Brewer's hike questions
I'll be in St. Thomas next weekend and have been wanting to hike up to Brewer's Cave for a long time. Where is the trailhead for this hike? And how technical is it? Overall just want some more info for this hike since it's a bit hard to find anything very specific online. Thanks
Hi @wjn1992, haven't hiked that trail since 2017 (pre-storms). There weren't any real trail markers at that time except that other hikers had tied ribbons and sprayed paint on a few trees to help show the way. On the far right of Brewer's Bay there are ruins next to the road; across the road from the ruins is the general area of the trail head. Not sure if there are any better markers now than there were 2 years ago. The hike is intermediate in difficultly: in part because its not well marked, and in part because its steep and involves climbing around some rocks. Give us an update if you go.
Just an update for anyone looking for information about this hike. A coworker of mine mentioned this hike to me, so I thought I would give it a try. I would describe it as a bit of a climb; there is a good deal of bouldering necessary and some treacherous parts. I wouldn't take any kids that were not at least teenagers. There are still some faded red spray-painted arrows marking the trail where you could potentially go wrong, so keep a look out for them. Near the top there is some rope tied between trees to give a hand hold on what what would otherwise be a difficult climb up a loose dirt section. When you get to the big rock, follow the face around to the west and pick up the trail that takes you to the top. It's a little less obvious where the trail is when you get to the top because of thick brush, but press on because it's worth it.
Coming down, however, was a nightmare. Just as I reached the top the rock it began to rain, and then rain really hard for about an hour. I had the time, so I waited out the weather and rested. Going down after the rain was hazardous. The steep dirt track near the top had turned into mud and I had to slide down from tree to tree. All the wet moss covered boulders became death traps. I took my time, almost two hours, to get down. It was an adventure and worth it, but I'd make a few recommendations:
Check the weather; don't go on a day if any rain is expected
Go with a friend. I kept thinking, if I slip and break my leg, I'm going to die out here. I didn't see another person in the 4 hours I was on the hill and my cell service was non-existent during the bad weather and some parts of the hike.
Wear a belt. I used my quick-release tactical belt and some trees to lower myself down the muddy parts. It's probably not necessary on a sunny day, but I'm glad I had it today.