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Buckeye Trail

Re: Buckeye Trail from Salmon Creek to Buckeye Camp

Postby gfelsman on Sun Sep 24, 2017 12:01 pm

Date Hiked: September 23, 2017
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

I had a chance to hike the Buckeye Trail from the Salmon Creek Station to Buckeye Camp and back. I started early to stay cool. This trail has great views of the Big Sur Coast and is well worth the trip. Up and back is 7 miles with 2300 foot elevation gain and loss.

Trail conditions are as follows.

1. Leaving the Salmon Creek Station the trail is clear and steep for the first half mile. Very little encroaching brush on this section
2. Traversing the slope to the Soda Springs/Buckeye Junction, the trail is clear and well maintained.
3. Heading to Soda Springs Creek, the fir 1/3 is clear as it was recently brushed. The rest of the way the tread is in fair condition with a few slippery sections.
4. Leaving Soda Springs Creek, the trail narrows and become much more uneven. One really needs to watch there footing heading up the trail.
5. Breaking out into the grasslands, the tread is still narrow and uneven.
6. Once you round the first ridge crossing the valley before descending to Buckeye Camp, the tread is a bit better and a little wider.

Luckily the encroaching brush as trees are minimal making it easy to see the tread to place ones feet. There are four trees across the trail. Two before Soda Springs Creek, one most of the way to Buckeye Camp. The last is right at Buckeye Camp. All are easily negotiable with out much effort.

Buckeye Camp was clean and clear, the water was flowing nicely at the nearby spring.
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Re: Buckeye Trail

Postby mmellea on Tue Aug 15, 2017 9:38 pm

Date Hiked: August 5, 2017
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

Hiked from intersection of Cruikshank Trail to HWY 1 (near the Salmon Creek Guard Station).

The first couple miles (almost to Buckeye Camp) have some poison oak and are mostly through forest/scrubland. Buckeye Camp has a small stream of quickly flowing water and so is suitable for a refill.

Past Buckeye, poison oak begins to thin out and you start to get those views of the Pacific ocean. Be sure to take some of the usetrails that detour to a vantage point--you'll find the best panoramas there.

The last mile of the trail (after leaving Silver Peak wilderness) was nice in the morning, with a cool ocean mist descending toward the highway.

Re: Buckeye Trail

Postby at_scott on Mon Jun 05, 2017 8:48 am

Date Hiked: June 3, 2017
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

I hiked from the intersection of the Cruikshank Trail to Buckeye Camp where I spent the night. The trail has sections where tall grass is growing in it but was otherwise easy to follow.

Water is seeping in the trough at camp but nothing was coming out of the pipe. I got my water from the creek about 2/10s of a mile north of camp.

Buckeye Camp was very nice. The meadow is full of 4-5 foot tall grass but was really very nice. Owls were hooting most of the night. We didn't see anybody else all weekend.
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Re: Buckeye Trail

Postby Jeff Cannon on Sat May 06, 2017 6:35 pm

Date Hiked: May 6, 2017
General Condition: Difficult (brushy and/or many deadfalls, faint tread)

Today was an epic day! Started at Ragged Point and made it to the top of Silver Peak by way of Dutra Flat, the Ridge Road and Lions Den camp. The use trail from North of Lions Den alternates between Passable and Difficult all the way over Silver Peak and down to where it intersects the Buckeye Trail about 1/2 mile south of Buckeye Camp. From the peak register, it appears virtually no one has been in this area since PCH closed in the winter storms. I was the first to sign the peak register since December! From Buckeye Camp to Salmon Creek, the trail is very difficult to follow whenever it is out from under the trees. There was surprisingly little dead fall, maybe three trees in all, but the grasses are so thick the trail is rarely visible in the open areas. It gets a bit dicey in spots where the tread is eroded, and still not visible. At one spot I had to search for a good twenty minutes to find it. Had I not hiked this route a number of times, I doubt I could have stayed on it at all. The last slope down to the old ranger station at Salmon Creek is really bad with tons of thistle, po, and all manner of other grasses obscuring a rutted and rocky track. I walked PCH back to Ragged Point, having had enough fun for one day!
Jeff Cannon
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Re: Buckeye Trail

Postby westwardian on Sun May 22, 2016 8:59 pm

Date Hiked: May 21, 2016
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

My wife and I along with one other couple planned a single night trip along the Buckeye Trail with no real plans for exactly where we would want to camp that night. We started off at the trailhead at Salmon Creek Station on a wide, well-groomed trail. We helped a day hiker who had taken a 40+ foot fall into a dry creek bed at the first gulch after slipping on steep, loose rocks. Other than the many cuts and possible fractured ribs he seemed OK. We helped him out of the dry creek and back down to his car where he was able to drive to the hospital near his house in SLO.

After we got the hiker to safety we were able to continue our trip along Buckeye. There are many places with loose soil and overgrown plants once you get past the Soda Springs Creek, which was flowing well. One thing we ignored from previous posters was the amount of poison oak along the trail, at some places it seems impossible to avoid, but we definitely got covered while helping the injured hiker.

Buckeye Camp was clean and we didn't see any trash or human waste around the site. As the previous poster noted, the picnic table has seen much better days. As a 210+ man I was afraid that I may finish it off every time I sat down. There was hair and a rock ring from the dead horse that other posters stated before, but no noticeable smells. I too am curious about how it died up there. The spring looked fine to me although there was a hose sitting next to it that looked like it had broken off of the concrete box. We went to the restroom far away and packed out all of our trash, hopefully leaving the site as nice as possible.

Re: Buckeye Trail

Postby billomansiek on Sun May 22, 2016 4:52 pm

Date Hiked: May 15, 2016
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

The Buckeye Trail was in pretty good condition coming out of Salmon Creek Station all the way to Buckeye Camp. There has been a lot of work done on this trail since I used it last seven years ago. CHEERS to those who have done trailwork recently there!!!! Buckeye camp is in good shape. There is plenty of water flowing now, but the old catch basin is in need of work and a better system was there 7 years ago for getting water. The picnic table has seen better days. It is wobbly, but adequate for use.

The Buckeye Trail from Buckeye Camp to the Cruikshank Trail is also in good condition and easy to follow. Make sure that when leaving the Buckeye camp where the picnic table is, that you head toward the left through the small meadow to pick up the trail on the other end. If you cut straight across the meadow, you will pick up a trail that is not what you are looking for...

Re: Buckeye Trail

Postby gfelsman on Wed Apr 27, 2016 7:05 pm

Date Hiked: April 25, 2016
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

Darlene and I hiked the Buckeye Trail from Upper Cruikshank Camp to the ridge overlooking the Pacific and Buckeye Camp itself.

The trail was in great shape all the way to the saddle. We removed one medium sized lid that had fallen into the trail. Views from the ridge was fantastic. We could see our car 2000 feet below. Many flowers were along this route. There is some encroaching poison oak, but is easily avoided.

We thank Mike, ACE Crews and the VWA for restoring this trail to Buckeye Camp and the lower portion of the Cruikshank Trail this year. It makes for nice pleasant hiking.
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Re: Buckeye Trail

Postby meg1784 on Mon Mar 07, 2016 4:23 pm

Date Hiked: February 27, 2016
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

Hiked buckeye trail to villa creek camp. Trail was pretty good at the beginning, gets a little narrow while approaching buckeye camp. The section from buckeye camp to cruickshank junction had some fallen trees/bushes and gets very steep and muddy in one section, but not dangerous and very doable. Trail is clear from cruickshank junction to villa creek. The stream was flowing in full force at villa creek but still passable.

Buckeye Trail

Postby jbl on Wed Feb 17, 2016 4:39 pm

Date Hiked: February 14, 2016
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

I did an overnighter to Buckeye Camp on President's weekend, this report covers the section from the Soda Springs Trail junction to the Cruikshank Trail junction at Upper Cruikshank Camp.

SECTION: SODA SPRINGS TRAIL JUNCTION TO BUCKEYE CAMP: Clear to Passable. Tread is evident, brush is generally off the trail (there's lots of PO at thigh level and below but generally off the trail), there are no trees or branches down, what brings this section down to the "Passable" range is the substantial erosion on the steep sidehill (until the spot where you emerge onto the high open ridge about a mile from Buckeye Camp) which narrows the trail in places with a steep dropoff on the side (i.e. just as this section of trail has been for years). Water is flowing nicely at the 2nd creek crossing:


BUCKEYE CAMP REPORT: The old hose that has been at the water source for many years is gone, someone has put a flimsier hose there, water is flowing steadily. Someone has constructed a giant rock ring (I hope to god that they didn't use it for a fire!) near the main site under the giant bay tree, people shouldn't do things like this. The meadow is very green and beautiful. Off across the meadow we came across the bones of the horse which had died at Buckeye Camp a year or 2 ago and which had originally been left near the main campsite before finally being dragged off:

Dead Horse Bones

SECTION: BUCKEYE CAMP TO THE CRUIKSHANK TRAIL JUNCTION AND CRUIKSHANK CAMP: The VWA-organized ACE trail crew (with Mike Heard as overseer) has been working the Buckeye Trail out of Cruikshank Camp for a while and as of last weekend they were within 1/4 mile of so of the Redwood Gulch crossing just below Buckeye Camp, they were going to work through yesterday or today so I'll assume that they got pretty close to the Redwood Gulch crossing.

Mike Heard Working Solo to Remove a Nasty PO Thicket

Trail Crew working just above Redwood Gulch crossing

The section of trail that they've worked on so far (which is about 90% of the trail between Cruikshank and Buckeye camps) is CLEAR to WILDERNESS HIGHWAY, anyone whose memory (like mine) is filled with recollections of the horrific, narrow, slid away, overgrown route that's been there for many years owes it to themselves to hike this section, they will be blown away by how much it has been improved. Here's a picture of the section of trail between Buckshank Ridge and Redwood Gulch taken from near Buckeye Camp which shows how nice the trail now is (you could barely see it before from this spot, and what you did see meandered up and down due to the slide-prone nature of the hillside where it is located):

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Re: Buckeye Trail

Postby toejam on Sun Jan 31, 2016 9:07 am

Date Hiked: January 30, 2016
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

Ran into Mike Heard and a trail crew making significant improvements to the trail between Buckeye Meadow & Upper Cruikshank yesterday. Bushes removed from the tread and switchbacks cleaned up between Buckeye & saddle. Tread widened in the knee-high PO section on the hillside above Cruikshank.
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