Hike to Mt. Carmel

November 16th, 2007

I love Mountains. Wednesday I drove 3 hours south from SF to Mt. Carmel, one of my favorite day hikes from the Bay area (gotta love unemployment). The hike was about 10 miles roundtrip, starting from Bottcher’s Gap up to the peak of Mt. Carmel. From the 4417 foot peak of Mt. Carmel you get a beautiful 360 view, including the ocean to the west, Carmel, Monterey and Santa Cruz to the north, and the mountains east and south. Specifically, I love looking east and south at the huge mountains of the Ventana Wilderness – some peaks are over a mile high (and right next to the ocean). Along the hike you get diverse views and varying vegetation. Some parts are hot/desert/shrubs, other sections had lush vegetation along the creeks, and there was also some parts that felt like east coast – big oak trees with Fall leaves on the ground. Beautiful. Only thing that sucked was lots of gnats in the beginning – but its nothing if you come from the east coast like me. I still recommend it to anybody in decent shape – took me 3 hours to hike up, 1.5 to go down, with 45min break up top.

Next i want to do a weekend trip to Sykes Hot Springs (thanks Mark Verber), (nytimes). Hopefully in December.