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Salmon Creek Trail

Re: Salmon Creek Trail

Postby RCreek on Mon Jan 21, 2013 10:49 am

Date Hiked: January 16, 2013
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

We did a loop hike up Salmon Creek, down Cruikshank, then over on Buckeye - three nights. Great hiking weather, though cold at night. No one but us doing any backpacking.
Salmon Creek Trail is clear up through Estrella, with plenty of water at both Estrella and Spruce Creek Camps. After Estrella the trail is being overgrown with brush, but did not require pack removal or crawling, and was easily visible.
RCreek
 

Re: Salmon Creek Trail

Postby RSI SamE on Thu Dec 13, 2012 12:57 pm

Date Hiked: October 28, 2012
General Condition: Difficult (brushy and/or many deadfalls, faint tread)

Salmon Creek Trail
Twixt Coast Road
And Spruce Creek Trail
• Trail: Difficult (brushy)
• People: 0
• Signage: Sign on Coast Road lacks destinations, no sign at Spruce Camp
• Note 1: Lots of brush and yucca between Coast Road and Estrella Camp. Trail falls away at one point and is almost gone.

Salmon Creek Trail
Twixt Spruce Camp
And Highway 1
• Trail: Clear
• People: 6
• Signage: Sign at trail head clear. No sign down to Salmon Falls.
• Note 1: Lots of camps at Salmon Falls.
• Note 2: Coming out of Spruce Camp are two trails which merge later.
• Note 3: Another trail splits off near highway 1 only to rejoin the main trail shortly.
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Re: Salmon Creek Trail

Postby Hillary on Mon Nov 05, 2012 9:19 pm

Date Hiked: November 2, 2012
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

Did the Salmon Creek Trail - Cruikshank Trail - Buckeye Trail loop this weekend. The segment from HWY 1 on Salmon Creek Trail to Estrella Camp was a wilderness freeway; I don't recall any difficulties. Water at Estrella Camp was plentiful. From Estrella Camp up to South Coast Ridge Road was Passable/Difficult. At no point did we lose the trail, but it was heavily overgrown with about 2 miles of "duck and plow" style hiking. There was one sketchy section where there had been a slide and we had to pick our way across about 30' of interesting terrain. And it was HOT HOT HOT this weekend! Phew! Had a great time, but definitely have some scrapes and bruises from the segment between Estrella Camp and S. Coast Ridge Road. It was worth it - hiking poles and long sleeves recommended!
Hillary
 

Re: Salmon Creek Trail

Postby RSIBryce on Wed Oct 31, 2012 11:54 am

Date Hiked: October 29, 2012
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

Section: Spruce Creek Junction to Salmon Creek Trailhead

Trail is open and well traveled. Salmon Creek Falls is an amazing spot. Lots of use camps hidden among the boulders on the way down. We saw about 6 people in that short stretch. A popular day hike for obvious reasons.
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Re: Salmon Creek Trail

Postby RSIBryce on Wed Oct 31, 2012 11:49 am

Date Hiked: October 29, 2012
General Condition: Difficult (brushy and/or many deadfalls, faint tread)

Section: South Coast Ridge Road to Spruce Creek Trail Junction

The entrance to the trail is unmarked from the road except the remaining two posts from what was probably a sign at one point. Someone must have taken it down for some reason. Rather nondescript and brushy entrance but not too far from where the Cruickshank trail meets the road after Lion Den. Keep an eye out for the two posts. Trail down to Estrella is quite brushy, we were glad to be going down and not up. Trail is really steep at some sections and practically falling away to very steep slides. Tread carefully! Some deadfall to deal with in some areas too but nothing too extravagant. Estrella camp is a beautiful spot. Once you reach Spruce Camp the trail veers up rather than along the creek and a use trail has been developed by people who probably think the trail cutting up is the Spruce Creek Trail junction which is close by. It is indeed still the Salmon Creek trail and is a much easier way to go then the steep use trail that is creating lots of erosion. Epic creek canyon views and north facing shaded hiking, a really excellent section of travel despite the difficulties.
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Re: Salmon Creek Trail

Postby mikesplain on Wed Oct 17, 2012 10:58 am

Date Hiked: September 30, 2012
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

[Ed. note- moved from Cruikshank trail report by Jeff 17-Oct-2012]

The next morning we continued on our loop, having to walk along the Ridge Road for a brief time and then beginning our decent, pushing our way through the thickest of the brush we were to encounter, mostly chapparal terrain. It was a solid 1-2 miles of thick brush, though no PO. The brush then became less dense and the PO returned. There were also a few areas of washouts which required extreme caution to pass. We arrived at Estrella camp which was in a beautiful setting along the creek and looked heavily used. Following the creek further down Salmon Creek trail, we passed Spruce camp which was really small but also a pretty setting along the creek. From Estralla camp down to the trails end, the brush and PO became less dense and the trail more well traveled.

Overall, it was a great experience. We only passed two other parties (only one couple were backpacking, the others day hiking), and neither of us ended up being affected by PO. I would caution anyone looking to do this loop though due to the PO and because the it was a strenuous 16 miles. Although almost all downhill, the stretch between Ridge Road and Estralla camp were almost impassable in places due to the brush and the washouts. We are both young guys in good physical condition and at times, were second guessing our ambitiousness, but it was definitely worth it.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/87549442@N06/8096107393/
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Re: Salmon Creek Trail

Postby chamma on Tue Sep 25, 2012 2:58 pm

Date Hiked: September 23, 2012
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

Hi,

this is my first time posting here. First off, this is a great website and thanks to everyone who has worked to put it together. I would like to get involved in doing some volunteer trail work and will be taking further action on that within a few weeks.

Now for a report. On Sunday 9/23, a couple friends and I hiked up this trail, the first mile of which is easily passable although brush is starting to encroach a bit in places. At the big serpentine outcrop at about 850' elev., we ran into a party of backpackers coming out who confirmed that the bee/yellowjacket nest is still active - one of their kids had been stung twice. As our party's intention was to ascend Mt Mars, we then exited the trail. It was a beautiful day with fog hovering around 300' all day long, so no ocean views, but clear above with great views up and down the coastline. At the top of the grassy slopes just below the summit, we ran into a problem. We couldn't find a path through the brush to the summit (which Google Earth shows to be about 500' east of where we were). Someone has recently been cutting through the brush on a path towards the summit, but they haven't gotten very far. We looked around a bit for a trail, going to the left along the brush line and to the right through the pine grove, but ultimately gave up and called it a day. Kind of a bummer since I knew we were close, but we weren't interested in bushwhacking through tall, interlocking manzanita and chamise.

So my question to the group is, is there a trail to the summit that we missed, or is it completely overgrown after years of no maintenance? It appears on Google Earth that going to the right through the pine grove gets you a bit closer to the summit, but if there was a trail there, we missed it. Another question - heading east from the summit to the official Dutra camp trail, how is the going? Is there a well-established use trail there?

Back at the bottom afterwards, we soaked our feet in the pool below the waterfall, which was a great end to the trip. Surprisingly, the waterfall still has a fair amount of water in it. We picked up a bit of trash on the way out too, always a good idea.

Thanks,

Chris
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Re: Salmon Creek Trail

Postby fjkehl on Mon Sep 24, 2012 4:19 pm

Date Hiked: September 22, 2012
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

We day-hiked up Salmon Creek Trail from Highway 1 to Estrella Camp and back. The route is in good condition, but there are a lot of places where erosion both above and below the trail has left only a narrow sliver of trail and very careful footing is required. Not recommended for small children or large animals. Water is still plentiful in Salmon and Spruce Creeks. The small creek next to Estrella Camp still has plenty of water. We did not encounter any yellowjackets, but that might have just been good luck on our part. There were a lot of flies, but thankfully no ticks this time. Poison oak is abundant, but it doesn't encroach on the trail and is already turning red, making it easy to avoid (for now). We also saw a large adult male tarantula crossing the trail on the open serpentine slope about 1/2 mile up from the trailhead. Apparently, it's mating season and they're more active during the day.
fjkehl
 

Re: Salmon Creek Trail

Postby Michelle on Wed Aug 29, 2012 4:17 pm

Date Hiked: August 25, 2012
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

Hi, we just hiked the Salmon Creek trail all the way to Estrella Camp. The trail was in good condition the entire way and mostly shaded. Water is still flowing at the Salmon Creek waterfall, Salmon Creek, and Spruce Creek. Plentiful water source at Spruce and Estrella Camp, small wading pools at Spruce but too shallow for swimming at Estrella. Lots of poison oak on the trail. We did encounter the yellowjacket's nest as mentioned in the previous post, but it's hard to tell which rock outcropping is the correct one (it was the 3rd or 4th one that we passed). Heading east, it's actually most of the way to the signed fork that splits to Spruce Camp and Dutra Flat, soon after pine trees start showing on the trail. I recommend wearing long sleeves, pants, and covering your head if possible because the bees tend to attack at head level. We had one person in our group stung on the head, and several people felt bees hit their head without getting stung. Heading west, it's about 5-10 minutes past the signed fork. After the signed fork, you'll pass a seasonal stream crossing (now dry) at a tight bend in the trail, which is a good place to suit up. The bees are in the woods immediately after the stream crossing. The trail past Estrella Camp to Coast Ridge Road is heavily overgrown, but it's possible to reach the road. Overall, very beautiful at 70 degrees, some views of the ocean if the fog isn't there, and lots of green bay, oak, and pine trees along the way.
Michelle
 

Re: Salmon Creek Trail

Postby samantha_chen on Mon Aug 20, 2012 2:34 pm

Hi, was there any water at Spruce Creek or Estrella campgrounds? If so, how strong was the creek flow?
Banks wrote:Date Hiked: July 29, 2012
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

Hiked with kids back to Estrella camp. The mile between Spruce Creek campground and Estrella has some eroded parts, all currently passable. We met two people that came into Estrella from the coast road, and they said that the trail is still difficult and overgrown (as expected).

On the way out on Sunday, we learned that there was a yellowjacket nest on the trail halfway between Spruce Creek and Hwy 1. We (5 of us) were able to hike past it with no stings, but heard from at least two different groups that had been stung (bit) multiple times. Long clothes on the first few hikers really helped I think. As you are coming from highway 1, right after you peak and enter forested area (which starts to slope down), there is a 10' or so rock outcropping (almost a diving board) on your left. The nest is in the hillside on your right about 10 feet past that. There's no really good indicator when coming from the Spruce Creek side.
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