Yongmun Falls (yongmun pokpo [용문폭포])

Gapsa-ro / Daejeon / Gyeryongsan National Park, Chungcheongnam-do, South Korea

About Yongmun Falls (yongmun pokpo [용문폭포])

Hiking Distance: 3.4km round trip (without cheating)
Suggested Time: about 90 minutes (without cheating)

Date first visited: 2023-06-22
Date last visited: 2023-06-22

Waterfall Latitude: 36.36474
Waterfall Longitude: 127.19305

Waterfall Safety and Common Sense

Yongmun Falls (Yongmun Pokpo [용문폭포]) was a modestly-sized idyllic waterfall situated a short distance uphill from the Gapsa Temple in Gyeryongsan National Park.

This was really a side attraction or a waterfaller’s excuse to check out the Gapsa Temple, which is one of Korea’s oldest temples (founded by the monk Adohwasang in 420).

Gapsa_and_Yongmun_097_06212023 - Yongmun Falls
Yongmun Falls

This temple also runs a temple stay, which is a program where you can stay at the temple while also opening up the possibility of volunteering as well as speaking with monks (assuming you know Korean) to learn a little more about Buddhism.

A visit to the Yongmun Waterfall involves walking up from the car park (see directions below) through a marketplace and up to the Gapsa Temple Complex.

The waterfall itself is actually another 700m walk beyond the Gapsa Temple.

It turned out that we inadvertently “cheated” by driving up to a small car park by the Gapsa Temple, but I suspect that this car park was reserved for temple stay guests or staff.

Gapsa_and_Yongmun_014_06212023 - The Gapsa Temple is one of Korea's oldest ones
The Gapsa Temple is one of Korea’s oldest ones

I’m not sure how we managed to end up there, but I think we might have gotten here before the staff were setting up because when we were done with our visit, we saw people directing traffic to the designated car park closer to the marketplace.

Therefore, we wound up going about 1.4km round-trip just to do the falls while checking out the Gapsa Temple for a bit, but normally, this excursion would be 3.4km round-trip (accounting for the 2km round-trip distance that we were supposed to do).

As for the Yongmunpokpo Waterfall, it had a pretty light flow during our visit, which kind of made it a bit of an anticlimax.

It was definitely a far cry from the notion of a dragon flying out of the gate (Yongmun means “dragon gate”).

Gapsa_and_Yongmun_073_06212023 - Parts of the Yongmun Falls Trail were a bit on the rocky side like what's shown in this photo
Parts of the Yongmun Falls Trail were a bit on the rocky side like what’s shown in this photo

There were also cages clinging to the neighboring cliff face to prevent rockfalls into the plunge pool and viewing area.

In front of the viewing area, I noticed some inscriptions in Hangja that said 龍門瀑布 or “Dragon Gate Waterfall”, which also translates directly in Chinese.

By the way, the Hangja kind of gave this place more of an ancient feel to it since that form of writing has been replaced by Hangeul to improve literacy in Korea (so we haven’t really seen it in most places around Korea).


Yongmun Falls resides in Gyeryongsan National Park near the city of Daejeon in Gongju-si County, Chungcheongnam-do Province, South Korea. It may be administered by the Korean National Park Service as well as local authorities of Gongju. For information or inquiries about the area as well as current conditions, you can try visiting this website for leads.

Gapsa_and_Yongmun_006_06212023 - Approaching the Gapsa Temple complex
Gapsa_and_Yongmun_017_06212023 - Checking out the Gapsa Temple complex before continuing on to the Yongmun Falls
Gapsa_and_Yongmun_020_06212023 - One of the temple buildings seen on the way to the Yongmun Falls
Gapsa_and_Yongmun_027_06212023 - Approaching some bridge leading on another path towards what turned out to be another temple building
Gapsa_and_Yongmun_030_06212023 - This building was the Daejeokjeon Hall of Gapsa Temple, which was 300m in the opposite direction of the Yongmun Falls
Gapsa_and_Yongmun_032_06212023 - Checking out the Amitahba Buddhas inside the Daejeokjeon Hall
Gapsa_and_Yongmun_038_06212023 - Another look at Daejeokjeon Hall before heading up to the Yongmun Falls
Gapsa_and_Yongmun_051_06212023 - Approaching some other shrine or worshipping area just deviating from the Yongmun Falls Trail a bit
Gapsa_and_Yongmun_057_06212023 - Looking back at the developed walkway as I was leaving the Gapsa Temple complex for the Yongmun Falls
Gapsa_and_Yongmun_059_06212023 - On the somewhat ascending trail leading up to the Yongmun Falls
Gapsa_and_Yongmun_060_06212023 - Some cute safety signs on the way to the Yongmun Falls
Gapsa_and_Yongmun_063_06212023 - The surface of the trail to Yongmun Falls went over stone surfaces like this one
Gapsa_and_Yongmun_066_06212023 - An uneven footing part of the trail up to the Yongmun Falls
Gapsa_and_Yongmun_068_06212023 - More uneven footing as we made our way up to the Yongmun Falls
Gapsa_and_Yongmun_075_06212023 - Another look at the stone trail leading to the Yongmun Falls
Gapsa_and_Yongmun_078_06212023 - Continuing up the trail to the Yongmun Falls with the stone steps kind of making the footing a bit uneven from time to time
Gapsa_and_Yongmun_080_06212023 - Climbing up to the lookout platform for the Yongmun Falls
Gapsa_and_Yongmun_088_06212023 - Looking at the Yongmun Falls in light flow during our late June 2023 visit
Gapsa_and_Yongmun_102_06212023 - Looking at a cliff draped with chain-linked fencing to prevent rockfalls around the Yongmun Falls
Gapsa_and_Yongmun_105_06212023 - It looked like the trail kept going up and to the right as I was leaving Yongmun Falls to return to the Gapsa Temple complex
Gapsa_and_Yongmun_106_06212023 - Back on the uneven surface of the trail leading back to the Gapsa Temple complex
Gapsa_and_Yongmun_108_06212023 - Back in the forested area on the way back to the Gapsa Temple complex
Gapsa_and_Yongmun_110_06212023 - Making it back to the border of the Gapsa Temple complex
Gapsa_and_Yongmun_118_06212023 - Checking out a little more of the Gapsa Temple complex before heading back down to the car
Gapsa_and_Yongmun_123_06212023 - Another look across one of the courtyards within the Gapsa Temple complex

Yongmun Falls resides in Gyeryongsan National Park near the city of Daejeon in the county of Gongju.

Rather than confuse you with a bunch of turn-by-turn directions that won’t mean anything to you, I’ll just tell you that it’s best to use a Korean routing software on a phone that’s hooked up to a Korean Network (as Google Maps doesn’t work in Korea).

Drive_to_Suok_009_MingSung_06222023 - This is the car park for the Gapsa Temple, which is way down the hill by a marketplace
This is the car park for the Gapsa Temple, which is way down the hill by a marketplace

We prefer using a SIM card with an unlimited data plan for this purpose so we shouldn’t be running out of data while routing (while also allowing us to use that phone as a hot spot).

Regardless of what your current location is (and South Korea is as well-connected of a country as I had ever seen), use Kakao Map app to navigate your way through all the city streets, interchanges, and local rural roads.

It even tells you the whereabouts of speed bumps, school zones, speed cameras, and all the particulars about which lane to take when there’s a decision point with multiple lanes involved.

The only catch to using Kakao Map (or any other Korean routing app) is that you’ll need to at least learn how to put your place names in Hangeul (the Korean writing system).

Drive_to_Gapsa_049_MingSung_06222023 - We inadvertently drove past the marketplace all the way to the Gapsa Temple on our visit, but I don't think we were supposed to do that
We inadvertently drove past the marketplace all the way to the Gapsa Temple on our visit, but I don’t think we were supposed to do that

That’s because using romanized words and expecting the app to find it doesn’t always work, but placenames in Hangeul almost always can be found in the app.

Anyways, in our example, we were coming from Wibong Falls (위봉폭포) so with that as our starting point (출발), we set up 계룡산국립공원 갑사주차장 (Gyeryongsan National Park Gapsa Parking Lot) as the destination (도착).

This route took us about 90 minutes to go the 87km distance.

If we came from Daejeon (대전), then Kakao Map says it would take under an hour to go the 34km distance.

Gapsa_and_Yongmun_003_06212023 - I believe this car park was really meant for Gapsa Temple Stay guests as well as staff
I believe this car park was really meant for Gapsa Temple Stay guests as well as staff

For geographical context, Gongju was 34km (about 60 minutes drive) west of Daejeon, 85km (under 90 minutes drive) north of Jeonju, 156km (about 2 hours drive) north of Gwangju, and 145km (about 2.5 hours drive) south of Seoul.

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Checking out the viewing deck for the Yongmun Falls including some of the thin cascades downstream of the main falls

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Tagged with: yongmun waterfall, yongmun pokpo, gapsa, temple, gyeryongsan, daejeon, south korea, korea, gongju

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About Johnny Cheng

Johnny Cheng is the founder of the World of Waterfalls and author of the award-winning A Guide to New Zealand Waterfalls. Over the last 2 decades, he has visited thousands of waterfalls in over 40 countries around the world and nearly 40 states in the USA.
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