Buckeye Trail

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Expand view Topic review: Buckeye Trail

Re: Buckeye Trail: Cruickshank to Villa Creek Camp

by VWA_Ranger » Sun Aug 07, 2022 2:25 pm

Date Hiked: August 6, 2022
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

*** VWA/USFS Volunteer Ranger/Trail Crew Report ***


VWA/USFS Volunteer Rangers were out patrolling the Buckeye Trail in the Silver Peak Wilderness. They removed the large tree on the steep slope heading down to Villa Creek Camp. They also reported that most people are complying with "Fire Restrictions", while a few others continue to ignore the rules by having campfires that are not permitted at this time. It only takes a small spark from a campfire to ruin and destroy the forest for everyone.

Please do your part to protect this wonderful and valuable resource. Help keep things nice, have a valid campfire/Stove permit, pack out all your gear, trash and TP. Leave a place nicer than you found it. Water is available at Spruce and Estrella camps.

Trail conditions are as follows:

Upper Cruikshank Camp to Villa Creek Camp - Clear, minor encroaching brush and uneven tread in places.
Tree removed by VWA Volunteer/USFS Rangers
Tree removed by VWA Volunteer/USFS Rangers

Buckeye Trail

by jbl » Tue Jul 05, 2022 6:19 am

Date Hiked: July 3, 2022
General Condition: Wilderness Freeway (Heavily used and/or well maintained)

We did a pre-4th of July hike up the Cruikshank Trail to the Cruikshank Camps and then along the Buckeye Trail to Salmon Creek Station.

Overall Report-the Buckeye Trail has held up quite well since the very intensive restoration project that the Mike Heard and the VWA oversaw in '15-'16. But wow, the numerous spots where I have always seen water (including the Redwood Gulch creek crossing just north of Buckeye Camp) are all now super dry.

Section: Cruikshank Camps to Saddle between Villa Creek drainage and Redwood Gulch drainage (commonly referred to as "Buckshank Ridge"): The trail here is clear and tread is in great shape, given that this is a pretty lush section the brush is squeezing in slightly along the way (with a lot of poison oak), but there is room at all times for you to move along the trail without touching anything.

Section: Buckshank Ridge to Buckeye Camp: This section, which was notoriously bad before the '15-'16 restoration, has held up extremely well; there is one slipout on the steep sidehill as you work your way down to Redwood Gulch and in a few places the trail is quite narrow and angled out to the steep sidehill, and the low brush is encroaching a lot on both sides of the trail in places leaving the tread pretty narrow.

Buckeye Camp: I don't know when this happened but the water source is now exposed rather than hidden in the hillside (in the past a pipe came out of the hill to deliver the great Buckeye Camp water). Water was flowing but much less than normal.

Section: Buckeye Camp to Salmon Creek Station: this is all Wilderness Freeway (and there were some very bad sections here before the '15-'16 restoration), with wonderful views all along the way. Sadly there was virtually no water flowing at any of the creek and gully crossings on the descent from Soda Ridge to the Soda Springs Trail turnoff. The brush does encroach a bit and constrict the trail in places from the saddle above Salmon Creek Station down to the end of the trail.

Side-Trip on "Soda Wildtrail" up to the Chert Peaklet/Soda 2. We left the Buckeye Trail on one of the ridges as you ascend out of Buckeye Camp and hiked up to the rocky ~2,850 peaklet at the top of Soda Ridge, our route up was not on the Soda Wildtrail until we got near the peaklet but we took the Soda Wildtrail all the way down and it remains distinct and easy to follow. However, although I've been on the continuation of the Soda Wildtrail down the backside of the Chert Peaklet a few times, it's been a while and we spent a little time back there trying to identify where it started in the really heavy brush that's back there (which is intertwined with a lot of PO) and were unable to spot it. I'm not sure that this is currently passable.

Re: Buckeye Trail

by runcyclegirl » Mon May 16, 2022 9:33 pm

Date Hiked: May 15, 2022
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

Overall, Buckeye Trail is clear with a couple of sections that I would rate as passable to approaching early stages of difficult due to brush.

The one mile section between the Cruikshank junction and the top of the ridge toward Buckeye Camp is a poison oak garden. Unless you have impressive Aikido like defensive skills with your trekking poles, you are bound to brush against PO in this section. It's a mile long, why not?

From the ridge top to Buckeye Camp the trail is choking on dry deerweed. Tread is evident and where it is under the bushy plant, a quick shuffle reassures your footing. Recommend long pants to avoid getting scratched and poked.

From Buckeye to Salmon Creek Ranger Station the trail is a wilderness freeway.

Water is flowing nicely at Buckeye Camp and water is also flowing at Soda Spring Creek.
Poison Oak between Buckeye Trail junction with Cruikshank to the top of the ridge.
Poison Oak between Buckeye Trail junction with Cruikshank to the top of the ridge.
Deerweed and bad tread.
Deerweed and bad tread.
More deerweed.
More deerweed.
Water at Buckeye Camp.
Water at Buckeye Camp.
Expansive coastal views.
Expansive coastal views.

Re: Buckeye Trail

by shane9 » Mon Apr 11, 2022 6:00 pm

Date Hiked: April 8, 2022
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

Hiked up from Salmon station. The trail was well maintained. Stay on trail and you will be off the abundant poison oak along the way. Refilled water at Buckeye camp and admired the nice picnic table. We then continued until we hit the Upper Cruikshank Camp.

Really nothing more to share other than confirming all the pictures that I saw on Google map when planning the trip. Not an easy hike but definitely worth the trip.

Re: Buckeye Trail

by peter » Sat Apr 02, 2022 8:14 pm

Date Hiked: March 31, 2022
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

Hiked up the Buckeye trail on 03/31/22 from the ranger station and stayed overnight at the north Buckeye camp. The trail is very well maintained and a lot of tree dead falls have been cut and cleared off the trail recently by the looks of it. However, even though the trail is well maintained there is a lot of shrubbery growing into the walking path so it's a good idea to wear pants and a long sleeve shirt. There is poison oak, but not crazy amounts of it.

About 2-2.5 miles up from the trailhead, there is really good water flow at the soda spring creek crossing for filtering water if needed. There is also another creek with good water flow a few minutes passed north Buckeye camp which is where I loaded up on water to filter.

People were already at the main Buckeye camp so I stayed at the north Buckeye camp which is a nice little spot, but unfortunately the people at the main Buckeye camp started setting off fireworks at night which was really annoying when you're out in the wilderness, but most importantly, massively stupid because they could've started a wildfire. Save the fireworks for the 4th of July, people.

Ed: FYI, fireworks are illegal in the forest at all times.

Re: Buckeye Trail

by driggsy » Mon Mar 21, 2022 11:31 am

Date Hiked: March 19, 2022
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

Brushy from Cruickshank to Buckeye Camp. Lots of poison oak. Gorgeous trail. Worth every step.

Re: Buckeye Trail

by tbliss » Sat Feb 05, 2022 11:15 pm

Date Hiked: February 5, 2022
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

Buckeye from Cruikshank to Soda Springs Trail was in good shape. One washout and one downed tree, both easily navigated. Water crossings not a problem, shoes on. Steeper portions of this trail could use some erosion control.

Re: Buckeye Trail/Cruickshank/Salmon Creek Loop

by KChris » Fri Dec 31, 2021 6:26 pm

Date Hiked: December 30, 2021
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

Ran the loop yesterday, beautiful and water everywhere! Buckeye to Cruickshank clear w occ brush, Cruickshank to S Coast Ridge Rd, great condition, coming down Salmon Creek to Estrella camp clear.

Water was too high to cross the creek dry but ok with poles. Trail from Estrella to Spruce camp was rough. Multiple downed trees (one had to scramble ~20 yards above the tree fall and slide down other side) plus section that previously burned there was a saturated slide area but was able to cross.

Water to high to cross dry but again was ok with poles to navigate swift water.

All in all it was spectacular and saw no one else.

Re: Buckeye Trail

by Swat » Sun Oct 10, 2021 6:39 pm

Date Hiked: October 9, 2021
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

I hiked the Buckeye, Cruikshank, Salmon Creek loop and, though very dry, the trail was in good shape with modest amounts of poison oak. There was water at Buckeye, Lion Den, and all camps along Salmon Creek, which was running well.

Re: Buckeye Trail

by echightower » Sat May 15, 2021 1:20 pm

Date Hiked: May 3, 2021
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

The conditions are between clear and passable. There is a lot of encroaching poison oak on the section of Buckeye Trail between where Buckeye intersects Cruikshank Trail and the first ridge with an ocean view when headed south on Buckeye. It required attention to duck and dodge some of it.

There are also a few areas with emerging false tread issues that are slowly making the trail meander downhill.

The Silver Peak loop (Salmon Creek, Cruikshank, Buckeye) was a nice walk anyway. Water every few miles makes it an easy 16 mile day hike.