Jirisan National Park (지리산 국립공원) offers some of Korea’s best hiking opportunities, with 12 peaks over 1000m forming a 40km-long ridge. Many peaks are over 1500m, including Cheonwang-bong (1915m), the country’s second-highest mountain. There are three principal entrances to the park, each with a temple. Two of the three temples, Ssanggye-sa and Daewon-sa, are in Gyeongsangnam-do. From the west, Hwaeom-sa is accessible via Gurye in Jeollanam-do.
The Jirisan Bear Project was established in 2004 to build up a self-sustaining group of 50 wild Asiatic black bears in the national park. In late 2017, a young cub was discovered and is believed to be the third member of the third generation since the creatures were reintroduced to the land.