Buckeye Trail

geoffvirtue
Posts: 21
Joined: Sat Mar 14, 2020 11:10 pm

Re: Buckeye Trail

Post by geoffvirtue »

Date Hiked: October 28, 2023
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

Clear from Upper Cruikshank through to Salmon Creek Station. Few sections where brush is starting to encroach and one or two downed trees but all very cruisey.

Water flowing at Buckeye, make sure to walk up the stream to the spring box and fill/filter from the pipe. Beautiful weather out there right now.
klucas

Re: Buckeye Trail

Post by klucas »

Date Hiked: July 14, 2023
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

Hiked from Upper Cruikshanks Camp to Alder Creek Camp. Trail was in great condition most of the way.

Two treefalls near Villa Creek, very easily climbed over. A few small treefalls near Alder Creek, also very easily avoided. Tread was in great shape the whole way. Deerweed was encroaching in only a few spots. Poison oak was not encroaching very much, mostly near Alder Creek. Nothing an hour of lopper work wouldn't clean up. Villa Creek and Alder Creek were both flowing well. Weather was hot. Very refreshing and cool near the creeks. The flies are out this time of year, wish I had a bug net.

FYI, there is an abandoned old mine shaft upstream of Alder Creek camp, and there is groundwater flowing from the mine shaft into the creek. Not sure if there is toxic stuff in that mine water.
klucas

Re: Buckeye Trail

Post by klucas »

Date Hiked: June 8, 2023
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

Hiked from Soda Springs trailhead to Upper Cruikshanks Camp.

Between Soda Springs and Buckeye Camp, mostly clear, not much has changed. Just as you rise out of the oak forest into the gray pines, there is a section of trail that has a little ravine running through the length of it. Needs to be filled in and have channels put in to divert the water off the trail.

Between Buckeye Camp and Cruikshanks, the trail gets a bit brushy. Poison oak has grown happily this year, so maybe if someone could take some loppers in, that would be helpful. There is also some deerweed encroaching, not too much.

Tread was pretty great, no complaints. Water plentiful at Soda Springs Creek, Buckeye pipe spring, Buckeye creek.
flynn

Re: Buckeye 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.
Virjensen

Re: Buckeye Trail

Post by Virjensen »

Date Hiked: November 2, 2022
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

Perfect trail conditions on a perfect fall day. There is a fire pit at the camp that could encourage campers to build afire in it. The stones are to large for me to move by myself.
[Ed: hikers should not remove fire rings even if the National Forest is in fire restrictions. Fire rings are established at campsites to allow fires to be built safely. Wilderness rangers work hard to clean out the ashes and remove any excess rocks at fire rings. This way the fire ring is ready for use when fire restrictions are eased, depending on rainfall each year.]

I am interested in the history of this area. The soil is black broken rock. Was there a lime kiln here at one time? How is it that there is such a large flat area in such a vertical landscape?
klucas

Re: Buckeye Trail

Post by klucas »

Date Hiked: September 28, 2022
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

Hiked from Soda Springs trailhead up to the ridgeline at 2100' with the gray pines, valley oaks, and nice big rocks to sit on, near the intersection with the use trail that leads up to Silver Peak.

Wilderness freeway for almost the whole thing, excepting a big deadfall tree that blocked the entire path maybe 2 miles from Soda Springs trailhead. It was not too hard to climb over, but it did require climbing. 2 miles is my estimate where it was, as I did not have a tracker on me. Occasional poison oak branch/leaf to avoid, but very well-maintained. No noticeable erosion from the recent rainstorm. Tread was pretty good, leafy patches weren't too slippery. Loose soil did not give way under me.

Water was present in Soda Creek, but only in places did it surface. I did not check around where the trail crosses the creek. It would require some searching up and down the creekbed to find where the water pools up. Slightly higher than the Soda Creek crossing, there is a small ravine with a bunch of pampas grass. This seemed to have some moisture, so perhaps some searching would reveal water. In the bay laurel section of the Soda Springs trail, there was a spot where water was seeping from the ground in a small puddle. I think that's a perennial spring. It was much the same back in the rainy season.
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VWA_Ranger
Posts: 114
Joined: Thu Oct 29, 2020 4:41 pm

Re: Buckeye Trail: Cruickshank to Villa Creek Camp

Post by VWA_Ranger »

Date Hiked: August 6, 2022
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

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

Description:

VWA/USFS Volunteer Rangers were out patrolling the Buckeye Trail in the Silver Peak Wilderness. They removed the large tree on the steep slope heading down to Villa Creek Camp. They also reported that most people are complying with "Fire Restrictions", while a few others continue to ignore the rules by having campfires that are not permitted at this time. It only takes a small spark from a campfire to ruin and destroy the forest for everyone.

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:

Upper Cruikshank Camp to Villa Creek Camp - Clear, minor encroaching brush and uneven tread in places.
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Attachments
Tree removed by VWA Volunteer/USFS Rangers
Tree removed by VWA Volunteer/USFS Rangers
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jbl
Posts: 216
Joined: Mon Sep 15, 2008 3:57 pm

Buckeye Trail

Post by jbl »

Date Hiked: July 3, 2022
General Condition: Wilderness Freeway (Heavily used and/or well maintained)

We did a pre-4th of July hike up the Cruikshank Trail to the Cruikshank Camps and then along the Buckeye Trail to Salmon Creek Station.

Overall Report-the Buckeye Trail has held up quite well since the very intensive restoration project that the Mike Heard and the VWA oversaw in '15-'16. But wow, the numerous spots where I have always seen water (including the Redwood Gulch creek crossing just north of Buckeye Camp) are all now super dry.

Section: Cruikshank Camps to Saddle between Villa Creek drainage and Redwood Gulch drainage (commonly referred to as "Buckshank Ridge"): The trail here is clear and tread is in great shape, given that this is a pretty lush section the brush is squeezing in slightly along the way (with a lot of poison oak), but there is room at all times for you to move along the trail without touching anything.

Section: Buckshank Ridge to Buckeye Camp: This section, which was notoriously bad before the '15-'16 restoration, has held up extremely well; there is one slipout on the steep sidehill as you work your way down to Redwood Gulch and in a few places the trail is quite narrow and angled out to the steep sidehill, and the low brush is encroaching a lot on both sides of the trail in places leaving the tread pretty narrow.

Buckeye Camp: I don't know when this happened but the water source is now exposed rather than hidden in the hillside (in the past a pipe came out of the hill to deliver the great Buckeye Camp water). Water was flowing but much less than normal.

Section: Buckeye Camp to Salmon Creek Station: this is all Wilderness Freeway (and there were some very bad sections here before the '15-'16 restoration), with wonderful views all along the way. Sadly there was virtually no water flowing at any of the creek and gully crossings on the descent from Soda Ridge to the Soda Springs Trail turnoff. The brush does encroach a bit and constrict the trail in places from the saddle above Salmon Creek Station down to the end of the trail.

Side-Trip on "Soda Wildtrail" up to the Chert Peaklet/Soda 2. We left the Buckeye Trail on one of the ridges as you ascend out of Buckeye Camp and hiked up to the rocky ~2,850 peaklet at the top of Soda Ridge, our route up was not on the Soda Wildtrail until we got near the peaklet but we took the Soda Wildtrail all the way down and it remains distinct and easy to follow. However, although I've been on the continuation of the Soda Wildtrail down the backside of the Chert Peaklet a few times, it's been a while and we spent a little time back there trying to identify where it started in the really heavy brush that's back there (which is intertwined with a lot of PO) and were unable to spot it. I'm not sure that this is currently passable.
runcyclegirl
Posts: 31
Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2012 1:58 pm

Re: Buckeye Trail

Post by runcyclegirl »

Date Hiked: May 15, 2022
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

Overall, Buckeye Trail is clear with a couple of sections that I would rate as passable to approaching early stages of difficult due to brush.

The one mile section between the Cruikshank junction and the top of the ridge toward Buckeye Camp is a poison oak garden. Unless you have impressive Aikido like defensive skills with your trekking poles, you are bound to brush against PO in this section. It's a mile long, why not?

From the ridge top to Buckeye Camp the trail is choking on dry deerweed. Tread is evident and where it is under the bushy plant, a quick shuffle reassures your footing. Recommend long pants to avoid getting scratched and poked.

From Buckeye to Salmon Creek Ranger Station the trail is a wilderness freeway.

Water is flowing nicely at Buckeye Camp and water is also flowing at Soda Spring Creek.
Poison Oak between Buckeye Trail junction with Cruikshank to the top of the ridge.
Poison Oak between Buckeye Trail junction with Cruikshank to the top of the ridge.
Deerweed and bad tread.
Deerweed and bad tread.
More deerweed.
More deerweed.
Water at Buckeye Camp.
Water at Buckeye Camp.
Expansive coastal views.
Expansive coastal views.
shane9
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2022 7:56 am

Re: Buckeye Trail

Post by shane9 »

Date Hiked: April 8, 2022
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

Hiked up from Salmon station. The trail was well maintained. Stay on trail and you will be off the abundant poison oak along the way. Refilled water at Buckeye camp and admired the nice picnic table. We then continued until we hit the Upper Cruikshank Camp.

Really nothing more to share other than confirming all the pictures that I saw on Google map when planning the trip. Not an easy hike but definitely worth the trip.
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