Hiked this round top with my girlfriend a couple of hours ago. It was fun and rather tough near the summit where we had to break through solid and very wet/cold bushes! There was at least a 1/2 foot of snow covering the trail starting at the Devil's Peak summit. Due to the lack of footprints on the snow, we believe that we were the only ones hiking it recently... except for the unknown creature who summited it shortly before us (see my pics). Weather was changing every 30 minutes, ranging from rain to sun to snow and back to rain.... Trail is wonderful and we loved our hike. We will certainly be back for a longer trip to Ventana Double Cone!
Lower section of the hike was nice, if unremarkable. Got some interesting views around the Skinner Ridge overlook, but the clouds obscured things a bit. The final push through the brush to the Mount Carmel summit was tough, if you are taller than a deer.
The trails was quite overgrown and now well marked at all. We did make the summit, however we ended up taking a wrong turn along the way (at the point that the campgrounds intersect).
We contemplated turning around once we reached Devil's Peak (which was the most difficult portion of the climb). But we decided to continue on, and I'm glad we did. The climb to the summit wasn't that much more father, and a lot less difficult.
The summit is marked only by a pile of rocks. You must climb up these to get any view due to the overgrown bushes all around.
Watch out for the boyscouts at the base, and the large buses on the seemingly one lane, but paved, road that takes you to Botter's Gap.
I was feeling really lazy Saturday morning and didn't want to take my 2WD car up to Tahoe for the weekend, so I looked for a short nearby hike. I was thinking of doing Mount Tam from Muir Woods, but I couldn't find my National Parks Pass so I went to Big Sur instead. I headed up in running shorts, sneakers, and a long sleeve t-shirt. There were some minor patches of snow at 2700' becoming more pronounced at 2900'. About 90+% the 0.8 mile Mount Carmel Trail was covered with up to 4 inches fresh snow and my fingers were freezing as I took photos on the summit. I drank about 10 oz. of water but I was hungry and didn't have any food so I made and ate 3 snowballs. On the way down at about 2710' I ran into a snowman that I believe a couple made. On my hike in, I saw 1 couple (with dog) and 1 guy (also with dog) hiking out of Pat Springs so I assume that it was the couple that made him for Easter :-) Neither group did the Mount Carmel Trail after the snow, so that part was a very pristine hike / experience.