We picked Carne Mtn. for Sunday since it seems fairly close to Duncan Hill, our Saturday trip. However, as we discovered, even with cutting through on forest roads, the driving time is close to three hours between trailheads! So, after doing Duncan Hill on Saturday, we turned off of the Entiat River Rd onto Mad River Rd and then onto FR 5800 and found a place to camp a ways in on a spurr rd. In the morning we woke up to a nice sunny day & great views of nearby hills.
We had our usual oatmeal and tea for breakfast, packed up and headed out. We worked our way along forest roads 5800 and 7801, then eventually to the Chumstick Hwy and 207. The forest roads are dirt and in very good condition, but they were also narrow and winding with a few confusing junctions, so it took a long time to get through. Then, of course, we still had to go all the way up FR 62/Chiwawa River Rd to the Phelps Creek TH (FT 1511). The longer than anticipated driving time meant we got to the TH later than we had hoped. The parking area was packed, of course, with all the people going to Spider Meadows and beyond. Somebody must have just left, though, because we lucked out and got the third spot in from the TH!
We headed out along FT 1511 and, in a few minutes, reached the junction with the much less traveled Carne Mtn Trail (we only met two other groups the whole day).
The first part of the trail switchbacks up a steep forested hill. Not too much to see here, but we got some early views here and there.
Eventually the trail straightens out for awhile and the trees start to thin, but then there's more switchbacks as the trail climbs up towards the basin below Carne. This is where we met the only other group of day hikers we saw that day. The views just get better and better as you head up!
We reached the meadow in the basin and we could finally start to see the summit of Carne. There's a stream here and we filtered water before heading on.
Soon we crossed the basin and reached the junction with the Old Gib Trail.
Here we climbed more switchbacks to the saddle where we met a group of backpackers who had come up from Rock Creek.
We chatted a few minutes and took in the views, then headed for the summit, reaching it less than ten minutes later. The views were spectacular, even better than Duncan, which we could see too! We took tons of pictures and looked at our map trying to put names to all the mountains around us. The most impressive nearby mtn. is Mt Maude, which we've added to our list. We then had a quick snack, got our group pics, searched for a summit register (but didn't find any) and all to soon had to go back down.
This is a nearly 360 deg. pano from Carne:
On the way down, we saw the group of backpackers had camped in the meadow. We also spotted a marmot and some pikas.
It was pretty late when we got back to the TH and there weren't nearly as many cars. Still it was a good trip and well worth the long day. I loved the views from the summit! We stopped in Leavenworth on the way home and found a place that's open late called Katz Chop House on the corner of 8th and Commercial St. They have a good selection of food on their bar menu.
-------------- Slow down, take notice, savor the moment, appreciate the world around you and everything that you have.
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