ROK Drop

Avatar of GI KoreaBy on August 9th, 2011 at 5:23 pm

Hiking In Korea: Yeoninsan Mountain (연인산)

» by in: Travelogs

The province of Gyeongi-do is the most heavily populated area of South Korea, which means that often times the hiking trails leading up the mountains in the area can appear more like a que to a popular Disneyland ride than a hiking trip.  Because of this I often try to find out of the way locations in Gyeongi-do to go hiking and Yeoninsan mountain is definitely one of those places.  This mountain is part of the Yeoninsan Provincial Park that is located between Uijongbu and Gapyeong off of Highway 37.  On the below map in red you can see the trail I hiked up to Yeoninsan in relation to the highways that lead to the trailhead:

yeoninsan map2

The road that branches off of Highway 37 to the trailhead leads to the small hamlet of Mail-ri (마일리).  The road is paved the entire way and passes this large church that was built using Korean traditional architecture:

Picture from Yeoninsan Peak

If you see this church you know you are heading in the right direction.  The drive through this thickly forested valley is actually quite nice and ends at Mail-ri.  There isn’t much to this village other than a few old farm houses like the one pictured below:

Picture from Yeoninsan Peak

There is one person that has themselves a pretty nice house in this hamlet though:

Picture from Yeoninsan Peak

The trailhead for the hike up Yeoninsan is actually quite easy to identify due to the large parking lot that has this huge sign showing the trails up the surrounding mountains:

Picture from Yeoninsan Peak

Note that at the parking lot there is a guy who charges people 3,000 won to park there.  He was a nice enough guy and very eager to show me the route up the mountain on the sign.  He did caution me about the rain, which as everyone knows is always an issue during monsoon season in Korea.  During the drive to the trailhead I experienced off and on rain, but I was prepared to deal with it if it happened during my hike.  I had a light rain jacket, a poncho, waterproof socks, and a waterproof backpack .

Once I was ready to start my hike the weather wasn’t looking too bad judging by this view from the parking lot towards the slopes of the mountain:

Picture from Yeoninsan Peak

Here is a topographical map that shows the trail up to the summit of Yeoninsan from Mail-ri:

yeoninsan map3

At 1,068 meters Yeoninsan is actually a pretty high peak for being in Gyeongi-do, but its remoteness I think is just as impressive as its height.  Its remoteness was quite evident because my car was the only vehicle in the parking lot, which meant I ended up being the only person on the trail that day.  The trailhead is located adjacent to the parking lot and easily spotted by this sign pointing in the direction of Yeoninsan:

Picture from Yeoninsan Peak

There is actually two different routes to access the mountain and I decided to take the shorter 5 kilometer route.  The trail actually starts as a small one lane dirt road that provides access to a few more of the homes located in this little village:

Picture from Yeoninsan Peak

After walking past the homes and their adjacent farm fields the trail turns into this:

Picture from Yeoninsan Peak

Due to all the rain the trail was a flowing creek.  Not wanting to break through brush, I just went ahead and hiked up the creek.  I was quite happy I wore my waterproof socks.  There was some areas of the trail that weren’t a flowing creek that made hiking a bit easier:

Picture from Yeoninsan Peak

I was pretty high up on the mountain now when I came across this farm field:

Picture from Yeoninsan Peak

Whoever owned this farm field undoubtedly received some pretty good exercise every day hiking up here to work the land. Just past the farm field I reached the ridgeline of the mountain range that would take me up to the summit of Yeoninsan.  The view was quite nice from the summit:

Picture from Yeoninsan Peak

From the ridgeline here is the view looking down the trail I came up:

Picture from Yeoninsan Peak

At the top of the ridgeline I reached this clearing where I saw that a four-wheel drive road had been built to access this area:

Picture from Yeoninsan Peak

By following the four-wheel drive road it leads to the longer route up to Yeoninsan, but since I was taking the shorter route I followed a trail that led north along the ridgeline:

Picture from Yeoninsan Peak

To the east of the ridgeline was just a large bowl of a valley that was filled with pine trees:

Picture from Yeoninsan Peak

It was actually pretty impressive how thickly forested this valley was:

Picture from Yeoninsan Peak

Besides the trees I also saw plenty of wild flowers growing along the trail that provided quite a contrast in color compared to all the greenery I was surrounded by:

Picture from Yeoninsan Peak

As I continued along the ridgeline it was actually pretty hard to get any views of anything other than trees due to the thick foliage that surrounded the trail:

Picture from Yeoninsan Peak

Most of the way I could not see the summit of Yeoninsan due to the trees and clouds until for a brief moment the clouds parted and I got this view of the peak through this break in the trees:

Picture from Yeoninsan Peak

I continued on down the trail towards the summit it began to rain heavily as the trail was engulfed in clouds.  Just below the summit of the mountain I was able to take this picture of the surrounding mountains before I got engulfed in rain:

Picture from Yeoninsan Peak

There was nothing to see on the summit itself as it was raining heavily and I was eager to go ahead and get off the mountain.  So I turned around a walked as fast as I could down the mountain.  Despite the rain I was able to walk the 5 kilometers back down the mountain in about an hour.  Going up the mountain at a leisurely pace had taken me about two hours so I made really good time going down.  On my way walking back to the parking lot I actually ran into a group of about 8 people that were walking up the mountain despite the rain.  If it was raining like this when I arrived at the parking lot I wouldn’t have even bothered to start the hike, but they appeared pretty well equipped for the rain so hopefully they enjoyed their hike.

Anyway it was a good walk up the mountain despite being absolutely soaked.  I will likely try and hike this mountain again sometime using the longer route on a day with better weather.  It is a bit of drive to reach the trailhead, but if you are really into hiking and are looking for a remote and scenic mountain to check out that isn’t too far from Seoul, this is the place.

Tags: , , , ,
- 1,727 views
2
  • Songtan1
    3:15 am on August 10th, 2011 1

    GI Korea those are wonderful pictures. I use to hike all over Korea but I’m not able to do so as much as I once did. Have never been to Yeoninsan but I am now going, when the weather is a bit better, as your pics show an older man can still make that trip…I think… :roll:

  • Avatar of GI KoreaGI Korea
    4:54 am on August 11th, 2011 2

    Songtan1, I am glad you enjoyed the pictures. You should have no problems hiking up the mountain. It is not very steep and if you go on a nice day you won’t have to contend with the rain like I did. If you hike the mountain let me know how it went.

 

RSS feed for comments on this post | TrackBack URI

By submitting a comment here you grant this site a perpetual license to reproduce your words and name/web site in attribution.

Bad Behavior has blocked 33056 access attempts in the last 7 days.