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Monday, June 6, 2016

Camel's Hump(Catskills)

Took advantage of a beautiful late spring day and hiked up to 3550 foot Camels Hump on the west side of the Blackhead Range with Kalli and Bella(the puppy) this afternoon.  Camels Hump is not the official name of the summit, nor is it considered a 3500 foot high peak, although its height and prominence would lend it to being one.  Not really sure why it's not considered a high peak yet.  Anyways, we parked at the end of Barnum Road and hiked past the private drive, following trail markers leading uphill to the left.
 Due to heavy rains yesterday, the trail was pretty wet and muddy.
An incredibly beautiful, sunny and breezy day in the woods.
 We came across this very small waterfall a few yards off the trail.
 Only a little bit beyond the falls, we spotted a small foot path leading uphill to the left of the trail and we followed it up to a small pond, which was a very dirty brown.
 After about .4 of a mile the trail turns sharply left and arrives at a trail register and kiosk.
 After passing the trail register, the trail begins climbing steadily through hardwoods.
 Following red trail markers.
 We climbed up a couple of stone stairways, which made for a nice, easy climb for Bella.
Just shy of a mile into the hike, we arrived at a "Devils Path" type steep rock climb.
 At the top of the small cliff were very nice views to the south and west towards the Devils Path peaks.
 I stopped for a quick photo with Bella.
 My girls, Kalli and Bella.
 Continuing past the clifftop views we had a couple more ascents generally northeast on our way to a small summit known as The Caudal, before a short descent and then level stretch in a col.  Here is a typical section of climbing on the way towards the Camels Hump.
 After the level stretch, we began to climb again on our final ascent when we stumbled across a bear cub.  Bella seemed a bit nervous and got close to us, when suddenly we spotted the bear running away from us into the woods.  This caused some excitement amongst us, but we soon arrived at 3500 foot in elevation anyway.
 Soon after the 3500 foot sign and after 2.1 miles, we arrived at the top of 3550 foot Camels Hump.  Look for a large boulder and you'll see a short spur trail leading to views.
Great views to the north towards Elm Ridge and Windham High Peak.
A great look far down into the Black Dome Valley.
Kalli and the pup enjoying the sun and breeze.
 After enjoying the north views, we went back to the main trail and found another spur trail which lead east to great views of nearby 3940 foot Thomas Cole Mountain.
 Unfortunately due to prior obligations, we had to turn back at Camel Hump's summit.  Here we are arriving back at the first cliff view point.
 Descending the steep boulders below the cliff. 
 We hiked about 4.3 miles RT with elevation gain over 1400 feet elevation gain on a picture perfect day

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