Wibong Falls (wibong pokpo [위봉폭포])

Wansan / Jeonju, Jeollabuk-do, South Korea

About Wibong Falls (wibong pokpo [위봉폭포])

Hiking Distance: about 500m round trip
Suggested Time: 30 minutes (bottom of falls)

Date first visited: 2023-06-22
Date last visited: 2023-06-22

Waterfall Latitude: 35.90978
Waterfall Longitude: 127.26214

Waterfall Safety and Common Sense

Wibong Falls (Wibong Pokpo [위봉폭포]) was a 60m cumulative height waterfall dropping in multiple tiers.

Nearby this waterfall is the Wibongsa Temple, which is one of the major temples said to be built by the Monk Seoam in the year 604, and some of the buildings that have survived past calamities date back to the Joseon Dynasty.

Wibong_099_06212023 - Wibong Falls
Wibong Falls

So it’s possible to visit both the waterfall and temple (though we drove to each site, which were about 5 minutes apart from each other).

I was able to experience the Wibongpokpo Waterfall in a couple of different ways, and both of them were pretty easy (as the difficulty rating reflects).

First, we were able to witness this waterfall from a roadside lookout (see directions below).

At this lookout, we were able to appreciate the waterfall’s thin, multi-tiered drop amid the context of the gorge that it dropped into.

Wibong_049_06212023 - Checking out the Wibong Falls from the steps leading down to its base
Checking out the Wibong Falls from the steps leading down to its base

From there, I then walked along the road for about 70m to a series of steps descending into the gorge.

Along these steps were interpretive signs and inscriptions in Korean while also presenting some gorge views.

At the bottom of the steps was a small shelter as well as a continuation of the trail going both downstream and upstream.

I only went upstream from here as it was a short jaunt to the bottom of the main drops of the Wibong Falls, which looked way shorter than it did from the lookout due to the obstructing cliffs and foliage.

Wibong_051_06212023 - Descending the steps to get to the bottom of the Wibong Falls
Descending the steps to get to the bottom of the Wibong Falls

According to my GPS logs, this walk was a mere 200m in each direction, and it only took me about 35 leisurely minutes to do both the lookout and the steps down as well as coming back.


Wibong Falls resides near the city of Jeonju in Wanju-gun County, Jeollabuk-do Province, South Korea. It may be administered by the local authorities of Wanju. For information or inquiries about the area as well as current conditions, you can try visiting this website for leads.

Wibong_004_06212023 - The distant look of the Wibongpokpo Waterfall, which was right next to the road
Wibong_005_06212023 - First look at the Wibong Falls from the roadside lookout
Wibong_011_06212023 - Looking down into the canyon where low clouds were conspiring to fog up the view of the Wibong Falls
Wibong_015_06212023 - This was about as zoomed in of a shot of Wibong Falls as I could get
Wibong_021_06212023 - Checking out some viewing benches by the roadside lookout of Wibong Falls
Wibong_022_06212023 - Looking back at the context of the pullout and some viewing benches as seen from the lookout itself
Wibong_024_06212023 - Context of the Wibong Falls in the distance with the viewing deck to the right
Wibong_027_06212023 - Looking towards a pavilion besides a restroom facility further down the road from the Wibong Falls lookout
Wibong_030_06212023 - Checking out the context of the road as seen from the pavilion near Wibong Falls Lookout
Wibong_032_06212023 - Context of Wibong Falls and the roadside walkway between the pavilion and the lookout
Wibong_041_06212023 - Approaching the steps leading down to the base of the Wibong Falls
Wibong_046_06212023 - Going down the steps with Wibong Falls in the background, which this path went to the bottom of
Wibong_062_06212023 - Continuing to go down the steps to the Wibong Falls with some interpretive signs or blurbs written in Korean
Wibong_066_06212023 - Getting closer to the bottom of the descent for the Wibong Falls
Wibong_082_06212023 - Continuing to get closer to the base of Wibong Falls while passing by more interpretive signs in Korean
Wibong_086_06212023 - Looking back at the context of the steps and the ravine to the right
Wibong_087_06212023 - Even though the path was a mere 200m or so, the extensive upside down nature of this walk made it a little more strenuous than one might think
Wibong_092_06212023 - Approaching a small pavilion at the bottom of the steps near the base of Wibong Falls
Wibong_095_06212023 - Looking downhill from the bottom of the steps, where it seemed like the trail might have gone by more tiers of Wibong Falls, which I didn't take but I wonder if I should have
Wibong_096_06212023 - Heading up past the pavilion towards the base of Wibong Falls
Wibong_097_06212023 - Looking back at the pavilion and the bottom of the steps by the Wibong Falls
Wibong_101_06212023 - Finally making it to the bottom of the Wibong Falls
Wibong_117_06212023 - Looking towards the clear water of the plunge pool beneath Wibong Falls
Wibong_118_06212023 - Looking downstream from the base of the Wibong Falls
Wibong_124_06212023 - Starting to make the climb back up to the car after having my fill of the Wibong Falls
Wibong_128_06212023 - Looking back at a partial view of Wibong Falls on the way back up
Wibong_130_06212023 - Looking up at some steps that were overgrown as that part looked like the old trail which was now being abandoned
Wibong_132_06212023 - Another look at the context of the walking path with the ravine to the right of it
Wibong_135_06212023 - Returning to the road at the top of the steps after having had my fill of Wibong Falls
Wibong_140_06212023 - Making it back to the Wibong Falls pullout and the rental car as the clouds looked like they were starting to lift and reveal the mountains in the background

Wibong Falls is situated near the city of Jeonju in the county of Wanju.

Rather than confuse you with a bunch of turn-by-turn directions that won’t mean anything to you, I’ll just tell you that it’s best to use a Korean routing software on a phone that’s hooked up to a Korean Network (as Google Maps doesn’t work in Korea).

Drive_to_Gapsa_006_MingSung_06222023 - Looking back at the signed road junction where the road to the right leads up to the Wibongsa Temple
Looking back at the signed road junction where the road to the right leads up to the Wibongsa Temple

We prefer using a SIM card with an unlimited data plan for this purpose so we shouldn’t be running out of data while routing (while also allowing us to use that phone as a hot spot).

Regardless of what your current location is (and South Korea is as well-connected of a country as I had ever seen), use Kakao Map app to navigate your way through all the city streets, interchanges, and local rural roads.

It even tells you the whereabouts of speed bumps, school zones, speed cameras, and all the particulars about which lane to take when there’s a decision point with multiple lanes involved.

The only catch to using Kakao Map (or any other Korean routing app) is that you’ll need to at least learn how to put your place names in Hangeul (the Korean writing system).

Drive_to_Wibongsa_002_MingSung_06222023 - Driving through this tunnel to get to the Wibong Falls
Driving through this tunnel to get to the Wibong Falls

That’s because using romanized words and expecting the app to find it doesn’t always work, but placenames in Hangeul almost always can be found in the app.

Anyways, in our example, we were coming from Jeonju Hanok Maeul (전주한옥마을) so with that as our starting point (출발), we set up 위봉폭포 (Jeonju Falls) as the destination (도착).

This route took us about 45 minutes to go the 22km distance.

If we came from Wanju (완주군청), then Kakao Map says it would take 30 minutes to go the 22km distance.

Wibong_023_06212023 - The pullout closest to Wibong Falls was literally right next to the lookout
The pullout closest to Wibong Falls was literally right next to the lookout

For geographical context, Jeonju was 16km (about 30 minutes drive) south of Wanju, 100km (about 90 minutes drive) north of Gwangju, 94km (about 90 minutes drive) southwest of Daejeon, about 119km (over 90 minutes drive) northwest of Suncheon, and 216km (about 3 hours drive) south of Seoul.

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Left to right sweep of the panorama encompassing the waterfall from the roadside lookout

Downstream to upstream sweep before zooming in and panning fro top to bottom of the falls

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Tagged with: wibong waterfall, wibong pokpo, jeonbuk cheonri-gil, wanju route, wanju, wansan, jeonju, wibong, temple, wibongsa, wibongsanseong fortress, korea, south korea

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Johnny Cheng

About Johnny Cheng

Johnny Cheng is the founder of the World of Waterfalls and author of the award-winning A Guide to New Zealand Waterfalls. Over the last 2 decades, he has visited thousands of waterfalls in over 40 countries around the world and nearly 40 states in the USA.
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