Ojito Camp Trail

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Topic review

Expand view Topic review: Ojito Camp Trail

Ojito Camp Trail - Shrouded Entrance but Fairly Clear to Camp

by Guest » Tue May 30, 2023 2:28 pm

Date Hiked: May 27, 2023
General Condition: Difficult (brushy and/or many deadfalls, faint tread)

Ojito Saddle - The connection to the Ojito Saddle is filled with big brushy blowdowns so stay close to the GPS and try to fight your way through the brush to reach the saddle.
- The trailhead of Ojito Trail is obscured by several blowdowns, so you'll need to hop over and climb through some thickets to connect to the trail, which is in fairly "good" condition despite the entrance. Definitely better than bushwacking your way to Ojito Camp.
- There were several blowdowns along the trail that you needed to avoid by cutting through the switchbacks or climbing over.
- Tread was loose duff.
- Trail was full of poison oak
- The small campsite right at the bottom of the trail was "cut in half" by a fallen tree, rendering the already small site much smaller. Could probably fit two sleeping pads and that's it.
- So we hiked downstream about 30 yards to the proper Ojito Camp, which lies on the right side of the stream (looking downstream), on top of a stream terrace. [JG: this is the location marked as Ojito Camp on many GPS apps - distance to official, more spacious, camp is ~450 yards] We cleared poison oak from the campground, and trimmed back much of the Bay Laurel that was growing into the site to open up the sky a bit. We reestablished the fire pit and the site's in good condition compared to the rest of Ojito Trail. A great base camp to explore the goodies that South Fork has to offer ;)

Re: Ojito Camp Trail

by ArthurMIranda » Sat Dec 29, 2018 7:41 pm

Date Hiked: December 29, 2018
General Condition: Difficult (brushy and/or many deadfalls, faint tread)

The trail had alot of tree debree , it had around 10 dead trees in the path and was very difficult to climb over or under. There was one big trunk with a diameter of 5 feet that covered the road, the rest of the trees that were a one to two feet in diameter.

Re: Ojito Camp Trail

by pantilat » Mon Oct 29, 2018 11:05 pm

Date Hiked: October 28, 2018
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

While the tread is very evident and brush is light there's at least a dozen new blowdowns over the trail (in addition to the logs that were already there last year). Lots of logs in all shapes and sizes to climb over and under to get to Ojito Camp. Water is flowing at the use camp where the trail meets Devils Creek then goes underground downstream near Ojito Camp. The water resurfaces once again downstream of Ojito Camp but the usecamp is clearly the preferred place to camp now judging by evidence of use and proximity to flowing surface water.

Re: Ojito Camp Trail

by anneirene » 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

by pantilat » 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

by Rob » 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

by christoph28 » 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

by Carl Mounteer » 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.
Click on this last picture to rotate it clockwise 90 degrees to show its proper perspective.
Click on this last picture to rotate it clockwise 90 degrees to show its proper perspective.

Re: Ojito Camp Trail

by dhwrench » 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

by karl_schmidt » 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.