Ventana Wilderness Forums • View topic - Salmon Creek Trail

Salmon Creek Trail

Re: Salmon Creek Trail

Postby Rob on Mon Jun 12, 2017 12:14 am

Date Hiked: June 11, 2017
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

I day-hiked this trail from the Coast Ridge down to the waterfall just above highway 1, and then back up again. It was a cool and breezy day, which kept the insect life at bay. I was pleasantly surprised at the trail conditions, considering that the highway 1 trailhead has been closed for much of this year.

Starting from the bottom, the trail seemed clear up to Spruce Creek camp. Above the camp there are a few places where the trail is narrow and exposed (do not fall here). There was a large blowdown just before Estrella camp, but it had a reasonable detour.

Above Estrella there was a section where the trail had slid down a loose slope, and you have to kick-step or plunge-step to keep your footing above a steep and loose area. Stiff boots came in handy there. There were a few other spots where the trail tread was starting to become questionable. In the upper sections the brush closed in at times, forcing me to crouch for brief sections. There were the occasional encounters with sharp yucca blades too.

The last 0.8 mile though was a breeze -- recent treadwork and brush clearing made that part super nice.

On the way down I stopped at the waterfall between Estrella and Spruce Creek -- there was a steep and loose use trail, but it was so worth it. Very scenic, and I saw a nice tiger lily blooming nearby.

The lower waterfall was pretty spectacular. I saw one backpacking party the whole day; a family of four with their dog who came up via Ragged Point.
Posts: 67
Joined: Thu Sep 18, 2008 3:21 pm
Location: SJC

Re: Salmon Creek Trail

Postby mttgrmm on Mon Jul 25, 2016 4:45 pm

Date Hiked: July 21, 2016
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

Hiked North from HWY 1 trail head. Clearly marked, well trodden trail until Estrella Camp. Shortly past Estrella camp there's a short portion (roughly 30 yards long) that was quite challenging to pass... looked like a landslide. Difficult footing, but certainly passable. Up north of Estrella the trail climbs steadily, and in the afternoons you are in direct sunlight. Bring plenty of water, as north of Estrella there's no quality source. The trail is a bit narrow after Estrella, with small overgrowth in a few spots... but there were no moments of "where'd the trail go?" All in all a very pleasant hike. At the top of the trail, we turned left on South Coast Ridge Rd and then trekked west towards Lion Den camp on Cruickshank. We were able to get cell service briefly on South Coast Ridge Rd, but as soon as we started back down Cruickshank we lost service... so if you need to get your interwebs fix, do it from Ridge Rd.
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Jul 25, 2016 4:11 pm

Re: Salmon Creek Trail

Postby K Vandevere on Wed Jul 06, 2016 9:52 pm

Date Hiked: July 6, 2016
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

The lower portions of the Salmon Creek Trail are Clear or even Wilderness Freeway, but beware. Less than 100 yards from the trailhead the trail makes a hard right, while a a very well developed use trail continues straight ahead and descends to the base of the Salmon Creek Falls. There used to be a sign pointing the way, but some cretin has destroyed it. As a consequence, I found lots of backpackers wandering around in the maze of boulders and use trails down by the falls trying to find the trail. The main trail climbs relentlessly from the trailhead. If you find yourself descending toward the creek after less than a quarter mile of hiking you are going the wrong way.
User avatar
K Vandevere
Posts: 263
Joined: Tue Aug 26, 2008 3:50 pm

Re: Salmon Creek Trail

Postby billomansiek on Sun May 22, 2016 5:12 pm

Date Hiked: May 18, 2016
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

We took the Salmon Creek Trail downhill from the Coast Ridge Road. The trail at the road is well marked and easy to find. There has been recent trail work done in the upper portions to cut back some overgrowth, but there is still a lot of work to be done. As you head down you will have lots of branches to push away from your face, but the trail is obvious and easy to follow. As you get lower, there is no way to avoid coming into contact with poison oak - make sure to hike in pants and a shirt. Before reaching Estrella Camp, there is one portion of the trail that is sketchy. It is an area that can be washed out at times, so the tread is very narrow. Take your time, and it will not be an issue at all. Estrella camp is wide open with a few different obvious camping spots and tons of water accessible. We hiked on to Spruce Camp which is really great and the trail between the camps is wilderness highway. There is a small camping spot right along the creek (it now has a small picnic table that wasn't there 7 years ago). There is another larger camping location about 20 yards down trail right where the uphill trail enters the camp. This is a great location to camp. The creek offers some great places to rinse off! The temperature at Spruce Creek Camp is a little chillier than in the other camping areas because of the shade and the bountiful creek, so be prepared for those cooler temps. Between Spruce Creek Camp and the trailhead it is Wilderness Highway hiking along a beautiful trail. There is poison oak along the trail, but in this section of the trail it is easy to avoid.

Re: Salmon Creek Trail

Postby caley89 on Sun Apr 17, 2016 9:54 pm

Date Hiked: April 15, 2016
General Condition: Difficult (brushy and/or many deadfalls, faint tread)

Pretty miserable north of Estrella camp, extremely overgrown, full of ticks, and makes you want to give up. No shade either. South of Estrella camp is fine.

Re: Salmon Creek Trail

Postby LoJo on Sun Apr 17, 2016 9:16 pm

Date Hiked: April 16, 2016
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

The trail up to Spruce Camp is clear and in great condition. A few fallen trees that have been mulched apart so the tread is defined.

Between Spruce Camp and Estrella Camp, the tread has spots that are not well defined, mainly due to rock slides (which have been worked on, but are still quite narrow while on steep terrain). Overall, great hike, and getting to Estrella Camp was worth it! The upper falls are quite full, so the sound and view over them is incredible. Once at Estrella, a seat by the creek for lunch is perfect.

Thanks to everyone who has kept this (and other trails in the area) kept up so they are passable. It is greatly appreciated!

Oh, and it is Spring, so reptiles are out. We ran into a garter snake and a Monterey ring snake (small gray/black with red ring at the neck). They were HARD to see in the grass and seemingly came out of nowhere, so be sure to stay aware. They are no problem, but I always have my eyes out for rattlesnakes, which I hope won't appear out of nowhere! :-)

Re: Salmon Creek Trail

Postby Guest on Wed Apr 13, 2016 11:06 pm

Date Hiked: April 12, 2016
General Condition: Difficult (brushy and/or many deadfalls, faint tread)

Trail becomes quite difficult about .5 miles north of Estrella Camp all the way until it hits the South Coast Ridge Road. Very overgrown, lots of poison oak, lots of ticks for a solid 1-1.5 miles. Made 1 mile feel like 3! If you go, try to make your backpack as skinny as possible, taller is better than wider for your pack here.

Re: Salmon Creek Trail

Postby Al Normandin on Mon Dec 07, 2015 10:28 am

Date Hiked: December 6, 2015
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

The trail is clear to Spruce and Estrella Camps. The only possible confusion of trail direction was at the two camps as several very short dead end side spurs led to other camp sites or to the stream below for water. Even the trail cuts in steep hillsides had at least a foot wide clearance. Small water flows provide water at these camps. The remaining 2 1/2 miles of trail to Coast Ride Road is very brushy and the steep hillside trail cuts were severely eroded making it somewhat dangerous. But at all points the trail direction was obvious. The steep shaped narrow canyon portions were in fairly good shape. But the sunny and open wide canyon areas often with south facing slopes were heavily grown in making the wearing of long pants required. Chaparral shrubs like Chamise were heavily grown in making it unavoidable to not plow through them. Surpringingly the poison oak (leafless at this time of year) was mostly avoidable. Although this should be a low season for ticks, I found 4 ticks on me due to the overgrowth. On Coast Ride Road there were easily seen quality trail signs for both Salmon Creek and Cruickshank trialheads should anyone want to hike a shuttle required U-shape hike.
Al Normandin

Re: Salmon Creek Trail

Postby trail_guy on Fri Jul 24, 2015 10:44 am

Date Hiked: July 1, 2015
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

The trail is mostly free of Poison oak as far as Spruce Creek campground . The trail at the "Spruce Creek Slide" between Spruce Creek and Estrella campgrounds has been cleared of debris. River crossing at Spruce Creek easy. Ticks are present on the trail. Spruce Creek trail towards Dutra Flats been cleared of poison oak for about the first two miles. Bring your own clippers for the rest. A short detour has been cut around the very large tree that is across the trail about 2 miles in. Water available along Salmon and Spruce creeks.

Re: Salmon Creek Trail

Postby gfelsman on Sat May 23, 2015 6:05 pm

Date Hiked: May 23, 2015
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

Five of us hiked the Salmon Creek Trail today. It was a beautiful day. Cool and no bugs. The trail itself is in good condition all the way to Estrella Camp. Very little encroaching brush or PO. The slide above Spruce Camp has been greatly improved. The work was not done by a CCC crew as mentioned below. The work made this section of trail easily passable again exposing some of the work done over 12 years ago by volunteers from the SLO area. If we can keep the duff off the trail here. This section of trail may stabilize further in the future making for a great hike.

Water is flowing nicely in Salmon, Spruce and Estrella Creek.

It was a busy weekend. Lots of backpackers and day hikers on a trek down the hill. The good this is we saw all age groups using the trail, young couples, families with kids and many groups of friends.

As of today there were no fires in any fire pit we came across.

I have attached of few photos of the Spruce Creek Slide as it looks today.
Salmon Creek Slide in 2009..jpg
Salmon Creek Slide in 2009, the tread is a foot wider, closer to Forest Service standards.
Salmon Creek Slide 1.jpg
Salmon Creek Slide Repair 2015. Removing the rock another foots would make it look like the 2009 reconstruction making it even easier to traverse.
Salmon Creek Slide 2.jpg
Salmon Creek Slide Repair 2015
Salmon Creek Slide 3.jpg
Salmon Creek Slide Repair 2015
Salmon Creek Slide 4.jpg
Salmon Creek Slide Repair 2015
User avatar
Posts: 173
Joined: Thu Aug 28, 2008 9:33 pm


Return to Silver Peak Wilderness Trails

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 1 guest