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Ojito Camp Trail

Trail Report

In the form below, enter a Subject line or title (optional), the date you hiked the trail, and a a rating as to the general passability of that trail then follow up with a more detailed narrative of the specific conditions or problems encountered. For the longer trails some folks like to segment the specific conditions part of their reports, reporting conditions in a serial fashion between landmarks such as camps or junctions. This is fine so long as the entire report is specific to a particular named trail.



Enter the code exactly as it appears. All letters are case insensitive.
Wilderness Freeway: Heavily used and well maintained.
Clear: No obstacles and tread well defined.
Passable: Some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident.
Difficult: Brushy and/or many deadfalls, faint tread.
Impassable: Completely overgrown or tread obliterated.

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Expand view Topic review: Ojito Camp Trail

Re: Ojito Camp Trail

Post by anneirene on Sun Oct 22, 2017 4:41 pm

Date Hiked: October 20, 2017
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

As always: steep. And pretty straightforward. Creek pops up and then back below ground for a while, but is flowing up by the use camp.

Walked down the creek to Upper Canogas falls, which was flowing/falling very nicely and also stymied any further progress on my end.

Re: Ojito Camp Trail

Post by pantilat on Mon Oct 02, 2017 11:25 am

Date Hiked: October 1, 2017
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

This short but steep 0.4 mile trail down to the upper reaches of the South Fork Devils Canyon is in good shape. There are a few blowdowns to get over (hence the passable rating) but the trail is generally clear of brush and poison oak is not encroaching. There are several nice Santa Lucia Firs along the way, and especially at the canyon bottom. The South Fork Devils Canyon Creek is flowing remarkably well for so late in the season thanks to the big winter. Many fish were observed in the small pools along the creek so it looks like it was a good year for them!

Re: Ojito Camp Trail

Post by Rob on Sun Apr 02, 2017 10:41 am

Date Hiked: March 31, 2017
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

I had not been down this trail for more than ten years, and was pleasantly surprised. There was a nice new-looking sign at the start, and except for several large downed trees the brush was not at all bad (I did some sawing in places). The trail is very steep of course, and there was some poison oak to avoid, but the switchbacks made it manageable.

The use camp was small -- one small tent site, a fire ring, and some other sloping ground. The creek was flowing strong, fast and cold, so exploring any distance would have involved some rather uncomfortable wading.

Still, I did a bit of exploring -- there was a lot of downed wood, poison oak and so on. The old historic site referred to below seemed inaccessible at the time without walking in the creek.

I did see a few small (perhaps 4-5 inch) fish hiding in the shadows near cover, probably coastal rainbow trout. Edit: never mind, I see DFG regulations forbid fishing in this area.

Lastly, I managed to drift off to sleep until being awakened around 9-ish by the headlamps of three guys who had stumbled down the trail in the dark, unaware that there wasn't room for a large party. I'm afraid I was less than polite, sorry about that :) In the morning I noticed a couple of large tents pitched at the Ojito junction ...

Re: Ojito Camp Trail

Post by christoph28 on Thu Aug 20, 2015 10:17 pm

Date Hiked: August 8, 2015
General Condition: Difficult (brushy and/or many deadfalls, faint tread)

We hiked in from Kirk Creek Campground via Cone Peak and so were pretty tired upon reaching the start of Ojito camp trail. The trail quickly becomes overgrown and strewn with deadfall, though the tunnel through the brush is reasonably well established. The way down is very steep and loose and requires some careful footing to avoid slipping. The use camp where the trail meets the river is nice enough and a few shallow pools sufficient for washing off can be found right next to the site. We later hiked downstream and found the historic Ojito camp site across the river (the trail to it has been lost, as far as we could tell) as well as another site between the use camp and the historic camp. The historic camp is in a nice location but is now dilapidated. The picnic table has completely collapsed and a tree had fallen on the log bench (we pushed the tree off to the side). The black gnats were persistent all day long, abating only from dusk to dawn. Hiking back up to Stone Ridge trail in the morning was a quad burner.

Re: Ojito Camp Trail

Post by Carl Mounteer on Tue May 05, 2015 10:06 pm

Date Hiked: May 5, 2015
General Condition: Difficult (brushy and/or many deadfalls, faint tread)

The previous problem of finding the trailhead to this trail has now been remedied as the Forest Service (I presume) has put a sign at Ojito Saddle clearly indicating the start of this trail. Also, the impenetrable wall of vegetation I described in my 2010 post has been removed to the extent of allowing the trail through to the beginning of the descent into the canyon.

95% of this trail now passes through a tunnel of vegetation. This creates a cool, dark, gloomy, and slightly forbidding ambience.

Poison oak is everywhere. Watch for it coming up this trail. The trail is so steep in parts that, while hiking out, it is very easy to push your face into it.

I thought, and hoped, that the report last year of 40 downed trees, might be an exaggeration. But I counted 82 downed trees crossing the trail! (For these reports, my definition of a "tree" is an minimum trunk diameter of 2 inches.) At one spot I counted 8 trees at least 12 inches in diameter over an approximately 50 foot interval. Although all of the downed trees along the trail were negotiable, they really slow you down: It took me nearly an hour to hike this half-mile trail. The worst of these obstructions are shown in the pictures below. (Click on the last picture to rotate it clockwise 90 degrees to show its proper perspective.)

The creek next to the camp was full of water and running nicely. I saw two fish resting in it.

The change in this trail from when I first hiked it in 2004 is staggering. Then, it began in a sunny meadow. As the trail dropped down into the canyon, it was a wilderness freeway: wide, completely open to the sun, without a single obstruction.
Attachments
DSC02124.JPG
DSC02122.JPG
DSC02119.JPG
Click on this last picture to rotate it clockwise 90 degrees to show its proper perspective.

Re: Ojito Camp Trail

Post by dhwrench on Mon Apr 28, 2014 9:08 am

Date Hiked: April 21, 2014
General Condition: Difficult (brushy and/or many deadfalls, faint tread)

We hiked down this trail to camp for the night. Over 40 fallen trees made this pretty difficult for two 60+ hikers. Very steep with a lot of loose footing. Camp in good shape and very nice place to spend the night, with some rain. Stream flowing well and saw some fish. Looks like someone had been there recently do to some minor trash that we took care of. Climbing out was easier than going down.

Re: Ojito Camp Trail

Post by karl_schmidt on Wed Apr 16, 2014 1:04 pm

Date Hiked: February 17, 2014
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

While walking the Gamboa Trail to Stone Ridge Trail I was curious about Ojito camp, it had been a planned camp but we ended up camping at trail spring. I went down the Ojito Camp Trail about 5 minutes, felt like it would have been about half way down. The trail was easy to follow but there was encroaching brush and a few blowdowns that I had to climb over/around. It certainly seemed do-able but I was just scoping out the trail and turned around to meet back up with my hiking partner.

Re: Ojito Camp Trail

Post by jack_glendening on Sun May 26, 2013 9:50 am

Date Hiked: May 23, 2013
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

The rating is for the section down from Ojito saddle to the creek, where there is a small use camp. The trail was in suprisingly good shape, as good as parts of the Gamboa Trail I used to get there. I'd brought some loppers and cut off encroaching brush, but a significant amount of poison oak liies along the edges.

Getting to the now "historic" USFS Ojito Camp (the northern one on my trailmap) required creek walking for the first 1/8 mile, then moving over to the northeast creek bank for the next 1/8 mile. I'd never been to Ojito Camp and found it very attractive, situated alongside the creek with a pool containing some notably large fish. It's a fisherman's camp, as the narrow creek walls limit excursions to up or down stream. Its propped-up picnic table is a monument to days gone by - I did not want to sit on it and possibly collapse it. It had USFS stamped on it and was noticeably shorter than other, presumeably newer, tables I've seen at other camps. Another monument to days gone by, but not now serviceable, was a toilet giving the sitee a view of the creek.
Attachments
OjitoCamp.pano.sixthsize.jpg
"Lost" Ojito Camp

Re: Ojito Camp Trail

Post by RSIBryce on Wed Feb 27, 2013 1:23 pm

Date Hiked: February 11, 2013
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

Section: Ojito Camp

Hike down to Ojito Camp is a little rough, but the tread is there however a bit brushy and sometimes steep. Trail entrance is at junction with Gamboa and the trail to Goat Camp. We found a camp at the foot of the trail near the creek in good condition. Two other camps exist, but may not see much use.

Re: Ojito Camp Trail

Post by C M Heard on Sat Oct 08, 2011 10:58 am

Date Hiked: October 2, 2011
General Condition: Difficult (brushy and/or many deadfalls, faint tread)

On 2011-10-02 Paul Danielson and I hiked to Ojito Camp with the twin objectives of flagging the route to prevent its loss and to locate the historical campsites downstream from the bench where most everyone now seems to camp. Much to our surprise the only flag we needed to set was one near the start of the trail -- some person or persons unknown have been hacking away at the encroaching brush, and once you get onto the switchbacks below the Ojito Saddle the route is quite evident. There are still quite a few deadfalls down over the trail (including a 3' pine that's been there for several years), and quite a bit of gravel has accumulated on the tread. Because the trail is steep that can make for difficult footing, so I'll still have to rate it as difficult. Overall, however, it looks a lot better than when I went down there last year. It's still a beautiful place -- here's a photo of one particularly nice tree from the upper (unofficial) campsite at the bench above the creek where the trail arrives:

IMG_0021.JPG
View looking up and to the northeast from the upper (unofficial) camp

If instead of taking the obvious use trail down to the creek you follow some faint (but still evident) tread you'll come to a tangle of downed trees (including a downed madrone) with the remains of a fence within, the most visible piece being this girdled tree on your right:

IMG_0018.JPG
Fence remains on camp trail on south side of creek, downstream from upper (unofficial) camp

This appears to be the old camp trail. In my November 2006 report below I said
One of the downed madrones has the remains of the old sign on it, and covers up the old ice mold stove.
The sign is now gone, and this time I saw no remains of an ice mold stove; I think I must have mistaken some pieces of madrone bark for rusted metal. Anyway, if you continue downstream (which requires bushwhacking and is not recommended if you have a pack) you'll eventually get to this campsite, which is probably the once described in Schaffer's book (see also Carl Mounteer's report below from June 2004):

IMG_0009.JPG
Satellite historic campsite, on south side of creek

If you cross the creek and continue going downstream for another couple hundred yards or so you'll wind up at this campsite:

IMG_0010.JPG
Original historic campsite, on north side of creek

There are numerous fire rings and lots of trash at this camp, some on the ground and some in tree hollows. Much of the trash is quite old, but some is apparently quite recent; we removed what we could, but had to leave most of it.

//cmh

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