Forums
Ventana Wilderness Forums • View topic - Carmel River Trail

Carmel River Trail

Re: Carmel River Trail

Postby Rob on Sat Feb 17, 2018 8:17 pm

Date Hiked: February 17, 2018
General Condition: Difficult (brushy and/or many deadfalls, faint tread)

This report is for the section from Pine Valley to the Round Rock junction. I've hiked this way several times before, which helped, but for someone who has never done it I would suggest you steer clear unless you have a masochistic streak :)

The far side of the inholding had some marking flags guiding one to the gate at the saddle. Some brushing and other trailwork looked to have been started on the way down from the saddle into Hiding Canyon, though it was fairly clear where that ended. There were some large blowdowns, making for some interesting climb-thoughs and climb-overs. The trail crosses the creek many times, and a number of these crossings were not obvious. The trail is there, though obscured in places by thorny vines and downed trees. It is very easy to get turned around and lose the trail in some spots.

Eventually one comes to a use camp, and a short distance after that the trail climbs back up into an area of chaparral. Some of it had been washed out, and use trails cut steeply up to regain the trail. The brush was distinctly worse than in past years, and there was one spot where I spent 45 minutes trying to figure out which way to go, before realizing where the trail tread was -- my only choice here was to push through thick brush for some distance.

It remained like this for a bit, and then the trail comes to a small rise where someone had probably dry-camped (I usually have a snack there), then descends back into the brush. Eventually there is a descending traverse on steep hillsides with expansive views. The trail along here was mostly narrow and sloping, with some fairly exposed spots above steep gullies (not good places to lose one's balance). There was low brush in places.

The descent down to the Round Rock junction had a fair number of overhanging branches, and I stopped to saw a few of these on my return the next morning. It's a big job though.
Rob
 
Posts: 76
Joined: Thu Sep 18, 2008 3:21 pm
Location: SJC

Re: Carmel River Trail

Postby amy patten on Mon Feb 12, 2018 4:23 pm

Date Hiked: February 11, 2018
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

We hiked from the Pine Ridge trailhead on Tassajara Road to Church Creek Divide to take the Carmel River Trail into Pine Valley. The upper end of the valley just below the divide had burned pretty badly in the Soberanes Fire and there were a lot of dead or dying pines in the first half mile, but there were no downed logs affecting that stretch of trail. We hiked just past the Jack English Cabin, and the trail was overall in good shape and easy to hike. There is some fire damage in the brush below the rock outcroppings on the north side of the valley, but a lot of madrone and yerba santa is beginning to regrow. I was happy to see that most of the pines around the campsites were not badly damaged by the fire.
CRT1.jpg
The trail near Pine Valley Camp.

CRT2.jpg
Some damage to the base of the pines from backburns during the Soberanes.
User avatar
amy patten
 
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2016 9:52 am
Location: Santa Cruz, CA

Re: Carmel River Trail

Postby Steve B on Wed Jan 24, 2018 10:25 am

Date Hiked: January 6, 2018
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

The VWA trail crew has been working on the Carmel River Trail and we have it almost clear to Sulphur Springs, we hope to have the trail clear to Hiding Camp before summer however work will be difficult if the river rises. All saw work is done with crosscut saws because chainsaws are not allowed in the wilderness.
Attachments
600_465754628.jpeg
Crosscut saw work
User avatar
Steve B
 
Posts: 100
Joined: Thu Aug 28, 2008 5:39 pm
Location: Del Rey Oaks, CA

Re: Carmel River Trail

Postby dillinger on Tue Jan 23, 2018 10:11 am

Date Hiked: January 20, 2018
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

Trail from reservoir to Sulpher Springs campsite is in great shape. Someone has been up there with a chain saw and all fallen branches are removed. Did not venture farther. Side trail to Miller Canyon appears to be abandoned.
dillinger
 

Re: Carmel River Trail

Postby Rowan Hyland on Thu Dec 21, 2017 5:05 pm

Date Hiked: December 17, 2017
General Condition: Difficult (brushy and/or many deadfalls, faint tread)

From Pine Valley to the small ridge directly above the turnoff for Round Rock Camp:

Leaving the small cabin in Pine Valley behind the trail quickly disappears into the dry grass. However, if one looks straight ahead at the next group of pines about 100 yards further on they will see a bright pink marker hanging from the lower branch of a pine tree. From here it becomes fairly easy and obvious to follow the closely grouped markers that lead to the first section of trail before the gate at the top of the Carmel River drainage. This beginning section before the gate is in excellent condition and is passed through easily. After this though the trail worsens, and so begins the fair amount of stooping required to make it through the narrow brush tunnels. It looks as though someone did come through not too long ago and clear this section before the bottom of the creek, and while the brush is annoying the trail itself is very easy to follow. After reaching the bottom of the creek and entering into some of the recent burn areas the tread becomes more faint and is often difficult to follow at times. Essentially though it is not that hard to actually navigate as the trail follows the creek all the way down to a small campsite on the east side of the creek. It is here that the next junction heading up the and over the small ridge where the river begins to bend is easily missed. Once found however, the overgrown trail is followed without much issue until the crest is reached and the trail drops down towards Round Rock and Hiding Camps where as stated from previous reports the trail improves immensely. Note: Though given an overall rating of "difficult" I would say that despite the section of trail along the creek the rest of the trail is "passable". And while the trail does fade into nothingness as it traverses from one side of the creek to the other there were never any sections where I was seriously impeded by walls of brush. Get out there and do it!
Rowan Hyland
 

Re: Carmel River Trail

Postby Rob on Sat Dec 16, 2017 7:51 pm

Date Hiked: December 15, 2017
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

I did an overnight from the Los Padres Reservoir trailhead to Hiding Camp and back. The trail was in great shape up to the Miller Canyon junction, as previously reported. I did not see a sign for the Miller Canyon trail though.

Above Sulfur Springs Camp there were three or four large sections of blowdown, which could be a problem for folks with large packs. There was a similar section on the way to Buckskin Flat and another on the way to Hiding Camp.

Also as reported there were short sections where the tread was narrow and slumping, as though the trail was starting to wash down the hillside.

The section of trail between Buckskin and Hiding that climbs high above the creek had a short area where small talus had fallen onto the trail, making for some rough going.

Strawberry vines in some of the sections in between the many creek crossings sometimes made footing tricky. Lots of autumn grass stickers to pick up, too. I was surprised to pick up only two ticks, but it has been a bit of a dry autumn so far.

The creek crossings were mostly rock-hops, though some were a bit marginal. I packed water shoes, but managed to dunk my boots on a couple of them, so they made for nice dry camp shoes :)
Rob
 
Posts: 76
Joined: Thu Sep 18, 2008 3:21 pm
Location: SJC

Re: Carmel River Trail

Postby pantilat on Mon Nov 20, 2017 8:22 pm

Date Hiked: November 19, 2017
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

This report covers the 1.7 mile section from Church Divide to Pine Valley:

Tread is evident and large impediments were cut out, but the trail is brushy, including a thorny plant that has taken over in spots and lots of post-fire grass and weeds. A trickle of water was flowing only 150 vertical feet down from Church Divide, which soon grew into a stream. Good flow in the Carmel "River" near the English Cabin.

It looks like a horse pack recently went down this trail to the English Cabin, where they felled a few pines in front of the cabin (likely as a precaution to prevent these trees from falling on the cabin). However, I was VERY happy to see that ~90% of the mature pines in Pine Valley survived the fire! Looking at satellite imagery after the fire I assumed that large patches of pines were lost, but most of these trees ended up surviving yet another fire. Overall, Pine Valley looks much the same as it did before the Soberanes Fire. We also got an unexpected treat as black oaks and cottonwoods along the trail were at peak fall color.

Note: The usetrail to Pine Falls has become very faint with some brush at the beginning and then the steep parts sustained erosion. The fire did not enter the canyon and the Santa Lucia Fir forest leading down to the falls is doing well.

Photo Album: https://photos.app.goo.gl/jLhabBfFLw4xLBsG3
pantilat
 
Posts: 68
Joined: Tue Jan 07, 2014 1:16 pm

Re: Carmel River Trail

Postby RSIBryce on Wed Sep 27, 2017 3:56 pm

Date Hiked: August 25, 2017
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

Section: Hiding Canyon Camp to the Los Padres Dam

This trail is a magnificent experience, I really enjoy this area of the Ventana, I especially like all of the alders. This was the final leg of our Soberanes Burn Area survey hike. The river crossings were easily rock hopped, though the river flow is pretty good, maybe a foot or so deep in the average crossing. The fire did not burn along this trail, between Hiding Canyon and Carmel River camps. Though the heavy rains did a number on some sections, there were numerous slides along the sections before Carmel River camp , especially when the trail climbs up above the river. We counted some 16 downed tree events across the trail (some involving multiple trees) and 8 slides. The largest slide involved approx. 40 feet of trail. Careful going in some of the steeper areas, footing can be rather tricky. Overall it was good hiking though, a little rough. Brush is minimal. Once we arrived at the junction of Miller Canyon, we were delighted to find the great trail work done by VWA Volunteers. Having begun our journey traveling The Rattlesnake Creek trail and later Puerto Suelo, walking recently cleared trail and worked tread was an incredible experience. I'm constantly amazed at the work VWA volunteers get done out there.
User avatar
RSIBryce
 
Posts: 83
Joined: Fri Oct 05, 2012 2:48 pm

Re: Carmel River Trail

Postby RSIBryce on Wed Sep 27, 2017 3:08 pm

Date Hiked: August 24, 2017
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

Section: Hiding Canyon Camp to Pine Valley via Hiding Canyon

Continuing our Soberanes Burn Area survey hike, we traveled from Hiding Canyon Camp to Pine Valley. This trail traverses the the steep ridge sides of the Carmel River drainage, and we encountered numerous slides along the route, some more precarious than others. I noted one particular section along hiding canyon, after leaving the Carmel River, that seemed rather dangerous and steep. There is a lot of loose soil and rocks throughout the trail, and I recall falling on several occasions, simply by losing my footing on the precarious tread. I was fortunate to have not suffered any injuries from these falls, and recommend caution. As was common in other riparian areas, the creek crossing in Hiding Canyon- where the trail descends the slope and travels alongside the water before climbing up again- was full of tremendous bramble and other herbaceous plant growth. An animal or maybe even a human (we found unburned flagging in burned areas) had traveled the canyon and made the trail easier to walk. The bramble alongside waterways can make for tricky footing, its easy to get your boot caught up and legs tangled. Water was ample in the stream. I counted 12 trees down on this section, the biggest being a 40" ponderosa further up Hiding Canyon on the approach to Pine Valley, along with a 36", 30" and a 24", also in this area. The fire burned on the northern side of Hiding Canyon, clearing the chapparral that's commonly found there leaving charred remains to push through. The south side, where the trail makes its final ascent up the canyon remained unburned and is rather brushy. The tread is evident however and easy to follow. We stopped at the "Tourist Pasture" gate to Pine Valley, had our lunch then hiked back to the River to survey the Route to Round Rock.
User avatar
RSIBryce
 
Posts: 83
Joined: Fri Oct 05, 2012 2:48 pm

Re: Carmel River Trail

Postby bgwinn on Thu Mar 30, 2017 6:54 pm

Date Hiked: March 28, 2017
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

My husband and I took a day hike starting at Los Padres Dam, heading towards Carmel River Camp. The trail gets a little thin across some of the steeper, more exposed parts but was generally in good condition. Beautiful wildflowers. At the 1st creek crossing, we waded across the near branch with no difficulty (knee high) and had lunch on a lovely sandbar. The current was too stiff for us at the wider branch (more than waist high and quite cold) so we headed back.
bgwinn
 

Next

Return to Ventana Wilderness Trails

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests

cron