Korean Trails

Over the Mountain, is a Mountain

Daeya-san 대야산 (930m)

Baekdu-daegan Ridge, Northern Songni-san National Park

Cheongcheon-myeon, Gwisan-gun (Chungcheongbuk-do). Gaeun-eup, Mungyeong-si (Gyeongsangbukdo)

The boulder summit of Daeya-san            
                                            

 With sharp rocky features, and an unforgiving, sometimes hair-raising ridge trail, Daeya-san is one of the memorable peaks of the Baekdu-daegan Trail.

Located between the famous hiking areas of Songni-san National Park to the south, Mungyeong-saejae Provincial Park to the North and Worak-san National Park to the North-east means great views and a real feeling of wilderness on a hike to the summit on a clear day.

Although largely included within the boundaries of Songni-san National Park it is a good two day walk and also a considerable drive from the parks' main peaks and attractions and therefore sees much fewer visitors, especially outside of the summer season.

The circuit trail to the peak begins from its eastern side in the Yongchu Valley, a fantasic gorge with dozens of crystal clear pools which are quite popular with swimmers in the summer months. The trail follows the stream  from the collection of restaurants and minbaks into the woods for a couple of kilometres before splitting at a famous rock in the river called Wolyeong-dae, where the Yongchu Valley meets Pia-gol gorge running down from the peak.

Stunning pools along the Yongchu-gyegok 용추계곡

Your options are to continue up the left trail which follows the valley to Mil-jae (밀재) or take the right fork up Pia-gol for a direct attack on the summit. Although steeper I'd recommend heading up Pia-gol, as near the summit are some very serious ropes (below) leading up a near vertical wall to the summit - these are much easier and safer for most hikers to negotiate heading up rather than when heading down.

The Pia-gol trail to the peak should take about an hour or so.

Once over Daeya-san's tricky little peak follow the beaten path south-east along open, rocky ridge line down to the pass of Mil-jae. Miljae is a 4-way junction, take the north-east path through a lush forest of alpine bamboo down to the beginnings of the Yongchu-gyegok and the junction at Wolyeong-dae.

 

The ropes to the peak, famous amongst Baekdu-daegan through hikers as one of the most challenging sections of the trail


Getting there by road - The Yongchu valley trailhead is accessible from Provincial Rd. 922 to the west of Mungyeong/Jeomchon City.


By Expressway no.45: Coming from the North get off at the Mungyeong-saejae exit, head south on National Highway 3 for a couple of kilometres and turn left onto Provincial Road 901 at Miseong-myeon, (right before Highway 3 crosses the Joryeong stream). Follow 901 to the township of Gaeun-eup, turn right here onto PR 922, which you will follow to the valley entrance.

Coming from the south on Expressway 45, you may want to get off at the Jeomchon Exit and follow NH3 North to Miseong-myeon, but it won't save any time.


By Bus: From Jeomchon Intercity Bus Terminal 점 촌 시외버스정류 you want to get on the bus to Beol-bawi 벌바위, the name of the rock and small village at the entrance to the Yeongchuk Valley. Buses leave for Beol-bawi every hour from 9:30am, and I believe the last evening bus leaves at 5:45.

Accommodation: There are a couple of good minbaks at the head of the Yongchu valley at Beol-bawi, all along the river near the start of the trail. Most of these also have excellent attached restaurants.

Circuit Map from Yongchu-gyegok