Round Rock Camp Trail


Re: Round Rock Camp Trail

Post by Addison »

Date Hiked: May 1, 2021
General Condition: Impassable (completely overgrown or tread obliterated)

Trail from Carmel River Trail Junction down to the river is passable, gone after that. Best to just walk the river to camp.
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Re: Round Rock Camp Trail

Post by pantilat »

Date Hiked: November 16, 2019
General Condition: Impassable (completely overgrown or tread obliterated)

In current conditions it is much easier to simply rock hop up the low-flowing Carmel River to Round Rock Camp from where the trail crosses the River. The trail was always difficult as it climbed up the steep slope on the west side of the Carmel River where it was susceptible to blowdowns and thick brush. Now the post-fire blowdowns piling on and aggressive brush regrowth are in danger of making this segment a "lost trail." Round Rock Camp is still a nice peaceful spot with Santa Lucia Firs overhead.
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Re: Round Rock Camp Trail

Post by seagoat1724 »

Date Hiked: October 24, 2018
General Condition: Impassable (completely overgrown or tread obliterated)

Between Carmel River Trail and Round Rock Camp
Trail is impassable. Trail is good down to river but after that is totally gone and you are much better off just hiking up river.
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Joined: Tue Mar 12, 2019 8:07 pm

Pine Ridge>Church Creek>Carmel River Trails

Post by AaronP »

Date Hiked: March 15, 2019
General Condition: Impassable (completely overgrown or tread obliterated)

I was planning on doing a loop starting into Pine Valley from China Camp and coming back via the Carmel River Trail. This was my first time hiking beyond Pine Valley. The trail is quite obvious up to the gate where the Carmel River Trail begins. From the descent into the canyon where the river begins is full of downed trees, thorny berry-like bushes, and tons of ticks. I was going back and forth between two different gps devices and both said I was directly on the trail despite nearly zero evidence of one. BRING PLENTY OF WATER AND SUN PROTECTION FOR THIS PORTION, VERY LITTLE SHADE AND CONSTANT SUN EXPOSURE DURING MIDDAY. I followed the creek most of the way until my gps showed that I was starting to get way off trail. From there I started ascending to the north. Eventually I made my way back on the trail. There was one section that was completely washed out and on the way back I had to throw my pack across and then carefully scale the side of the washout. I would consider this part impassable for most hikers. Once I got near Round Rock Camp, the water level was higher than expected due to recent snow melts. I continued on to Hiding Canyon Camp where I had no choice but to cross in order to reach camp for the night. Since the trail going back seemed like a total headache I decided to continue north up the Carmel River having to cross it several more times the current was flowing pretty good. I eventually came to a point that I had to turn around due to the water flow. This was quite disappointing after all I had been thru but it was the safest choice.

I don’t plan on attempting this part of the trail again until serious trail maintenance is done. Such a beautiful area and has a lot of potential. I say this jokingly but where the Carmel River Trail begins outside of Pine Valley almost needs to be carpet bombed. I Had to climb over about 50 downed trees, bushwhack thru bushes, and scale the sides of the canyon. It was a nightmare even with GPS.
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Location: SJC

Re: Round Rock Camp Trail

Post by Rob »

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

There was a piece of orange marking tape on a downed branch marking the junction with the Carmel River Trail. I was able to follow the trail down to within about a hundred feet of the creek, and then it became a steep gully.

I think I hiked the trail along the creek long ago, when it was actually fairly clear, but this time I just stuck to the banks of the creek, rock-hopping across where necessary (I brought water shoes just in case). If there was trail tread I entirely missed it. It's been a dry winter so far, and I could see this strategy would not work too well after a period of heavy rain.

Round Rock Camp was a pleasant place to spend the night, though chilly in the canyon, as expected. I brought a new notebook & pen, and put them in a ziploc and a tupperware-style container to hopefully offer more protection from the elements and rodents. The old log should be in there too, enclosed in its own baggie. The old log was pretty wet, and will likely mildew, but I didn't have time to air-dry it before packaging it up, sorry.
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Re: Round Rock Camp Trail

Post by RSIBryce »

Date Hiked: August 24, 2017
General Condition: Difficult (brushy and/or many deadfalls, faint tread)

Roundrock Camp is one of the more remote feeling camps that I've visited in the Ventana Wilderness. It's in a cul-de-sac of its own and takes a special effort to get to. Continuing our Soberanes Burn Area survey, we found the trail to Round Rock to be a heavy bush-wacking affair, the thick chapparral growth takes some bobbing and weaving to manage, crawling at times is in order. I recall similar conditions in 2013. Poison Oak? Tons. We counted some 7 downed tree events (some of these involve multiple trees) in this short section of trail. One of these, an 18'' madrone, was at a particularly sharp and tricky angle, if anyone ever bothers to drag a saw out that way. (VWA Stewardship Program Manager Trevor Willits has photos and GPS coordinates of all the trees and other hazards of interest that we discovered on our hike). The fire did not burn down in this area.

The camp itself sits upon an alluvial shelf, I'm not sure if this is an actual ecological term or not, but maybe provides the appropriate image. Most camps along the Carmel River- and other drainages for that matter, sit upon these flats in the riparian corridor. A small meadow prevails in a clearing next to the camp, that sits surrounded by Live Oaks. Maybe the oldest and most decrepit table of them all stands proudly at the camp. See this photo of the late great Paul Danielson seated there in 2011: ... gnant_find
If I can ever figure out how to insert images into these forum posts, I will maybe post the photo I took. People have really gotten creative in how to keep this thing going (the table) with ropes and what not. It seems there's a dedicated few who have made special trips to this site over the years. A register remains at camp that did not do too well that last few Winter's. As a previous post mentions, a new log book is needed- if this tradition is to carry on. The bugs were perhaps the worse of anywhere encountered on our entire trip. Rather than brave the trail, we walked the river back to where the trail crosses downstream, which was fun rockhopping. The river, still had a healthy flow, but there were plenty of rocks to hop along to avoid getting wet where the banks disappeared. For those who are unaware, down stream of where the Round Rock Trail crosses the river are some rather amazing slot canyons. They are better accessed from the river walking upstream from Hiding Canyon camp, I recall a large waterfall that would be tough to descend without a rope and the proper skills that accompany its use.

Re: Round Rock Camp Trail

Post by alanh »

Date Hiked: July 5, 2016
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

I hiked only the first portion from Carmel River Trail down to the river. Some brush at the top and a little erosion further down, but very passable. I wanted to post a report to note the lack of signage at the trail junction with Carmel River Trail. There is no sign, and in fact some branches have been laid across the Round Rock trail. This is probably to help those wanting to stay on Carmel River Trail not accidentally miss the switchback, but it certainly gives the impression that this direction is not a trail at all. But it is!
Also, a recommendation for anyone heading this way: right after you cross the river, the Round Rock trail goes left. Take a detour and turn right instead; about 100 yards downstream is a nice spot to visit!
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Re: Round Rock Camp Trail

Post by christoph28 »

Date Hiked: July 3, 2015
General Condition: Difficult (brushy and/or many deadfalls, faint tread)

We day hiked to Round Rock Camp from Hiding Canyon. The section of the trail from the junction with Carmel River Trail down to the river was brushy but very hikeable. There is a makeshift campsite on the opposite side of the river, though no table / fire grate, etc. From there until Round Rock Camp the tread is very faint (in some places completely gone) and serious bushwacking is necessary. The trail crosses the river again just before arriving at the camp site and right after passing a big "round rock" in the river bed. The camp was fine, but hiding canyon seemed like a nicer site. The table is barely intact, and the camp log book is full (time for a new one!).
Daniel S
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Re: Round Rock Camp Trail

Post by Daniel S »

Date Hiked: April 2, 2015
General Condition: Impassable (completely overgrown or tread obliterated)

(trail clear down to the river, this report is for the section after crossing the river and passing the primitive camp there) Technically not "impassable" due to us making it to camp, but the trail is pretty much gone at this point. Although areas of it remain large sections are a bushwhack with literally no signs a trail was ever there. However on the areas where the trail went along steep hillsides it remains, with many deadfalls across. The flatter areas are completely overgrown. Made it to round rock and read the ledger, someone had been there just in January of this year, but nobody before that until back in 2013. I have a feeling the person in January walked up the river to camp, which is how we returned. The camp itself is beautiful, ledger nailed into a tree, cooking grill over the fire pit, the old bench seems on its last legs but is still standing. I would not recommend trying to take a full backpack up there. Fortunately there is only one major deadfall and the tread remains on the steep hills, so if people wish to rebuild this trail it wouldn't be a huge task.
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Re: Round Rock Camp Trail

Post by radioshack73 »

Date Hiked: March 2, 2013
General Condition: Difficult (brushy and/or many deadfalls, faint tread)

Backpacked into Round Rock from Los Padres Dam. The Round Rock Trail is overgrown and difficult to follow as the flags that were once marking the trail are now down as part of the dead-fall, however if you look for the old cuts in the brush, one can pick up were the trail is supposed to go. We did locate the proper trail and the Camp at Round Rock is a beautiful one.
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