Advice on a Backpacking Route?

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jbl
Posts: 212
Joined: Mon Sep 15, 2008 3:57 pm

Advice on a Backpacking Route?

Post by jbl »

Your proposed route in Silver Peak area would be nice. As an alternative to staying in Estrella on night 1 and if you really would like to adventure, consider:
Day 1-hike all the way up to the South Coast Ridge Road (~6 miles) then go left over to the Cruikshank Trail and drop down the short distance to Lion's Den Camp (with its great views down Salmon Creek Canyon (and water nearby)) to spend the night;
Day 2-leave your gear at camp and do the out and back hike to Silver Peak (hey, you're in Silver Peak Wilderness, might as well visit the place it's named after!), and then per Jack's comment grab your gear and head over to 3 Peaks Camp;
Day 3-return to trailhead via 3 Peaks Trail/Dutra Flat/Spruce Creek Trail/Salmon Creek Trail.
Whatever you do, submit trail reports of the trails you travel.
Re gaiters: I totally rely on them for (1) poison oak protection (you'll encounter lots of low-level PO encroachment in this area); (2) thistle protection (ditto re thistles); and (3) if a rattlesnake ever pops out and strikes below your knees (which has never happened to me, but there's always a first time), those gaiters give an extra layer of protection.
ENJOY!
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jack_glendening
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Joined: Thu Oct 29, 2009 12:03 am

Re: Advice on a Backpacking Route?

Post by jack_glendening »

I want to put in a word in support of Three Peaks Camp. While it does not have great views, it does have choice of camping either out in the open or under trees with a nice water pool nearby. Personally I thought it a good place to stayu overnight if looking for an "personal space" feeling, particularly since it much less used than Dutra Flat Camp. (And it does have a table!)

Jack
Big Sur Trailmap: https://bigsurtrailmap.net
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mikesplain
Posts: 660
Joined: Tue Aug 12, 2008 3:15 pm

Re: Advice on a Backpacking Route?

Post by mikesplain »

1) Gaiters are recommended for deflecting prickly vegetation (grass seeds, burs & other "hitchhikers") which can wreck socks & other clothing.
2) No need for a rugged vehicle for east-side trailheads, many are accessible from paved roads. See- http://bigsurtrailmap.net/
3) Please leave it better than you found it! See- https://tinyurl.com/yxjko73w
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gfelsman
Posts: 300
Joined: Thu Aug 28, 2008 9:33 pm

Re: Advice on a Backpacking Route?

Post by gfelsman »

If spending the night, I would suggest parking at the Salmon Creek Station. Safer location. There may also be a VWA/USFS Volunteer Ranger there if going this weekend. Be sure to have a valid Campfire Fire/Backpacking Stove permit. They are free and do your part to help keep things nice.
choiboy525
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Joined: Thu May 23, 2019 3:20 pm

Re: Advice on a Backpacking Route?

Post by choiboy525 »

Thanks! We will keep that in mind - unfortunately I don't think the car will allow us to enter from the east, but we'll keep in mind that it will be busy. Just a question on the gaiters - is this for waterproofing purposes or because of insects? I was planning on wearing long pants that would either go over my boots or could be tucked into my socks.
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mikesplain
Posts: 660
Joined: Tue Aug 12, 2008 3:15 pm

Re: Advice on a Backpacking Route?

Post by mikesplain »

Your route is reasonable, but judging by the sheer volume of calls, emails, & forum posts, the Silver Peak Wilderness will be very, very crowded this weekend. Estrella is a small camp, so it could be quite cramped if you have company there. I don't recall a lookout tower at Three Peaks, though the view is nice. Three Peaks Camp is a former jeep camp, not much to look at, but Dutra Flat is in open country & fairly spacious. If you decide on the Ventana Wilderness, try entering from the east side. Head-nets & gaiters are advised wherever you go.
choiboy525
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu May 23, 2019 3:20 pm

Advice on a Backpacking Route?

Post by choiboy525 »

Hello! I'm a visitor from North Carolina hoping to ask for some advice on a dog-friendly route for Memorial Day weekend. My friend and I will be traveling south from the Bay Area and were hoping to do a three day/two night trip. If anyone has suggestions for trips within Ventana Wilderness proper, we'd be all ears (though I think the closure of the Pine Ridge trail head is going to make that difficult).

Otherwise, we were planning on doing a loop that we could also use advice on in the Silver Peak Wilderness.
1) Park at Hwy 1, taking Salmon Creek Trail north to Estrella camp. First night there.
2) Estrella Camp north along Salmon Creek Trail to South Coast Ridge Road.
3) Walk along the road east, contemplate the Three Peaks Lookout Tower.
4) Dutra Trail south to either Three Peaks or Dutra Flat Campground. Second night there.
5) Spruce Creek Trail west to rejoin Salmon Creek, hike out.

Thanks in advance for the advice!
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