Nate standing near rock formations on Byeogbangsan

Climbing Byeogbangsan Mountain, the Highest in Goseong

Address: San 121, Eunwol-ri, Georyu-myeon, Goseong-gun, Gyeongnam

Byeogbangsan’s view shows many Tongyeong islands, in addition to Goseong. Handmade rock structures and an old wall in a bamboo forest are near the peak.

It is also well-connected to many other trails and peaks in the area. The mountain itself is the border between Goseong and Tongyeong.

The Ascent

For that reason, the Byeogbangsan can be approached from various trails in either Tongyeong or Goseong. I took a trail starting at the base of a highway bridge.

A signpost showing a map of trails around Byeogbangsan

This worked out as I climbed on May 12, 2021, while the vegetation was not fully grown. But it was already starting to encroach around the early parts of the trail, so this probably would not be a viable option in the summer, unless they prune it back which I doubt they do as this seemed to be a less common starting point. Humid summers are not ideal for mountain climbing anyway, unless the climb is done in the early morning. It is common for Koreans to climb mountains for a sunrise.

White flowers growing along the side of a narrow trail

Next time I would start along the road to Manhwabangcho, a garden. This road goes up part of the mountain with plenty of parking spots. The garden would be a nice area to rest at the end as well.

Anyway, the longer trail I took from the highway let me enjoy wonderful smells from various flowering bushes and trees.

I also had a nice, refreshing breeze along much of this trail. It kept me from sweating a lot.

Another bonus was the quietness of this trail, save a few highway sounds early on. I could just hear the birds and the wind blowing the trees.

A while later I was surprised to come to a gravel road winding around the mountainside.

A gravel road winding around the mountain with minor construction materials along the sides for a small ramp

I could see from the construction materials that a small group of men, who were taking a lunch break, were working on a ramp or small road up the rocky cliff.

I snapped a photo of the view and then kept on straight ahead across the road up the side.

By now the trail up Byeogbangsan was more open.

I started to pass some large rocky areas. A few of them had ropes which definitely made it easier.

Things get interesting after arriving to a ridge not far from Byeogbangsan peak.

Ridge not far from Byeogbangsan Peak with some pines and rocks

Here I could look out and see a rock, Maebawi Mountain, sticking out that I wanted to find, but never did on this trip.

Maebawi Rock in the distance against a background of islands in the water

It was nice to have more unobstructed views for much of the climb now.

Nate sitting on a rocky ledge overlooking a view of other peaks and islands around the sea

Stone Tower Monuments

This area opened up into a rocky cliffside, at the base of which were a bunch of manmade rock formations.

I am told these type of structures were often made with a wish in mind.

Nate standing against Byeogbangsan Rock structures against a nice view of the sea and islands and peninsulas

I really would love to camp up here for a night. The nice breeze should keep the mosquitos away. My wife is not crazy about the idea due to the presence of boar in the area.

Looking behind me, I could see a nice view of Georyusan Mountain. I really enjoyed hiking up Georyusan with the ancient fortress wall from the Sogaya Kingdom.

View of Georyusan from Byeogbangsan, showing the mountain surrounded by villages

Byeogbangsan Peak

I arrived at Byeogbangsan peak, where I could see where Goseong and Tongyeong meet.

A signpost labels some areas of Goseong, while another labels some islands in Tongyeong.

In the direction of Tongyeong, the green covered hills and mountains was beautiful. It would be fun to spend a whole day or two hiking from peak to peak.

View of surrounding mountains from Byeogbangsan peak

Exploring the Tongyeong Side

After a rest, I decided to go from the peak toward AnJeongJae (Imdo). I didn’t know what this was, but I followed the sign for it for a little while.

I passed by a cool tree.

Nate sitting next to a cool tree on Byeogbangsan

It was a nice place to have a sit.

Nate sitting on a bench looking out at the nice view at Byeogbangsan

Then I came to a steep set of stairs leading down the other side of Byeogbangsan from the side I ascended.

A steep set of stairs with wooden handrails leading down into a cluster of bamboo

That’s bamboo at the bottom of the stairs.

A rocky path through bamboo

Old Rock Wall

I explored the bamboo and discovered a wall of stacked rocks.

I really enjoyed exploring this area just below Byeogbangsan peak. The steep, rocky cliff against the swaying bamboo in the wind and the distant islands and water made for dramatic scenery.

The side of a steep, rocky cliff on Byeogbangsan against a beautiful view of green peaks below and islands in the sea

I even found some utensils someone probably is using at the base of the rocky cliff near some stagnant water. It looked like someone comes here to make prayers or incense for Buddha.

The Descent

But I wanted to ultimately descend in Goseong, not Tongyeong, so I went back up the peak so that I could descend Byeogbangsan in the direction of Manhwabangcho.

This descent began with a rocky slope.

A wooden fence along a rocky slope with several peaks in the distance and villages along the sea below

This trail down Byeogbangsan was more open and prominent than the trail I had taken up.

A path littered with rocks and pine trees

After a while I came to some wooden stairs and a platform.

Wooden stairs leading down to a platform in a small clearing in the trees

I did pass under an electrical tower. That was fun. Hopefully I didn’t sustain any EMF damage or whatnot.

The trail ends at a temple called Byeogamsa.

Byeogamsa temple with a prominent tree in the center

The temple grounds were decorated and well-landscaped with many beautiful flowers, but I did not want to amuse myself with anything Buddhist, so I just passed through.

From here, Manhwabangcho is a 5-10 min walk down the paved road lined with cypress trees.

Sun shining through cypress trees along a paved road

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