Travel Highlights

Refreshing Summer Destinations - Valleys in Korea

  • Tag etc History Tour
  • Date07/24/2014
  • Hit28525

Valles para visitar en el caluroso verano coreano

Korea’s summer can be quite hot and particularly taxing when combined with the humidity during the overlapping rainy season. To escape the heat during the sweltering summer months, Korea’s valleys make for an excellent destination as cool water runs under the shade of a thick forest. Read on to discover the perfect summer getaway in one of Korea’s many refreshing valleys!

Metro Seoul Valleys

Jungwon Valley in Yangpyeong-gun, Gyeonggi-do

Of the many valleys in Yongmunsan Mountain (1,157 meters) area, Jungwon Valley is the most popular thanks to its beautiful scenery and cool, clear water. The valley can be reached after a 15 minute walk from the Jungwon Valley parking lot. The highlight of Jungwon Valley is Jungwon Waterfall. Though it stands less than 10 meters high, Jungwon Waterfall is notable for its emerald green colors and the uniquely-shaped rocks that frame the falls. Past the waterfall, the upper reaches of the valley are less populated by visitors, making it a more peaceful escape. Admission to the valley is free through the end of August.
More Info
Jungwon Falls
☞ Address: Jungwon-ri, Yongmun-myeon, Yangpyeong-gun, Gyeonggi-do
☞ Admission: Free
☞ Website:
Yangpyeong County Culture & Tourism (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)
Gyeonggi-do Province Culture & Tourism (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)
☞ Nearby Tourist Sites:
Yongmunsan Resort
Yongmunsa Temple (Yongmunsan Mountain)
Yongmunsan Natural Recreational Forest

Yongchu Valley in Gapyeong-gun, Gyeonggi-do

Gapyeong County’s Yongchu Valley is a popular year-round vacation destination thanks to its scenery, attractions, and convenient location to Seoul. Yongchu Valley originates at the summit of Yeoninsan Mountain (1,068 meters) and stretches southeast approximately 10 km down to Yongchu Falls. The area is known for the nine scenic views that are collectively called “Yongchu Gugok.” On their way down the mountain, the valley waters create natural pools for swimming and there are also facilities nearby for recreational activities.
More Info
Yongchu Falls
☞ Address: Seungan-ri, Gapyeong-eup, Gapyeong-gun
☞ Admission: Free
☞ Website:
Gapyeong County Culture & Tourism (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)
Gyeonggi-do Province Culture & Tourism (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)
☞ Nearby tourist sites:
Yeoninsan Provincial Park
Kalbongsan Natural Recreation Forest

Bigeum Valley in Namyangju-si, Gyeonggi-do

Bigeum Valley is located in the upper reaches of Sudong National Tourist Park in Namyangju, Gyeonggi-do. Sudong-myeon in Namyangju is home to beautiful waters and stunning landscape as it is surrounded by Seorisan Mountain (831 meters), Chungmyeongsan Mountain (879 m) and Jugeumsan Mountain (813 m) and the area was designated a National Tourist Resort in 1983.

Sudong National Tourist Resort features several notable valleys. Bigeum Valley stretches 2 kilometers between Seorisan Mountain and Jugeumsan Mountain. It is a popular vacation destination in the summer thanks to its lush forest, cool waters and camping sites. During the peak summer season, Sudong National Tourist Park is bustling with people, especially in the middle and lower streams of the park’s valleys. There are relatively fewer people in Bigeum Valley’s upper area, but the area is popular, so to get a good spot, we recommend arriving early. 
More Info
Bigeum Valley
☞ Address: Naebang-ri, Sudong-myeon, Namyangju-si, Gyeonggi-
☞ Admission: Free
☞ Website:
Namyangju City Culture & Tourism (Korean)
Gyeonggi-do Province Culture & Tourism (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)
☞ Nearby tourist sites:
Mongolia Culture Town
Chungnyeongsan Recreational Forest

Other valleys worth a visit in the Seoul metropolitan area

There are a number of other valleys conveniently accessible from downtown Seoul. Songchu Valley is easily accessible via public transportation, and has a number of facilities, making it a popular summer destination. We also recommend Jomurak Valley in Gapyeong, Myeongji Valley, Songchu Resort, Eobi Valley, and Bukhansan National Park’s Uidong Valley.


Sogeumgang Valley in Gangneung-si

Sogeumgang Valley is situated in the eastern area of Odaesan National Park in Gangneung-si, Gangwon-do. The valley itself occupies a quarter of the total area of the national park. The valley’s name Sogeumgang means small Geumgangsan Mountain as it resembles the famed Geumgangsan Mountain (1,638 meters) in North Korea, which is considered one of the three most beautiful mountains on the Korean Peninsula.* Sogeumgang Valley was designated “Scenic Site No. 1”** in Korea. Its popularity stretches back far enough that each of the outcropping rocks surrounding the valley and waterfalls are associated with a special legend.

Since Sogeumgang Valley is situated in a national park, camping, cooking, and campfires in the valley are strictly forbidden. If you are considering an overnight stay, visit the automobile camping site nearby.

* What are the three most beautiful mountains on the Korean Peninsula?
Baekdusan Mountain (2,744 meters, North Korea), Geumgangsan Mountain (1,638 meters, North Korea), and Hallasan National Park (1950 meters, South Korea)
** What is a Scenic Site?
Notable landscapes worthy of commemoration are designated “Scenic Sites” by the Korean government.
More Info
Sogeumgang Valley in Odaesan Mountain
☞ Address: Samsan-ri, Yeongok-myeon, Gangneung-si, Gangwon-do
☞ Admission (Cultural asset viewing fee): Free (ban to visit valleys in Odaesan National Park)
☞ Website:
Gangneung City Culture & Tourism (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)
National Park (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)
Gangwon-do Province Culture & Tourism: (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)
☞ Nearby tourist sites:
Odaesan National Park
Guryong Falls (Sogeumgang)
Woljeongsa Temple

Mureung Valley in Donghae-si

Mureung Valley, located in Dutasan Mountain, is frequented by monks seeking a beautiful and natural environment where they can mediate peacefully. The valley spans about 4 kilometers between Yongchu Falls to Hoamso Pond, which is associated with the legend of a tiger that drowned trying to cross the pond. The valley has a huge rock that can accommodate hundreds of people at a time, as well pools and large and small waterfalls. For this reason, it is recognized as one of the top summer vacation spots in the Donghae City.
More Info
Mureung Valley
☞ Address: Samhwa-dong, Donghae-si, Gangwon-do
☞ Admission: Adult 2,000 won / Teenagers 1,500 won / Children 700 won
☞ Website:
Donghae-si Culture & Tourism (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese, Russian)
Gangwon-do Province Culture & Tourism (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)
☞ Nearby tourist sites:
Samhwasa Temple
Mangsang Beach

Heungjeong Valley in Pyeongchang-gun

Heungjeong is a major valley in Pyeongchang that embodies the pristine natural environment of the area. The valley originates in the western side of Hoeryeongbong Mountain (1,309 meters) and runs 5 kilometers toward the upper streams of the Pyeongchanggang River. Heungjeong Valley is famous for its clean, cool water that is usually below 15 degrees Celsius even at the height of summer. The water of Heungjeong Valley originates from the deepest part of the mountain, which is why the water is so clean and cold. The valley is home to a variety of freshwater fish, including the lenok (a natural monument), so seeing children holding small fishing nets and adults trying their hand at fly fishing is a common sight.  Thanks to the Herb Farm and great accommodation facilities nearby, Heungjeong Valley is a popular tourist site all year round.
More Info
Heungjeong Valley
☞ Address: Heungjeung-ri, Bongpyeong-myeon, Pyeongchang-gun, Gangwon-do
☞ Admission: Free
☞ Website:
Pyeongchang County Culture & Tourism (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)
Gangwon-do Province Culture & Tourism (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)
☞ Nearby tourist sites:
Herbnara Farm
Lee Hyo-seok Culture Village

Other valleys worth a visit in Gangwon-do

▲ Cheonbuldong Valley
Photo courtesy: Seoraksan National Park Management

Chungcheong-do, Jeolla-do, Gyeongsang-do

Gucheondong Valley in Muju

Gucheondong Valley, Muju-gun, Jeollabuk-do, begins at the summit of Deogyusan National Park and spans approximately 24 kilometers. Due to its scale, it is home to 33 scenic spots. Walk on the pleasant hiking trail along the valley to visit some of these scenic spots. The Deogyudae Camping Site close to the valley is always bustling with people during summer vacation periods. Move to the upper stream area to find a less crowded place.  Gucheondong Valley is situated inside a national park, so no camping, cooking, or campfires are allowed unless otherwise specified.
More Info
Gucheondong Valley
☞ Address: Jangdeok-ri, Seolcheon-myeon, Muju-gun, Jeollabuk-do
☞ Admission: Free
☞ Website:
Muju County Culture & Tourism (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)
National Park (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)
Jeollabuk-do Province Culture & Tourism (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)
☞ Nearby tourist sites:
Baengnyeonsa Temple (Deogyusan Mountain)
Deogyusan Deogyudae campsite

Pocheon Valley in Seongju-gun

▲ Manguijeong Pavilion in the upper part of Pocheon Valley and the road to Manguijeong Pavilion (below)
Gayasan Mountain (1,430 meters) is a beautiful natural landscape that appears frequently in historical records. The mountain stretches over Hapcheon-gun, Geochang-gun in Gyeongsangnam-do and Seongju-gun in Gyeongsangbuk-do. Pocheon Valley is the most famous of the many valleys originating in the Gayasan Mountain area and stretches 7 kilometers to the north of Gayasan Mountain. Pocheon Valley is said to have been frequented by scholars in the past for training the body and mind. In fact, there is still a place called Manguijeong Pavilion in the upper part of the valley where Lee Won-jo (1792-1871), a scholar of the late Joseon Era, lived and studied. Though no scholars study there anymore, the pavilion is now visited by people year round for its great views.
More Info
Pocheon Valley
☞ Address: Hwajuk-ri, Gacheon-myeon, Seongju-gun, Gyeongsangbuk-do
☞ Admission: Free
☞ Website:

Seongju County Culture & Tourism (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)
National Park (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)
Gyeongsangbuk-do Province Culture & Tourism
(Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese, French)
☞ Nearby Tourist Sites:
Gayasan National Park (Baegundong area)
Gayasan Wildflower Botanical Garden

Other Valleys Worth Visiting

Composed of mostly mountains, Korea is home to countless valleys, ranging from small valleys 1-2 meters in width to those as large as rivers stretching 30-40 meters across. Most of the valleys presented above have camping sites or auto camping sites nearby. If there are no camping sites, you will find modern accommodation facilities like pensions or motels in the lower stream areas or near the valley entrances. In the summer, camping and auto camping sites are operated on a first-come, first-served basis, so if you plan to stay overnight in a camping site, make sure to get there early in the morning.

☞ Official site of travel information:
(Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese, German, French, Spanish, Russian)
☞ 1330 Korea Travel Hotline: +82-2-1330 (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)
Last updated on July 8, 2014