1 month ago

My boyfriend and I took our first backpacking trip on this trail, and it was great for our first time. Not too long and a little elevation change was a good challenge. There were a lot of downed trees on the trail and a little difficult to climb over/under with my pack, but it was good practice. we kept our dogs off leash the whole time and never really saw anyone else. We camped at the site with the picnic table, and it was a gorgeous little spot with big redwoods anchoring the site. One piece of advice, when the trail splits and you have to choose to go up or go down, my advice is to go up. We went down and couldn't figure out how to continue along the creek after we went down. There were so many large rocks and downed trees along the creek, it was too difficult to maneuver with our packs and short legged dog friends were having trouble.

Gorgeous views. I’d rate this as a moderate-difficult trail especially if backpacking on a hot day. The beginning is very steep but gets better after that. There’s a small creek still flowing about 2 miles into the hike and when you get to buckeye camp there’s a hose with running water but we still filtered it not knowing where it was from. Our campsite was overlooking the ocean so we watched the sun set and then slept under the stars. Can’t beat that!

8 months ago

Did a quick overnight from Salmon Creek Ranger station (non operational). Steep most of the way in to Buckeye camp but plenty of water even in September (2 creeks still flowing and plenty of water at the Rangers station and at buckeye camp). Overlooks were superb. Only 2 other hikers on the trail but brush was nicely cleared and no poison oak was reaching onto the trail. One small slide area about 1 1/2 miles before buckeye camp but besides that all of the trail was well maintained.

Once you get to Upper Cruikshank descend down to the river for an awesome campsite at Villa Creek

9 months ago

Frank Kehl's review is spot on!

Here are my thoughts...

Environment: Tranquil solitude, serene, beautiful towering scenery, active stream, very enjoyable.

Direction: Immediately upon leaving HWY 1, there is a T-junction. Go left and travel about 2+ miles up the dirt road.

Parking: As you approach the coordinates of the trail, there is a convex bend in the road where you can park. We continued to the next major bend (concave), and parked there (about 3 spaces).

Trail head: We walked about 50-75 yards up the main dirt road to another dirt road on the left that T-junctions into the main dirt road. That T-junction is actually the trail head (and there are a few places to park down that dirt road before the road becomes impassable).

Trail: Initially, the trail is wide enough for a vehicle (though impassable)...until you reach a firepit. As you continue in the same direction of travel, you'll need to look for the single-file trail (it's not too hard to find). About 1/4 to 1/2 mile down the single-file trail, it splits into a low and a high trail. We took the low trail.

Shade: Redwoods and other large trees blanketed the trail with shade. Even on this hot August day the hike was a breeze. Even cooler at the creek.

Terrain: Downhill out, uphill back. So, conserve some energy for the return. An average person should be able to do this hike.

Creek: As you near the creek, the trail apprears impassable due to a large hollowed tree with tall flora growing in it. Simply part the flora and continue down the embankment. Was pleasanly suprised to see brook trout in the pools of water. Yes, flowing water in late August.

Dogs: Our canine family members enjoyed being off-leash...though I kept their electronic collars on. We did not encounter a single soul on the trail.

Poison Oak: Yes, sporatically on or near the trail. My friend is highly allergic. She initially covered exposed body parts with an aloe vera gel (to serve as a barrier). If she suspected contact, she then cleaned any body parts with rubbing alcohol, then water. Result one day later, no symptoms.

Bottom-line: Everything I expected, can hardly wait to go back and try the high trail. will not be dissapointed.

Been down this trail 3-4 times. Really neat place to go to the beach.

I hiked this trail to Buckeye camp and back, and it was a beautiful trail. Four creeks were still flowing at the trickle level. The views of the coast are beautiful at the one mile point and there is plenty of beautiful mountain scenes. The trail is easy to follow but tricky in places, so watch your step. Also, most of the trail is uphill. Overall, very beautiful for the first 5 miles. I will be back to finish it to Villa camp Instagram @picbynathan

Sunday, April 16, 2017

As of April, 2017, you can't travel north on Highway 1 beyond the Ragged Point Inn due to numerous mud and rock slides from the previous winter. This very short hike provides a nice opportunity to enjoy the Big Sur coastline just outside of the closure. Starting from a small parking area on the west side of Highway 1, an old paved road descends and turns into a dirt path, headed for the beach. The trail fades when you approach San Carpoforo Creek, which descends out of the rugged Santa Lucia Mountains to the east and empties into the Pacific Ocean here. When we were here, the creek was several feet deep and flowing at a very high volume.
Turn right at the creek bank and head north on the beach, paralleling the creek. The beach narrows and is impassible at high tide, but during low tide you can continue north about 0.3 miles before you'll have to turn around.
This area was original part of Hearst Ranch, but was transferred to the state parks system in 2005 as part of a conservation agreement. There is also a small parcel of national forest land here, which is why you'll see the Los Padres National Forest signboard near the trailhead.

Absolutely beautiful views of the ocean, moderate hike. Once the trail turns inland, you can hike down to a river for a break by the rushing water.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Willow Creek Trail is a hidden gem in the Silver Peak Wilderness. Although the trailhead is only about 2.5 miles from Highway 1, it sees very light use. The trailhead is unsigned and there are currently no signs along the trail, either. Drive about 2.3 miles up the unpaved Los Burros Road near Treebones Resort and park about 50 yards before the start of the trail. The trail starts out as an abandoned road, and it's possible to drive about 1/2 mile down this road for a slightly shorter hike. The road then becomes impassable for vehicles, and eventually transitions to a single-track hiking path at the boundary of the Silver Peak Wilderness. The trail descends through mixed redwood groves on the south side of Willow Creek. A narrow side path just above the creek leads down to the site of an old swinging bridge. The bridge has been removed, and we could find no sign of it on our hike. The main trail continues upstream a short distance to reach two campsites along Willow Creek. The first site is in a small clearing and has a grill and fire pit. The second site, a few minutes' walk farther up the trail, is larger and has a dilapidated picnic table, a grill, and a fire pit. The trail continues beyond the second camp, but soon becomes impassable. This is a very beautiful area, and you'll probably have it all to yourself.

The trail starts with a long, slow ascent among tall grass and weeds for about the first 1.5 mi or so and then banks into a shaded forest area. There are a few camp areas and connections to other trails, but the junctions aren't very well marked so I turned around and made my way back to avoid getting lost.

This hike starts out going straight up for the first mile or so and is exposed to the sunshine and ocean. Then it flattens out and is under tree canopy for most of the time. There are a few campsites out there depending on where you go. We adventured around into some of the camps miles from the top. Found a perfect spot to camp at next to running water and pools to relax in. There are Condors nearby as well as other beautiful wildlife, only saw 2 people on trail in 8 miles.

The first mile or two are over grown, so expect to do some bushwhacking through poison oak. There's not many campsites but it's a nice area

1 month ago

2 months ago

on Willow Creek Trail

2 months ago

3 months ago

4 months ago

Friday, March 17, 2017