There are several approaches to Mount Carmine, but this route is a convenient way to combine a climb of Mount Carmine with Aspen Butte.
To access Mount Carmine from the south start at the Clover Creek Trailhead
To find the Clover Creek Trailhead, locate Lake of the Woods near OR Highway 140. Follow Dead Indian Memorial Road south from OR 140. About 8.3 miles south of OR 140 turn left (east) onto Clover Creek Road. Follow Clover Creek Road east for 5.9 miles, then turn left (north) onto FSR 3852, signed "Clover Creek Trailhead".
The Forest Service website provides alternative directions: from Klamath Falls, head West on US Highway 66 11 miles towards Keno. Before you cross over the Klamath River, take a right on Clover Creek Road. Go approximately 15 miles until you reach FS Road 3852 on your right.
Follow FSR 3852, a good gravel road, bearing left at 1.9 miles and reaching the Clover Creek Trailhead at 3.2 miles. The road forms a loop at the trailhead and there is parking for several vehicles. (5750 feet).
Follow the Clover Creek Trail north past Clover Lake to reach the Mountain Lakes Loop Trail at 3.3 miles (7000 feet). Turn right and follow the trail to a saddle at 5.1 miles (7500 feet) with a view of Mount Carmine where the trail continues downward into the Mountain Lakes Basin.
Traverse down into the Mountain Lakes Basin to reach the junction with the South Lakes Pass Trail at a saddle SW of Mount Carmine (7300 feet). From this junction leave the trail and hike through open forest NE to reach the SW ridge of Mount Carmine. Ascend this ridge, staying near the ridge crest, to the summit of Mount Carmine. It may be easier to pass the first gendarme along this ridge on the left and the second on the right. Descend the ridge the same way to return to the Mountain Lakes Loop Trail and retrace your route back to the Clover Creek Trailhead.
You should carry the ten essentials. I found hiking poles helpful.
External LinksUSFS Clover Creek Trailhead