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Mount Carmel Trail

Re: Mount Carmel Trail

Postby edormody on Tue Jan 23, 2018 5:44 pm

Date Hiked: December 1, 2017
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

It's quite a haul up Pine Creek Trail (from White Rock GC) to Mt Carmel and back because Bottcher's is not an option but the fire really cleared out the brush. The trail isn't marked but it's pretty easy to figure out the way to the top. Quite a change from the last time we fought our way through the brush in 2015 only to be rewarded with fleeting views of the area. Now the 360-degree view from the top of the boulders is spectacular! No trace of the pole but now one can see the remnants of the old lookout (drainpipes broken glass). BTW the table at Coming Cabin made it but there's quite a bit of downed trees on the trail off the ridge to the camp.
Mt Carmel.jpg
Summit of Mt Carmel
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Re: Mount Carmel Trail

Postby Vollset on Wed Nov 12, 2014 7:49 pm

Date Hiked: November 12, 2014
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

As others have remarked - not much of a view from trail, and once you get up there, it's now (Nov 2014) limited views north towards Carmel Valley. The pole mentioned in many guide books is more of a stump :)

Trail is not very easy to follow any more - glad I had GPS; much encroachment I had to push through at points. That combo makes it Passable, but not Clear in my book

Re: Mount Carmel Trail

Postby kaweah on Thu Feb 27, 2014 2:06 pm

Date Hiked: December 29, 2013
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

This trail was indicated by a sign at the main (Skinner Ridge/Double Cone) trail. I ran up and down this trail at sunset/dusk to get a snapshot (of the sunset), and had no problem following the trail. Granted, I rarely had any idea where I was in that rabbithole of a trail, but I rarely had any doubt where the trail was. I remember one deadfall, and that had an easy detour. A memorable experience, to be sure. "I'll be back."
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Re: Mount Carmel Trail

Postby RSIBryce on Mon Dec 17, 2012 5:29 pm

Date Hiked: December 10, 2012
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

Trail is not designated via signage while traveling along Big Pines but is clear you are almost there from atop Devil's Peak you can see Mt. Carmel to the north. Keep walking along Big Pines eastly and two trails go off to the left, take the one on the left of the two on the left. Trail has seen recent work and while narrow is passable through the thick brush; probably grows back quick. If you don't mind getting on top of the rocks up there you are treated to a fabulous view of the area, including Monterrey Bay and Santa Cruz Mountains, and east to what we were pretty sure was the Sierra. The register up there was fun to read, lots of folks have left entries the past few years.
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Re: Mount Carmel Trail

Postby RSI SamE on Thu Dec 13, 2012 1:06 pm

Date Hiked: December 8, 2012
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

Mount Carmel Trail
Twixt Skinner Ridge Trail
And Mount Carmel
• Trail: Clear
• People: 0
• Signage: No sign for this trail, but trail is obvious, junction near top of Devil's Peak.
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Re: Mount Carmel Trail

Postby ZacharyRD on Thu Nov 29, 2012 12:38 pm

Date Hiked: November 24, 2012
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

Date Hiked: November 23rd and November 24th, 2012.
[Ed. note- this trail report covers the Skinner Ridge, Big Pines AND Moutn Carmel Trails]

The trail from Bottcher's Gap [Ed. note- Skinner Ridge Trail] to Mt. Carmel is in surprisingly great condition, especially since while it's on the Wilderness Press map, it's not on the map posted at the Bottcher's Gap Trailhead.

From the trailhead:
The first intersection on the map, a T intersection at Turner Creek Trailhead [Ed. note- Skinner Ridge Trail to the west, Big Pines Trail to the east], has a signpost and is very clear. The second intersection -- the trail up to Devil's Peak and Mt. Carmel -- looks more like a 4-way intersection, due to a false trail. From there, no poison oak, no brambles, well cleared trail all the way to Mt. Carmel. No major confusion, or navigation difficulties. There's some wonderful campsites at the peak of Mt. Carmel as well. There is an improved trail going past Mt. Carmel as well, that's not nearly as easy to find, but still doable if you want; we went as far as 36°23'42.3" -121°48'7.6". (To find the trail past Mt. Carmel, look for the cut down trees, each about two inches diameter). It would not surprise me if you can connect all the way down to the road near those coordinates, but I have no verification of that, nor can I recommend the trail past Mt. Carmel to people who don't want a challenge -- from that point, it's Passable to Difficult. I was carrying a bush knife / machete, and did minor brush clearing when it was a bit narrow as we went. A stunningly beautiful trail.

No visible water on the trail anywhere as of this posting, but several signs that by spring there will be. I also posted more details here: viewtopic.php?f=28&t=1050 . I will try to update this with a GPS track later on, for those who find it useful.

(Ed. note - use of a machete sounds like it would be a fast and efficient way to clear the trail. Many of us have thought of this. But in practice, a machete sharp enough to cut through the woody brush in the Ventana is also sharp enough to cut through your legs and cause some really bad injuries. Some of us have some serious scars to show for it. And essentially, cutting through the soft brush alone is a very temporary way to clear the trail. The cut stems dry out and become sharp pokers. Come on a VWA work trip and learn some safer ways to clear the trail.)
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Re: Mount Carmel Trail

Postby K Vandevere on Mon Nov 12, 2012 10:25 pm

Date Hiked: November 12, 2012
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

The trail is actually a bit better than passable. In fact, it's in better condition than it's been in years. There are a few deadfalls, but they are very easy to get over or around. The brush has been cut back to the point where it's no longer necessary to push through it, although you will still make some minor contact with it. Unlike in the past, you can now walk this trail in shorts without getting scratched. Was surprised to find snow on the trail near the top.
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Re: Mount Carmel Trail

Postby MtCarmelHiker on Mon May 16, 2011 9:02 am

Date Hiked: May 15, 2011
General Condition: Difficult (brushy and/or many deadfalls, faint tread)

Three inches of snow atop Mt. Carmel in May! The snow-covered brush was encroaching on the trail making progress very chilly. Without wet or snowy conditions this trail would be "Passable" but under the conditions of the day it wasn't easy going. I struggled pulling the camera out of my backpack because my fingers were very cold. I ended up getting no photos because I had forgotton my reading glasses and was thus unable to remove unwanted old photos from the stupid camera... Enroute back to Bottchers, I did not stop along the way because I was trying to get warm. When I returned to Bottchers, I still had a small ball of snow clinging to the top of the backpack.
This is a nice hike with some good views along the way. There is an alternate route from Bottchers to Skinner ridge which leaves the Bottchers campground at uppermost parking-lot camp-site. That route has the best views of the Double Cone-Ventana Window area.

Re: Mount Carmel Trail

Postby Dan Gearhart on Sun Mar 13, 2011 2:04 pm

Date Hiked: March 11, 2011
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

Date Hiked: March 11, 2011
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

See report of March 11, 2011 for the conditions from Bottchers Gap to Devils Peak. (Skinner Ridge Trail) From Devils Peak to Mount Carmel the trail is faint in places but generally easily to follow. Just past Devils Peak, there are about three dead falls that must be crossed over before before entering the brushy area. With a little determination, we were actually able to clear one completely off the trail. Spent a lot of time trying to clear encroaching brush especially the branches sticking out at eye level. Always wear some type of eye protection in this area. Made it to the summit without much difficulty. The only view available is by climbing on top of rock to look over the brush. If you're tall enough, the view to the North is worth the effort. Maybe someday a clearing can be created since the area in front of the rock is only about 100 square feet. This would give the climber more of a sense that they actually reached a summit rather than just a small opening in the brush next to a rock.
Dan Gearhart

Re: Mount Carmel Trail

Postby jdoelman on Mon Dec 13, 2010 10:53 am

Date Hiked: December 11, 2010
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

The views are being encroached on by the brush.
After going to the summit, we continued along the ridgeline via an obvious and passable trail towards Twin Peak. This part of the trail tunnels through dense brush as it follows a defunct jeep road. Several nice rock outcroppings are encountered along the way, these provide rare opportunities to view out from under the brush. After 1.5 miles or so, the trail arrives at a former Marijuana operation. There is a lot of evidence of brush-clearing and holes where MJ had been. Other than the brush clearing, there is none of the typical marijuana growers trash to be found. No irrigation tubing, no fertilizer bottles, nothing to speak of in the way of trash. Apparently this was operated by Eco-friendly pot-growers. The trail continued on further toward twin peak, presumably going all the way to the the newly constructed house there.

The Twin-peak-Mt. Carmel ridgeline traverses through some particularly dense brush and some other interesting forested environs.
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