Cruikshank Trail

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Trail Report
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Here give the SPECIFIC CONDITIONS ENCOUNTERED such as tread washouts, encroaching brush, downed trees, slides, or other difficulties following the trail.  Water reports or dangerous conditions particularly requested !

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Expand view Topic review: Cruikshank Trail

Re: Cruikshank Trail

by geoffvirtue » Sun Oct 29, 2023 9:28 am

Date Hiked: October 28, 2023
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

Hiked from Lion's Den down to Buckeye Trail. Most sections are clear, with one or two downed trees and evident but steep tread around them. Very cruisey and the trail is in good use. Ran into probably 6 folks as we came down.

Saw what looked to be a hunter up above and off trail from Silver Camp, cruised past him since I'm not familiar with hunting seasons for Monterey Ranger District and he had a gun/didn't look very chatty.

Re: Cruikshank Trail

by VWA_Ranger » Sat Sep 16, 2023 7:47 pm

Date Hiked: September 16, 2023
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

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

Description:


Had a chance to explore the Trail from HWY 1 to the Buckeye/Lion Den Jct. above Upper Cruickshank Camp. Since other reports most of the downed trees have been removed, the remaining can be easily ducked under or climbed stepped over at this time. Upon reaching Upper Cruickshank Camp, there is a cluster of limbs over the original trail. People are walking around them.

Trail conditions are as follows:

Highway 1 to Top of Switchbacks - Wilderness Freeway to Clear, the lowest section to the Switchbacks is now wide open. The switchbacks are also clear all the way to the Wilderness Boundary Sign.

Top of Switchbacks to Upper Cruickshank Camp - Passable, the 1/2 mile past the wilderness boundary sign has lots of encroaching brush pushing folks to the edge of the trail. The trail has been heavily used making the tread easy to follow. Most of the downed trees have been removed. Remaining trees are easy to navigate. There has been a fair amount of minor trimming making the going much easier the wilderness boundary sign. Also, some portions of the trail were brushed putting the tread back onto its original tread. Once you reach the snowberries the trail is basically clear all the way to the Buckeye Jct.

There is water flowing at both Lower and Upper Cruickshank Camps.

Re: Cruikshank Trail

by VWA_Ranger » Mon Jun 05, 2023 2:20 pm

Date Hiked: June 4, 2023
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

From the Hike Los Padres Website:

Camp Name: Upper Cruickshank Camp
Date: 06-04-2023
Surveyor: Richard Goedeken
Water: Flowing
Description: We managed to squeeze 5 tents in this site. It is relatively flat and conveniently located. Several days hikers and backpackers came though during the 1.5 days we stayed here. The Cruickshank trail from Hwy-1 to the lower camp was heavily overgrown and required plowing through head-high vegetation in several areas. Sections of the trail are narrow and perched on the edge of a steep drop-off, with vegetation from the adjacent hillside pushing hikers towards the edge, so you need to fight the plants and the off-camber trail to stay on the narrow dirt bed. There is poison oak growing in many areas along the Cruickshank trail. We saw numerous ticks on our clothing during the trip, and one person in our group of 7 did get bitten by a tick.

Re: Cruikshank Trail

by klucas » Tue Apr 11, 2023 8:36 pm

Date Hiked: April 11, 2023
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

Previous trail report by VWA_Ranger is still valid. Hiked from HWY 1 to South Coast Ridge Road. Trail is clear in most places, with the aforementioned obstacles. Most creeks are flowing well, especially between Silver Camp and Lion Den Camp. Jewel Falls is still going strong even after a month of almost no rain. Lupines are blooming in force. Several mountain lion scrapes in the trail. Minor additions:

-The initial switchbacks could use some TLC with the tread angle. The soil is prone to loosening up, so the uphill side has slumped outward from all the rain. Would not be a hard fix.

-Brush encroaching onto trail past switchbacks is still quite walkable. Plenty of ticks.

-There was a large boulder that had fallen onto the trail below Lower Cruickshanks Camp. It is no longer in the way.

-I'd say the downed trees are 50-50 with respect to needing hand-saw vs. two-person-saw. Many of the tree-falls appear to be from sudden oak death, unfortunately. From my memory, the downed trees are mostly in the vicinity of both Cruikshanks Camps and Silver Camp. There are a few past Silver Camp, but they are all before the ultramafic/sargeant cypress area.

-In the switchbacks between Upper Cruikshanks and Silver Camp, the tread camber is kinda steep in the downhill direction. The trail is not worn out on the downhill edge, but it is a little weird walking up switchbacks with your feet at a tilted angle.

-The slide a little past Silver Camp is rather trecherous talus with very narrow tread. The talus is on the side of a rocky cliff, so it would be hard to dig into the slope at all. I imagine it needs some careful rock placement to make a nice path, like on some sections of the Salmon Creek trail.

-Tread looks pretty good in most places.

Re: Cruikshank Trail

by VWA_Ranger » Tue Mar 14, 2023 2:16 pm

Date Hiked: February 14, 2023
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

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

Description:

Volunteer Ranger patrolled the Cruickshank Trail before all the recent storms. As of this patrol there were no major hazards along this trail. There were several trees down mainly berween the Wilderness Boundary Sign and the Buckeye Trail Junction above Upper Cruickshank Camp

Trail conditions are as follows:

Highway 1 to Top of Switchbacks. - Clear, the lowest section has encroaching brush. Once you reach the switchbacks, the trail is in better shape the wilderness boundary sign. Ther may be some gullies in the trail with all the water runoff.

Top of Switchbacks to Upper Cruickshank Camp - Passable, the 1/3 mile past the wilderness boundary sign has lots of encroaching brush pushing folks to the edge of the trail. There are many trees down between here and Upper Cruickshank Camp.

Upper Cruickshank Camp to Silver Camp
- Passable, with encroaching brush a few trees may be down.

Silver Camp to Rocky Outcropping - Passable, as there is still the slide past Silver Creek which is narrow in many places. The water may be rushing in the gully just before the major slide.

Rocky Outcropping to Silver Peak Use Trail Road - Passable, with encroaching brush.

Silver Peak Use Trail Road to Lion Den Camp - Clear, with minor encroaching brush.

Lion Den to SCRR - Clear.

Re: Cruikshank Trail

by VWA_Ranger » Tue Oct 04, 2022 1:29 pm

Date Hiked: October 3, 2022
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

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

Description:
Over the past week multiple VWA/USFS Volunteer Rangers and VWA Youth in Wilderness have been patrolling and exploring the Cruikshank Trail. These folks found multiple downed treed across the trail which have now been cleared by volunteer personnel. There is a small trickle at Lower Cruickshank Camp but may not be enough to collect. A trickle of water is flowing at Upper Cruickshank Camp just down the trail to Villa Creek Camp.

Trail conditions are as follows:

Highway 1 to Top of Switchbacks. - Wilderness Freeway to Clear, the lowest section has some minor encroaching brush. Once you reach the switchbacks, the trail is wide open to the wilderness boundary sign.

Top of Switchbacks to Upper Cruickshank Camp - Passable, the 1/3 mile past the wilderness boundary sign has lots of encroaching brush pushing folks to the edge of the trail. The tread is well defined and easy to follow. Once you get past this section, the trail is clear with minor encroaching brush.

Upper Cruickshank Camp to Silver Camp - Clear, with minor encroaching brush.

Silver Camp to Rocky Outcropping - Passable, as there is still the slide past Silver Creek which is narrow in many places. Be careful when crossing the slide areas.

Rocky Outcropping to Silver Peak Use Trail Road - Clear, with encroaching brush.

Silver Peak Use Trail Road to Lion Den Camp - Clear, with minor encroaching brush.

Lion Den to SCRR - Clear.
Attachments
Oak mess along the Cruickshank Trail
Oak mess along the Cruickshank Trail
After the trail has been cleared by VWA Volunteer Rangers
After the trail has been cleared by VWA Volunteer Rangers
The huge oak that came down along the trail just before Lower Cruikshank Camp
The huge oak that came down along the trail just before Lower Cruikshank Camp
The Oak has been cleared by VWA Volunteer Rangers.
The Oak has been cleared by VWA Volunteer Rangers.

Cruikshank Trail

by jbl » Tue Jul 05, 2022 5:57 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.

Section: Trailhead to Silver Peak Wilderness sign/entrance into Villa Creek Canyon: trail is in excellent condition, the brush is cut back down near the trailhead and not encroaching.

Section: Through Villa Creek Canyon up to the Cruikshank Camps: relatively clear, there is some brush encroaching onto the trail on and off (including the ever present PO), There is one big tree down along this section and the trail now detours around it to the left.Image. There is water flowing very lightly just before Lower Cruikshank Camp,
Attachments
20220703_094212.jpg

Re: Cruikshank Trail

by Guest » Fri Jun 03, 2022 1:12 pm

Date Hiked: June 1, 2022
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

Water is flowing at Lions den.

Re: Cruikshank Trail

by runcyclegirl » Mon May 16, 2022 8:36 pm

Date Hiked: May 14, 2022
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

Cruikshank Trail from the South Coast Ridge Road to the junction with Buckeye is clear except for three issues- a tree hanging ~5 ft above the trail west of Silver Peak use trail junction, landslide east of Silver Public Camp, and a very large branch-jamy tree in Silver Public Camp. The latter is on the trail, just walk around it.

Water is available at Lion Den. I was able to fill 2 liters in 30 seconds. Walk a little upstream of the flow and there is a very nice spot where water spills over a short rise. Don't know how reliable this will be in late summer. Water is also flowing in Silver Public Camp. Look a little upstream of the ground flow and you'll see the PVC pipe. Water is also available at Upper Cruikshank Camp. Take Buckeye Trail toward Villa Creek Camp and you'll see the spring fed stream near the big tree. It's not far.
Lion Den campsite.
Lion Den campsite.
Water at Lion Den.
Water at Lion Den.
Water at Silver Public Camp.
Water at Silver Public Camp.
Buckeye Junction
Buckeye Junction

Re: Cruikshank Trail

by shane9 » Mon Apr 11, 2022 6:05 pm

Date Hiked: April 9, 2022
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

Hiked from Upper Cruikshank Camp to Estrella Camp. Only one place was slippery and we had to tread carefully. Found a tick latched on to the clothes and did a tick check among the group. Both Silva Camp and Lion Den Camp have a little stream of water running but probably hard to gather and filter.

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