Cruikshank Trail

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Re: Cruikshank Trail

Post by pantilat »

Date Hiked: March 16, 2014
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

The Cruikshank Trail is clear along its entire length with the exception of some minor brush and blowdowns. There are a couple spots where the tread is narrow on steep/loose slopes and the poison oak is coming in on the upper stretches. Remarkable ecological diversity - I can't think of any plant species endemic to the Big Sur region that are missing from this trail, including a surprise grove of Santa Lucia Fir in upper Villa Creek Canyon.

Photo album here.

Re: Cruikshank Trail

Post by kgriffith99 »

Date Hiked: January 24, 2012
General Condition: Wilderness Freeway (Heavily used and well maintained)

Very minor bushwhacking and minor washouts, other than that it is Wilderness freeway. Water is available from streams at all campsites, and at several points along the trail.
Dave T

Re: Cruikshank Trail

Post by Dave T »

Date Hiked: January 24, 2014
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

DAVE - The Cruikshank trail is in excellet condition all the way to upper Cruikshank...THANK YOU TRAIL VOLUNTEERS!!! You can find a reliable water source 1/4 mile below lower Cruikshank Camp, and 100 yards north of Upper Cruikshank Camp on the Buckeye trail.
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Re: Cruikshank Trail Great Shape

Post by gfelsman »

Date Hiked: December 26, 2013
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

Darlene and I hiked the Cruikshank Trail today, as it was very warm 85 to 90 degrees heading up the switchbacks. Once at the top the weather cooled and we continued on to Upper Cruikshank Camp. Then down to Villa Creek Camp for a snack, before returning to Highway 1.

All in all the Cruikshank Trail to Upper Cruikshank Camp is in the best shape it has been in for many years. Two gentleman have spent many hours on this trail brushing and grading the tread for a good portion of the 2.5 miles to the Camp. We thank them and the many other Volunteers who have worked on this trail in years past.

There is now a sign at Upper Cruikshank Camp pointing one towards Highway 1. We will see how long it stays there. the post it is on may become firewood. Hopefully everyone will respect the sign and leave it alone.

Villa Creek Camp has a sign as well saying Not a Through Trail. Villa Creek Camp was clean, Unfortunately, the fire pit has been enlarged greatly, more than what it really is needed.

Views were great on this hike we could see forever.

Water is still present at both Upper and Lower Camps, but one should have a bottle for collection. Villa Creek itself is the lowest I have ever seen it in all my years of hiking this trail.

Happy Hiking, and enjoy your hike on this wonderful trail
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Re: Cruikshank Trail

Post by LBehrmann »

Date Hiked: December 14, 2013
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

I broke this report into two sections, because of the large difference in trail quality.

Hwy 1 to Silver Creek Camp: Wilderness Freeway to Clear due to the recent trail work.

Thanks for all your hard work VWA! This is a nice time to hike. The poison oak, while still something to be aware of, is dormant. The insects are few to none, and when not storming, the days are often clear and bright. The tread is very nice in this section, and the brush has been cut back so hiking is an absolute breeze. Good water at Lower Cruickshank, and the junction to Villa Creek.

Silver to Lion's Den: Passable to Difficult.

Actually, as far as brush encroaching the trail, it is in great shape for the most part. However, after leaving Silver Camp, on the first major creek canyon traverse, the trail has suffered a big dirt slide. Perhaps 30 feet of trail is covered. One must confidently dig in with their boots to make a path. Somehow the trail needs to be packed down and stabilized, but I'm not sure how this is to be done because the dirt keeps sliding. For now my boots will tamp it down as I make the hike up the Cruickshank. A little past the first slide is another minor slide. As the trail heads back to its place above Villa Creek Canyon there are some steep hillsides with narrow tread, so tread carefully. Closer toward Lion's Den, but before you break out to the divide, the trail goes through low hanging bushes and or trees. Those with a tall pack will have to duck a bit. There is a tree or two to go over or around as well.

There is water at Silver Creek Camp.

You can get water from a nice creek crossing about 3 major crossings after Silver Creek Camp.

There is water at Lion's Den Camp, a perennial source, I think.

Leif Behrmann
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K Vandevere
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Re: Cruikshank Trail

Post by K Vandevere »

Date Hiked: November 1, 2013
General Condition: Wilderness Freeway (Heavily used and well maintained)

From the Highway to the Buckeye Trail junction the Cruikshank Trail is in great shape with considerable recent brushing and tread work. Even found the man who has "adopted" the trail hard at work fixing yet another section of tread. Water is closer at hand at lower Cruikshank Camp, but upper Cruikshank Camp is a brighter and nicer spot. While there are no deadfalls or other obstructions between the highway and the camps, there are two deadfalls within the first hundred yards beyond the upper camp on the Cruikshank Trail. Don't know if that's an indication of things to come because I stopped there. Very nice bug free fall weather. The ground remains quite wet from the recent rains.
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Re: Cruikshank Trail

Post by jabell »

Date Hiked: September 19, 2013
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

I did a solo hike on the Cruikshank Trail and found the trail to be in very good shape. It has obviously had some recent maintenance done on it. Many thanks to those folks. I found No Fires Allowed signs at Lower and Upper Cruikshank and at Villa Creek camps. All 3 had water still, tho Villa creek was very low. I first hiked this trail in 1967 with the Sierra Club and it is still my favorite hike.

Re: Cruikshank Trail

Post by jayhardy »

Date Hiked: August 13, 2013
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

Nice trail, but MUCH PO. Beautiful stands of redwoods. Trail is badly in need of some maintenance, as is the entire Salmon Creek-Cruickshank-Buckeye loop.
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Re: Cruikshank Trail

Post by gfelsman »

Date Hiked: July 6, 2013
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

My wife and I hiked from Hwy 1 to Villa Creek Camp and back. Also five of our friends hike to the Coast Ridge Road, then down the Salmon Creek Trail to Hwy 1. It was a beautiful cool day with no bugs to speak of. We ran into a couple at Villa Creek Camp. They had just started a small fire to heat their morning tea. Upon leaving the camp we asked them to make sure the fire was completely out when done. We also informed them of the fire restrictions in affect. They kindly obliged our request.

Conditions are as follows.

From Hwy 1 to start of switchback some clearing has been done.
Switchback until you turn into the canyon clear. Again some work has been done to clear encroaching brush.
Once you turn into the canyon the tread is poor to fair with many spots falling away due to encroaching brush.
Once you hit the first redwood the trail is clear all the way to Upper Cruikshank Camp.
Just past Upper Cruikshank Camp a huge Oak tree has literally split in two at the trunk. It completely covers the trail. Luckily based on how it split one can walk right over the trunk to continue on your way with little interference.

We then headed to Villa Creek Camp north along the Buckeye Trail.

This trail is clear except for a large redwood that fell across the creek hitting the south bank. Again for some reason it shattered and did not land on the trail. Expect for some minor debris still along this section the tree can be easily passed. Once on the other side of the creek the trail is clear to Villa Creek Camp.

Re: Cruikshank Trail

Post by khammer8280 »

[b]Date Hiked:[/b] March 10, 2013
[b]General Condition:[/b] Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

cruickshank trail from buckeye trail junction to end of trail at coast ridge road:
trail is clear from buckeye junction to silver camp. creek flowing at silver camp. above silver camp trail has some near washouts and increasingly thick poison oak. brush and poison oak grow into a near tunnel until the junction with silver peak trail. trail mostly clear from there to the top. water available at lion's den.
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