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near Sangpal, Gyeonggi (South Korea)
This is a very nice, but strenuous day hike. It took about 5 1/2 hours at a moderate pace with about a 10 minute stop at the Yebongsan summit, a 20 minute stop for lunch, and a 15 minute stop at the Ungilsan summit. I rated this as difficult because there is over 4000 feet of ascending throughout the hike as it follows an undulating ridge.
I started and ended the GPS route at train stations to make it easy to follow the route to/from the trail head. This hike can be done from either end. If you start at Paldang, you will do the higher Yebongsan (683m, 2240ft) summit first but then have a steep ascent to the Ungilsan (610m, 2000ft) summit. Going the other way it is a steep descent from Ungilsan, but a more gradual rise to Yebongsan.
To get there from Seoul, take the Jungang subway line to Paldang or Ungilsan station depending on which way you want to do the hike. If you are not familiar with the Seoul Subway, check out the map here (http://english.seoul.go.kr/?SSid=101_01). The interactive “Metro” link has schedules for the train. It takes about an hour from Yongsan station to get to Paldang station.
From Paldang station, it is about 1 mile to the trail head. There is a toilet at the trail head and it is the last you until you get to the trail head at the other end of the hike. The trail works its way up to a ridge which is followed to the summit. Once on the ridge the trail is steep and steeper with stair or ropes in some places. There is a view point at the top of the 2nd set of stairs. This is also the 1st of a couple false summits. From here it is not quite as steep to the summit. Once on the summit there are some benches and summit markers. Continuing north from the summit there is a lot of up and down, but you gradually lose about 1000 feet elevation to waypoint “intersection 3”. Along the way you will pass a helipad and a paragliding launch site. Way point “intersection 2” is where we stopped for lunch. As you work your way up towards Ungilsan, the trail is very steep in places and involves some scrambling over rocks. Once at the summit there is a deck with some benches where you can take a well deserved rest. As you descend, you can take about a 1 mile round trip detour to visit a Buddhist temple. I marked the waypoint, but did not take the side trip. At this point you are about at the trail head. From this point you mostly follow the road down to the valley, but you can also follow some paths in the woods part of the way which is what I did.
Korean family cemeteries are often found on the lower slopes of mountains.
Turn right at intersection and follow ridge uphill.
There are also some benches here. Follow the trail uphill.
A small peak along the route. There is also a trail intersection here.
follow the path to the left to go to a Buhddist Temple
Toilet and some parking here.