Wat Tham Phu Pha Yon (วัดถ้ำภูผายล), also known as Wat Pa Non Sung (วัดป่าโนนสูง) is located on the Western edge of Phu Pha Yon National Park in Sakon Nakhon. It is located near the famous Phu Pha Yon Petroglyphs, which are 3,500 year old rock carvings on the wall of an ancient cave.
The temple is located on the hillside of Phu Pha Yon (which means Sacred Mountain) in the Tao Ngoi subdistrict of Sakon Nakhon, about 35 minutes west of the sacred turtle sculpture known as Praya Tao Ngoi. There is a congregation hall (Viharn) at the foot of the hill where the monks teach the dharma and meet worshipers. Nearby on the hillside there are round pavilions where one can relax, meditate, and enjoy nature.
At the top of Phu Pha Yon mountain is a huge footprint of the Buddha which was created in a rockbed to honor the 86th birthday of King Bhumibol Adulyadej the Great (พระเจ้าอยู่หัวภูมิพลอดุลยเดชมาหาราช). This sacred footprint is known in Thai as Roi Pra Baat (รอยพระบาท). To get to the location of the Buddha's footprint, you'll have to climb about 385 steps. The moss-covered stairs meander at the start but toward the end become very steep and quite narrow (which some people could find tricky to descend).
So, we suggest only those who are physically fit and coordinated make the ascent to the top of Phu Pha Yon. It's not as physically demanding a climb as the 491 steps leading to the ancient Khmer ruins of Phra That Phu Phek, but it isn't an easy climb either.
As you get near the Phu Pha Yon summit, the trail splits in two. Turn right and the trail will lead you to the ancient rock carvings, which are only a few hundred meters down the trail. Stay straight and the trail will take you Buddha's footprint, as well as mountain ledges that provide a gorgeous view of Sakon Nakhon province. Keep an eye out for the wildlife too. The forest is home to deers, wild boar, monkeys, and wild Asian dogs known as dhole, as well as many species of exotic birds.
If you are looking for another Buddhist temple to visit in the area, a place where you can do some additional hiking, we suggest visiting Wat Ban Na Phang, which is only 2 kilometers away and just off the road that you travel on to reach Phu Pha Yon.