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Buckeye Trail

Re: Buckeye Trail

Postby SkyPilot84 on Sun Jun 20, 2010 2:42 pm

Date Hiked: June 19, 2010
General Condition: Difficult (brushy and/or many deadfalls, faint tread)

We hiked from the Cruikshank Trailhead at Highway 1 to Villa Creek Camp, then over to Alder Creek Camp where we camped for the night.

The portion of the Buckeye Trail that we hiked (from Villa Creek Camp to Alder Creek Camp) was overgrown, but passable. I'll omit many details, as I'd be providing the same information given below in the May 30 post. I agree with the conditions described in that post. I will add that we had some trouble following the trail in 2 spots:

(1) We struggled to find the trail junction at Villa Creek. The actual junction is unmarked and is further east than my WIlderness Press map indicates. The junction is not immediately obvious, but heads uphill at a minor stream crossing as the Villa Creek trail heads down along the creek to Villa Creek Camp.

(2) A tricky spot atop the ridge between Villa Creek canyon and Alder Creek canyon. Here the trail becomes especially faint and overgrown with low-growing brush. At one point the trail splits into several faint use trails as it climbs a minor hump. We randomly chose one of the trails and reached the top of the hump then, fortunately spotted the true trail far below as it exited the field of brush. This was the only portion where we were forced to go off trail. The minor hump I described is the last bit of climbing to be done before dropping into Alder Creek canyon.

As is mentioned in a previous report, there is quite a bit of poison oak growing over the trail to the north side of Alder Creek.

There has been some vandalism and litter (beer bottles, shotgun shells, etc.) at Alder Creek Camp.

Our plan was to wake up the next morning and follow the road that passes by Alder Creek Camp up to Coast Ridge Road, then hike up Alder Peak, but were forced to turn around about 0.75 miles from Alder Creek Camp (before CRR) because the road was too overgrown to continue. We crawled on hands & knees through some brush, then stood up covered in ticks. No fun. We retraced our steps along the Buckeye trail back to the Cruikshank trail, finding it easier to navigate heading from north to south than from south to north (granted that we had been on the trail just the day before).

Re: Buckeye Trail

Postby bshank on Sun Jun 13, 2010 1:54 pm

Date Hiked: June 11, 2010
General Condition: Difficult (brushy and/or many deadfalls, faint tread)

Our first trip in Silver Peak. Turned around after five minutes due to heavily overgrown trail from the trailhead at Salmon Creek station. Had our dog, so our tolerance for the pricklies was less than usual. Still, lots of bushwacking. Maybe we should have pressed on a bit further, but we got a late start. Ended up at Spruce Camp.

Re: Buckeye Trail

Postby whispersiren on Wed Jun 02, 2010 11:34 pm

Date Hiked: May 30, 2010
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

We backpacked the Buckeye Trail as part of a loop around Silver Peak Wilderness. We started at Alder Creek Camp taking the Buckeye to Cruikshank, then up Cruikshank to Salmon, down Salmon to the highway, then recapturing the Buckeye taking it back to Alder Camp. Making it about a 22 mile backpacking loop. We chose to camp at Spruce Creek Camp.

The section of Buckeye from Alder Creek to Villa Camp/Cruikshank is definitely in need of maintenance, though is passable. As the trail descends below Alder Creek, through the forest paralelling the creek, there is much poison oak that is difficult to avoid. Once the trail crosses Alder Creek and begins making a climbing traverse up beautiful grass and floral slopes, the trail is invisible in some places. Worse as it drops down to meet the Cruikshank Trail/Villa Creek, it is often overgrown with shin-high flowering bushes, making the trail thin and precarious and it was easy to slip off the trail on the down slope.

The Buckeye merges with the Cruikshank for a bit at Alder Creek, crosses it and then splits off near Upper Cruikchank camp. We headed up the Cruikshank which is obviously more used and wasn't as bad at least up to Silver Camp, beyond it is overgrown with poison oak and brush in some places, with a few low branches to duck under but isn't too bad. Beyond Lion's Den the trail gets far more brushy with thick chaparral to weave through, particularly near The Coast Ridge Road. Easier for a day hiker than someone carrying a larger backpack.

From the Coast Road down Salmon Creek to about 2100 ft or about where the chaparral zone is replaced with oaks we were hiking through very dense brush, well above our heads and required keeping the arms tucked in. A group coming the other direction suggested wearing long sleeves for this part, which was a good idea (though it was too hot the day we hiked it to do this). The poison oak was also bad in some places. The trail narrows very thinly in some places, particularly over what looked like an old mud slide. Fortunately, enough hikers have gone across the slope that a use trail has formed. Beyond Estrella camp the trail is wide and well used. There was one tree to climb over at the Spruce Creek Trail junction, but the trail was otherwise is excellent condition.

From Old Salmon Station at Hwy 1, the Buckeye trail is passable with occasional sections, like the the Alder Creek portion, where the trail, particularly when traversing in the sun, is overgrown with shin-high flowering bushes and is eroding on the down slope. Watch out for poison oak in the shadier parts. Overall its in far better condition than the Alder creek part . The views are striking, as far as the Channel Islands on a clear day and Buckeye Camp has a nice spring.

The junction where Buckeye breaks away from the Cruikshank and heads back up to Alder really needs a trail sign. It is very faint and can easily be missed. We only knew it was there because we had come the other direction and recognized it.

Overall we really enjoyed all three trails, despite the overgrown and obvious neglect. It was far slower and much harder going than if the trail was in better condition. So keep that in mind when deciding your itinerary. We also saw two baby rattle snakes and heard one.

Buckeye Trail

Postby ChasWill51 on Wed Jun 02, 2010 6:55 am

Date Hiked: May 30, 2010
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

Buckeye Trail, May 30, 2010, from Salmon Station TH to Cruickshank Camp. The trail from Salmon Station to Buckeye Camp is a clear with good tread and open of vegetation. PO is present on the steep trail coming up from Station but below the knee. It is rare in the grassy areas.

After Buckeye the trail remains clear but there are some soft areas on the steep grassy sections as the trail approaches the final ridge before the descent to Cruikshank. Here the trail has collapsed on the down slope side. There is abundant PO between that ridge and Cruickshank, but it is generally below the knee.
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Re: Buckeye Trail

Postby SLO on Fri Mar 19, 2010 11:38 pm

Date Hiked: February 13, 2010
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

Great hike and camping spot (Buckeye camp). The trail is clear to passable.

Re: Buckeye Trail

Postby gfelsman on Mon Mar 15, 2010 8:41 pm

Date Hiked: March 14, 2010
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

I only rate this trail a clear (minus) as there are no real deadfalls along the trail between Upper Cruikshank and the ridge north of Buckeye Camp. No ducking for low limbs or pushing through heavy brush required to traverse this section of trail. Poison oak more abundant along this trail and just starting to leaf out. The trail is easy to follow but has much less traffic than Cruikshank Trail.

The spring next to the trail is bubbling away about 2/3 the way to the ridge. We saw lots of lowers on this section of trail.
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Buckeye Trail

Postby PhillyH on Wed Jan 20, 2010 2:02 pm

Date Hiked: November 27, 2009
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

Didn't come across poison oak or overgrown bush. The trail was clear and we were lucky to have clear weather. This trail is gorgeous on a clear day. Awesome coastal/ocean and mountain views. There was a small spout with some water at Buckeye Camp. We hiked up to Villa Creek and camped there. All in all, the trail was easy to follow and there seemed to be ample water at all the campsites.

Buckeye trail

Postby boy_scout on Tue Dec 08, 2009 8:51 am

Date Hiked: December 6, 2009
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

As previously reported, the trail is clear of poison oak and other brush. However, from Buckeye camp to the Soda spring trail junction, the tread is sketchy in parts with several slides. It was also very dry (right before the storm hit) on Sunday night/Monday morning with lots of dry leaves on the trail making the footing slippery.

Otherwise, a great hike with incredible ocean views! Buckeye camp itself was great and water plentiful at the Spring.

Clear to Cruikshank Trail

Postby jbl on Tue Oct 06, 2009 12:25 pm

Date Hiked: October 3, 2009
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

The trail is clear all the way from the Salmon Creek Station to Upper Cruikshank Camp, with tread well defined (the very minor slides in the section after the Soda Springs Trail junction are relatively easy to negotiate), brush (including ever-encroaching poison oak) generally cut back (there are sections where you can't avoid it at knee and below level, but you don't need to push through any), and water flowing nicely at Buckeye Camp. Unfortunately, some campers had left trash in both sites at Buckeye camp, which we packed out.
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Buckey Trail

Postby gfelsman on Sun Jun 28, 2009 9:48 pm

Date Hiked: June 28, 2009
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

Seven of us hiked to Alder Camp from Upper Cruikshank Camp.

It was warm but we all made it up and back.

Trail conditions are as follows:

Upper Cruikshank to Villa Creek Camp Clear.

Villa Creek Camp to Saddle, tread is well defined, lots of encraoching brush along this section. It makes travel a bit slow, but easy to follow. One dead fall along the trail which has already been routed around. On the descent of this trail section watch the footing it gets slippery in some spots with some steep grades.

From Top of Saddle to Alder Creek, condition is passable to clear. Tread is well defined and easy to follow. as you get closer to Alder Creek there are some thick section of scrub oaks along the trail. Poison oak becomes more prevalent as you reach Alder Creek.

From Alder Creek to Alder Camp, passable to clear. Tread is well defined and easy to follow. One deadfall across the trail. Lots of encraoching posion oak on thie section, approx 1/2 to 3/4 mile.

A great trail to hike for those inclined to take this trip. 14 miles round trip, 2700 foot elevation gain and loss from Highway 1. Take lots of water or at least a filter. Great cooing off spots at Villa Creek Camp and Villa Creek itself.
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