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Prewitt Loop Trail

Re: Prewitt Loop Trail

Postby bill waycott on Sun Apr 20, 2014 1:40 pm

Date Hiked: April 13, 2014
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

I hiked with eleven others from the SLO Co Sierra Club. We departed the Pacific Valley Ranger Station via the south fork at 9:30 am, completing the loop via the north fork at 5:00 pm the same day. The trail tread was in good shape from the trailhead via the south fork to Kelly camp and from the trailhead via the north fork to Stag camp. Between Kelly and Stag camps the tread can be soft and/or missing in places. There were roughly 15 downed trees, some from the recent past, others from years ago. Poison oak was ever present; long pants are recommended. When hiking the loop from south to north, beware of a faux trail, which diverts from the real trail in the second major open clearing, encountered after Kelly camp. The faux trail goes straight, gaining elevation up the hillside; the real trail bears to the left heading down the hillside. Look for pink nylon tape tied to bushes and trees to the left in the clearing.
bill waycott
 

Prewitt Loop Trail-South Side

Postby jbl on Mon Jan 20, 2014 11:24 am

Date Hiked: January 18, 2014
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

This report covers the first 2.5 miles of the south side of the Prewitt Loop Trail, which I and 4 others (including a dog) traversed after having gone up to the Plaskett Ridge Road on the Mansfield Ravine/Willett Trail and Shouey Ridge. The trail is partly Clear, mostly Wilderness Freeway. I'll describe in the uphill direction.

Section: South Trailhead (behind Fire Station) to junction with old roadway (at ~0.2 miles from trailhead): The fire crews have really widened the uphill section here, which is great because there is abundant PO along this short stretch and absent fire crew work here, this can be a nasty start to the hike.

Section: Junction with old roadway to Prewitt/Mansfield Ravine (aka Willett) Trail junction (at ~0.7 miles from trailhead): This is a road and is Wilderness Freeway.
NOTE THAT THE SIGN MARKING THE TURNOFF FOR THE CONTINUATION OF THE PREWITT LOOP (which cuts off to the left down towards the creek) WAS THERE AT THE TURNOFF WHEN WE DID OUR HIKE BUT IT WAS APPARENTLY DOWN/MISSING FOR A PERIOD RECENTLY (IT IS STANDING PRECARIOUSLY IN A PILE OF ROCKS) AND IT IS EASY TO MISS THE TURNOFF IF THE SIGN ISN’T THERE, SO BE AWARE THAT THE PREWITT LOOP TRAIL DOES DROP OFF THE ROAD BEFORE YOU ENTER THE NARROW CANYON WHERE THE ROAD IS HEADED. If you find yourself at the spot shown in the below picture (see the short wooden bridge across the creek (at the right) and the stone stairs leading to a nice terrace (on the left):
00-mansfield bridge and terrace.jpeg
If you end up here, you've missed the Prewitt Trail turnoff


...you’ve gone past the Prewitt turnoff and are on the Mansfield Ravine (aka Willett) trail.

After you’ve taken the Prewitt turnoff, you’ll quickly drop down to cross the creek (water was flowing), and at the crossing you’ll see this interesting redwood, which is a conjoined double-trunked tree with one trunk felled and then a new small trunk grew out of the cut and went up about 10’ and stopped but another new trunk popped out of the side of that one and has continued to grow upwards:
00a-redwood.JPG


As we approached the above-described creek crossing (and the end of a long day on the trail) from the uphill side, our shadows were getting quite long:
prewitt-long shadow.JPG
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jbl
 
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Re: Prewitt Loop Trail

Postby asavoie on Thu Jan 16, 2014 4:27 pm

Date Hiked: January 15, 2014
General Condition: Impassable (completely overgrown or tread obliterated)

We started at the southern trail head by the USFS station. We made it to Kelly camp. On the way to Kelly camp there are several fallen trees to step over, climb over, or go around. There was very little water on the way. Kelly camp has a fire ring and a small sign on a tree. One mile past the camp we lost the trail. The trail was ruined by landslide and downed trees. We did not want to climb through the bushes to try to find the trail so we turned around. We went back to Kelly camp.

Hiking and Backpacking Big Sur book by Analise Elliot says the trail between Stag camp and Kelly Camp is "sketchy and not recommended". I found this to be true. There must have been a slide recently that obscured the trail. There were plenty of deer trails just the people trail vanished. We made it half way on the loop but couldnt finish.
asavoie
 

Re: Prewitt Loop Trail

Postby Michael Brian Wolfe on Sun Dec 01, 2013 8:40 pm

Date Hiked: November 29, 2012
General Condition: Difficult (brushy and/or many deadfalls, faint tread)

Trail was good on the South trailhead. We lost the trail soon after the fork and the creek crossing. The tread was so bad that it just wasn't worth an injury so we turned around . We will go back and give it a go again in the near future.
Michael Brian Wolfe
 

Re: Prewitt Loop Trail

Postby at_scott on Mon Oct 07, 2013 12:48 pm

Date Hiked: October 5, 2013
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

My family and I hiked half of the Prewitt trail from the northern trail head as a day hike. We hiked about 7.5 miles of the trail before turning back. The trail is in good shape as far as Stag Camp. After Stag Camp, we encountered several washed out portions of the trail that made hiking a little treacherous but nothing that was bad at all. There were several downed trees crossing the trail. We found water at the troughs before Stag Camp and at a couple of stream crossings between Stag Camp and Kelly Camp. There was no water at Stag Camp.

We took the more northern "Prewitt Ridge Use Trail" route for the first section of the hike. The ocean view along the ridge was incredible.

We did not turn around due to trail conditions. That's a longer story that I want to type up here :D
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Re: Prewitt Loop Trail

Postby David MA on Thu Mar 14, 2013 10:07 pm

Date Hiked: February 16, 2013
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

Hiked the entire loop from Feb 16-18. The great part about this trail is that the campsites are all about four miles apart. My 76 year old father and a friend and I hiked the trail starting at the north trailhead. The trail is in good shape all the way to Stagg Camp. Stagg camp is still my least favorite camp in the Silver Peak area. There is a spring that needs a box and pipes to divert the flow around the camp. There is also just one tent site. There is water near Stagg. Down to a trickle. Get water where you find it. We camped in a nice area near Stagg and then headed on to the next four mile section.

The first part of the next four mile trail section has three big slides. The slides are passable but tough. I carried my Dad's pack through so he could have good balance. The tread is evident and we had no problem following the trail. Clippers and saws in hand we cleared a lot of brush along the trail. This is the toughest four miles I have walked in some time. The tread is out sloped 30 degrees in a lot of areas and needs to be rebuilt. Very hard on the knees.

Kelly Camp is great with places to sit and a good fire ring. We met three groups and camped with a family from the Bay Area. The last day we did a lot of clearing along the trail. We cut up at least 12 trees along the trail. We had to leave about four trees because they we just too big. There is water on all three sections. This is a dry year so get water where you find it. The ticks in the chaparral were prolific. Easy to spot on the grass. The PO was not bad yet because it was not leafing out yet. There is also a big redwood down on the trail at the south fork creek. The trail goes straight up the hill here and that is tough . Great trail. With a little work it would be awesome.
David MA
 

Re: Prewitt Loop Trail

Postby gfelsman on Mon Nov 12, 2012 6:49 pm

Date Hiked: November 12, 2012
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

Date Hiked: November 12, 2012
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

I had a chance to hike the Nothern end of the Prewitt Loop Trail. Needless to say it was a beautiful day. One could see forever.

On this day I followed the main trail to the ridge junction. Then headed on the actual trail to just short of the cattle trough for a snack. I then headed back then took the spur trail to the ridge for wonderful views of Cone Peak, Big Sur Coastline and The Pacific Valley below.

The trail was in great condition for Prewitt. The first mile ot the ridge junction is a wilderness freeway. The Forest Service has made this section of trail really nice. Once past the ridge junction the trail is clear with encroaching coyote bush for the most part. the tread is well defined and easy to follow. There were no downed trees along this section of trail.

Descending the ridge trail is clear and easy to follow. The once super wide dozer cut is still there but the trail is now a single track down the sill with grass on both side. Only one short section of coyote brush across the trail a short distance before you return the main trail again.

North Prewiit Trail Sign_640.jpg
The Trailhead


Sand Dollar Beach _1024_2.jpg
Sand Dollar Beach View


Prewitt Drainage_1024.jpg
Prewitt Creek Drainage
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Re: Prewitt Loop Trail

Postby DavidMA on Wed Apr 18, 2012 5:59 am

Date Hiked: April 14, 2012
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

Hiked from the North Prewitt Loop trailhead to 1/2 mile beyond Stagg Camp. The tread is decent to Stagg. Lot of water up there right now. The recent rain had not affected the trail too badly. There is a section of trail about 300 feet from the trail head that is a swamp because of spring activity. The beginging part of the trail is mostly clear with the typical spring growth encroaching on the trail, did some clearing here. Very little poison oak until about 2 miles into the hike. About the time you start seeing some redwoods the poison oak starts encroaching on the trail. The poison oak lasts for about a mile or more, on and off. Our group spent some time cliping it back and removing other downfall along the trail. There were some trees and branches on the trail and we also cleared those all the way to Stagg, and beyond a little ways.

Stagg camp was interesting. A steeply sloping campsite with a bog running through the middle and no where for a tent on even slightly level ground. There was also some garbage there that we hiked out the next day. A small BBQ unit, propane bottles and a clorox jug (no clorox in it luckily). The bright spot is the table, it is in great shape. Hiking past Stagg the trail was evident with a few trees down. Cleared and pushed those off the trail for about 1/2 mile. No report beyond that point. Great views.

We also hiked what is called the Willet Trail (Mansfield Ravine trail). We cleared a lot of downfall except for about 2-3 big trees. That trail is in good shape.
DavidMA
 

Re: Prewitt Loop Trail

Postby Farley on Tue Oct 11, 2011 6:15 pm

Date Hiked: October 10, 2011
General Condition: Difficult (brushy and/or many deadfalls, faint tread)

Just got a call in here to the VWA office from Murdock at the Nacimiento Forest Service Fire Station. He reported that he just walked the Prewitt Trail and there were 25 trees down with one huge one in the middle section. The trees get bad about and hour in from the southern trailhead and an hour and a half in from the northern trailhead.
He's hoping to get his crew in to cut up some of the trees with the goal of getting the trail to the point where he can get pack stock in to help carry gear to clear the largest of the trees.
If you're interested in working on this trail, contact us at and we'll tell you how to get in touch with Murdock to help.
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Re: Prewitt Loop Trail

Postby jbl on Sun Jun 12, 2011 8:45 am

Date Hiked: June 11, 2011
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

This report covers the first 3 miles of the south side of the loop.

Section: Ranger Station to "switchbacks" up west-facing ridge (by switchbacks I mean the long back-and-forth sections, some not really switchbacks per se, that take you up the ridge): WILDERNESS HIGHWAY (other than some minor encroaching PO in the first couple of hundred feet after you leave the Ranger
Station)

Section: switchbacks up west-facing ridge: CLEAR. Where the trail crosses the ridgeline on some of the upper switchbacks, there is some serious erosion (this appears to be due in part to the way the firebreak was cut and that waterbars may not have been put in properly); also on the portions of the switchbacks that wrap into the brush on the north side of the ridge, brush is encroaching a bit.

Section: top of switchbacks to about mile 3 of the trail: PASSABLE TO CLEAR. The brush (including lots of PO) is encroaching quite a bit here, and there are a few blowdowns. I cleared one nasty snag at about the 2 mile mark as best as I could with my 6" saw, but there's still a ~1' trunk across the trail there that you've got to duck under. There are a pair of ~3' redwoods down at a spot where the trail crosses a gravelly hillside (about 2.5 miles in) and a slight uphill detour is needed to get to where you can climb over the trees.
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