1 Day Trip: Daedunsan (Daedun Mountain)

I recently took a trip to see the beautiful Cloud Bridge (구름다리 – Gureumdari).

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The Cloud Bridge is located in Daedunsan, a mountain that borders the provinces of Chungnam and Jeollabuk.

Be forewarned. This is not a hike for the faint of heart.

How to get there (cheapest + simplest route):

From Daejeon Terminal Complex (~2.5-3 hours):

  1. Take bus #201: Get off at 버드내아파트
  2. Walk across the street to take bus #34: Get off at the last stop (대둔산휴게소)
  3. Follow the road down the valley: stop when you reach Daedunsan.

From Daejeon Seobu Terminal (~2 hours):

  1. Skip step #1 from above instructions, and follow steps #2 and #3.
    For more detailed instructions, see below in the Returning Home section.

Getting There: Cost ~1,250KRW

I live in the boonies, so I had to bus to Daejeon Terminal Complex (대전복합터미널). If you’re coming from a major city, bussing to Daejeon Seobu Terminal will shorten your trip by ~30 minutes.

From Daejeon Terminal Complex, you want to find the bus stop located on the same side of the street as the terminal. You’re looking for bus #201. If you cross the intersection, you’re busing the wrong way.

I got to Daejeon at ~10AM, and despite directional failures and missing the bus because my head was in the clouds, I managed to get onto Bus #201 at ~10:15AM.

After about 25 minutes, I got off at Beodeunae Apateu (버드내아파트). You’ll need to cross the street and go to the bus stop on the opposite side and wait for Bus #34 to take you to Daedunsan.

Bus #34 comes approximately every 40 minutes. Alas, I had to wait about 25 minutes before the bus came. (It came at ~12:05PM).

Now sit back and relax — a 1.5 hour bus ride awaits to take you to town of Wanju-gun.

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Bus #34 will pull in front of this gigantic sign. This is your visual cue to get off.

You won’ t need to worry much about missing your stop because you’ll be getting off at the last stop: Daedunsan Hyukaeso (대둔산휴게소). NOTE: For the anxious navigators, the automated bus stop system calls and writes out each stop.

And from here, my trip started going all downhill… literally and figuratively.

From where the bus is parked, you want to walk towards and past the gigantic welcoming sign. You’re heading down that road/freeway with no sidewalk for about 30 minutes.

(If you walk towards the giant Zip Line Centre, you’re going the wrong way.)

I’ll admit, the steepish walk down took a really long time and the few available street signs made me doubt my self-navigation. But stay firm and eventually, you’ll come across a small town.

On your right, you’ll spot this:

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Entry to Daedunsan!

There’s no entry fee into Daedunsan, so hikers can waltz right through the gate.

Since you descended to get here, you’ll obviously now have to begin your ascent, because, well, it’s a mountain.

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Passing by several restaurants on my way up the mountain.

Follow the road upwards, and when in doubt, keep to your right and you’ll see…

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The cablecar!

I was so excited to ride the cablecar because at this point, it was getting hot.

Remember how I mentioned things going downhill? Yeah… turns out the cablecar wasn’t operating. So now, I was faced with two choices: turn back and head home or hike up the mountain, see the bridge, and potentially miss my last rural bus home.

Glancing at the time (~1:45PM at that point), I decided to risk it.

Hiking up and down Daedunsan: (~2.5 hours)

First and foremost, I’m not a hiker. I hate getting hot and sweaty, and I’m allergic to mosquito bites. That said, the ascent, though exhausting and difficult, wasn’t as bad as it could have been.

The trail is mostly in the shade, so the sun doesn’t add much to your exhaustion. But after the first 10 minutes, the trail disappears and you’re walking up some steep rocks that I would be hard-pressed to call a “trail”.

I also found that hiking signs were almost non-existant until you passed the second checkpoint (the Buddhist Temple Shrine).

I sped up the mountain and rounded the corner for the Sky Bridge…!

And my heart sank a little. The bridge looked… so small.

My first thoughts were that I had pushed myself this hard, very likely missing my last bus and completely soaked in sweat, just to see this?

With a sigh, I decided to make the best out of the moment and cross the Cloud Bridge. After all, that’s what I had come here for, right?

And that’s when the awe factor hit.

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Taking that first step and looking down, made me realize that it was just as impressive as the pictures. In fact, I couldn’t even let go of the railing as I crossed! I’m not afraid of heights, but this was pretty freaky.

After taking a couple of selfies, I started hiking back down. The hike down was equally challenging due to the steep rocks. But it was quick, and I made it back to the Wanju-gun welcoming sign by 4PM, where Bus #34 was waiting for me.

Returning Home: Cost ~3,850KRW
(NOTE: I ran out of money on my T-money so I ended up paying each bus fare in cash)

Bus #34 departed promptly at ~4:05PM, and I was heading back to Daejeon. Little did I know, Bus #34 won’t drop you back off at Beodeunae Apateu (버드내아파트). Its last stop is actually Daejeon’s Seobu Terminal. You’ll reach Daejeon Seobu Terminal at ~5PM.

From there, I walked along the river (on my left) towards the bridge. Once you hit the busy intersection, make a right, and keep walking until you see the bus stop that you used to get onto Bus #34 when you were going to Daedunsan.

Wait at that bus stop for Bus #201. Unfortunately, for me, it was rush hour so despite Bus #201 coming quickly, it took about 1.5 hours before I got to Daejeon Terminal Complex (~6:30PM). Keep that in mind if you have to take another intercity bus back home.

What I would have done differently:

Given the chance to do this again, I would have tried to get to Daedunsan earlier.

Daedunsan is a full day trip and there were some really picturesque shots and different trails that I would have liked to explore at a more leisurely pace.

Tips:

  1. Make sure to fill up your T-money card with sufficient funds!

    There are ATMs and convenience stores inside Daejeon Terminal Complex, so fill it up before you head out to Daedunsan or fill it up at the CU located a little bit in front of the Daedunsan Cablecar building.

    Also remember that Daejeon only accepts T-money, and not Cash Bee, transport cards.

  2. Pack light for the hike

    Since it’s such a tough hike, you don’t want to be carrying too much on you.

    Essentials: transport card (with funds!) + a bottle of water

    Optionals:
    hat, sunscreen (strongly recommended), a light snack, wallet

Have fun!

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