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Salmon Creek Trail

Re: Salmon Creek Trail to Estrella Camp

Postby gfelsman on Tue Aug 29, 2017 9:28 pm

Date Hiked: August 28, 2017
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

My wife and I had a chance to hike from Hwy 1 to Estrella Camp and back. Despite the predicted warm weather. We lucked out as it was relatively cool with no bugs until we reached Estrella Camp. We promptly left and returned to Spruce Camp for a pleasant lunch stop.

Since our last trip on July 4th, things have improved along this stretch of trail. The downed trees have been removed, the slide shortly past Spruce Camp has been made wider and now is easy to cross thanks to the USFS.

There are two trouble spots at present both easily traversed on foot.

1. Shortly past the slide there is a snag of trees. Most of the limbs have been cut. But beware of the tree limbs above when you cross this section.

2. Just past the tree snag is a group of rocks that have fallen on the trail.

Other than that there are a few narrow spots and very little encroaching brush all the way to camp.

We encountered two groups of hikers on the trail and 9 people at the falls during our journey.

Remember, at this time no campfires are permitted in the LPNF. Only portable gas stoves with a valid Fire Permit. Please do not build any fire rings or have campfires until the ban is lifted. This is usually in early December.
Attachments
Tree Snag 1.jpg
Tree Snag
Rock on Trail 1.jpg
Rocks on Trail
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Re: Salmon Creek Trail

Postby mmellea on Tue Aug 15, 2017 9:48 pm

Date Hiked: August 4, 2017
General Condition: Difficult (brushy and/or many deadfalls, faint tread)

Hiked from Salmon Creek Guard Station to S Coast Ridge Road.

Salmon Creek -> Spruce Camp: clear, with some narrow portions where slides were, but very passable.

Spruce Camp -> Estrella: also clear, with water at Estrella camp. As mentioned earlier, this is the last water source on the trail. There appear to be a few paths as you reach Estrella camp, but the one to the right (if coming from Spruce) will take you down to the creek and then to Estrella. Unfortunately, we had no tape, or we would have marked it.

Estrella -> S Coast Ridge Road: this section is what gives the trail its "Difficult" rating. After passing some of the slides mentioned earlier (which are passable, but precarious) the trail becomes thoroughly overgrown -- we were walking through brush tunnels for a decent part of the way. And if things weren't extremely overgrown, they were either infested with poison oak or these blue spiny plants (not sure the species) that were sharp enough to draw some pinpricks of blood. The trail clears out 3/4 mile before S Coast Ridge Road, much to our relief.
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Re: Salmon Creek Trail to Spruce Camp and a little beyond

Postby gfelsman on Tue Jul 04, 2017 9:19 pm

gfelsman wrote:Date Hiked: June 30, 2017
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

My wife and I had a chance to hike the lower portion of the Salmon Creek Trail today after the road has been re-opened. Here are a few comments.

1. The road closure is just past the Salmon Creek Ranger Station which allows parking in the lot at the station. This gives access to both Salmon Creek and Buckeye Trails.

2. The Trail to Spruce Camp is clear and easy to following with some encroaching brush.

3. There are several minor snags and a small wash out just before the Spruce Creek Trail Junction. All are easy to navigate

4. Once at Spruce Camp, crossing the creek is easy, but the actual trail is covered by a large bush. There is a use trail just to the left that leads around the bush.

5. From Spruce Camp on to Estrella we only got to go another 1/4 miles. As we hit the slide that has been there for years. There is no real solution to this slide, but as we started to cross it we got halfway, the next 30 feet or so was completely covered in loose rocks. We probably could of got across it with a lot of care, but it is a 50 foot slide into the creek if you slip. We erred on the side of caution. (Thus if you don't like heights or are unsure of your footing, maybe this is far as you might want to go.)

6. Level II Fire Restrictions are in place, meaning no Campfires in the backcountry. Only gas/propane stoves are allowed with a valid Fire Permit.

All in all we had a great hike, cool weather no flies or ticks to speak of and a nice snack spot at Spruce Camp. Happy hiking and be safe.


Item 4, the bush leaving Spruce Camp has been removed.

Item 5. Slide past Spruce Camp. A narrow piece of tread has been established across the slide making it easier to get across.

New. Just before Estrella Camp, a large Oak has come down across the trail. Easily bypassed by the use trail that has been already established around the tree.
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Re: Salmon Creek Trail to Spruce Camp and a little beyond

Postby gfelsman on Fri Jun 30, 2017 4:34 pm

Date Hiked: June 30, 2017
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

My wife and I had a chance to hike the lower portion of the Salmon Creek Trail today after the road has been re-opened. Here are a few comments.

1. The road closure is just past the Salmon Creek Ranger Station which allows parking in the lot at the station. This gives access to both Salmon Creek and Buckeye Trails.

2. The Trail to Spruce Camp is clear and easy to following with some encroaching brush.

3. There are several minor snags and a small wash out just before the Spruce Creek Trail Junction. All are easy to navigate

4. Once at Spruce Camp, crossing the creek is easy, but the actual trail is covered by a large bush. There is a use trail just to the left that leads around the bush.

5. From Spruce Camp on to Estrella we only got to go another 1/4 miles. As we hit the slide that has been there for years. There is no real solution to this slide, but as we started to cross it we got halfway, the next 30 feet or so was completely covered in loose rocks. We probably could of got across it with a lot of care, but it is a 50 foot slide into the creek if you slip. We erred on the side of caution. (Thus if you don't like heights or are unsure of your footing, maybe this is far as you might want to go.)

6. Level II Fire Restrictions are in place, meaning no Campfires in the backcountry. Only gas/propane stoves are allowed with a valid Fire Permit.

All in all we had a great hike, cool weather no flies or ticks to speak of and a nice snack spot at Spruce Camp. Happy hiking and be safe.
Attachments
Leaving Spruce Camp.jpg
Trail covered by bush leaving Spruce Camp
Trail wash out just before Spruce Creek Trail Junction.jpg
Wash out before Spruce Creek Trail Junction
Tree Across Trail 1.jpg
Tree across Trail
Slide above Spruce Creek Camp.jpg
Salmon Creek Slide just past Spruce Camp.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
caley89
 

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! :-)
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