whayward Would you say 4wd is necessary? I have a rear wheel drive Ford Ranger with decent clearance.
I would say yes 4-wheel drive is required, but I am pretty cautious about this.
High clearance definitely helps out but won't solve all the issues. The couple we helped "rescue" on our trip didn't have high clearance, but that is not why they got stuck. They got stuck because they didn't have a lot of traction and their car was only 2-wheel drive.
It is pretty remote and you will probably not have cell service if you get stuck. The trail conditions change pretty rapidly and the last bit gets pretty steep a little before the place I camped at.
I would not say its less crowded than Prewitt Ridge though. They are both pretty popular.