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Carmel River Trail

Re: Carmel River Trail

Postby Eli on Wed Jun 15, 2011 12:00 pm

Date Hiked: June 9, 2011
General Condition: Wilderness Freeway (Heavily used and well maintained)

Went from Los Padres Dam to Carmel River Camp. Trail looks fantastic. Poison oak is certainly present, but we managed to avoid any rash by hugging the center of the trail in key moments and opting to wear pants. Had to brush off a few ticks. No worries, even less so after being informed lyme disease has never been an issue in this area. Fantastic few hours in, few hours out!
Eli
 

Re: Carmel River Trail

Postby greg meyer on Tue May 31, 2011 11:07 am

Date Hiked: May 27, 2011
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

Thanks for the information about the CCC Crew. I ran into some of them in Pine Valley in early May and there were busting it out over there too! Great program, awesome leaders and hardworking crew. I would love to see more public funding going to programs like this - especially considering that currently unemployment rates for 20 year old's range between 20 - 40% in California!
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Re: Carmel River Trail

Postby Farley on Tue May 31, 2011 10:01 am

Date Hiked: May 30, 2011
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

The work on the lower section of this Trail was completed by a California Conservation Crew out of San Luis Obispo working under contract with the Monterey Ranger District of the Los Padres National Forest. Thanks for packing out the trash.
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Re: Carmel River Trail

Postby greg meyer on Mon May 30, 2011 2:25 pm

Date Hiked: May 26, 2011
General Condition: Wilderness Freeway (Heavily used and well maintained)

The Youth in Wilderness Program with a group of high school seniors from Pacific Ridge School hiked this trail last week. We started at Hiding Camp and walked to the Los Padres Dam with an overnight north of Bluff Camp. The trail - and the 27 river crossings - was in great shape and our small dog managed it no problem in spite of a very large pack. Lots of poison oak along the way and deep, cold crossings (wear long pants, don't bother to switch to sandals, stay in hiking shoes and use poles). All the camps were reasonably clean but we did pack out bits of trash and litter. There appears to be plenty of fire rings so hopefully people will stop building them. The trail between the LPD and the Wilderness Boundary was really cleaned up and the dangerous sections have been widened and reworked - great job to whomever did the work!

The whole trail is in really good shape, as good or better than I have ever seen it... for the Ventana it really is fair to classify it as a 'Wilderness Freeway' (but then no trail here will ever be the Autobahn! That's why we love it).
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Re: Carmel River Trail

Postby cmahrun on Mon May 30, 2011 12:31 pm

Date Hiked: May 28, 2011
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

Hiked from Los Padres Dam parking lot to Buckskin Flat and back over two days. Trail is mostly clear and well defined with a few small sections of overgrowth or loose rocks/dirt. We hiked with a large (11 people/3 dogs) group and had plenty of space at the campsite. A few notes:

*Poison oak is unavoidable. If you wear long sleeves and pants and stay on the trail, you should be fine.

*Ticks - we found several on our dogs after the hike. We did use some lower strength deet to keep them off of us, though

*Weather - Weather was beautiful for the first 6 hours and then rain rolled in just as we arrived at the campsite. After a wet night, we departed early the next morning and the rain gave way to sun very quickly.

*River crossings - Maybe 15 or so on the stretch we hiked. Deepest ones were mid-thigh. After the night of rain, the water was deeper, colder, and moving more quickly. Prepare to get wet and stay wet - there are too many crossings to stop and switch shoes or remove shoes at each one. Bring river poles or make yourself a walking stick. All three dogs we had with us were bigger dogs, but smaller dogs might have a lot of difficulty with the larger, stronger crossings.

All in all, a beautiful, moderately challenging backcountry hike that's in fairly good condition right now.
cmahrun
 

Re: Carmel River Trail

Postby Farley on Tue May 17, 2011 5:22 pm

Date Hiked: May 10, 2011
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

A brief report for the section from the Dam to Bluff Camp:
Trail is open and clear to Bluff Camp where is the river is rushing, but easily passable. Be mindful of the few trail tread blow outs in the first mile past the trailhead. Only obstacles are the flowers which may slow hikers or distract them from personal navigation devices. Folks say this is an off year, but looked pretty wonderful to me with black sage to globe lilies to crimson sage forming a main course garnished with abundant variable (Chalcedon) checkerspots. Passed a few anglers who managed to catch nothing but a buzz.
If you go, please consider carrying hand pruners and a small saw to clear down and encroaching brush, especially beyond bluff camp. Cut it well back from the trail and as close as possible to the ground or a junction with a main upright stem; please do not leave staubs (pointy cut ends) sticking out into the trail.
The best thing keeping trails open out there is YOU! Thanks and enjoy.
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Re: Carmel River Trail

Postby Guest on Wed Apr 27, 2011 10:14 am

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

The trail from Pine Valley to Hiding Camp is not a whole lot better. Lots of poison oak and ticks.
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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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