Prewitt Loop Trail

Hoser
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed May 23, 2018 3:12 pm

Re: Prewitt Loop Trail

Post by Hoser »

Date Hiked: August 31, 2018
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

North Entrance;

The first few hundred yards of the North entrance has a lot of brush. The worst sections have been cleared enough to be passable now. There is a lot of poison oak so wear appropriate clothing.
Hoser
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed May 23, 2018 3:12 pm

Re: Prewitt Loop Trail

Post by Hoser »

Date Hiked: August 25, 2018
General Condition: Difficult (brushy and/or many deadfalls, faint tread)

North to just past the cattle gate;

The trail starts out extremely choked with brush and small trees to the point I would label it impassible. When I got to the first bend in the trail, I opted to take the use trail up to the point that it meets up with the original trail further up the mountain.

The trail enters a forested section which has moderate brush encroachment but the majority of the brush is poison oak. The tread was evident the whole way so there was no confusion about being off trail. There were no deadfalls. I went just past the cattle gate, then opted to hike to the ridge and take the use trail back down.

The use trail is a wilderness freeway but it is steeper in sections that the original trail. There was fog, so I avoided any unpleasant heat. I never made it to the water source, so I can't report on that.

Wonderful trail, hoping it gets more maintenance!
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K Vandevere
Posts: 291
Joined: Tue Aug 26, 2008 3:50 pm

Re: Prewitt Loop Trail

Post by K Vandevere »

Date Hiked: October 21, 2017
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

South trailhead to Kelly Camp

The trail begins as a Wilderness Freeway. The opening sections have recently been brushed out and the edges even appear to have been manicured with a weed-whacker. It doesn't last. As the climb continues, the recent work becomes more hit and miss and shortly before leaving the ridge and beginning the long traverse, the work reaches a decisive end. From this point forward, poison oak becomes unavoidable, there are frequent (though easily passed) deadfalls, branches must often be pushed aside, and the tread becomes increasingly narrow. Just before reaching Kelly Camp the tread becomes so degraded that the final 100 yards probably deserve to be rated "difficult." Kelly Camp (which has a nice ocean view through the trees, but little else to recommend it) is dry, but there are several water sources along the trail in the final two miles before the camp and another water source just beyond.
jjjjeremy

Re: Prewitt Loop Trail

Post by jjjjeremy »

Date Hiked: July 23, 2017
General Condition: Difficult (brushy and/or many deadfalls, faint tread)

Planned to hike from the northern trailhead to Stag Camp. Trail became covered in poison oak after about 500 yards. We turned back and took the Prewitt Ridge Use Trail / cattle trail that starts a few hundred yards south of the northern Prewitt Loop trailhead. That trail is missing from the trail conditions map, but is on the Google and Garmin files.

Once we reconnected with Prewitt Loop we were able to make it another mile or so until the poison oak took over again. Headed straight West/uphill and reconnected with Prewitt Ridge, and spent the night up there.

Stag Camp is likely accessible if you take the ridge trail and then cut East/Downhill through the grassy areas at the last possible moment to reconnect with Prewitt Loop before it heads back into the trees. You'd need a GPS or aerial photos to do this, though.

For what it's worth, I think I'd rather hike the ridge than head into the poison oak just to get to Stag Camp.
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jdoelman
Posts: 82
Joined: Tue Sep 02, 2008 11:47 am

Re: Prewitt Loop Trail

Post by jdoelman »

Date Hiked: June 7, 2017
General Condition: Difficult (brushy and/or many deadfalls, faint tread)

We followed the trail from the Mansfield trail north for about 2 miles.
Some portions of the 1st mile are inundated with Italian thistle but we were able to push through it relatively easily. Parts of the trail are brushy, poison oak was difficult to avoid. Short sections of heavy brush encroachment are encountered but we did not have difficulty finding the trail.
Note: After doing some investigation of the Silver Peak Wilderness boundaries I believe that this trail is incorrectly labeled as within the wilderness. It is within the Los Padres forest, but it is not within the wilderness boundary. The determination of what is and what is not within the wilderness is not easily surmised.

Editor (JG) note: my understanding is that this trail is entirely outside wilderness.
erika2560
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon May 01, 2017 3:35 pm

Re: Prewitt Loop Trail

Post by erika2560 »

Date Hiked: April 31, 2017
General Condition: Impassable (completely overgrown or tread obliterated)

Started North to south on loop. Parked eastern side of highway where Prewitt Loop starts.

First 2 miles:
Switchbacks, overgrown, thorny bushes, trail is starting to wash out in places next to steep drop-offs, trekking poles recommended. Tread carefully.
High, very high abundance of ticks, bug spray highly recommended. Brought my dog, picked over 100 ticks off of him. Deer ticks too.

Next two miles:
A lot of downed trees in forest. Was able to clear a way through most of them, able to crawl underneath some of the downed trees on path.
Tread carefully: path is soft and will give way if walking too close to the side of the trail.
High abundance of mosquitoes.

Plenty of water sources after first two miles. 6-7 springs. 4th mile there is a man-made pipe and trough with plenty of water. Very pretty waterfall shortly after that

Did not reach Stag Camp (4.1 miles). Trail became completely impassible at 4th mile. A lot of downed trees, trail completely disappeared. Might have been a false trail. There was a trail that veered sharply up a hill (thought it might have been a vantage point for the view.. could have actually been the actual trail to Stag Camp) too exhausted to check it out though. Ended up turning back.

For the first four miles still worth it. Absolutely beautiful this time of the year. Amazing views. Warm night didn't drop below 65 degrees.
ACoatFilledWithBees
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun May 08, 2016 11:15 pm

Re: Prewitt Loop Trail

Post by ACoatFilledWithBees »

Date Hiked: May 7, 2016
General Condition: Difficult (brushy and/or many deadfalls, faint tread)

Three of us did this trail in two days going South-North on the loop. The hike was fantastic, but the quality of the trail between Kelly and Stag was comically low. Erosion, rock slides, poison oak, and faint tread. The Stag-to-highway-1 descent has absolutely incredible views, and we saw a whale from the ridge during the last part of the descent.

Trail update:

USFS firestation to Kelly Camp: (4 miles, 4 hours)
Extensive poison oak on the trail, but the trail was otherwise quite obvious and overgrowth/erosion was relatively mild. Streams were running and Kelly camp itself seems in good condition.

Kelly Camp to Stag camp: (4.5 miles, 6 hours)
This was somewhere between difficult and impassable. The tread is gone in places, to the point that at several points we had to drop packs and run around for 15-30 minutes finding the trail. This was consistently a problem in the open/grassy areas. Someone has generously put up flags at some of these points, but (1) they're sparse+faded where they're needed most, and (2) there are several false-paths that are well worn but end ~100 ft down various hill sides. We tried to leave (or add) deadwood across those false trails. Multiple parts of the trail were seriously eroded and overgrown with brush including poison oak. I counted 4 fallen trees to clamber through and two that necessitated leaving the path. Right before Stag camp there is a particularly treacherous rockfall that was difficult to traverse and had a steep fall below us. All but the last two streams before Stag were running.

Side note: We stopped on the trail for water and were immediately attacked by biting ants. We seem to have chosen to stop on top of an ant hill (what luck!). I can't imagine that's a common event but heads up? Don't annoy the ants?

Stag Camp to Highway 1 (4 miles, 2 hours)
We stayed at Stag Camp overnight, it's overgrown with (mostly) non poison oak plants, and (as previously noted) a large tree has fallen into the branches of another tree and hangs precariously over the entire campsite. There was no running water immediately before Stag or between Stag and the highway. The path to the highway splits before it turns into the ridge hike, and the lower path seems to pass an enormous bees hive (we could hear them even before the split, and could see the 1000+ swarm from the upper path once we cleared the tree line). The descent towards Sand Dollar Beach is as beautiful as anything I've seen in Big Sur so far.
Attachments
Eroded Path Between Stag and Kelly
Eroded Path Between Stag and Kelly
Typical Tree Fall
Typical Tree Fall
LBehrmann
Posts: 68
Joined: Mon Dec 16, 2013 10:11 pm

Re: Prewitt Loop Trail

Post by LBehrmann »

Date Hiked: February 6, 2016
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

Hiked loop South to North, on official trail. I stayed at Kelly, and started early on February 7 for the remainder of the loop.

It is pretty much as the last report described. Some easily navigated downed trees and decent tread on the way to Kelly Camp. Creeks are flowing well, for now.

The tread between Kelly and Stag is often in serious need of help. The slide walk could be difficult for some. I think people have dug in enough to make it slightly less precarious. Excessive flagging.

Stag Camp has a dead tree that fell on the sign and fire ring.

There are many down trees the whole route. Ticks and poison oak are abundant.

A nice time of year to hike, nevertheless.
cel36
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Nov 29, 2015 10:04 pm

Re: Prewitt Loop Trail

Post by cel36 »

Date Hiked: November 29, 2015
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

I hiked this trail starting at the north entrance as a day hike. The couple of switchbacks leading up to the unofficial Prewitt Ridge use trail were brushy but passable. The usually soggy section has dried out despite the recent rains, but unfortunately ticks have already returned. After joining the ridgeline I took the Prewitt Ridge use trail uphill, which was free of brush or other obstacles. Just before the Prewitt Ridge trail starts following a road cut on the inland side of the ridge I took the connector east to the Prewitt Loop trail, which was noticeably less traveled but still evident.

Prewitt Ridge to Stag Camp: passable. The tread is faint, but somebody recently went to the trouble to flag the entire route which proved very helpful. Brush wasn't much of an issue and I don't recall any troublesome deadfalls. There was water available at the spring west of the campsite. Poison oak was dormant, but I imagine would be a problem throughout the loop for anyone susceptible.

Stag Camp to Kelly Camp: passable/difficult. The tread past Stag Camp was immediately fainter, with minor deadfalls just beyond the camp. After contouring along the slope to a dry ravine, the trail rounded another ridgeline to a slide bordered at the bottom by a few sycamores. The trail here was narrow and scree-covered but passable with care, although about a yard of trail in the center of the slide was precarious. From there the trail to the middle ridge was in decent shape, but south of middle ridge passed through dense chamise. I didn't encounter a slide near Kelly Camp, and the trail may have been rerouted uphill via a couple of switchbacks--the pin flags and flagging tape were very useful in this section. Dense oak litter made the surface slippery in places.

Kelly Camp to Highway 1: passable. I was in a hurry to finish up at this point, but there didn't seem to be any water sources near Kelly Camp. The trail was fairly good except for deadfalls, which probably totaled around 10. Most were easy to get around, but could cause trouble for backpackers or taller hikers. The tread was both wider and more evident in this section. Footing was also better without much oak litter or scree. The switchbacks to Mansfield Ravine (dry) were in better shape than the rest of the trail and easy to follow even in twilight.
Docmcjones

Re: Prewitt Loop Trail

Post by Docmcjones »

Date Hiked: February 15, 2015
General Condition: Impassable (completely overgrown or tread obliterated)

Hiked full backpack for overnight at Kelly camp then completed loop following day. Trail from south entrance to Kelly camp quite usable with 12-18 trees down on trail to clear over, under or drop pack proceed through tree pull pack through. Kelley camp in good condition with intact fire ring tent space well cleared. Flowing water a few yards up trail if needed. Hike time about 4hrs. Proceeded on trail following AM. Trail narrowed to foot path then to 6-12" wide trail at higher grassy elevation with steep slopes of a few hundred feet. Narrow trail most of the way to Stag. Two 10-15' sections of narrow trail completely gone due to rock slides with loose rock steeps for about 80' with boulder fields, redwoods and dense undergrowth bellow. Was able to traverse first slide area by grabbing scant vegetation and a couple of foot holds that didn't give way after multiple attempts. Not so lucky at second slide. No chance at hand holds or foot holds with out giving way. Finally made a controlled slide of about 30' to a foot hold then laterally a couple of yards to slope face. Tried ascent, but crumbly rock prevented. Descended to floor of dry creek bed. Boulder field with redwoods dense undergrowth. No chance bushwacking. Saw 75' rock face around the corner with enough solid hand and foot holds to ascend pushing pack ahead. Picked up trail at top. Proceeded to Stags, dozens of downed trees on trail. Not much at Stags other than picnic table. Rest of trail fair with more down trees areas of encroaching overgrowth. Made it to north trail head entrance about 6-7hrs after leaving Kelly camp. Reviewed trail conditions with Forrest service rep at Pacific Valley station next day. I recommend trail closure between Stags and Kelly-he indicated he was in agreement.
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