east of the Nakdong-jeongmaek form the major moutains of Yeongdeok, Pohang and Gyeongju areas. These include Palgak-san in Juwang-san's east, Naeyeon-san in the hinterlands of Pohang city and Gyeongju's Nam-san, one of Korea's most sacred peaks, a real open-air museum of Silla Dynasty history.


The island of Ulleung-do, with it's Volcanic summit of Seongin-bong, lies 120km off the east coast, and is considered part of Gyeongsangbuk-do.