A Complete Guide to Autumn in Korea: Fall Foliage Forecast 2019

korea fall foliage forecast

Korea has four distinct seasons with Autumn falling in the months of September, October, and November. So now, you can say goodbye to the boiling hot days and welcome the cool, crisp weather that Autumn brings along with it.

But most importantly, don’t forget about the highlight of Autumn in Korea: the crimson gold Autumn foliage that bedecks the streets all over. It’s best to see the Autumn foliage around October and November when it is much cooler but remember, the peak season only lasts up to two weeks! It’s already October so, if you haven’t started planning your leaf-peeping getaway yet get your pens and papers at the ready as we share with you a complete guide to Autumn in Korea!

Autumn in Korea – Weather & What to Wear

Weather: Mostly sunny with warm afternoon highs. Huge difference in temperatures during the day and night.

September – Average 20°C (68°F); High 26°C (78°F); Low 15°C (59°F)
October – Average 13°C (55°F); High 19°C (66°F); Low 7°C (44°F)
November – Average 5°C (41°F); High 11°C (51°F); Low 0°C (32°F)

Check the weather forecast regularly for accurate weather information and indication of rain.

What to wear: A warm, lightweight jacket, or thick winter coat (in November), boots, long-sleeved T-shirts or sweatshirts, cardigans, thick socks, and an umbrella in case of rain.

Dress in multiple layers for changing temperatures.

2019 Korea Fall Foliage Map & Forecast

The Korea foliage season usually starts around mid-September and lasts until mid-November. Nonetheless, remember to keep your schedules cleared for mid-October to early November as this is when foliage reaches its peak!

In 2019, as usual, the first autumn foliage will appear in the northeast regions, at Odaesan and Seoraksan National Park around September 27, followed by the central and southwest regions around mid-October. Finally, between mid-October and early November, the Autumn foliage will arrive in the southern regions.

The Autumn foliage is set to decorate Seoul in a blanket of crimson in October!

Mountain First Foliage Peak Foliage
Seoraksan National Park September 27 October 16
Jirisan National Park October 11 October 22
Naejangsan National Park October 17 November 3
Odaesan National Park October 1 October 14
Daedunsan Provincial Park October 19 October 25
Songnisan National Park October 15 October 30
Palgongsan National Park October 18 October 26
Juwangsan National Park October 28 November 1
Gayasan National Park October 14 October 27
Bukhansan National Park October 14 October 29
Hallansan National Park October 15 October 30

*Korea foliage forecast information provided by Weatheri

Top 6 Autumn Foliage Destinations in Korea

Admiring the brown-yellow leave whilst taking a stroll is one way to experience the Autumn foliage in Korea. However, nothing beats hiking when it comes to Autumn foliage. Not only does hiking up the mountains and national parks of Korea offer spectacular views of nature but also a worthwhile hiking experience!

Here’s a list of the Top 5 Destinations for Autumn Foliage that we’ve hand-picked just for you!

1. Seoraksan National Park

▲ Best time to see the autumn foliage: Mid-October ~ Early November
▲ Where: Sokcho, Gangwon-do (northeast of Korea)

Seoraksan National Park is home to the third highest mountain in Korea, Seoraksan. Offering stunning landscapes with dramatic mountain peaks, unique rock formations, and gorgeous valleys all year round, Seoraksan is one of the best hiking destinations in Korea.

By mid-October, Seoraksan National Park will be covered by trees with boughs of deep red and yellow, signaling the true start of Autumn.

It’s the perfect place and time for hikers from near and afar to enjoy the clear crisp air up in the mountains, as they watch the beautiful amber leaves fall around them. If you’re up for a bit of hiking this Autumn, head to Seoraksan to enjoy the magical foliage show unfold before your very eyes!

2. Naejangsan National Park

▲ Best time to see the autumn foliage: Late-October ~ Mid-November
▲ Where: Jeong-eup, Jeolla-do (southwest of Korea)

Next on the list is another popular destination for foliage: Naejangsan National Park. It has been chosen as a go-to destination for foliage year after year and you’ll know why once you get there. With its vivid crimson foliage that blankets the whole park, it is home to 600-year-old nutmeg trees as well as cascading waterfalls.

There are also two famous Buddhist temples at Naejangsan National Park, Baekyangsa Temple and Naejangsa Temple, which are definitely worth a visit!

The tree-lined path from the Hiking Information Center to Naejangsa Temple, densely packed with 108 trees, offers a breathtaking canopy of colorful Autumn leaves!

3. Jirisan National Park

▲ Best time to see the autumn foliage: Mid-October ~ Early November
▲ Where: Namwon, Jeolla-do (southwest of Korea)

If you’re planning a visit down in Busan, you have to drop by Jirisan National Park! Home to the second-tallest mountain, after Jeju Island’s Hallasan, it is the oldest and biggest national park in South Korea! So, of course, it’s going to have one of the most magnificent views to offer!

Only a 2-hour drive from Busan, it is one of the most popular day-trip destinations especially during the Autumn season. Head on down to Jirisan National Park to catch a glimpse of the magnificent view of amber-tinged trees!

Just remember Baemsagol Valley. With its small streams and rock bed against the vibrant color of Autumn, it is the best spot to view the foliage during your hike!

4. Odaesan National Park

▲ Best time to see the autumn foliage: Mid-October ~ Early November
▲ Where: Pyeongchang, Gangwon-do (northeast of Korea)

You’ll have heard of Odaesan National Park if you’re an avid K-drama fan since it was the filming location for the hit Korean drama, “Goblin”, starring Gong Yoo and Kim Go-eun. However, it is also famous for its own merits such as its beautiful thick forest of fir trees that line the hiking trails.

It is also home to Woljeongsa Buddhist Temple, founded in 643, which is another stunning site to take in the Autumn foliage.

5. Daedunsan Provincial Park

▲ Best time to see the autumn foliage: Mid-October ~ Early November
▲ Where: Nonsan, Chungcheongnam-do (central Korea) & Wanju, Jeollabuk-do (southwest of Korea)

Reaching up to 878 m, Daedunsan Mountain is one of the more steeper and rockier landscapes. The Suspension Bridge (Geumgang Gureumdari) is one of the best spots to take in the array of Autumn hues. However, be warned, it is not for the light-hearted as it actually hangs over a deep ravine 300 m above sea level. So, cross it if you dare! It is sure to add an element of thrill to your hiking experience!

Nonetheless, don’t worry if you’re not really a fan of scary suspension bridges as there is cable car that can take you across. Offering an aerial view of the sea of blazing maples in Daedunsan National Park, it will surely be a memorable experience.

6. Gyeongju

▲ Best time to see the autumn foliage: Mid-October ~ Early November
▲ Where: North Gyeongsang Province (southeast of Korea)

Last but not least is Gyeongju, a city located in the corner of North Gyeongsang Province. If you aren’t too fond of hiking or just going up steep, steep mountains, this is just the place for you.

Filled with historical heritage sites, and other magnificent places to visit, Gyeongju is visited by many throughout the year. Nonetheless, it becomes a foliage paradise especially in the months of October and November, attracting people from all around.

Though Gyeongju doesn’t offer aerial views of mountains drenched in crimson, it is an equally magnificent place to view the Autumn foliage.

  • Seokguram Temple – As one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites, it is definitely worth a visit!
  • Donggung Palace and Wolji Pond (Anapji Pond) – Known for its dazzling view at night, you can catch the reflection of the moon and palace glimmering on the surface of the pond!
  • Cheomseongdae Observatory – The oldest existing astronomical observatory in Asia. This spectacular structure still remains well preserved as Korea’s 31st National Treasure.
  • Bulguksa Temple – Explore the exquisite architecture of one of Korea’s most well-known temples in Gyeongju.

More Places to Catch Autumn Foliage in Korea

Click on each destination for more info!

| Juwangsan National Park, from Busan
| Gayasan National Park, from Busan
| Palgongsan National Park, from Busan
| Songnisan National Park, from Seoul
| Mindungsan Mountain, from Seoul

Remember to pack your cameras with you on this trip to capture the best autumn foliage in Korea! For more ideas for your next Autumn trip to South Korea, make sure you visit Trazy.com, Korea’s #1 Travel Shop!

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