October 24, 2013General Condition:
Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)
Starting at China Camp we walked down Jeffery Rd. past the cabins and private pond to the trailhead. Steve Jackson, Alan Robertson, William Salmon (wilderwill) and Joe Sortais (as a day hiker). The trailhead easy to find. The road has signs directing you to the trailhead and the trail has been flagged and is well defined. There was no water (October) until about 1/2 mile before Miller Camp. We walked past the Nason Cabin site without seeing it, but Santa Lucia Firs start to appear, and were numerous on this trail.
The Hennickson Trail is not shown on the National Geographic Map, but we found the junction signs, burned off at the base and propped against a tree. Jeffrey Schaffer in his book does not recommend this trail so we passed it by. The trail sign shows 3 miles to Carmel River, but it has been scratched out and a "5" scratched next to it. Five miles is more accurate.
The trail to Miller Camp has some downed trees and a few tricky spots where the trail is sliding away on steep slopes. A hiker could slide right off into the dark canyon below. Miller Camp is spacious with fire grill and a sign. No fires or stoves as fire restrictions were in place. Alan ate his Top Ramen dry, I didn't know you could do that ! Abundant acorns under the oak trees and lots of pig manure and ground disturbed by their feeding. There was abundant, free flowing water in Miller Creek, but we purified the water before drinking because of the pigs.
Clover basin was a mile away and also spacious and level, the trail was mostly clear and well flagged.
The creek crossings and Carmel River at Bluff Camp are easy to rock-skip this time of year, so no wet clothes or shoes. Flagging and trail work make the lower trail easy to follow. A big Thank-You to the trail workers. We had a hot hike out the West side of Carmel River to a very dry Los Padres reservoir and back to the car in the parking lot.
See Steve's pictures in Picasa at this address: (Ignore the picture of the new grand-nephew. He keeps popping up in Picasa for some reason, but he was too young to go on the trip anyway).https://picasaweb.google.com/1074344567 ... yonOct2013