Salmon Creek Trail


Re: Salmon Creek Trail

Post by jellybean »

Date Hiked: August 8, 2014
General Condition: Wilderness Freeway (Heavily used and/or well maintained)

We did a one night trip to Estrella Camp. Be aware that hunting season just started for deer and we ran into a few in the creekbed near Estrella (not sure it was a good idea for them to be so near a campground hunting) so we relocated back to Spruce Creek.
There was still plenty of water flowing in Salmon Creek. Estrella Creek and Spruce Creek were low and but flowing slowly.
The trail is fairly clear of poison oak and it was easy to identify in the surrounding area because it was turning red. Nature seems to think it's already autumn with the ferns and sycamore trees turning yellow, too (probably due to the lack of rain this year).
Nice to see that all the folks camping at Spruce were cooperating with the "no campfire in the backcountry" regulations.
Golden Family
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Jul 17, 2014 10:42 pm

Re: Salmon Creek Trail

Post by Golden Family »

Date Hiked: July 14, 2014
General Condition: Passable (some brush and/or deadfalls, tread evident)

We hiked a 3 day loop, Up salmon Creek to lions den (night one) then down Cruikshank to Villa Creek to get water and Relax and then continue on to buckeye trail to Buckeye camp (night 2) and hiked out back to Highway 1 at Salmon Creek Trail head.

At the beginning of Day 1 Fully loaded with Water/food and gear... I thought uh oh! it was a steep grind right off the bat up Salmon creek trail. My Wife and my two sons 14 and 17. up to Spruce Camp and on to Estrella camp trail was well defined and passable. We stopped and Pumped water at Estrella Camp. There were several Slide areas... I kept wondering "is this the slide area everyone was mentioning" and then I came to the slide area... It really wasn't that bad. just kept our footing and were careful and it was passable no problem. However! North of Estrella trail became Difficult the trail had a lot of of encroaching brush.At times I had to actually get on my knees to get under brush which was no fun with a heavy pack, there was a lot of small land slides across the trail. We were on a mission and weren't about to turn back so we pushed on.. it was a tough hike up to the fire road the brush was tough to deal with and it was a Hot Day. it was pretty challenging for my family and I. There was a LOT of poison oak on trail if you are allergic do not attempt this hike. I learned a lot on this hike as we are not pro's and realized we really need to lighten our packs...i was over 30lbs. and my 17 year old son and wife were both 28 to 29 pounds of gear including water, after 7 miles of uphill it starts to wear on you. continuing on to lions den we where exhausted and tired it felt good to lay down. I think we picked a real tough time of year to attempt this loop. I was surprised that we did not see any wildlife? except for some squirrels. The views and the trail were Beautiful. once we went north on the fire road .01 mile to Cruickshank trail and got onto that trail heading towards Lions den camp the trail was WIDE OPEN we could have walked side by side it was real nice must have just recently been cut back. Lions Den Camp was nice with a great view up on the hill, there was a little creek there with just a little water... we could have pumped some water there in an emergency but decided we had plenty to get down to Villa Creek. I will Continue this post on the Cruikshank trial report.
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Jun 22, 2014 2:21 pm

Re: Salmon Creek Trail

Post by scott113341 »

Date Hiked: June 20, 2014
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

Hiked on Salmon Creek trail northbound from Highway 1 up to the fire road.

From Highway 1 up to Spruce Creek Camp the trail is clear. Nothing out of the ordinary to report.

Spruce Creek Camp to Estrella Camp is also clear, but there are many places where the trail has been washed out, making for a precarious crossing (we had packs on). There is one large slide in particular that other hikers have mentioned. It is about 20m across and very steep, very dangerous. We had to shuttle the packs across this slide.

North of Estrella camp the trail becomes difficult. We decided to push through, but there was a LOT of encroachment from brush, and many yucca plants lining the trail. TONS of spider webs. Long pants an absolute necessity for this section. Sunglasses or some sort of eye protection is also a must or you'll get poked in the eye by a stray branch.

We found water along the trail at:
  • Spruce Creek Camp
    Salmon Creek (highest confirmed water about 1.5 miles north of Estrella Camp)
    Estrella Camp
Estrella Camp is the last stop for water on this trail northbound!

On our way up the canyon we stopped at Lower Salmon Creek Falls for a little romp in the pool. Great spot, I highly recommend it!

We saw one man on a day hike at Spruce Creek Camp while we were packing up camp.
User avatar
K Vandevere
Posts: 291
Joined: Tue Aug 26, 2008 3:50 pm

Re: Salmon Creek Trail

Post by K Vandevere »

Date Hiked: May 28, 2014
General Condition: Wilderness Freeway (Heavily used and/or well maintained)

The Salmon Creek Trail remains a wilderness freeway from the Highway to Spruce Creek. Things are drying out quickly, but there is still ample water in the creeks and still a lot of flowers blooming (larkspur, morning glory, paintbrush, coyote and wood mint, golden yarrow, California and tufted poppies, blue dicks, slim soloman, lupine, mimulus, lots of globe lilies, and more). A warm sunny day with no flies or ticks. One tent at Spruce Creek, 3 people and a dog seen on the trail.

Re: Salmon Creek Trail

Post by merrymere »

Date Hiked: April 13, 2014
General Condition: Clear (no obstacles and tread well defined)

Wilderness Freeway to Spruce Creek.
Clear from Spruce Creek to Estrella Camp.

After Spruce creek on the way to Estrella, the trail is clear but narrow at points (over a slide, fairly easy on the way out but tricky on the way down). When you are almost to Estrella it is a little difficult to find the correct trail continuing onto Estrella camp - there is a small clearing with a few spurs to down to the water. Choosing one directly ahead (not to the left), now marked with a cairn, is the way to Estrella Camp. Overall the entire hike to here is clear and is very well maintained, though the one slide needs on the way to Estrella a some caution.

After Estrella, the trail becomes difficult/passable - there is a slide which is a scramble at the moment. It is easy to see the trial but very steep over the slide. Past there, we continued for another 1/2 mile - the trail is passable but becomes overgrown and we did not continue, though we met a pair of backpackers who did.
Gyre adorn

Re: Salmon Creek Trail

Post by Gyre adorn »

Date Hiked: March 31, 2014
General Condition: Impassable (completely overgrown or tread obliterated)

[Ed: note that other very current reports give the western end of this trail a much higher rating and certainly do not consider it "impossible to follow"]

We initiated a hike on Salmon Creek right from route 1. The trail was impossible to follow, often getting lost in other trails and leading to dead ends. Lots of poison oak and overgrowth. We could not find the first camp and were forced to turn around.
User avatar
Posts: 660
Joined: Tue Aug 12, 2008 3:15 pm

Re: Salmon Creek Trail

Post by mikesplain »

Date Hiked: March 23, 2014
General Condition: Difficult (brushy and/or many deadfalls, faint tread)

(reported by Dave Nelson)

Section- Estrella Camp to South Coast Ridge Road

It's in good shape until Estrella, then, as previously noted, it becomes difficult up to the SCRR. Due to regular use it is passable.
There is much collapsed tread, brush tunnel and eye pokers. It's the worst I've seen it in about 18 years. There are a few trees down that will need the crosscut sawyers. I'd hesitate to go back until I hear of some work being done.
User avatar
Posts: 212
Joined: Mon Sep 15, 2008 3:57 pm

Salmon Creek Trail

Post by jbl »

Date Hiked: March 8, 2014
General Condition: Wilderness Freeway (Heavily used and well maintained)


This section is (not surprisingly) Wilderness Freeway.

Spruce Creek Camp was surprisingly empty given the beautiful weather.

Re: Salmon Creek Trail

Post by kgriffith99 »

Date Hiked: January 25, 2012
General Condition: Difficult (brushy and/or many deadfalls, faint tread)

The trail was wilderness freeway until Estrella Camp. Minor washouts, very minor bushwhacking. However, soon after Estrella there is a ~50 ft washout that probably turns back most non-committed hikers. It's at a fairly steep angle, faint tread, and a long way to slide down if you fall. After that, the trail becomes quite overgrown - lots of stiff pointy branches, spanish bayonets blocking the trail entirely and stabbing through your clothing - not enjoyable. I fear that if the trail does not get significant work this year it will be lost to the wilderness.

Re: Salmon Creek Trail

Post by jayhardy »

Date Hiked: August 13, 2013
General Condition: Difficult (brushy and/or many deadfalls, faint tread)

Salmon Creek Trail is OK until you get to Estrella Camp, then it gets difficult....very difficult. Very overgrown, dangerous washouts, much PO. Vegetation connects in the middle of the trail....yes, you will get bloody. Not a fun hike. But very nice at the top and Lion Den Camp is wonderful. Excellent view of the valley and ocean.
New Report