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Hiking Stats as of 11/21/2018
Total Trips:
Total Distance:
Total Elevation Gain:
 325
 3,891.68 miles
 1,060,050 feet

Feb 19, 2015 - Chews Ridge

 

Partners: (None)

Distance: 4.45 miles

Elevation Gain: 967 feet

Trip Time: 1:25

Maps and Stats:
Having visited Mt. Carmel Wednesday night and with big plans for Friday, I wanted to squeeze in an easy hike following once the conference let out Thursday evening. I planned on a drive to Chews Ridge, a peak that although is not on any peak lists, has over 2,000 feet of prominence which is what drew my attention. At over 5,000 feet tall, it stands as the highest point around, although given my plan to hike in the dark I was not expecting much in the way of views.

Leaving Monterey I went south on Highway 1, turned east onto Carmel Valley Road, following this for about a half hour until finding the turnoff for Tassajara. The most difficult thing about Chews Ridge is the drive up - only the first couple of miles of Tasajara is paved, following this you are on a narrow dirt road, making the drive take a bit of time. The road was actually in pretty good shape, and I was never concerned that my 2WD might not make it to my planned starting location 1 mile away from the peak. There was a sign on the road advising that only 4WD vehicles should continue, but I believe this is only applicable following rain. In total it took about 75 minutes to drive from Monterey to my starting location, a turnout on the road near the White Oaks campground. The decision to stop here proved a wise one, as the condition of the road became much worse immediately above the campground.

I started the hike up the road in darkness at 6:45, and it was a bit longer and steeper than I had thought. It took about 20 minutes to ascend the 600 feet up to the locked gate marking the turnoff to the peak. This is the gate that Bob Burd had been locked behind on his trip up, having driven his vehicle all the way to the summit and upon driving back down found that he was locked in. The gate only bars vehicle traffic, and was easy to walk around to the left. Another 5 minutes later and I was at the lookout on the summit. I spend some time looking for a benchmark bout found nothing. I then continued along the ridge to ground that was lower but was labeled on the map as being Chews Ridge. This was pretty worthless given the darkness, as I'm sure there are nice views from here but I could only see what my flashlight could illuminate. I searched for a benchmark that I thought was supposed to be here but could not find it. I rounded out the hike by paying a side visit to the MIRA Observatory, another 3/4 of a mile in the opposite direction. Again, there was not much to see, and when I saw a vehicle parked along the side of the observatory I decided not to linger and started back down. A little after 8 PM I was back at the car, having completed 4.5 miles and about 1,000 feet of gain on the evening. On the way back I stopped at Safeway in Carmel Valley to pick up dinner and some supplies for the next day's hike, and I was back to the hotel by 9:45 PM.

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