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Carmel River Trail

Re: Carmel River Trail

Postby slostudent on Sat Mar 26, 2011 2:50 pm

Date Hiked: March 16, 2011
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

WE hiked this trail from the dam. There was no real problem finding the trail at all. It continuously crosses the river - I don't know 25 times? Bring some good river shoes and poles if at all possible. When we hiked this, there had been no rain in the area for at least a week, but the river was strong and deep. It was hip deep at some of the crossings and scary powerful. The water was also perfectly clear, which means that if there is any rain I believe this would be impassable simply because of the current and brown river water that would obscure footing. Also, the poison oak was prolific. Obviously someone cleared it from the trail but it was growing back fast. Gators and Deet are in order. We followed the trail all of the way to Pine Valley and after the Hiding Canyon junction we were able to change back into our boots - no more deep river crossings.
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Re: Carmel River Trail

Postby mikesplain on Wed Feb 09, 2011 12:56 pm

Date Hiked: January 16, 2011
General Condition: Wilderness Freeway (Heavily used and well maintained)

Weird that the last report on this trail was me last May???
It gets a LOT of traffic- guess we need to do a better job of spreading the word about the VWA trails page???
anyway...

Section- Pine Valley to Church Creek Divide-
wide open & a pleasure to walk, no deadfall to speak of
& plenty of water flowing (the headwaters of the Carmel extended almost to the Divide.)
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Re: Carmel River Trail

Postby mikesplain on Sun May 16, 2010 10:36 pm

Date Hiked: May 14, 2010
General Condition: Wilderness Freeway (Heavily used and well maintained)

Section- Church Creek Divide to Pine Valley-
the Basin Complex seems to have burned back most of the wild rose & poison oak that used to make long pants a necessity on this short stretch.
Spectacular wildflower displays (too many species to name), headnets advisable- yellow biting flies have hatched & face flies are in full force between breezes.
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Re: Carmel River Trail

Postby jacobe on Tue Apr 27, 2010 11:31 am

Date Hiked: April 23, 2010
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

A few fallen trees -which were passable but added time to the route.

River was waist deep on the first 2 crossings, but manageable if navigated with a walking stick. (only recommended for experienced people, who have crossed rivers with a pack on, and are strong swimmers) The next 20+ river crossing were easier but require sound judgment on where to pass (not just following the trail across the river).

The trail faded a on few sections, and we were forced to continue navigating up river until we found the trail again.

The portion where the trail leaves the river for a couple miles (adjacent to the camp after Hiding Canyon Camp) was hard to find, there was a couple stacked rocks designating the trail break, but due to a slide, we had to climb about 40ft to reach the trail again.

There was a significant amount of overgrown poison oak along the trail, but a good stick, long pants, and a long sleeve shirt were all the protection we needed... and some Technu just in case.

Ventana Mesa Falls was amazing.
jacobe
 

Re: Carmel River Trail

Postby gw meyer on Thu Apr 22, 2010 10:01 am

Date Hiked: April 9, 2010
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

A group of us spent April 9 - 11 walking from Cachagua and Los Padres Dam to Danish Creek and then to Bluff Camp on the Carmel River. The weather was blustery and rainy, the trails were tick-infested and thick with poison oak. All in all, a wonderful Ventana weekend! The trail was generally clear in both directions except for the aforementioned poison oak. A few blow downs and rocks in the trail but all pretty good. We also walked up from Danish along the Big Pines trail to about 1 mile past the wilderness boundary and that was smooth sailing as well.

It is a good year for wildflowers along this trail and a spectacular year for Hillside star (Lithophragma heterophylla), they were everywhere with big showy blooms. Hummingbird or pitcher sage (Salvia spathacea) was also having a banner year down by the river. Maybe that explains the surprising number of cars at the trailhead and a fair number of people on the trail?

Two folks were using the new Forest Service map (A Guide to the Ventana Wilderness, 2007) and attempting to find the trail, so prominently marked on the map, that goes from Danish up Rattlesnake Creek to Little Pines. I went to Danish first in 1977 and I don't even remember a trail then! To satisfy my curiosity, I spent an hour beating through the brush looking for it and outside of a few tin can bottoms nailed to trees and some very old tread, I don't think it is still there. So, in spite of the hopes of the USFS to print a trail were none exists, be aware that the map could be wrong (or I was lost).
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Postby Steve B on Mon Jun 15, 2009 5:11 pm

Date Hiked: June 11, 2009
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

The Carmel River Trail (Los Paders Dam to Hiding) – The trail has been cleared of all the down trees from the dam to Hiding Camp. The trail is fairly easy to follow and in better condition than I expected. One area where I would caution hikers is the high part of the trail up stream from Buckskin Flats Camp the trail tread has collapsed, hikers should use caution in this section. Poison Oak is abundant in the Carmel River drainage and hikers that are susceptible to poison oak should wear long sleeves and long pants. There are still about seven trees down between Hiding and the Round Rock junction. I met two groups of hikers that attempted the Porto Suello Trail but both groups turned back after losing the trail. A special thank you to VWA volunteers Beth and Lynn for their help, three days of logging the Carmel River Trail. :lol:
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CRT: Los Padres Dam to Church Creek Divide

Postby Riker9000 on Mon Jun 15, 2009 1:40 pm

Date Hiked: June 13, 2009
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

This was a scenic hike through lush forests along the Carmel River that includes awesome views of mountain valleys and culminates with a great view from the saddle at Church Creek Divide! Here's my assessment by section:

Los Padres Dam to Carmel River Camp - Clear - very clear tread, just watch for poison oak and take care w/ river crossings (3 total) - decent water flow - you can cross via rocks or wade through (between knee/waist height). Water available/accessible for majority of trail.

Carmel River Camp to Pine Valley Camp - Passable - mostly clear tread (Just note that between Hiding Canyon Camp and Round Rock Camp Trail Junction, there is one section along the river where there is a clear trail on either side without signage. Take the North side of the river for Pine Valley Camp.). This trail is lined with poison oak, and take care w/ river crossings (35 total) - decent water flow - recommend wading through for safety/time (between ankle/waist height). Water available/accessible for majority of trail - recommend replenishing in stream W of Miller Mountain before climbing to Pine Valley Camp. Some points of trail in this section were traverses across loose ground/sand, and some parts were washed out (although passable with care). In addition, vegetation closes in on trail (although trail is still visible), especially between Hiding Canyon Camp and Pine Valley Camp. Trail junctions to Puerto Suello and Round Rock Camp were not signed (that we could see) - recommend signing these.

Pine Valley Camp to Church Creek Divide - Passable - mostly clear tread. Beautiful hike through alpine meadows - only notes here are that vegetation closes in on trail in parts and that water is only available for first part of trail - recommend replenishing before climbing to the Divide.
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Carmel River Trail (Section- Pine Valley to Church Creek Div

Postby TRAILS on Mon Jun 08, 2009 3:58 pm

Date Hiked: June 4, 2009
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

Reported by Paul David Tuff:

Pine Valley to Church Creek Divide is clear. There were so many small sky lupines in Pine Valley that you can smell them as you hike through.
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Carmel River Trail

Postby mikesplain on Thu May 28, 2009 4:22 pm

Date Hiked: May 3, 2009
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

Reported by jdoelman:

The Carmel river trail has been totally reworked from the Big Pines trail intersection to Bluff camp. Beyond bluff camp the trail is very good until sulphur springs, then begins to detereorate. I think the trail clearers ran out of gas (literally in this case). The trail signage is unaffected (between LP dam and Hiding Camp) by the fire, two picnic tables at Hiding camp.
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Carmel River Trail

Postby mikesplain on Thu May 28, 2009 4:21 pm

Date Hiked: April 14, 2009
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

Forest Service Report:

Between the trail head and Bluff Camp there were six slides but the trail is in otherwise good condition. I cleared all six slides however one area may slide again if we have more rains this season. If this area slides it will only require about an hour to clear and should not cause a safety hazard. The gate for foot traffic to the Los Paders Dam is open and there is no sign at the gate that informs of the forest closure. The only ‘Forest Closed’ sign is posted at the Carmel River Station; I would like to place a sign at the gate and another at the Big Pines/Carmel River trail head.
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