Salmon Creek Trail

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jbl
Posts: 216
Joined: Mon Sep 15, 2008 3:57 pm

Salmon Creek Trail

Post by jbl »

Date Hiked: January 28, 2024
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

We hiked from trailhead to Spruce Creek Trail turnoff, trail is mostly Wilderness Freeway but there are 2-3 trees down in the last mile or so which require climbover.
Peter

Re: Salmon Creek Trail

Post by Peter »

Date Hiked: January 15, 2024
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

Hiked down the Salmon Creek trail from Lion Den camp as part of a loop starting at the Buckeye trailhead. The trail is in great condition overall with some washouts here and there, but they are navigable. Some sections where the brush is encroaching on the trail, but not too bad at all. Estrella camp and Spruce camp are in great condition and the creeks there are pretty big and flowing strong.

There is a section after (if you're going counter-clockwise) Spruce camp where entire hillside has washed down taking out what looked to be the original trail, but a detour trail looks to have been established. Someone tied flagging tape across 2 trees to block people from falling off the washed out hillside cliff where the old trail probably lead to, so be careful and go left down the detour trail if you're going clockwise.
geoffvirtue
Posts: 21
Joined: Sat Mar 14, 2020 11:10 pm

Re: Salmon Creek Trail

Post by geoffvirtue »

Date Hiked: October 27, 2023
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

Mostly clear though there is one major treefall before Estrella that requires down climbing steep terrain. A couple hours with a small hand saw and loppers would clear the fall. Estrella up to Lion's Den is clear, with some encroaching brush in areas, but nothing bad.

Water is flowing as normal at Lion's Den, ran into some folks who didn't know to go further upstream to the spring head to filter at the pool. It's in the copse of Oak Trees if you follow the water up to the source/pool.

Beautiful night out there - met some younger students from SLO who were enjoying nature at Lion's Den and it made me happy to see our youth finding time to connect with the outdoors.

If you are planning to tag Silver Peak, tread is mostly evident and is not more overgrown than usual - be careful of false paths, there's two or three sections where you need to swim through brush instead of following what looks to be a path, just retread and try different paths if you aren't feeling on trail. No registry signatures since mid September.
Samduncandoroff

Re: Salmon Creek Trail

Post by Samduncandoroff »

Date Hiked: October 21, 2023
General Condition: Difficult (brushy and/or many deadfalls, faint tread)

Greetings. I led a trip with a group of Cal Poly students counterclockwise on this loop, camping at Lion’s Den. What an extraordinary trail. Thank you for sharing it with us. It was nearly entirely immaculate, besides a very treacherous downed tree about a mile before Spruce Creek Camp. We were able to pass it by crawling on our hands and knees, however people seem to be going around as well which is severely eroding the path. Heads up!
flynn

Re: Salmon Creek Trail

Post by flynn »

Date Hiked: June 3, 2023
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

Hiked from Hwy 1 on Buckeye Trail ->Cruikshank->S. Coast Ridge Rd->Salmon Creek Trail as a loop. The first section of Buckeye is extremely brushy and overgrown as you climb from the road. There is a lot of poison oak there and past that point. I also pulled a tick off of me and had a reaction (getting antibiotics) , so wear long pants/sleeves and get a bite checked out if it looks concerning. There are many downed trees throughout the trail and slides on the trail, but nowhere that is impassable. Water sources are flowing at every camp. The longest stretch between water sources is Lion's Den to Estrella camp. Other than that, it was wonderful to be back now that HWY 1 has been opened enough. It was not too crowded, wildflowers were in bloom, and beautiful views all around.
Rob
Posts: 117
Joined: Thu Sep 18, 2008 3:21 pm
Location: SJC

Re: Salmon Creek Trail

Post by Rob »

Date Hiked: April 2, 2023
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

I hiked from South Coast Ridge Road (by way of Three Peaks), down to the Spruce Creek Trail junction. No idea what things are like below there. The last time I hiked this trail was in May 2017, just for reference.

The upper section in the chaparral was very pleasant, and seemed to be holding up nicely. Some sections were a bit loose, probably due to erosion.

There were a few small blowdowns as I descended to Estrella, and there was the same section of steep, loose scree where you have to kick steps and/or be careful. Estrella seemed to be very pleasant, and with some judicious routefinding I did not have to use my water shoes to cross.

I went to go look at the waterfall below Estrella, and it was going full blast, very nice. The slopes were still a bit moist, so that might have helped with footing.

There were an assortment of blowdowns on the way down to Spruce Camp, and a washout with some downed trees where it looks like folks have been (very) carefully descending below the trail. There was one section that was washed out, but with some downed trees. One of the trees had a fresh flag labelled "killer tree" (or so it looked). Also some steep, narrow parts, but that is nothing new.

The crossing just before Spruce Camp looked a bit spicy in boots if I wanted to keep them dry, so I crossed in water shoes. Spruce Camp looked dark, wet, and not particularly inviting.

A switchback above Spruce Camp appeared to have washed out. There was a flag and what looked like a fresh detour (steep). Not much else to report on the way to the junction.
User avatar
VWA_Ranger
Posts: 117
Joined: Thu Oct 29, 2020 4:41 pm

Re: Salmon Creek Trail

Post by VWA_Ranger »

Date Hiked: December 13, 2022
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

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

Description:

This came from another hiker.

Since the December storms multiple trees have come down across the Salmon Creek Trail after many were cleared by USFS/VWA Volunteer Rangers last month. We know of a few trees above Spruce Camp, but there may be more at this time along any section of the trail. We do not have the exact locations. Also, just past Estrella Camp a fair amount of scree has come down across some steep sections of trail. The trail is still easy to follow, just with more obstacles which might make travel more difficult.

If you travel this trail all we can say is error on the side of safety and turn around if the trail is above your ability to cross. Be safe out there. Happy Hiking.
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VWA_Ranger
Posts: 117
Joined: Thu Oct 29, 2020 4:41 pm

Re: Salmon Creek Trail

Post by VWA_Ranger »

Date Hiked: July 29, 2022
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

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

Description:

VWA/USFS Volunteer Rangers were out patrolling the Salmon Creek Trail in the Silver Peak Wilderness. Unfortunately, they reported that many folks continue to ignore the current "Fire Restrictions", by having campfires that are not permitted at this time. One campfire was still smoldering when they arrived. It only takes on careless user to ruin and destroy the forest for the rest of us.

Please do your part to protect this wonderful and valuable resource. Help keep things nice, have a valid campfire/Stove permit, pack out all your gear, trash and TP. Leave a place nicer than you found it. Water is available at Spruce and Estrella camps.

Trail conditions are as follows:

Highway 1 to Spruce Creek Jct. - Clear, minor encroaching brush. A short section of trail has fallen away between second and third canyon crossing. This section of trail is easily crossed.

Spruce Creek Jct. to Estrella Camp - Passable, there are at least 10 trees down clustered in multiple snags along this section of trail as noted in the previous report. One may require crawling under to get by. Water is available at Both Spruce and Estrella Camp.

Estrella Camp. to SCRR - Passable, with encroaching brush and some minor slides. No water can be found along this section of trail.
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User avatar
VWA_Ranger
Posts: 117
Joined: Thu Oct 29, 2020 4:41 pm

Re: Salmon Creek Trail

Post by VWA_Ranger »

Date Hiked: June 22, 2022
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

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

Description:

Over the past week, VWA/USFS Volunteer Rangers Patrolled many trails in the Silver Peak Wilderness. Upon returning they reported that many folks have chosen to ignore the current "Fire Restrictions", by having campfires that are not permitted at this time. It only takes on careless user to ruin and destroy the forest for the rest of us.

Please do your part to protect this wonderful and valuable resource. Help keep things nice, have a valid campfire/Stove permit, pack out all your gear, trash and TP. Leave a place nicer than you found it. Water is available at Spruce and Estrella camps.

Trail conditions are as follows:

Highway 1 to Spruce Creek Jct. - Clear, minor encroaching brush. A short section of trail has fallen away between second and third canyon crossing. This section of trail is easily crossed.

Spruce Creek Jct. to Estrella Camp - Passable, there are multiple snags along this section of trail as noted in the previous report. One may require crawling under to get by. Water is available at Both Spruce and Estrella Camp.

Estrella Camp. to SCRR - Passable, with encroaching brush and some minor slides. No water can be found along this section of trail.
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runcyclegirl
Posts: 31
Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2012 1:58 pm

Re: Salmon Creek Trail

Post by runcyclegirl »

Date Hiked: May 13, 2022
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

Friends and I spent three days hiking the "loop" from Salmon Creek to Cruikshank to Buckeye where we met the highway at Salmon Creek Ranger Station. This report is for Salmon Creek Trail only.

From Highway 1 to Spruce Creek Camp, the trail is a wilderness freeway. The first half mile is a gradual climb and exposed with ocean views. The trail then is wonderfully shaded under bay laurel canopy for approximately three miles before opening up to the sun again and expansive canyon views.

The trail between Spruce Creek Camp and Estrella is passable with good tread. There are four down trees in this section and most are easy to step over or around or under. One tree is a bit branch-jamy and, if you are taller than 5 ft, you may need to take off your pack to get through. There are also one or two narrow tread spots.

After Estrella Camp the trail becomes exposed to sun and views and will seem more arid.
This section of trail is clear all the way to the South Coast Ridge Road.

There is poison oak along the trail but it is mostly avoidable.

Plenty of running water in both camps.
Gradual climb in open sky with pretty serpentine rock.
Gradual climb in open sky with pretty serpentine rock.
Pools of running water at Spruce Camp.
Pools of running water at Spruce Camp.
One of four trees down between Spruce Camp and Estrella Camp.
One of four trees down between Spruce Camp and Estrella Camp.
Above Estrella Camp the trail becomes more exposed and dry.
Above Estrella Camp the trail becomes more exposed and dry.
Nearing the South Coast Ridge Road, another impressive serpentine colored outcrop.
Nearing the South Coast Ridge Road, another impressive serpentine colored outcrop.
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