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Yumyeong Valley of Yumyeongsan Recreational Forest in Gapyeong, Gyeonggi-do

WriterAdministratorDate12/10/2019

I visited Yumyeong Valley of Yumyeongsan Recreational Forest in Gapyeong, Gyeonggi-do.
Yumyeong Valley img

I visited Yumyeong Valley of Yumyeongsan Recreational Forest in Gapyeong, Gyeonggi-do.
I heard that the rainy season has begun, but the weather forecast said that it would be sunny all week. The temperature has already passed 30°C, and the hot summer seems to have begun. My friend and I were going to go hiking up Eobisan Mountain, but gave up due to the hot weather.
Instead, we went to Eobi Valley and Yumyeong Valley in Yumyeongsan Recreational Forest.
We should have gone to the valley in the first place. I was proud of myself for having successfully hiked up Yumyeongsan Mountain last spring, so I decided to go up to Eobisan Mountain this time. It was too hot to hike, so I gave up on that idea right away.

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National Yumyeongsan Recreational Forest has a parking lot, stream, native plant botanical garden, cabins, campgrounds, and hiking trails.
It is too big to see all in one day. I went hiking on my last visit, so I wanted to enjoy the stream this time.
​We left from Yongin late, so it was almost lunchtime when we arrived in Gapyeong.
Just in case, we dropped by the Jongjeom Garden in front of the recreational forest. Jongjeom Garden is a restaurant appeared on the TV show Bob Bless You. I don't know why we seem to only visit Gapyeong on the days that Jongjeom Garden is closed, which are the second and fourth Wednesday of every month. Instead, we went to Yumyeongsan Garden at the entrance and ate wild vegetable bibimbap and potato jeon for brunch.
​Yumyeongsan Garden is right next to the stream of Yumyeong Valley, so you can sit on a wooden bench next to the stream. The water was not very deep because of a long drought, but you can have still a meal and cool off in the water here. Visit one of the restaurants in front of the recreational forest if you want to have a meal and to cool off in the stream.

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You have to park at Yumyeongsan Recreational Forest to go to the Yumyeongsan Valley. It's closed on Tuesdays.
Parking is KRW 3,000 for small and medium cars, and entry is KRW 1,000 for adults.
This is a national recreational forest, so you can't swim here, but you can dip your feet in the water.

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You will have to park in the lot and head towards the campground. You will see an automatic gate that only opens for campground guests, and a bridge right after the gate. You can see Yumyeong Valley in Yumyeongsan Recreational Forest of Gapyeong, Gyeonggi-do from this bridge. You can cool off from the heat just by looking down at the water flowing under the bridge and hearing its sound.

Yumyeong Valley img
Yumyeong Valley img

If you turn left at the sign in the photo, you can see the valley hiking route of Yumyeongsan Mountain. The valley hiking route of Yumyeongsan Mountain is closed now, so you can't walk from Bakjwiso Pond to Junction Point. Fortunately, you can go up to Bakjwiso Pond. If you follow the trail, you can join the central hiking route.
If you want to walk along the stream, take the valley hiking route, follow the trail from Bakjwiso Pond, and join the central hiking route.

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I remember that a lot of water was flowing here last summer. Now that I think of it, heavy rain had fallen the day before.
That’s why so much water was flowing. Last summer, the rocky hiking route to the valley was very slippery due to the rain from the previous day.
When I visited the valley last month, I saw that the entrance was blocked for construction.
I don't know where they would be doing construction. I couldn’t see any traces of construction at all. They must have repaired somewhere that I couldn’t see.

Yumyeong Valley img

The furthest point that you can reach along the valley hiking route is Bakjwiso Pond. Yumyeongsan Mountain has Bakjwiso Pond, Yongso Pond, and Madangso Pond.
Since most mountain hikers want to follow the valley, many of them prefer the valley hiking route of Yumyeongsan Mountain. A lot of the mountain was destroyed because of too many hikers, so the valley hiking route is closed for a while. No one knows when it is supposed to reopen.
​When I visited the mountain last time, I met people who had gone to both mountains in one day. They said you could go to Eobisan Mountain from the Junction Point as well as Yumyeongsan Mountain if you followed the valley hiking route.
You can go up to Eobisan Mountain and down via Yumyeongsan Mountain, or you can hike up Yumyeongsan Mountain and down via Eobisan Mountain.

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This is Bakjwiso Pond. Can you see a cave next to the waterfall? When I saw it from up close, the water seemed pretty deep.
The water flowed by really fast, so it will be best not to go into the narrower area.
​ It was early summer, so it was too cold to go into the water. The water temperatures of the seas or rivers have been high enough lately to enjoy swimming during the day, but the water of the stream was still cold. I put my feet into the water. I couldn’t handle it for a few minutes, no, not even 30 seconds before having to take my feet out of the water.

Yumyeong Valley img
Yumyeong Valley img

Near Bakjwiso Pond, I could see a sign prohibiting access to the valley hiking route of the Gyeonggi-do Yumyeongsan Recreational Forest of Gapyeong. The sign showed an alternate route. The parking lot is 400 meters from here, and the top of the mountain is 4 kilometers away, but you have to go around. Follow the trail, and you will join the central hiking route at the 400m point.

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We had reached the top of the mountain last time... so we gave up on going up to our original destination of Eobisan Mountain. Instead, we decided to soak our feet in the water and enjoy the stream for a while. My friend actually wanted to go to the top of Eobisan Mountain, and I just wanted to spend time at the stream with the excuse of hot weather.
My hiking bag was full of items for a valley picnic.

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The temperature had reached 30°C, but it already felt humid and cool around the stream even though I didn’t go into the water. My friend said it was too cold near the water. She found her windbreaker in her bag and put it on.
She said she loved the sound of the water flowing and wanted to visit the valley again with her parents.
You don't have to go up the mountain for a long time, but need only to walk for a short while after parking. The valley is just perfect for a picnic with some snacks! And the view was amazing.
​ I could hear the sound of water flowing and the sound of birds singing. I wanted to spread a mat on a big rock and lie down.

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Some local residents were already enjoying an early trip to the stream.
There are several popular valleys in Gapyeong, including Yumyeong Valley, Eobi Valley right next to it, Yongchu Valley, and Myeongji Valley where you can see Myeongji Falls.
I once passed the Gapyeong Yeoninsan Provincial Park Information Center by car and drove up the road next to it. I don't remember how far up I went. Anyway I found a valley with plenty of water flowing there as well. The road was pretty narrow, so if you meet an oncoming car there will not be enough space to pass. Don’t drive there if you're not good at driving.

Yumyeong Valley img
Yumyeong Valley img

We took a rest for a while on our way back from Bakjwiso Pond.
We sit by the water and ate the snacks that we had planned to eat at the top of Eobisan Mountain. It was too early to go into the water, but we enjoyed a peaceful picnic on a weekday in Gapyeong Yumyeong Valley. I could feel the cold just by dipping my hand slightly in the water.
I could cool off from the heat just by being in a valley in Gyeonggi-do.