Ascent of San Carlos Peak on 2002-05-26

Climber: Frederick Johnson

Other People:Solo Ascent
Date:Sunday, May 26, 2002
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:4x4 Vehicle
Peak:San Carlos Peak
    Elevation:4845 ft / 1476 m

Ascent Trip Report

From I-5 I took Little Panoche Rd past Mercey Hot Springs to Panoche Rd, shortly thereafter turning onto New Idria Rd to the ghost town of New Idria, until 1973 a major quicksilver mining center. From here the road becomes dirt and climbs steeply for 3.5 miles to the signed junction with Clear Creek Rd. Continuing straight I soon came to the San Benito Mountain Natural Area and a road and sign pointing to San Carlos Peak--1.7 miles, The good road is narrow in spots with a steep dropoff to the east. After driving about 1/2 mile, I parked and started walking the road, thinking there would an obvious route up the peak from the south. I was spooked by the brush and instead followed the road under the peak and then a short distance up a branch road on the north shoulder. From here it was about 1/3 mile X-C to the top of San Carlos Peak. There was a small windowless structure below the top. A metal post stuck a foot or so above ground, but I found no register or benchmark. From the top it appeared that one can indeed make a direct, relatively brush-free approach on the south ridge. I didn't explore carefully enough on my ascent. I estimated my total hiking distance at 1 1/2 miles and perhaps 250' of gain. Back at the Yukon, I continued up to San Benito Mountain for my second visit to the drive-up HP of San Benito County.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:250 ft / 76 m
    Trailhead:4595 ft / 1400 m
    Quality:1 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Open Country

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