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THANK YOU FOR READING THIS IMPORTANT INFORMATION - updated February 25, 2021 

ALERT: Due to a January 26-28 storm, Highway 1 is closed from Big Creek Vista Point in the south to just north of Lime Creek Bridge in the north. Long-term, there is a significant washout of the Highway 1 at Rat Creek (just north of Big Creek Reserve and just south of Esalen Institute). Expect this closure to be in place until summer 2021. Nacimiento-Fergusson Road (which connects Highway 1 at Kirk Creek with Fort Hunter Liggett on the eastern side of the Coast Ridge) is also significantly damaged and may not be open for quite some time.  

Effective January 22, 2021 U.S. Forest Service - Los Padres National Forest has re-opened most unburned areas of the Monterey Ranger District. In and around the northern Ventana Wilderness, most lands north of and including the Marble Peak Trail are open. Wilderness camps in the backcountry can be accessed from the Arroyo Seco Recreation Area near Greenfield (off 101) or via Tassajara Road deep in the Carmel Valley. 

The Pine Ridge Trail from Big Sur Station to Redwood Camp remains closed. 

Lands south of Willow Creek Road, including most of the Silver Peak Wilderness, are also open.

Most secondary roads (including Del Venturi/Milpitas, Nacimiento-Fergusson, Plaskett Ridge, Willow Creek/Los Burros, & South Coast Ridge roads) remain gated and closed. 

This map depicts the closure boundary. Not sure if a particular road, trail, or camp is open? Call the Monterey Ranger District at 831-385-5434. Please enjoy your public lands responsibly. When in place, abide by NO CAMPFIRE restrictions. Pack out everything you pack in (including toilet paper). Leave this special place better than you found it. Leave No Trace ethics are more important than ever with visitors concentrated in fewer places to go.  

State Parks 

The following are 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), and Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park (go online or call to find out if the park's campgrounds are open)  

The following remain closed: Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, John Little State Natural Reserve, Limekiln State Park  

KNOW BEFORE YOU GO (additional US Forest Service information for the Monterey Ranger District): Please note that the information above is oftentimes more up-to-date than the US Forest Service site. Call 831-385-5434 with questions. 

 

Ventana Wilderness Forums • View topic - Salmon Creek Trail

Salmon Creek Trail

Re: Salmon Creek Trail

Postby Rick on Wed Jul 03, 2019 7:17 pm

Date Hiked: July 2, 2019
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

Hiked today from Salmon Crk at Hwy 1 to Spruce Creek Camp, Estrella Camp and on to the Forest service ridge road ending up at Lion Den Camp. Plenty of water at Lion Den spring [Ed. note- Lion Den is on the Cruikshank Trail] and the trail was in great condition for the entire way. The upper portion of the trail was easily passable due to a recent brush clearing.
Rick
 

Re: Salmon Creek Trail

Postby Nic Stover on Wed Jun 26, 2019 12:57 pm

Date Hiked: June 22, 2019
General Condition: Wilderness Freeway (Heavily used and well maintained)

Last time I hiked this trail was in May of 2016 and I can say it was not a pleasant experience. The trail was severely overgrown and had Poison Oak everywhere. This time was a different story. Extremely great shape both on trail and in the campgrounds.

It was comical to see the "overnighters" that were backpacking into Spruce Camp with guitars, coolers, full pillows, and bottled water. I did not stay in either Spruce or Estrella but based on the people I talked to and the evidence on the ground of these campgrounds I would say they are HIGHLY used and I would think can be more of a party scene than tranquil nature. Spruce Creek, Salmon Creek were both flowing well and even some of the smaller feeders had water.

There were a-lot of people on the trail. I hiked top down which was nice. I did see the tree hanging that was mentioned below. I also had to duck in one spot with my pack. Oh, the humanity. Can you imagine that I had to duck in one spot ;) In all seriousness thank the trail crew whenever you see them and think about volunteering if you can to keep trails up.
Nic Stover
 

Re: Salmon Creek Trail

Postby gfelsman on Sat May 18, 2019 8:00 am

Date Hiked: May 17, 2019
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

Today VWA/USFS Volunteer Rangers Patrolled the trail from Highway 1 to Spruce Camp and back. The trail is clear with encroaching brush. We installed a new sign at Spruce Camp and marked one of two trees hanging over the trail with orange tape. When entering this section you should not stop. The overhead tree could come down at anytime. It is located after the second canyon crossing when heading in. There is a second tree closer to Spruce Creek Junction, but is much more secure for now.

See Photos Below:

As always be prepared and help keep things nice. Be sure to have valid campfire/backpacking stove permit if staying overnight. Still lots of flowers out.
Attachments
Hazard Treel on Salmon Creek after 2nd creek crossing.jpg
Tree after second canyon crossing.
Hazard Treel on Salmon Creek 200 yards before the Jct..jpg
Tree just before Spruce Creek Jct.
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Re: Salmon Creek Trail

Postby toejam on Mon May 13, 2019 4:27 pm

Date Hiked: May 12, 2019
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

VWA volunteers and staff worked on this trail over the weekend. I'll rate the entire trail as "clear" but there is a place where you have to crawl under fallen branches about 1/4 mile from the top. The trail is clear for backpackers and in the best shape I've seen in 11 years hiking it.

Estrella Camp and Spruce Creek Camp get too many thoughtless and disrespectful visitors building rogue fire rings, burning trash, leaving trash, and not putting out fires.
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Re: Salmon Creek Trail

Postby gfelsman on Sun Apr 28, 2019 7:21 am

Date Hiked: April 27, 2019
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

VWA/USFS Rangers Patrolled from Highway 1 to Spruce Camp and back. The weather was perfect. Lots of flowers and no bug. We ran into 69 people on this day trip. The trail itself is clear all the way to Spruce Camp. We cleaned up a couple of fire rings and opened up the Spruce Creek Crossing.

Be safe and enjoy yourself out there.
Attachments
Spruce Creek Crossing.jpg
Cleared Spruce Creek Crossing
Spruce Camp.jpg
Spruce Camp
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gfelsman
 
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Re: Salmon Creek Trail

Postby K Vandevere on Thu Apr 18, 2019 11:30 am

Date Hiked: April 16, 2019
General Condition: Wilderness Freeway (Heavily used and well maintained)

Highway 1 to San Carpoforo Trail Junction

This portion of the Salmon Creek Trail is fully unobstructed and heavily used.
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Re: Salmon Creek Trail

Postby ammodramus on Sun Mar 17, 2019 4:56 pm

Date Hiked: March 16, 2019
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

Hiked the Salmon Creek Trail as part of the Buckeye-Salmon-Creek-Cruickshank loop this weekend. Salmon Creek Trail was entirely clear until Estrella Camp but became very brushy (but passable) heading uphill from Estrella Camp to the top, connecting to Cruickshank Trail towards Lion Den Camp.

Water was abundant until Estrella Camp but only a few small streams immediately above that. No water (that I remember) the last 2 miles or so. Streams were flowing but crossable owing to the lack of rain the last 7+ days.
ammodramus
 

Re: Salmon Creek Trail Be Careful at Spruce Creek

Postby gfelsman on Tue Mar 05, 2019 12:46 pm

Date Hiked: March 3, 2019
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

If you are using trails in the Big Sur Area be safe. There was a rescue last weekend due to poor planning by the user. Cal Fire had to come two miles to save this person. Spruce Creek rose 4 feet over night after an inch of rain. There is no cell service these people were lucky some one came by to get help.
Attachments
Spruce Creek Rescue.jpg
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Re: Salmon Creek Trail

Postby gfelsman on Sat Feb 09, 2019 8:13 pm

Date Hiked: February 9, 2019
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

VWA/USFS Wilderness Rangers Patrolled from Highway 1 to Spruce Creek Camp and back. The trail is clear with a couple of snags that need ducking under. Spruce Camp is a boggy mess. We did not cross the creek it was roaring today.

We also went up the Spruce Creek Trail to the slide. Trail is in fair shape and the trail across the slide is intact at this time. A couple of snags or downed trees to negotiate.

Be safe and have a valid fire permite before venturing in on an overnight trip.
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Re: Salmon Creek Trail

Postby K Vandevere on Wed Jan 30, 2019 8:48 pm

Date Hiked: January 30, 2019
General Condition: Wilderness Freeway (Heavily used and well maintained)

From Hwy. 1 to the Spruce Creek/Dutra/Three Peaks-or-whatever-you-want-to-call-it trail junction.

This heavily used trail is absolutely wide open. Well, OK, there is one snag that most people will have to duck slightly to get under, but that does not stop it from being a Wilderness Freeway. Lots of milkmaids, shooting stars, buttercups, fritillaria, California peony, etc. blooming. Lots of water in the creeks.
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