Cruikshank Trail

Lonhart
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri May 29, 2020 12:38 pm

Re: Cruikshank Trail

Post by Lonhart »

Date Hiked: May 25, 2021
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)
View from Silver Peak summit, 26 May 2021.
View from Silver Peak summit, 26 May 2021.
Date Hiked: May 25, 2021
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

25 May 2021. Headed up Cruikshank trail from Highway 1 trailhead. Wilderness Freeway up to the Silver Peak Wilderness sign (30 min). Next 15 min the trail is easy to follow but encroaching grass and flowering plants, some poison oak, and so “clear”. I removed two crawling ticks, but I was also first person through this area for the day.

I walked through Lower Cruikshank camp 80 min in to the trek, and there is a trickle of water running through the camp. Table is in ok shape. Plenty of options to pitch a tent in the general area, shaded, but also right on the trail.

Upper Cruikshank camp is 8 min up the trail, it has a table in good shape, metal fire grill (not in the fire ring at the moment). There is a trickle of water further along the Buckeye Trail down to Villa Creek. Shaded area, and likely some better spots to camp further south on right spur trail that forks off of the Cruikshank trail about 50 m beyond camp.

Upper Cruikshank to Villa Camp: I headed down the Buckeye Trail to Villa Creek (8 min) down a steep trail with a few switchbacks, then crossed the creek, and headed down to Villa Creek camp (5 min), which has a metal sign tacked onto a tree trunk pointing down to the camp and up to Buckeye Trail heading up to the Alder Creek area.

Villa Camp: I had it all to myself, two obvious tent sites near the fire ring, and obviously this area can be popular on the weekends, since there were makeshift camps all over the place, some barely large enough to fit a tent. Water was cold but not frigid, and a couple of trout are in a pool below the camp that is deep enough for a full dunking. Brisk but refreshing. Bugs were active at noon, but by 4 PM the area was cooling and they were not an issue. Besides two day hikers, never saw another person.

26 May 2021. Left Villa Camp, stashed my pack at Upper Cruikshank, then day hiked Cruikshank trail to Silver Peak use trail (0800 hr). Wilderness Freeway from Upper Cruikshank to Silver Peak use trail junction. As you depart Upper camp, trail forks—stay left and quickly you’ll encounter a new sign at the junction of Cruikshank and Buckeye trails. Head up switchbacks for 30 min to Silver Camp.

Silver Camp was empty, and there was a trickle of water coming out of the PVC pipe at camp. Wide, flat area, and shaded. Running water a little further up the trail, just prior to the area with the slide. This is a steep section of terrain, and the rock is fragmented and loose. The trail across the slide is mildly difficult—just go slowly and it will be fine.

There were two other source of running water on this section, but usually only accessible below the trail. I was struck by the junipers (?) as you approach the crest of the ridge (1005 hr). This was a dramatic change from the redwoods in Villa Cr and the oaks on the last 1.5 miles of trail. The last 100 m or so of trail has lots of loose rock—looks like this part of the trail acts as a sluice during rain events. A large outcrop of white and red rock on north side of the trail mark the crest of the ridge, and a white plastic sign that says “trail” is standing in a pile of rocks. This sign is likely to keep folks heading down from Lion Den mistakenly taking the Silver Peak use trail.

Silver Peak use trail: this looks like it used to be a fire break and is at times Wilderness Freeway. Generally it is Passable, but one section about midway up is through a tunnel of manzanita that requires crouching in sections. Recent trimming has improved most of the use trail, and there are flags in certain areas to ensure you are on the right path. I missed the short turn off to the summit, which is marked by a large pile of rocks and a spur trail that ascends the last 5 m to the peak. If you see a rocky, red-colored outcrop with Yucca plants, that’s not the peak. Do not descend and then ascend to that outcrop. I almost did.

Silver Peak summit is more of a tiny knoll, with only a few places of bare, rocky ground, and a USGS marker and an ammo box that has a log in it, placed there in 2002. The log book is basically full, but it is cool to leaf through it. The views are spectacular, from seeing the ocean, to Pico Blanco, out towards Ft Hunter Liggett. Well worth the trek up. The flies precluded having lunch there, but glad I summited nevertheless. Headed back down 1245 hr and arrived back at Upper Cruikshank at 1515, saw my first person of the day while having lunch, and then back down to trailhead by 1700 hr. Epic trip!
Lonhart
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri May 29, 2020 12:38 pm

Re: Cruikshank Trail

Post by Lonhart »

Here are some photos from along the trail May 25-26, 2021.
Attachments
Silver Peak use trail beginning, 26 May 2021.
Silver Peak use trail beginning, 26 May 2021.
Villa Creek, 25 May 2021.
Villa Creek, 25 May 2021.
Villa Creek camp, 25 May 2021.
Villa Creek camp, 25 May 2021.
Upper Cruikshank camp, 25 May 2021.
Upper Cruikshank camp, 25 May 2021.
Lower Cruikshank camp, 25 May 2021.
Lower Cruikshank camp, 25 May 2021.
Last edited by Lonhart on Thu May 27, 2021 11:37 am, edited 1 time in total.
driggsy
Posts: 22
Joined: Mon Feb 15, 2021 9:22 am

Re: Cruikshank Trail

Post by driggsy »

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

Largely a wilderness freeway for 90% of it. Only iffy section is the second lowest mile (wilderness sign and up about 0.5-1 mile) but is still pretty good. Amazing diversity from the highway all the way to the south coast ridge road!
driggsy
Posts: 22
Joined: Mon Feb 15, 2021 9:22 am

Re: Cruikshank Trail

Post by driggsy »

Date Hiked: February 14, 2021
General Condition: Wilderness Freeway (Heavily used and well maintained)

Very good conditions all the way from the ridge road to Cruikshank camp. No complaints at all.
stefanie_g
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Nov 03, 2020 5:10 pm

Re: Cruikshank Trail

Post by stefanie_g »

Glad to hear the trail is passible! For the LionsDen camping area, do you happen to have a GPS pin or location? I keep seeing varying locations, all within a .5 miles stretch of the trail. I'm working on a project for a company called Art of the Trek and was hoping to narrow down the location a little better.


bheav wrote:Date Hiked: January 23, 2021
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

We did the whole Salmon Creek loop going clockwise. The trail was very well maintained until slightly after buckeye camp. The trail was pretty overgrown but definitely passable. We hiked all the way to lions den in the first day. Make sure if you plan on staying up there to stock up on water either at silver camp or estrella on the salmon creek side. There is no water past a certain point. After we spent the night at lions den made our way down the salmon creek trail which has tons of water after about 2 miles down. Overall the trail was in good shape and we had a great time!
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VWA_Ranger
Posts: 86
Joined: Thu Oct 29, 2020 4:41 pm

Re: Cruikshank Trail

Post by VWA_Ranger »

Date Hiked: February 4, 2021
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

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

Forest/Trail Status: PARTIALLY OPEN, Los Padres Monterey Ranger District is partially open per Forest Order 05-07-51-21-02
Current Fire Restrictions: Campfires and Stoves are permitted in the backcountry with a valid Campfire/Stove Permit.

Description:

The Monterey Ranger District Forest has partially reopened, VWA/USFS Volunteer Rangers continue to prepare opening other parts of the closed forest and are continuing their regular patrols. Today volunteer Rangers patrolled from Highway 1 to the Buckeye Jct. above Upper Cruickshank Camp. They cleared nine snags that had fallen across the trail. They checked upper and lower Criuckshank Camps and more. Water is available at both camps.

Trail conditions are as follows:


Highway 1 to top of Switchbacks. - Clear with no obstacles

Top of Switchbacks to Buckeye Trail Jct. to Estrella Camp - Clear with encroaching brush. Most of the brush is during the first 1/4 mile past the wilderness boundary.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
DISCLAIMER: This report is for informational purposes only. Trail conditions may change at any time. The Ventana Wilderness Alliance assumes no liability for the use of this information.
The Los Padres National Forest Website can be found here: https://www.fs.usda.gov/lpnf/
To learn more about the Volunteer VWA/USFS Ranger and Trail Crew Programs visit https://www.ventanawild.org/stewardship.
Attachments
Redwood snag across the trail.
Redwood snag across the trail.
Redwood snag after clearing.
Redwood snag after clearing.
bheav

Re: Cruikshank Trail

Post by bheav »

Date Hiked: January 23, 2021
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

We did the whole Salmon Creek loop going clockwise. The trail was very well maintained until slightly after buckeye camp. The trail was pretty overgrown but definitely passable. We hiked all the way to lions den in the first day. Make sure if you plan on staying up there to stock up on water either at silver camp or estrella on the salmon creek side. There is no water past a certain point. After we spent the night at lions den made our way down the salmon creek trail which has tons of water after about 2 miles down. Overall the trail was in good shape and we had a great time!
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VWA_Ranger
Posts: 86
Joined: Thu Oct 29, 2020 4:41 pm

Re: Cruikshank Trail

Post by VWA_Ranger »

Date Hiked: December 30, 2020
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

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

Forest/Trail Status: CLOSED, Los Padres Monterey Ranger District is closed per Forest Order 05-07-51-20-22
Current Fire Restrictions: No Campfires, No Stoves in backcountry. Cold Camping Only.

Description:

With the Monterey Ranger District Forest still closed, VWA/USFS Volunteer Rangers continue to prepare for its reopening. Today volunteer Rangers cleared the lower section of trail from Hwy 1 to the bottom of the switchbacks heading up the hill. This section of trail is now wide open.

Trail conditions are as follows:


Highway 1 to top of Switchbacks. - Clear with no obstacles

Top of switchbacks to Upper Cruickshank Camp - Clear with encroaching brush.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
DISCLAIMER: This report is for informational purposes only. Trail conditions may change at any time. The Ventana Wilderness Alliance assumes no liability for the use of this information.
The Los Padres National Forest Website can be found here: https://www.fs.usda.gov/lpnf/
To learn more about the Volunteer VWA/USFS Ranger and Trail Crew Programs visit https://www.ventanawild.org/stewardship.
Attachments
Starting up the Switchbacks.
Starting up the Switchbacks.
Across the lower flat.
Across the lower flat.
The Trailhead.
The Trailhead.
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VWA_Ranger
Posts: 86
Joined: Thu Oct 29, 2020 4:41 pm

Re: Cruikshank Trail

Post by VWA_Ranger »

Date Hiked: December 10, 2020
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

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

Forest/Trail Status: CLOSED, Los Padres Monterey Ranger District is closed per Forest Order 05-07-51-20-22
Current Fire Restrictions: No Campfires, No Stoves in backcountry. Cold Camping Only.

Description:

With the Monterey Ranger District Forest still closed, VWA/USFS Volunteer Rangers continue to prepare for its reopening. Today volunteer Rangers patrolled from Highway 1 to Silver Camp and beyond. Lower Cruickshank, Upper Cruickshank and Silver Camp were all clean and had a trickle of water at each camp. The trail is considered clear with encroaching brush in spots. The slide that starts at Silver Creek is still there. The tread is narrow all the way to the rocky outcropping. Step carefully when using this section of trail.

Trail conditions are as follows:


Highway 1 to Top of Switchbacks. - Clear with no obstacles

Top of Switchback to Upper Cruickshank Camp - Clear with encroaching brush.

Upper Cruickshank Camp to Silver Creek - Clear with some encroaching brush.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
DISCLAIMER: This report is for informational purposes only. Trail conditions may change at any time. The Ventana Wilderness Alliance assumes no liability for the use of this information.
The Los Padres National Forest Website can be found here: https://www.fs.usda.gov/lpnf/
To learn more about the Volunteer VWA/USFS Ranger and Trail Crew Programs visit https://www.ventanawild.org/stewardship.
Attachments
Lower Cruickshank Camp
Lower Cruickshank Camp
Silver Camp
Silver Camp
Slide at Silver Creek
Slide at Silver Creek
Slide near Silver Creek
Slide near Silver Creek
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VWA_Ranger
Posts: 86
Joined: Thu Oct 29, 2020 4:41 pm

Re: Cruikshank Trail

Post by VWA_Ranger »

Date Hiked: December 3, 2020
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

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

Forest/Trail Status: CLOSED, Los Padres Monterey Ranger District is closed per Forest Order 05-07-51-20-22
Current Fire Restrictions: No Campfires, No Stoves in backcountry. Cold Camping Only.

Description:

With the Monterey Ranger District Forest still closed, VWA/USFS Volunteer Rangers continue to prepare for its reopening. Today volunteer Rangers and Ranger Trainees patrolled from Highway 1 to Upper Cruickshank Camp. They cleaned Lower and Upper Cruickshank Camp. They made sure there were no smoldering or recent fires at each camp. Water is still trickling at both camps.

Trail conditions are as follows:


Highway 1 to top of Switchbacks - Clear with no obstacles

Top of Switchbacks to Upper Cruickshank Camp - Clear with encroaching brush.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
DISCLAIMER: This report is for informational purposes only. Trail conditions may change at any time. The Ventana Wilderness Alliance assumes no liability for the use of this information.
The Los Padres National Forest Website can be found here: https://www.fs.usda.gov/lpnf/
To learn more about the Volunteer VWA/USFS Ranger and Trail Crew Programs visit https://www.ventanawild.org/stewardship.
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