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Salmon Creek Trail

Salmon Creek Trail Conditions History - 2000-2008

Postby Site Administrator on Fri May 01, 2009 2:53 pm

Conditions reported by: Jim Compton
Survey date: 24-MAY-2008
General: PASSABLE
Specific:

If there was a rating between "Passable" and "Difficult," I'd choose that. Our group leaders preceded us with machetes and got most
of the encroaching poison oak, but there was still a fair amount, particularly from 1/2 mi below Spruce Creek camp to 1/2 mi
above Estrella camp. Above there, the biggest challenge was the combination of encroaching chapparal, narrow/poor tread, and
relentless grade.
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Conditions reported by: Terence Collins
Survey date: 11-MAY-2008
General: PASSABLE
Specific:

Section: Coast Highway to Spruce Creek Camp - Clear

The trail was clear with some unavoidable poison oak encounters.

Section: Spruce Creek Camp to Estrella Camp - Passable

This section had 3 small trees that had fallen over the trail but passable as well as a pretty tricky hike along a severe washout (trail not for small children or people with fear of heights). Estrella Camp was in excellent condition and the creek was flowing.
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Conditions reported by: Ben
Survey date: 2-MAY-2008
General: PASSABLE
Specific:

Section: Estrella Camp to South Coast Ridge Road - Passable

There are numerous Yucca whipplei, aka Lord's Candle, aka Spanish Bayonet that line this trail between Estrella Camp and the fire road at the ridge line. Although they are beautiful to look at, the "bayonets" at the base of this plant will pierce right through your North Face trailwalkers. Make sure to wear long pants on this trail!
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Conditions reported by: Jim Ringland
Survey date: 21-APRIL-2008
General: CLEAR
Specific:

Section: Spruce Creek Trail to Coast Highway - Clear

This is Wilderness Freeway at for the first mile or so as the trail maintains elevation. When the trail finally starts down, a little erosion and loose rock footing moves this into the "clear" category, but it is still easy hiking.
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Conditions reported by: Karen Newsom
Survey date: 25-AUGUST-2007
General: CLEAR
Specific:

Trail was great. The poison oak was still passable. We found a jutro/pampas grass (non-native) It was about half way in to the fork at Dutra/Estrella on the right uphill (south side). Is anyone going on the trail in the next two weeks? The seed heads need to be removed and it needs to be dug out or we will have this invasive nonnative all over the hillside next spring.
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Conditions reported by: Brian L. Johnson
Survey date: 27-JULY-2007
General: DIFFICULT
Specific:

Section: Coast Highway to Estrella Camp - Clear

The Salmon Cr. trail up through the Spruce Creek Camp and on up to Estrella Camp was clear and well maintained, easy to follow. The slide areas were noticable, but passable during daylight even with packs (and without poles). We found other groups already present for the weekend at both camps.

This late in the summer, Estrella seemed to be the last place to get water, everything was relatively dry and hot during the day. Creek water was low throughout.

Section: Estrella Camp eastward - Difficult

We hiked past Estrella intending to head to the ridge but never made it... We quickly lost the trail because of overgrowth (shrubs and bushes). Almost the whole area above Estrella was covered with very dense and almost impassible shrubs...very tough travelling, since we couldn't find the trail. Don't underestimate the thick shrubs or daytime heat above Estrella... Beautiful views of the coast and hills, though!
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Conditions reported by: Greg M
Survey date: 8-APRIL-2007
General: CLEAR
Specific:

Section: Coast Highway to South Coast Ridge Road - Clear

The trail work done on the Salmon Creek Trail is outstanding! The upper reaches of the trail past Estrella Camp approach Wilderness Freeway status. The main problem with the Salmon Creek Trail is erosion and some slipping. There are two major slips that make for dangerous walking. Poles are nearly required at these precarious sections. Poison Oak is making its Spring advances, but is still cut back enough to minimize exposure.

Spruce Creek Camp was in good shape, but its proximity to the highway makes it a popular destination for both backpackers and day trippers. Keep in mind that each site at Spruce Creek is rather small.

Estrella Camp has a large deadfall that has obliterated the creekside camp stove and fire ring. The 2 sites above the creek are still intact and delightful. No tables (of course!) but fire rings and stoves are intact.
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Conditions reported by: Jean LeBlanc
Survey date: 26-AUGUST-2006
General: CLEAR
Specific:

Section: Highway 1 to Spruce Creek Camp - Clear to Wilderness Freeway

Section: Spruce Creek Camp to Estrella Camp - Clear to Wilderness Freeway

The small slide about 1/4 mile above Spruce Creek Camp has relatively good tread across it.

Section: Estrella Camp to Coast Ridge Trail - Clear

The first slide (which is small) about 1/4 mile above Estrella Camp has good tread across it. The second. large slide about 3/4 miles above Estrella also has good tread but is a little more precarious (I met some backpackers who decided not to go across with their heavy packs). The main issue with this entire section is the encroaching brush, which is nowhere near as bad as it was before the work that was done in January, 2005 (see Gary Auth trail report). but is on its way to getting that bad. You can still walk upright for the entire section, but you've got to push through some sections. If everyone who hikes this section brings some clippers and cuts a few dozen branches along the way, this section will hopefully not return to its pre 2005 condition (in which crawling was definitely required in places).
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Conditions reported by: Greg Minter
Survey date: 4-JULY-2006
General: WILDERNESS FREEWAY
Specific:

Section: Salmon Creek Station to Spruce Creek Camp - Wilderness Freeway

No obstacles, with very well maintained trail. Salmon Creek was roaring away and beautiful.
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Conditions reported by: Lee Kenyon
Survey date: 30-APRIL-2006
General: CLEAR
Specific:

Section: Highway 1 to Coast Ridge Road - Clear

It's not really a "wilderness freeway," and the segment from Estrella Camp to the ridge had a bit of encroaching brush, but it's nothing compared to the grim reports that one reads about in the guidebooks. I never had a problem following the trail and don't recall any bushwhacking. Clearly many thanks are due the people (probably on this message board) who have done such fine trailwork in this area.

It's a good idea to fill up your water bottles at Estrella Camp, because the ridge can be quite hot and dry.

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Conditions reported by: Erik Nehls
Survey date: 23-MARCH-2006
General: CLEAR
Specific:

Section: Highway 1 to Spruce Camp - Clear

Easy to follow (even at night w/ headlamps). Two deadfalls trees on way up, but visible walk-arounds. However, the water was running high due to rain, and the trail to Estrella Camp was not easily passable over the creek (esp at night). Instead of crossing, we hiked back to the Dutra Flats Trail (San Carpoforo Trail).

The waterfall, a short hike from Hwy 1, is running strong due to rain, and is definitely worth the short detour on your way up to Spruce Camp.

NOTE: POISON OAK along trail!!! Wear long pants and shirt.
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Conditions reported by: John Devos
Survey date: 1-OCTOBER-2005
General: CLEAR
Specific:

This trail was quite passable all the way to the Coast Ridge Road. The slides I had read about on this website weren't at all difficult to navigate as good tread had been worn into them. This was my first time all the way to the Coast Ridge Road and I have to say I enjoyed it tremendously.
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Conditions reported by: Greg
Survey date: 24-SEPT-2005
General: CLEAR
Specific:

Section: Highway 1 to Estrella Camp - Clear

Quite clear to Spruce Creek. Some slides after Spruce Creek but trail is clear.

Section: Estrella Camp to Coast Ridge Road

Estrella is last decent water. Just a dribble half way from Estrella to top. Some more slides and loose footing on the way. Poison Oak not too bad, but long pants are a good idea. Some low branches near the top, but only a few. Looks like someone has been working pretty hard...Thank you! Open areas can still get hot, water is key.
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Conditions reported by: Jean LeBlanc
Survey date: 26-JUNE-2005
General: PASSABLE
Specific:

Overall:

The trail is quite passable all the way up to the Coast Ridge Road, but the shrubs are starting to encroach on the sides of the trail and overhead during the last two miles or so. This hike is well worth the 3,000' of climbing for the spectacular views of the ocean to the west and the valley to the east. Section: Highway 1 to Estrella Camp - Clear

The trail is in excellent condition, with some poison oak beginning to encroach in a few places and a few spots on steeper hillsides where tread is quite narrow. Section: Estrella Camp to Coast Ridge Road - Passable

There are two slides in this section (one recent one right out of Estrella and one older one about 1 mile out of Estrella), but both now have relatively well defined and solid tread across them so they are not a problem. During the last two miles of the hike, the shrubs that were cleared back as of the beginning of the year are starting to encroach back onto the trail but I rarely had to squeeze between any bushes or duck under any bushes.
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Conditions reported by: Wendy
Survey date: 8-MAY-2005
General: PASSABLE
Specific:

The first 1/2 mile of trail has some overgrown brush and a good deal of poison oak. Wildflowers are exceptional all along first mile. Stream crossings are clear of debris, but not flowing heavily. The last 1/4 mile down to Spruce Creek has a lot of overgrown poison oak in the trail. Spruce Camp could be a hard campsite to stay in because of thick poison oak everywhere. Spruce Creek is flowing heavily.

This was a nice trail for coastal views and wildflower sightseeing, but is heavily traveled by other hikers, especially the first 1/2 mile. Parking can be limited on weekends. Still, this was a nice trail with good shade coverage after first mile and a half.
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Conditions reported by: Gary Auth
Survey date: LATE-JANUARY-2005
General: CLEAR
Specific:

Section: Estrella Camp to Coast Ridge Road : Clear

This section of the Salmon Creek Trail has been almost impassable for quite a while. But.....crawl no more!! Volunteers armed with saws, pruners, and loppers have made several trips, attacking the brush from both directions. The tread is now negotiable without having to get down on your hands and knees. The landslide is still a problem, but if you're careful it can be crossed slowly but easily (don't look down). After that, the deadfalls have been dispatched and the brush has been cut back so that walking upright with a full pack is possible. This is a very fecund area so the vegetation will probably grow back quickly. But....if we carry some good pruners with us as we hike we can all keep this beautiful trail open and passable from Highway 1 to the Coast Ridge Road.

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Conditions reported by: Steve Wilson
Survey date: 23-JANUARY-2005
General: CLEAR
Specific:

Somebody has gone through and thoroughly brushed out the upper reaches of this trail. With the exception of some slipouts with short stretches of noticeable (and for some, undoubtably unnerving) exposure, this trail is in relatively good condition for the Santa Lucia.
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Conditions reported by: Robert Parks
Survey date: 16-JANUARY-2005
General: CLEAR
Specific:

Section: South Coast Ridge Road to Estrella Camp : Clear to Passable

The trail is mostly clear of brush, although some treadwork would be welcome. We brushed out the last really bad section (and a few days later, further work cleared the last of the brush on the trail).

Section: Estrella Camp to Hwy 1 : Clear

Most of this section is in forest, so it stays in good condition. There are a few areas of slippage so be careful. Use caution crossing the stream if it has rained recently.

Near Hwy 1, the tread is degraded where it crosses the serpentine outcrop, and near the trailhead, there is some erosion where the (very steep) trail has captured a small seep.
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Conditions reported by: Jean LeBlanc
Survey date: 28-JUNE-2003
General: PASSABLE
Specific:

Section: Hwy. 1 trailhead to Coast Ridge

1. Salmon Creek to Spruce Creek Camp. Trail is in excellent condition; recent trail work (both in terms of cutting back shrubs (especially poison oak!) and tread work) has been done since my last hike here on Memorial Day weekend. As all other writers note, the first mile is somewhat steep but it flattens out somewhat and there are some incredible views both up and down the canyon after about 3/4 mile.

2. Spruce Creek Camp to Estrella Camp. This section is in reasonably good shape. Shrubs are closing in a little and there are a couple of spots where the trail is very loose gravel and very narrow with a steep drop, but a little extra care will get you through. This section is well worth the effort as Estrella Camp (and especially the creek as it flows through, which is a great place to stop and cool off before continuing up the canyon or after coming down the canyon).

Estrella Camp to Coast Ridge Road. VERY DIFFICULT!!!!. First, the good news: the trail itself is identifiable (i.e. you can't get lost), the poison oak is minimal, and the scenery (especially in the forested sections) can be fabulous. The bad news is that this entire 3+ mile section is in pretty bad shape. About 1/2-3/4 mile from Estrella Camp there has been a landslide that involves about a 50-foot crossing across some very loose (and steep) small rocks and gravel. Then, at about the 3/4-1 mile mark, on a section where there is no alternative route, a group of about 6 medium sized trees (1-2 foot diameter) have fallen across the trail and it is a little tricky getting over them. And finally, the trail is quite overgrown, and just gets worse and worse the further you go--the first mile or so is reasonably passable, but from then on, there are several sections where you almost need to crawl through the brush because it has grown across the trail at the 4-foot level or even lower. There is a definite need for a crew armed with machetes to start at the Coast Ridge Road and work their way down to Estrella Camp. (I'd be glad to help)
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Conditions reported by: Gary Felsman
Survey date: 14-JUNE-2003
General: CLEAR
Specific:

Section: Hwy. 1 trailhead to Estrella Camp

I am glad to report the Sierra HotShot Crew has done a good job on this trail. All the trees have been removed from the Trailhead to Estrella Camp. Most of the tread has been rebuilt as well between Spruce and Estrella Camp. The Slide has been repaired above Spruce Camp.

I did not go past Estrella Camp. But it was overgrown in many places as reported by several backpackers that went through the area over Memorial Day Weekend
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Conditions reported by: Greg Glenn
Survey date: 8-MAY-2003
General: CLEAR
Specific:

Section: Hwy. 1 trailhead to Estrella Camp

The trail up to Spruce Camp: Wear long pants... Poison oak is everywhere. It's so thick that it closes over the trail at some points. It also has a few washouts about the halfway point that make passage a bit "exciting. Otherwise the trail is in fairly good shape. Note: If you've never done this trail before, the first mile is strenuous with full packs. But, stick it out, the trail levels out somewhat and the payoff is great.

At Spruce Camp: The camp site across the creek has 2 gigantic, and very dead pines with many tree sized dead limbs about 60 to 90 feet up. Very, very dangerous. I would avoid these sites until something is done about these trees. The creek it's self also appeared to have higher than normal flow. Also that rustic foot bridge (made from a downed tree) has been washed down stream and is unusable. Rock hoppin' (slippery) is the only way across to the two sites across the creek.

The trail up to Estrella camp was undergoing maintenance while we were there. It is absolutely SWEET! Fallen trees, limbs and poison oak were cleared. The trail was generally leveled and slightly widened. Excellent job guys!
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Conditions reported by: John Yeo
Survey date: 24-APR-2003
General: CLEAR
Specific:

The first mile or so of the trail was a little bit steep. Not diffucult, but tricky climbing, but strong legs were helpful. After the elevation gain, the trail was pretty easy. The trail was somewhat slippery when decending into spruce creek camp. Between spruce creek camp and estrella camp, there were several places where trees had fallen over the trail. In one of the places, there were two or three large branches. I tried grabbing onto the trunks and going under, but ended up losing my footing and sliding down the hill on my back. When returning, I climbed over, and it was much easier.

A trail maintenance crew was working on the trail while I was there, and they may have cleared the tree after I left.

There was also a redwood tree over the trail, past the place where I slid down the hill that I went under with no problem.

In another place, an oak tree had fallen over the trail, but there was a detour available.

At estrella camp, there were two firepits, one in a meadow, and the other under an oak tree. There was little firewood to be found, and I didn't build a fire.
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Conditions reported by: Laura Wilkerson
Survey date: MAR-2003
General: DIFFICULT
Specific:

Section: Highway 1 to Spruce Camp - Clear

Section: Spruce Camp to Estrella Camp - Difficult/Impassable

This section, just outside of Spruce Camp, is very tricky for day hikers and impassable (at least that's what I would call it) for backpackers. What you get to walk on is very loose dirt that has piled up in a way that you can gain footing. In one part there is a rock that you can balance against or hold on to (some parts of the rock are loose and can break off so exercise caution here) but there is a part that has nothing to hold. I ended up crossing this section 4 times and could not figure a better way to get through. This was the section I was really nervous about crossing by flashlight on my way back but was spared (if you can call it that) by an unintended stay at Estrella.

Estrella camp is in good condition although I was startled a bit by the moldering deer carcass I encountered near the upper campsite.

Section: Estrella to Coast Ridge Road - Difficult/Impassable

Just after Estrella camp there is another landslide section although not as treacherous as the first. I was able to do this one by flashlight but again, I don't think I'd attempt it with a fully loaded backpack. The footing just seemed too loose.

The rest of the trail was very unkempt with many overgrown, sharp bushes to tunnel through. A couple of downed trees but nothing serious here.

Section: Coast Ridge Road to Three Peaks Camp - Clear

When I arrived at the road, I found that someone had hung on the sign a jacket, jeans and a full shoulder bag. Further on down the road I found some spent shot gun shells so I'm guessing it was a hunter whose gear fell out of his vehicle. The road is clear but most of the signs are shot out and rusting so I didn't read well the sign that indicated the Three Peaks Camp trail. There is a gate that was closed but the trail looks drivable and ends at the campsite next to a small water source. I did not see any sign of a connector trail beyond the camp.

I was hoping to do a loop to Dutra Flat. The map I have shows a trail that connects but I couldn't find it so I returned the way I came on the Salmon Creek trail.
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Conditions reported by: Gary Auth
Survey date: 26-FEB-2003
General: DIFFICULT
Specific:

Our hike was a loop from Cruickshank trailhead up to the Coast Ridge Road, and then back down Salmon Creek trail. This report describes the Salmon Creek trail in reverse - from the Coast Ridge Rd. back down to Highway 1:

From Lion's Den camp it is a mile or so to the Coast Ridge Rd. and then a short jaunt south to the well-marked Salmon Creek trailhead. The upper section of this trail is in dire need of attention. Even though the tread is visible and easily followed, head-high thorny shrubs and vines are pushing in from both sides making it difficult to pass. Sharp twigs attack the eyes while yuccas leap out and bite your ankles. These conditions extend almost a quarter of the way to beautiful Estrella camp. On the bright side, there is little P.O. due to the open, sunny, southern slopes. But as you descend into the moist, tree-lined canyons of the watershed, P.O. becomes ubiquitous and threatening. Another plus: the hike is all downhill and many beautiful waterfalls are visible since the creek is flowing freely.

The tread is a little difficult to follow out of Estrella camp. Cross the creek in a westerly direction and you will pick it up again. It stays clear to Spruce camp and beyond to Highway 1.

Ideally, the Cruickshank/Salmon Creek loop should be a shuttle trip with a car parked at both trailheads. This would save a two hour highway hike for trekkers already tired, sore, and thirsty for a cold one.
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Conditions reported by: David Knapp
Survey date: 27-OCT-2002
General: CLEAR
Specific:

Salmon Creek to Dutra Flats - with the Sierra Club, Chuck was the leader.

Trail is clear to Dutra Flats.

Gary Felsman sawed up one tree that had fallen on the trail, did a bit of tread work, and clipping. I did some clipping too, but only minor amounts. My goal is to someday hike in the Ventana in shorts (without fear!).

There were 2 places where the trail was not in good shape tread wise - slippery, ill defined loose dirt, and there was one or two steep, slippery spots - but other than those places, the trail was great!

Weather was perfect, I think it was about 67 at 2pm, and sunny skies all day. I think it was 8.4 miles round trip, with 1800' elevation gain. The first 30-40 mins is the toughest.
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Conditions reported by: Boon Hughey
Survey date: 22-SEP-2002
General: CLEAR to DIFFICULT
Specific:

Dayhiked with a handful of good friends from the guard station to the summit of Silver Peak via the Salmon Creek trail in celebration of the Equinox. For those who have never been on this trail, perhaps the most confusing place is encountered within 100 yards of the trailhead - an unsigned fork, with the most heavily traveled trail continuing ahead on the level and a spur climbing away to the right. TURN RIGHT to stay on the Salmon Creek trail - the route straight ahead takes you to the falls and that's it.

Once past that early fork the trail is obvious and easy to follow, reaching another well-signed fork in about two miles where the San Carpoforo (aka Spruce Creek, Dutra) trail diverges to the right. Up to this point and beyond all the way past Spruce Camp to Estrella Camp the trail is in CLEAR condition. At Estrella camp the continuation of the trail to the ridge can be found by dropping down to the creek, crossing it, then looking around at the upper end of the streamside flat. From Estrella Camp to the Coast Ridge Road the trail deteriorates badly, with heavy brush encroaching in a big way into the trail corridor. Definitely not passable by stock or people who have an aversion to getting up-close and personal with the local biomass.
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Conditions reported by: Ojai Valley School - "Las Papas Gigantescas"
Survey date: APRIL-MAY, 2002
General: CLEAR to DIFFICULT
Specific:

South Coast Ridge Road to Hwy 1:
Salmon Creek Trail was clearly marked, although, the trail was very overgrown and brushy. Some sections required crawling. There was plenty of P.O. on the descent into beautiful and spacious Estrella Camp. Water was reliable from several streams. The trail was passable with lots of P.O. in places. Coastal Redwoods and some narrow spots on the trail to Spruce Creek. This camp was on a small flat near the creek with reliable water several miles from the Salmon Creek Trailhead. The last section of trail was dry and there was a nice view of a waterfall from the parking lot.
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Conditions reported by: Gary Felsman
Survey date: 23-JUNE-01
General: RECENT TREAD WORK
Specific:

I am glad to report that with the help of five volunteers, we made the major slide passable above Spruce Camp. The section of trail that had washed away has been repaired, by moving the trail back to the original tread under all the poison oak. We put in one new rock wall, and regraded much of this section.

We also removed the trees across the trail just before the Spruce Creek Trail Junction.

Happy Hiking

Gary Felsman
Trail Volunteers of San Luis Obispo
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Conditions reported by: Gary Felsman
Survey date: 9-JUNE-01
General: CLEAR
Specific:

Six of us had the opportunity to hike Salmon Creek from Trailhead to Estrella Camp, June 9, 2001.

The trail climbs steeply for the first mile, then levels off. the trail is clear but rocky, and tread is deteriorating. Poison oak is present along the trail.

Just before Spruce Creek Trail junction a tree has fallen across the trail. But it has been cleared enough to walk around. The old tread here is no longer being used.

From Spruce Creek Junction down to Spruce Camp, the trail is clear, with a couple of trees across the trail which can be stepped over.

Leaving Spruce Camp. The trail is less traveled. The usual slide is still present a short distance up the trail. It can be traversed on foot but go slow. After the slide the tread is getting very narrow for lack of maintenance. At one point a portion of the trail has fallen away, making traversing this section precarious at best. It can be done with great care. Coming back across this section is a bit tough.

The remaining way to Estrella Camp, poison oak is present along the trail, and there are two large trees across the trail. One must be climbed under. The other a detour is present.

At Estrella Camp a large tree fell blocking the way to upper Estrella Camp. We cleared this obstacle. The camps themselves are in good shape.
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Conditions reported by: Rick Bravo
Survey date: 26-MAY-2001
General: CLEAR
Specific:

Trail to Spruce Camp was clear, passable, and easy to follow. Spectacular views, with the usual am fog. Make sure you take the first turn towards the right after you cross the gate. If you go straight, you will get to the waterfalls. We made that mistake a few weeks back.

Spruce Camp was a bit littered unfortunately, but camp conditions were good. Wonderful fallen log crossing Salmon Creek, easily passable but high enough to give you the illusion of risk!.

Trail from Spruce Camp to Estrella camp was also passable, although the tread was washed away in a few sections, but easily accessible and almost impossible to lose. At approximately 1/2 mike out from Spruce Camp going towards Estrella Camp, the trail is just washed off with a straight 50 foot "over the edge " drop if your are not attentive to your path. This could pose a problem at night, so caution. A careful uphill detour of 3 meters or so is evident to traverse that section. Several trees to crawl over or under. An interesting clump of long brown hair was seen under one fallen log we had to stoop under, evidence of a snagged hiker who left that spot a little less hairy. Assuming it was a "she", an "owww" was said by all who passed, followed by a ceremonial, but sympathetic rubbing of one's scalp in consolation.

Estrella Camp is in excellent condition, but the trail continuing to the coast ridge is difficult to find. Make sure you cross the creek; a little orienteering is in order at that point. Will attempt to get to Lions Den soon!. Great experience, beautiful and worth the effort.

Rick Bravo
San Luis Obispo
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Conditions reported by: Katherine Dollard
Survey date: 17-DECEMBER-00
General: CLEAR to PASSABLE
Specific:

This afternoon we hiked from the trailhead to a mile or so east of Estrella Camp. We turned back because we were out of time.

The trail was quite passable along our entire route. It was in good, clear condition from the trailhead to Spruce Creek, had a slightly narrower tread to the east of Spruce Creek, and in some small areas just east of Estrella camp the tread had fallen away or seemed on the verge of doing so. We found downed trees easy to climb under or over, though a very ugly detour has developed around one partially sawed downed tree just east of Estrella camp. There was some poison oak, especially east of Spruce Creek. The poison oak wasn't difficult to avoid, but another season of growth, and it won't be so easy.

Plenty of water in the creeks. A few paintbrush in bloom, some white wall flowers scattered along the trail between the Dutra Flats Trail junction and Estrella Camp - along with a few banana slugs. Most remarkable was the huge swarm of lady bugs on the upstream side of the Spruce Creek log bridge. If only they had been in my garden!
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Conditions reported by: Steve Chambers
Survey date: 26-NOVEMBER-00
General:CLEAR TO PASSABLE
Specific:

Trailhead to Spruce Camp = CLEAR - WELL USED

Spruce Camp to Estrella Camp = CLEAR - ONE TRAVERSABLE LANDSLIDE

Estrella Camp to Coast Ridge = PASSABLE - HEAVY BRUSH OVERGROWTH UPPER 1.5 MILES

After reaching an upper campsite, the trail descends and crosses to the signed camp on the north side of Estrella Creek. Directly upslope of the camp sign, the trail continues, crossing the faint remains of a flume ditch associated with old placer mining operations downstream.

Due to difficult brushed-in sections above, this section of the Salmon Creek Trail is less used, but the tread is evident and passable.

Encroaching dense ceanothus and scrub oak become almost constant about 1 - 1.5 miles from the top. The tread is good in most places, just the brush needs to be pruned back. Bring your hand clippers and prune as you go. There are many short open spaces where the trail passes thru serpentine outcrops.
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Postby Site Administrator on Fri May 01, 2009 2:49 pm

Date Hiked: February 19, 2009
General Condition: Passable
Peter and I hiked this trail from South Coast Ridge Rd. on 18-20 Feb 2009; we went out via the Buckeye / Silver Peak trails.
We had a three day window of sunshine between rain storms. First day we hiked downhill to Spruce Creek Camp, north side.
Passable, some brushing needed, some mud & gravel-slides below the exfoliating rock outcrops.
I wore my rain gear to dodge the ticks after all this rain. We waded Estrella creek with water below our knees. First night
(18th) Spruce Creek was not passable due to high water, after 12 hours wait in the morning we crossed no problem, continued
hike to Hwy 1. Trip narrative continues on Buckeye Trail. The two camp spots were spacious with good water all the way.
Downhill trend made this an easy leg.
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Salmon Creek Trail

Postby Site Administrator on Fri May 01, 2009 2:46 pm

* USFS Trail # 6E11
* Parking: Hwy 1 at Salmon Creek Guard Station
* Watershed: Salmon Creek
* Junctions: San Carpoforo Trail (aka Spruce Creek Trail, Dutra Flats Trail)
* Connects: Hwy 1 with South Coast Ridge Jeep Trail
* Camps: Spruce Creek Camp, Estrella Camp
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