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Carmel River Trail

Re: Carmel River Trail

Postby Chuck on Mon Feb 20, 2012 4:58 pm

Date Hiked: February 12, 2011
General Condition: Wilderness Freeway (Heavily used and well maintained)

Just a quick overnight trip to Bluff from the Dam. It doesn't get much better than this. No poison oak. Trail is clear as day. River crossings were a breeze. Couldn't have asked for better.
Chuck
 

Pine Valley to Los Padres Res on Carmel River Trail

Postby Repo on Wed Dec 14, 2011 9:44 pm

Date Hiked: November 29, 2011
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

Did an overnight backpack from China Camp to Los Padres Reservoir. Carmel River trail was most challenging coming out of Pine Valley and going down Hidden Canyon. Brush is recovering from the fire and about shoulder high. Lots of ticks. Once we reached the Carmel River at Hidden Vally camp, brush wasn't a problem but 3 downed trees across the trail were. We saw a mountain lion between Buckskin and Sulfur Springs. It was heading south and we were heading north. Did I mention ticks? From Pine Valley to the reservoir we were continually pulling them off our clothing and I ended up with two bites. From Hiding Canyon to Bluff camp the river crossings were numerous and you had to be alert to figure out where the trail picked up on the opposite bank. Hike in shoes you are ok with getting wet. Wet pants help move ticks up your legs too. There are lots of signs from the Los Padres Reservoir parking area to the Carmel River trail but not visa versa. Around the dam there are many dirt roads so you should do a little scouting when you park a vehicle, so you know which direction you want to go from the dam. Tick check before getting in the car.
Repo
 

Re: Carmel River Trail

Postby Micah Rodler on Tue Nov 01, 2011 5:02 pm

Date Hiked: October 22, 2011
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cAFvmcAq ... e=youtu.be
Micah Rodler
 

Re: Carmel River Trail

Postby khenning on Tue Sep 27, 2011 10:38 am

Date Hiked: September 22, 2011
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

My daughter and I celebrated her 21st with a weekender to Carmel River Camp from Los Padres Dam. Beautiful weather all weekend. Dry thunderstorms were expected Friday night but we didn't hear anything. Arrived at camp Friday evening. From the dam to the camp, clear and well defined. On Saturday, we day hiked to just short of Buckskin Flat Camp. The majority of the trail was clear and well defined. There were two or three deadfalls, one soon after Carmel River Camp. The poison oak was beguiling in all it's reddish-orange glory, but did not overly encroach the trail. Water was low, no more than shin high, so we rock hopped all but one of the multiple crossings. Next to the camp, there was a spot that was deep enough for refreshing dips. Two or three spots on the hillsides where the trail is narrow and one needs to keep focussed. Overall, a great time and what a pleasure to spend it with my lovely daughter.
khenning
 

Re: Carmel River Trail

Postby briana cichuniec on Fri Jul 22, 2011 8:34 am

Date Hiked: July 18, 2011
General Condition: Difficult (brushy and/or many deadfalls, faint tread)

My group of 4 started out at China Camp and hiked via the Pine Ridge Trail (which was very clear) to Pine Valley where we camped the first night. Upon connecting and hiking on the Carmel River Trail, we found it quite difficult at times due to it being almost completely overgrown. Fortunately the areas that were difficult were interspersed with obvious trail sections, so we did not get lost. After Hiding Canyon Camp it wasn't so bad though, just lots of unavoidable poison oak (a small price to pay for the beauty of this place)! There were also some areas throughout the entire trail where erosion was taking is course so poles or a solid walking stick were useful. Overall though, it was a wonderful hike, very beautiful, great well-maintained campsites, and well marked trail junctions! Thank you for a great trip!
briana cichuniec
 

Re: Carmel River Trail

Postby mikesplain on Mon Jul 18, 2011 9:23 am

Date Hiked: July 8, 2011
General Condition: Wilderness Freeway (Heavily used and well maintained)

Posted by Paul Danielson:

gshanklin wrote: Date Hiked: July 8, 2011 General Condition: Difficult (brushy and/or many deadfalls, faint tread)

I am wondering if you accidentally missed the continuation of the trail right past the Carmel River crossing at Bluff Camp.
In that case,you might have stayed close to the river itself where there is no trail,instead of climbing the actual trail up a switchback just south of the southside portion of Bluff Camp. The same thing could have happened earlier on at the Danish Creek crossing near the confluence with the Carmel River.Too bad that you had to endure all that mess.


Hiked from the Los Padres Dam to Carmel River Camp.

First leg of the hike from the parking lot to where the trail meets the river is, of course, wilderness freeway. Once you cross the river, good luck. In very few areas is there a discernible trail. In stretches where you can see a trail, it may just be the aimless wanderings of someone who is lost. Now when I say lost, you can never really get that lost in a canyon that narrow where the trail never gets that far from the river. The problem with keeping a good trail is that what's not covered in blackberry vines, poison oak and stinging nettle, is covered in deadfall. What I was hoping for on this hike was a few more trail blazes. I counted two. The point being is that if you do this hike, count on some bushwhacking. The upside is that the river is running very nicely right now with plenty of good swimming holes. Mosquitos weren't bad at all either. Took my golden retriever and he only got one tick the whole time. So enjoy but be forewarned that you're not going to make great time through portions of this trail.

Editor's note: other reports indicate the Carmel River Trail is in excellent condition; this hiker may have missed the actual trail for some
section(s) of the route.
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Re: Carmel River Trail

Postby jack_glendening on Fri Jul 15, 2011 6:32 pm

Date Hiked: July 14, 2011
General Condition: Wilderness Freeway (Heavily used and well maintained)

From Los Padres Dam to Miller Canyon Trail Junction (just before Carmel River Camp):
Path well-defined, no encroaching vegetation. Danish Creek easily crossed via logs.
Big Sur Trailmap: https://bigsurtrailmap.net
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Re: Carmel River Trail

Postby gshanklin on Wed Jul 13, 2011 9:37 pm

Date Hiked: July 8, 2011
General Condition: Difficult (brushy and/or many deadfalls, faint tread)

Hiked from the Los Padres Dam to Carmel River Camp.

First leg of the hike from the parking lot to where the trail meets the river is, of course, wilderness freeway. Once you cross the river, good luck. In very few areas is there a discernible trail. In stretches where you can see a trail, it may just be the aimless wanderings of someone who is lost. Now when I say lost, you can never really get that lost in a canyon that narrow where the trail never gets that far from the river. The problem with keeping a good trail is that what's not covered in blackberry vines, poison oak and stinging nettle, is covered in deadfall. What I was hoping for on this hike was a few more trail blazes. I counted two. The point being is that if you do this hike, count on some bushwhacking. The upside is that the river is running very nicely right now with plenty of good swimming holes. Mosquitos weren't bad at all either. Took my golden retriever and he only got one tick the whole time. So enjoy but be forewarned that you're not going to make great time through portions of this trail.

Editor's note: other reports indicate the Carmel River Trail is in excellent condition; this hiker may have missed the actual trail for some section(s) of the route.
gshanklin
 

Re: Carmel River Trail

Postby rt1 on Sun Jul 03, 2011 9:57 pm

Date Hiked: July 3, 2011
General Condition: Wilderness Freeway (Heavily used and well maintained)

Chruch Creek Divide to Pine Valley
Trail is in excellent shape with very little encroaching brush, no deadfalls, and very little poison oak. The creek crossings are all stepovers.
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Re: Carmel River Trail

Postby brphelps on Wed Jun 22, 2011 8:35 am

Our family of six (four teen boys and parents) plus our 100 lb dog day-hiked the portion of the trail from Pine Valley to Hiding Canyon Camp and back in one day. The trail out of Pine Valley itself was in good shape, un-scarred by the Big Basin Complex Fire (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Summer_2008_California_wildfires) in 2008. Once in the upper reaches of the Carmel River canyon, the trail lost any of the shade it formerly offered before the fire. We found good water less than .5 mile west of the saddle into Pine Valley due to the recent spring rains. The upper stretch of the canyon was in relatively good shape, though the tread was eroded in parts on the steeper slopes.

In the lower part of the canyon before the trail climbs out of the canyon, the tread was very eroded in a few places and traction was occasionally difficult. The brush over the trail in this section was thick and growing over the trail along most of the route, even obscuring the trail in parts, thanks to the lengthy, recent spring rains. Poison oak, stinging nettle, and other brush frequently obscured the trail and was impossible to avoid. There was a wide spot in the lower reaches of the canyon before the trail climbs out where a couple of fire rings and primitive campsites had been created near the river. Climbing out of the canyon via a number of switchbacks over the hump into Hiding Canyon Camp was steep, hot, and dry. The trail was in pretty good shape and this section was well used. The view of Ventana Mesa Falls below the trail junction to Round Rock Camp was obscured by tall brush. We had hoped to hike up river from Hiding Canyon Camp to the gorge and see the Ventana Mesa Falls up close, but ran out of time and had to turn back. Would love to hear someone's report of the trail from Hiding Canyon Camp to the gorge.
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