Cruikshank Trail

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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: November 15, 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 to top of Switchbacks. - Clear with no obstacles

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

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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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VWA_Ranger
Posts: 86
Joined: Thu Oct 29, 2020 4:41 pm

Re: Cruikshank Trail

Post by VWA_Ranger »

Date Hiked: October 26, 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 Upper Cruickshank Camp. They cleaned Lower and Upper Cruickshank Camps. Made sure there were no smoldering or recent fires at each camp. They removed a large oak that had fallen across the trail about a mile in and another small tree just before Upper Cruickshank Camp. Water is still trickling at both camps.

Trail conditions are as follows:


Highway 1 to top of Switchbacks - Clear with no obstacles

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
Tree across trail
Tree across trail
Tree across trail
Tree across trail
Restored trail 1.25 miles in.
Restored trail 1.25 miles in.
cwuflestad

Re: Cruikshank Trail

Post by cwuflestad »

Date Hiked: August 15, 2020
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

Lion's Den to Buckeye Camp via Cruikshank

I read that we would be exposed to more Poison Oak here than on Salmon Creek but I didn't think that was the case. Pretty much all downhill except for a few minor climbs.
Water available at Silver Camp via a small pipe so fill up here if you can. Next water at Buckeye Camp. A little more buggy on this trail than Salmon Creek.
Mostly shaded with some sun exposure. Trail was clear.
gregwin99

Re: Cruikshank Trail

Post by gregwin99 »

Date Hiked: June 22, 2020
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

Section: Hiked from Lion Den Camp down to Villa Creek, to Buckeye Camp

Trail from Lion Den Camp to Villa Creek had a couple of treacherous parts due to landslides. Passable with some caution.

Clear Trail otherwise. Did not hit a water source until about a mile or 1.5 miles out. Ended up spending the day at the amazing pools by villa creek campground. Water was clear and cool!

Then went from Villa Creek to Buckeye Camp. Passed small water sources on the way. Spring at Buckeye camp was flowing. We hiked a bit farther past buckeye camp to a scenic campsite overlooking the ocean.
Kris R

Re: Cruikshank Trail

Post by Kris R »

Date Hiked: June 20, 2020
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

Hiked from Hwy 1 to Villa Creek Camp on 6/19. Trail was a bit over grown just past the sign for entering Silver Peak Wilderness. Certainly clear, but need to be a bit careful of encroaching poison oak.

Hiked from Villa Creek Camp/Upper Cruikshank up to the ridge and back on 6/20. Trail was clear and in good shape. Water was available at Silver Creek Camp (not a ton, but certainly enough coming from small creek and white pvc pipe) and Lion Den Camp (creek near camp). There is small landslide just past (above) Silver Creek Camp. Caused you to slow down and be careful, but not too sketchy.

Overall, great condition! Lots of people out!
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Jim Ringland
Posts: 124
Joined: Sat May 07, 2011 12:02 pm
Location: Oakland, CA

Re: Cruikshank Trail

Post by Jim Ringland »

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

I hiked from the South Coast Road down to the Lower Cruikshank Camp. Except for the slide area (read on), the trail is open. It is, however, a little too rocky in some spots (especially on a steep section just west of the junction with the Silver Peak use trail) and a little too narrow in others to warrant a Wilderness Freeway designation. Still no problem.

The slide area ¼ mile or so east of Silver Camp has four short (20 foot-ish) stretches that will slow the hiker down, but there’s nothing particularly difficult. The northern two of these have loose gravel above and below but good footing on the level, if narrow and gravelly, trail bed. The next involves some careful steps on exposed solid rock. There are good places to put your feet and I didn’t in any way feel unsafe, but you do have step in the right places. There’s not going to be wider, smoother trail in that spot until somebody brings in the dynamite. The final iffy stretch is probably the worst: a modestly angled trail bed across a gravel slide. It requires awareness, but I didn’t worry about the ground slipping out under my feet as I passed. The exposure is less here than on the earlier stretches too. The hillside slope isn’t quite as steep as at the others, and it is less far to bottom.

All the camps I passed were in good shape. Lion’s Den Camp has two areas, one up on a little rise with a partial view down the Salmon Creek drainage, a second closer to the trail, lower down, and more protected from wind. No tables. Fire rings and grills at both. The spring is flowing. Silver Camp is just an enclosed grill, a few logs, and a large flat area. The pipe spring is running. Upper Cruikshank Camp has a fire ring, grill, logs, a tree stump seat(!), and a new table. It’s just an opening in the trees. The water source is a small creek a few hundred feet below camp. It was running but not gushing. To avoid silt, I thought it best to put my water bottle in a spot where water was pouring over a little lip. Collecting a liter of water took maybe 10-15 seconds. Lower Cruikshank Camp is a dark, even gloomy, spot under redwoods with an old table, another tree-stump seat, but no obvious fire site. It has a very small stream for water. (While I didn’t go down, Villa Creek Camp is a half mile down the trail from Upper Cruikshank and, at least in 2017, was very nice.)

Not many flowers on this trail. I saw some Indian warrior about 5/8 mile below the Silver Peak Use trail junction. (There are several Santa Lucia firs in that general area too.) Some shooting stars a bit lower. No spring beauties (Claytonia exigua) which in past years were all over some of the rocky hillsides.
svaller

Re: Cruikshank Trail

Post by svaller »

Date Hiked: February 9, 2020
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

I hiked from the South Coast Ridge Road trail head down to the Buckeye Trail intersection and then out Buckeye to the overlook and back.

Cruikshank trail was in great shape. There was one section where the trail was cut into some loose material and for a few feet it required careful stepping. Nothing super sketchy or anything. Just had to be careful.

There were lots of streams flowing along the trail and water at Lions Den, Silver Camp and the Cruikshank camp just to the west of the Cruikshank and Buckeye trail intersection.

There was room for two hammocks at Lions Den. Didn't really see a good place for a hammock at Silver Camp. Probably could force it if needed. The Cruikshank camp just to the west of the Cruikshank and Buckeye trail intersection sign can handle two hammocks if you have longish straps.

This was a great hike and the effort everyone puts in to maintain the trail is awesome, thank you.
pantilat
Posts: 116
Joined: Tue Jan 07, 2014 1:16 pm

Re: Cruikshank Trail

Post by pantilat »

Date Hiked: January 26, 2020
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

From Buckeye Trail JCT to South Coast Ridge Road: Clear. This trail is in great shape. Water is flowing in all primary streams, including at Silver Camp and Lion Den Camp. Use caution at the steep, loose slope just past Silver Camp and Silver Creek where tread is narrow. This part has always been a bit sketchy. Some tread re-work has helped but it's an unstable slope so gravel tends to accumulate on the narrow tread.
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gfelsman
Posts: 300
Joined: Thu Aug 28, 2008 9:33 pm

Re: Cruikshank Trail

Post by gfelsman »

Date Hiked: January 18, 2020
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

Today USFS/VWA Volunteer Rangers patrolled the lower Cruickshank Trail after many storms. We are happy to say the trail remains clear and easy to navigate. There is one step over just before Upper Cruickshank Camp.

On this day, Villa Creek was not crossable. Many people we talked who went down decided not to cross.

A few things to remember;

1. It is a new year. Be sure to get a updated Camp Fire/Stove Permit.
2. Be prepared and do your part to help keep things nice.
3. Pack out everything you bring in including trash.
4. Have fun and be courteous to others.

Lastly, we found a point and shoot camera. It was left on 1-17-2020. If you think it may be yours contact us via this forum or contact the VWA. Hopefully can get it to the owner.
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gfelsman
Posts: 300
Joined: Thu Aug 28, 2008 9:33 pm

Re: Cruikshank Trail

Post by gfelsman »

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

Today USFS/VWA Volunteer Rangers patrolled from Highway 1 to Upper Cruickshank Camp. We cleared the huge oak that had fallen across the trail just past Upper Cruickshank Camp. Water is present at both lower and upper camps. The trail itself is clear at this time.

Remember a few tips.
1. No Camp Fires at this time.
2. Have a valid Camp Fire/Stove Permit.
3. Pack out all your trash and whatever else you bring in.
4. Be safe and have fun.
Attachments
Trail leaving U. Cruickshank Camp towards Lion Den Camp.
Trail leaving U. Cruickshank Camp towards Lion Den Camp.
New Report