What: Palyeongsan Mountain (팔영산) in Goheung is a part of the Dadohaehaesan National Marine Park which is scattered along the southern coastal islands of South Korea. This particular mountain and designated national park area boasts a nice little ridge in that contains eight distinct peaks pretty close to one other. Rockier and more jagged than hikes we’ve seen so far in Korea, this hike appared to be cool place to visit, especially because its proximity to the southern sea.
Where: Goheung is the peninsular county located directly west of the Yeosu area. The map belows shows the park we visited and other points of interest in the Jeollanamdo Province where we have resided for just over one year.
Elevation: Even though Palyeongsan Mountain is a mere 608m, it proved to be more difficult than most for a couple reasons. 1) You start at about 50m above sea level, so you end up climbing ~550m in vertical gain and 2) the sequence of 8 peaks are quite difficult. It’s a lot of up and down, up and down over some tricky sections. Scrambling, sliding, hopping and leaping were more common than walking.
As you can see in the map above ^ we parked our car in the south-east corner of the park and made our way up to Palyeongsan Mountain (the peak is called Gitdaebong – 깃대봉)
Once we got to the top of Palyeongsan Mountain (608m) we were able to see the surrounding islands sprinked into the sea:
After we made it to the top of Palyeongsan Mountain, we pressed on about 30 minutes more towards the ridge where the eight peaks are located. Along the way, the scenery was a nice compliment to the beautiful weather we were having on this Sunday in March (the day before we had gone up to Gwangju to hike Mudeungsan National Park).
The eight peaks came into view. It really looked like a bunch of camels’ backs lined up, but maybe this picture below doesn’t quite campture that…
Alas, we scrambled up to the ‘first’ peak of the evening, in this case it was the 8th peak called Jeokchuibong (적취봉) and it stood at 591m. Once on this particular peak, we could look back and see Palyeongsan Mountain (where we came from) and we could also look ahead at the other seven peaks.
After working our way down the 8th peak, we spent the next 10 minutes working our way up to the 7th peak called Chilseongbong (칠성봉) where we found ourselves admiring this cool rock formation. Can you see the 8th peak in the background on the right?
In similar fashion, we scrambled down the 7th peak and made our way over to the 6th peak…
As we approached the 6th peak (called Duryubong – 두류봉) we were greated by a somewhat nice surprise… stairs. I’m not sure if I like them or not (as it kind of ruins the raw-ness of the peaks) but at that particular moment my energy levels were depleting and these rocks were beginning to get a little dangerous seeing as we didn’t have equipment… so I welcomed the steps this time.
We decided on the 6th peak (Duryubong – 두류봉) that it was time to turn around. We began hiking at 3:00pm because we spent the morning and early afternoon driving around the entire perimeter of Goheung, exploring the coastal roads for cool places to bike and camp in the future.
So, atop the 6th peak we snacked on what little food we had left, admired the map and scenery one more time, and turned around, B-lining it towards our car.
The race was on to beat the deminishing sunlight.
We beat it. We finished right around 7:00pm, just before it got too dark to hike without headlamps (we had them just in case). In total we covered 9.8km of trail that included the Palyeongsan Mountain (Gitdaebong Peak 608m) and three of the eight peaks along that ridge. This park was really top-notch and one I’d highly recommend to visit if you’re in the Jeollanamdo area.
In other news… Have you checked out the Hiking Odometer page yet? I’ve kept track of each new hike we’ve done since arriving in Korea one year ago… and I’m happy to report we hiked 231+ kilometers so far! (This doesn’t include distances from duplicated hikes). Thanks be to this woman below… she’s a better hiking partner than I could ask for! Always up for a challenge. Always up for a hike. Always up for having fun in nature.