Camels Hump, a day in the clouds

Hikes, NE67, TripReport , , , , ,

A pictorial trip report.
The morning weather was supposed to be better than later in the day, according to Mountain Forecast, it was wrong… again.
We started with a low cloud ceiling and climbed into it. The day started to brighten just as our hike was ending. I still enjoyed the day and company.

Couple Canadians set up camp in the parking lot. It’s not legal, nor appropriate given the popularity of this trail head
On an overcast day, we start just after 7am
About a week after peak autumn colors, plenty of beautiful color on the ground
The Monroe Trail is a mild grade, we branch off to the Dean Trail to make a loop over the summit
A solid bridge 26 years later
A small steady stream below
The best looking trail sign I’ve ever witnessed
The low cloud ceiling obvious at this spring drainage marsh
Plenty of birch colors along these trails
Junction signage and bear warnings. We didn’t see any but I’m sure they’re out there
Junction with the Long Trail. We’ll follow it up to the Camels Hump summit
Heading north on the Long Trail toward the summit
Once on the Long Trail, the terrain changes as we are no longer skirting the base
Kevin climbing the increasingly more rugged trail
We reach the first of the views, sort of
Kevin looking down at the trees below, veiled in cloud mist
The faint trees below the ledge, I’m certain look more impressive on a clear day
Regardless of the weather, Kevin still having a good time
The sap crystallizes to gives the appearance of ice. As it’s in the low 50’s, definitely not ice
Following white blazes on white birch trees, they lead through some gnarly crevices
Kevin passes by a potential animal den
A small amount of scrambling to navigate over and around the boulders
Another eerie chasm
The sharp boulders give way to ice carved ledge
This looked steeper than it felt. There were plenty of places to step confidently
Kevin and I enjoying the hike so far. In the clouds still, nearing the final push to the Camels Hump summit
Approaching seemingly impassable walls, Kevin navigates on the carefully routed Long Trail
The lush moss contrasted against the gray ledge
The trail switches often between level sections and steep stair pitches
A weathered Long Trail sign
Options for when the weather worsens, lightning or snow/ice
Continuing on, Kevin climbs further into the clouds, the summit cone vanishes
Deeper into the cloud mist, we continue around the summit cone
Passing the 4000′ mark, flora is fragile and requires care
Still smiling, Kevin poses for a quick shot
Kevin making his way over a precarious spot
One of the few cairns on a ledgey crown
Someone decorated this cairn with fir clippings and mountain ash berries
Following the Long Trail blazes, we crest the summit. Visibility was reduced in the cloud mist, thankfully not heavy enough to get us too wet
Kevin in the process of recording his accomplishment at the summit marker
I snap a shot of the Camels Hump marker as well
The winds and clouds chased us off the summit before too long. We descend back down the way we came up.
Back to the junction with the Alpine Trail. We cut across this to check out the airplane debris
We found one of the wings. Not hard to do as the herd path is quite obvious
One of the large wings of the U. S. Army B-24J Liberator. The crash occurred October 16, 1944 while on a training mission
The enormous wheel hub tucked inside the wing
The well worn path around as many stop to check out the pieces
The second wing tucked into the trees
The many rivets along the surface.
The large landing gear tucked into the wing
Continuing on our descent, the trail is a little wet and muddy in spots
Junction of the Monroe Trail and the Alpine Trail
The section of the Monroe Trail up to the summit, we’ll be heading the other way
2.5 miles of easy cruising back to the lot
More lush greens and streams found along the way
Large ledge with run off seeping over it
Just off trail, the sounds of the trickle find you
Very large fungus growth on this dead fall
The sun keeps trying to burn through the clouds, each time lighting up the fall colors
Strong birches in this area
Not quite prime time Ansel Adams, but impressive nonetheless
Deep greens and bright yellows make this trail pop
The shines on a giant iced coffee cup wedged in some trees 🙁
At the junction where we split off to the Dean Trail
The warm sun starting to get ahead of the clouds lighting up the color in the lower elevation
Newly fallen foliage blankets forest floor
Bright leaves brighten every mood
An outhouse just up from the trail head, which I failed to notice on the way up
Back to the lot, it is jam packed. The lower lot is also packed, and cars line the narrow dirt road

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