No Campfires!  Until further notice, CAMPFIRES are NOT permitted at backcountry camps in the Ventana and Silver Peak Wilderness Areas. 

Highway One is Open. 

Nacimiento-Fergusson Road is Closed -- This road -- which connects Highway 1 at Kirk Creek with Fort Hunter Liggett on the eastern side of the Coast Ridge -- is significantly damaged and will be closed indefinitely. 

What's Open: NEW: The Pine Ridge Trail from Big Sur Station to Redwood Camp IS OPEN effective April 13, 2021. Please remember: No campfires!

Virtualy all trails and backcountry camps in the Monterey Ranger District of Los Padres National Forest are open. One exception is the Kirk Creek Trail from Highway 1 to Vicente Flat Camp. It will be closed until late July.  

Roads closed to vehicular traffic: Nacimiento-Fergusson Road, South Coast Ridge Road to Prewitt Ridge, Cone Peak Road, Arroyo Seco - Indians Road from Memorial Park to Escondido Camp

Know Before You Go: Please enjoy your public lands responsibly. Pack out everything you pack in (including toilet paper). Leave this special place better than you found it. Call the U. S. Forest Service, Monterey Ranger District office if you need more information: 831-385-5434.  

Current Fire Restrictions: Campfires are not permited. A permit is required for stove use. Click here for a permit and take it with you

State Parks: Check with individual State Parks to confirm access and for additional information. 
Open for day use: Point Lobos State Natural Reserve, Garrapata State Park - Soberanes Canyon Trail, Andrew Molera State Park, Point Sur State Historic Park (tours only), Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, and Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park.

Closed: John Little State Natural Reserve

Ventana Wilderness Forums • View topic - Salmon Creek Trail

Salmon Creek Trail

Salmon Creek Trail

Postby jbl on Sat Jun 27, 2020 8:48 pm

Date Hiked: June 21, 2020
General Condition: Wilderness Freeway (Heavily used and well maintained)

Section: Trailhead at Highway 1 to Spruce Creek Camp
The good news: trail is in excellent shape.
The bad news: trail was EXTREMELY CROWDED and Camps (Spruce and Estrella) were CRAZY OVERLOADED.
This was Sunday of Father's Day Weekend and we were doing a day hike to Dutra Flat to, among other things, inspect the Spruce Creek/San Carpoforo Trail regarding the reported damage in the Spruce Creek drainage. We encountered about 60 people who were either backpacking out (and who reported having stayed at Spruce or Estrella Camps) or were still camped at Spruce Creek Camp. Among the 10 or so remaining campers at Spruce Creek Camp when we got there was a group of 4 who gave me a deja vu of Sykes Camp: they had at least one ginormous tent and tons of gear and a very big cooler that they'd obviously hauled up there.
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Re: Salmon Creek Trail

Postby gfelsman on Fri Jun 26, 2020 5:59 pm

Date Hiked: June 18, 2020
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

A VWA/USFS Volunteer Ranger Patrolled this trail from South Coast Ridge Road to Highway 1. The trail is for the most part clear all the way with encroaching brush. There are a few loose sections above Estrella Camp. The slide above Spruce Camp is still passable as well.
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Re: Salmon Creek Trail

Postby toejam on Sun Mar 08, 2020 5:07 pm

Date Hiked: March 8, 2020
General Condition: Wilderness Freeway (Heavily used and well maintained)

I cleared most of the mess below Estrella Camp. Six trees came down across the trail from a landslide above. I was able to remove all the small stuff and clear the tread so you can walk upright on the trail.



Saw some young people interested in volunteer trail work. Check ... ce-Meetup/ for opportunities.
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Re: Salmon Creek Trail

Postby Jim Ringland on Thu Mar 05, 2020 2:21 pm

Date Hiked: March 2, 2020
General Condition: Wilderness Freeway (Heavily used and well maintained)

Not much change from the recent reports. The trail is in great shape bottom to top except for the blowdown between Spruce Camp and Estrella Camps. The detour is a straightforward short scramble down to a dry streambed and back, although I can imagine more difficulty if the stream had been running energetically.

The two camps, Spruce Creek and Estrella, are in fine shape.

Spruce Creek has two camp areas, one on each side of the creek. The southern camp is larger, in a big flat under bays and oaks. No table but a large and small fire ring. The north camp is smaller, perhaps a little prettier, has a table, but no fire ring. It’s a little close to Salmon Creek, although there’s really no other option. There’s not much flat ground elsewhere. Easy crossing of Spruce Creek between the two.

Estrella too has camps on both sides of a small creek. The one on the south side is well up the hill. It has a table, fire ring, and a huge oak. There’s a nice overflow site maybe 100 yards farther to the south (farther from the stream). The north camp is a little nearer to the stream. It has a table, fire ring, grill, and even the remains of an old ice-maker stove. Lots of room too. Both Estrella camps have another amenity that I’ve not seen elsewhere in the Santa Lucias but which is common down in the San Rafael Wilderness: a full size shovel. That strikes me as a good addition for fire safety.

Flowers are scattered, mainly lower down, but many types are out: chocolate lilies, padre’s shooting stars (P. clevelandii), blue dicks, woolly paintbrush, milkmaids, western hound’s tongue, poppies (both E. californica and E. caespitosa), and what I have tentatively identified as the canyon sunflower, Venegasia carpesioides. I’m probably forgetting some.
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Re: Salmon Creek Trail

Postby pantilat on Tue Jan 28, 2020 3:59 pm

Date Hiked: January 26, 2020
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

The entire length of the trail is "Wilderness Freeway" except for the blowdown noted in the report below at the small creek between Spruce Camp and Estrella Camp which requires cutting across. The highest 1.5 miles of the trail is now a very pleasant and clear path through the chaparral, gray pines and coulter pines with excellent views down Salmon Creek and to Silver Peak (this used to be heavily overgrown).
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Re: Salmon Creek Trail

Postby svlaller on Mon Jan 13, 2020 2:41 am

Date Hiked: January 11, 2020
General Condition: Wilderness Freeway (Heavily used and well maintained)

We hiked to about a mile north of Estrella camp. Both Estrella and Spruce creek camps were in great condition. There were multiple fire rings and a picnic table at both camps. The trail was very easy to follow and in great shape. We hammocked at both campsites.

There was a cluster of trees that came down on one of the hairpin turns at 35.832005, -121.340036. These trees completely blocked the trail and you had to scramble across to get passed them.

Saw a good amount of poison oak in the damp areas. Nothing right on the trail and what I did see was easily avoidable.

Water was readily available at Spruce and Estrella camps.

No bugs, beautiful hike, and will be back again.

Re: Salmon Creek Trail

Postby Tim on Tue Dec 17, 2019 7:57 pm

Date Hiked: December 15, 2019
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

Spectacular 16 mile loop today. Went Salmon Creek Trail to Ridge Road to Cruikshank Trail to Buckeye Trail.

Had ideal conditions:
- Fantastic sunny, mild weather
- Creeks flowing
- No bugs
- Clear trails
- Very little poison oak
- Very few people (saw 3 hikers & 2 backpackers)

Got a lot of great photos. Soul is fortified!

Re: Salmon Creek Trail

Postby jesbrank on Mon Dec 02, 2019 9:24 am

Date Hiked: December 1, 2019
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

Trail was clear and fairly easy to follow. Campsites were wide open with almost no one out on the trail and campsite since it was rainy and windy this weekend. Streams were flowing quite well with plenty of water if needed.

Re: Salmon Creek Trail

Postby gfelsman on Thu Nov 28, 2019 7:30 pm

Date Hiked: November 23, 2019
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

Over the past few weeks VWA/USFS Volunteer Rangers have been on the Salmon Creek Trail. They have removed a downed tree, hauled out the old picnic table frame at Spruce Camp, cleaned fire rings, checked the trail conditions and talked to many hikers and backpackers.

As of this writing the trail is clear to Spruce Camp. The Trail is also clear up to the slide on the Spruce Creek Trail. With the upcoming storms Spruce Creek may rise quickly making for a difficult crossing at Spruce Camp. Please plan accordingly.

Remember a few things.

1. No Campfire or Stoves in the backcountry at this time even with the recent rains.
2. Pack out all your trash.
3. Be courteous to others.
4. Have fun and take lots of pictures.

Happy Travels.
Tree before removal.
Tree removed across the trail
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Re: Salmon Creek Trail

Postby rcmd8418 on Wed Oct 16, 2019 3:03 pm

Date Hiked: October 11, 2019
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

Hiked from the Salmon Creek trailhead to Estrella and camped, then hiked through to Ridge Road the following day. Trail was clear and easy to follow. As noted in a previous post, the correct path from Estrella Camp is marked with a pink ribbon. The trail was narrow the entire way and had a couple trickier scree sections, particularly between Spruce Creek and Estrella. Signs of significant and recent trail maintenance between Estrella and Ridge Road.

There was some poison oak on the sides of the trail, but generally avoidable (particularly since the leaves were changing to red).

One note if you want to visit Upper Salmon Creek Falls (a real delight) -- once you can see the falls, continue on the trail for ~150ft to find the spur down to the falls. We were initially fooled by what looked like the spur as soon as we spotted the falls, but it was impassable and dangerous.

Water was flowing well at both Spruce Creek and Estrella, but didn't encounter any water above Estrella.
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