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Salmon Creek Trail

Re: Salmon Creek Trail

Postby whispersiren on Wed Jun 02, 2010 11:39 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.
whispersiren
 

Re: Salmon Creek Trail

Postby Bevojohn on Wed Jun 02, 2010 6:54 pm

Date Hiked: April 29, 2010
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

I descended down this trail after doing the loop from Lion's Den. At 1st it's touch & go with lots of overgrowth though the trails always easy to see. The poison oak is EVERYWHERE. The trail gets much better the closer one gets to Hwy 1 / Salmon Crk Falls. It was beautiful.
Bevojohn
 

Salmon Creek Trail

Postby ChasWill51 on Wed Jun 02, 2010 6:40 am

Date Hiked: May 29, 2010
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

Salmon Creek Trail, May 29, 2010, from Hwy 1 TH to Ridge Rd. The from Hwy 1 to Estrella Camp is a freeway with good tread, and open of vegetation. PO is rare but present, generally below knee height and very avoidable. There are some soft sections of trail in the grassy area at the top of the first mile or so just before you enter the "permanent" tree cover. Here, the trail is slumping on the steep slope. Looks like it will need some shovel work soon.

After Estrella the trail is passable as the tread remains evident all the way to the ridge road. The vegetation is closing in at many places requiring use of hands to push the bushes out of the way. Difficulty of travel is compounded by PO. It is knee high, waist high, chest high, over your head, crossing over the trail and interlaced in seemingly innocuous plants. Once you hit the chaparral most of the PO disappears but the brush is still thick and choking the trail.
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Salmon Creek/HW1 to Spruce Creek campground - to Dutra Flat

Postby LHBCMAN on Fri May 14, 2010 2:05 pm

Date Hiked: May 11, 2010
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

Hiked on May 11-12 from Hwy 1 to Dutra Flat, back to Spruce Ck camp, on to Estrella camp and back to Hwy 1. The section of trail between Hw1 and Spruce Ck camp is clear. Very clear, in fact, because it seems that the poison oak has been sprayed with an herbicide. All the PO, with some overspray on other native plants like thimbleberry and morning glory, were conspicuously wilted while other species were not. And it was not because the vines had been cut. Wilted leaves were on stems that were still in the ground and attached to adjacent vines. Looked like it was done within one week of my passing through. I am certainly not in love with poison oak but I don't suppose this method of trail maintenance is approved for a wilderness area, let along the LPNF? Moderator's note: according to FSM 2320, use of chemicals (including herbicides) inside Wilderness requires approval from the Regional Forester and is allowed only for certain specific purposes. Removal of native plants such as poison oak for the convenience of trail users is not one of those allowed purposes. This was almost certainly done by someone doing renegade work without the approval of the Forest Service.

The trail to Dutra Flat and Estrella campgrounds are clear and easy. I only removed one ceonothus that was over the trail between Spruce camp trail junction and the saddle to Dutra Flat.
Last edited by C M Heard on Sat May 15, 2010 9:09 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Add moderator's note regarding the use of herbicides in Wilderness.
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Re: Salmon Creek Trail

Postby adrian taron on Mon Mar 15, 2010 4:41 pm

Date Hiked: March 10, 2010
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

Hiked in from Hwy. 1 to the Coast Ridge Road and back. The trail to Spruce Camp is in good condition, though there are some rather steep steps in the last section down to the camp. Past Spruce Camp about 3 or 400 yards there is a scree slide that always causes problems. Right now, the trail through it is readily apparent and I would not consider it dangerous. From there to Estrella Camp the trail is once again in generally good condition.Estrella Camp and its general surroundings are particularly beautiful with lots of water and abundant wildflowers. Past Estrella the trail is intermittently brushy and overgrown with some tread slippage due to deadfalls and chaparral intrusion. I spent several hours clearing the worst deadfalls but it still needs attention. I would consider this section passable rather than difficult, but it will take a lot of work to make it clear.
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Salmon Creek Trail Mud Slide

Postby gfelsman on Tue Jan 26, 2010 9:23 pm

PhillyH wrote:Date Hiked: November 29, 2009
General Condition: Difficult (brushy and/or many deadfalls, faint tread)

We hiked this from Lion's Den down towards Spruce Creek (we followed the loop from Buckeye to Cruishank to Coast Ridge and then to Salmon Creek). The trail was easy to follow and was not too overgrown. A couple of guys mentioned that parts of this trail were really "shady" but we decided to try it instead of turning all the way back around. There are some areas along the trail where you will need to duck because the trees have grown low. However, it was not a major issue, but can be annoying if you are tall.

HOWEVER, as bmiller mentioned, there was one section of this trail that was completely nonexistant due to a mudslide or rockslide (between Lion's Den and Estrella). This part was completely impassable and we had to detour by hiking our way down to the river and bouldering/following the river until it reached Spruce Creek camp. This added an extra 3-4 hours. I would not recommend attempting to cross the mudslide. My friend tried and was very close to slipping down with the rest of the mudslide.

We filled our packs with water at the spring at Lion's Den. In late November, the water was low/slow, but we were able to get enough to fill our water packs and hike down to our car at the end of Salmon Creek.



Do you know how far down from the summit the mud slide is and do you have any photos you could share?
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Between Estrella Camp and Lion's Den Camp

Postby PhillyH on Wed Jan 20, 2010 1:38 pm

Date Hiked: November 29, 2009
General Condition: Difficult (brushy and/or many deadfalls, faint tread)

We hiked this from Lion's Den down towards Spruce Creek (we followed the loop from Buckeye to Cruishank to Coast Ridge and then to Salmon Creek). The trail was easy to follow and was not too overgrown. A couple of guys mentioned that parts of this trail were really "shady" but we decided to try it instead of turning all the way back around. There are some areas along the trail where you will need to duck because the trees have grown low. However, it was not a major issue, but can be annoying if you are tall.

HOWEVER, as bmiller mentioned, there was one section of this trail that was completely nonexistant due to a mudslide or rockslide (between Lion's Den and Estrella). This part was completely impassable and we had to detour by hiking our way down to the river and bouldering/following the river until it reached Spruce Creek camp. This added an extra 3-4 hours. I would not recommend attempting to cross the mudslide. My friend tried and was very close to slipping down with the rest of the mudslide.

We filled our packs with water at the spring at Lion's Den. In late November, the water was low/slow, but we were able to get enough to fill our water packs and hike down to our car at the end of Salmon Creek.
PhillyH
 

Trail between estrella camp and south coast ridge rd

Postby bmiller on Fri Aug 21, 2009 3:50 pm

Date Hiked: August 21, 2009
General Condition: Difficult (brushy and/or many deadfalls, faint tread)

Much of this trail is tight quarters for anyone who has a large pack on. The brush had grown up and over our heads for most of this trail with ALOT of low hanging branches and ALOT of poison oak on the sides. Anyone carrying a large pack will get snagged on something at least a few times.

There is almost no deadfall on this trail BUT....there is one dangerous spot where the trail has been wiped out completely by a rock/dirt slide. It's about a 20-30 ft stretch with very loose soil and small rocks on it the whole time. We couldn't even see the other side of the trail until we were halfway across. Its clear that this trail has not been maintained in a long time by anyone. The only good thing to say about this trail is that the tread was evident except for the rockslide.

The only place to get water at all is at Estrella camp, then after that there is nothing on the trail or the SCRR. Your next chance at water is a small spring at Lion's Den camp.

Overall....dont bother with this trail unless your goal is backpacking past this trail.
bmiller
 

Salmon Creek Trail Report

Postby gfelsman on Mon Jul 06, 2009 8:42 pm

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

I had a chance to hike from Highway 1 to Estrella Camp and back today, the weather was cool for summer and only a few bugs. I did not see a tick the entire day. The trail itself is in good condition and clear all the way to Estrella Camp. I saw evidence of recent campfires, but all were out that I had checked at both Spruce and Estrella Camp. I did not check the site across the river at Spruce Camp.

As one aproaches Spruce Camp from the trail junction there are a few places where poison oak is across the trail. I cleared some of them.

It was a nice hike still plenty of flowers.
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Salmon Creek Trail

Postby mikesplain on Wed May 27, 2009 6:21 pm

Date Hiked: May 23, 2009
General Condition: Wilderness Freeway (Heavily used and/or well maintained)

It was a beautiful day as Darlene and I headed up the Salomon Creek Trail to Estrella Camp. The weather was cool and we had no flies or ticks on this trip whatsoever. The flowers were in full bloom.

The trail itself is in great shape being called Clear to Wilderness Freeway to Estrella Camp and back. There were a few sections where a slide made footing a bit difficult. But a lot of work has been done on this trail. The slide above Spruce Camp has been recut with wide tread. Many of the open slopes also had the tread regraded improving footing.

Crossing Spruce Creek was easy.

Being Memorial Day weekend and the Pine Ridge Trail being closed this trail was the busiest I have ever seen.

One group and three of our friends went to Dutra Flat Camp for the night. Another three groups were headed to Estrella Camp for the night. There was already one couple camping at Estrella Camp when we got there. In total there were eight different backpack groups totaling over 30 peope. There were people camped at Salmon Falls an dSpruce Camp. The pullout at Salmon Falls was overflowing with cars.

People just wanted to be out.
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