Salmon Creek Falls Hike

Difficulty
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Very Easy
Duration
This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
0.5h
Distance
This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
0.5 km
Elevation
This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
8 m
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Directions to Trailhead
Salmon Creek Falls Hike

Indulge in the mesmerizing scene of 37 m cascades along the Salmon Creek Falls Hike. This family-friendly adventure is well worth the detour off State Route 1—and the crowds that congregate in the area are a testament to its beauty, enjoy!

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Route Description for Salmon Creek Falls Hike

Indulge in the beauty of the natural oasis hidden off the highway on the Salmon Creek Falls Hike. This lovely nature walk travels through mixed-forestlands, and high brush adorned with granite outcrops up to the cascades. Note the path is bound with poison oak, so mind your footing and consider wearing long pants. Additionally, though tempting, the pool at the foot of the falls is potentially contaminated with algae, so do not fill or filter water or let dogs drink or swim here. The beauty and convenience of this route attract plenty of spontaneous adventurers, so expect to share the trail—notably on weekends.

There is something about waterfalls that we can’t quite put our finger on. Avid explorers, novice hikers, and everyone in between can appreciate the grandeur and beauty of a cascade– and the Salmon Creek Falls is no exception, beckoning exploration year-round. Maybe it's the mesmerizing sights of the surging water or the soothing sounds—either way, we aren’t complaining. Though open and accessible year-round, this route is best ventured in the spring and summer. As to not leave you disappointed, it is important to note that the drier seasons often warrant a parched valley.

Setting out from the Salmon Creek Trailhead, your journey to the Salmon Creek Falls follows the Salmon Creek Trail eastwardly. The initial segment of the hike will guide you along the highway before diverting into the forestlands. Not long after your departure from the trailhead will you reach a junction; keep left here along Salmon Creek. Hiking through chaparral scrubs and pockets of redwoods, the sounds of traffic will gradually become replaced by the soothing sounds of the running creek. As you near the waterfalls, the terrain will become increasingly rocky, so take your time and mind your footing.

When the cascades surge, you will be granted the magical ambiance of the mist dancing in the sunbeams, coating the encompassing vegetation and boulders in shimmering dew. If you choose to get a closer look at the creek or choose to explore the profile of the falls, please be careful on the slippery rocks. Soon the path will open to the hypnotize scene of the 120ft cascades billowing through the rocky canyon. Admire the beauty of the falls and relax for a few minutes on one of the flanking boulders. When you are set to return, retrace your footing along the path back to your vehicle.

Trail Highlights

Salmon Creek Falls

The Salmon Creek Falls is a beautiful waterfall in the Silver Peak Wilderness of the Los Padres National Forest in California. Located off California State Route 1, this popular route attracts thousands of adventurers eager to indulge in the mesmerizing cascade. Plunging over 120 feet, the double chute boasts an unrivaled scene and is arguably one of the most picturesque waterfalls in the state.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the Salmon Creek Falls Trail open?

The Salmon Creek Falls Trail is open year-round, though the best time to visit is in the spring and summer.

How long is the Salmon Creek Falls Trail?

The Salmon Creek Falls Trail is a 0.8 km out-and-back hike in the Los Padres National Forest.

Insider Hints for Salmon Creek Falls Hike

  • Do not drink or filter water from the pond below Salmon Creek Falls due to possible algae contamination
  • Do not let dogs drink or swim in the water
  • Head out in the spring and summer for the best experience
  • Explore after rainfall to ensure water in the creek
  • Be mindful when exploring the granite boulders that line the creek as they are often slippery
  • Be mindful of the poison oak that bounds the footpath
  • Those seeking a more tranquil experience are encouraged to explore on weekday mornings

Getting to the Salmon Creek Falls Hike Trailhead

Access the Salmon Creek Falls Hike via the Salmon Creek Trailhead off California State Route 1.

Route Information

  • Backcountry Campground

    No

  • When to do

    Year-round

  • Pets allowed

    Yes - On Leash

  • Family friendly

    Yes

  • Route Signage

    Average

  • Crowd Levels

    High

  • Route Type

    Out and back

Salmon Creek Falls Hike Elevation Graph

Weather Forecast

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Salmon Creek Falls Hike Reviews

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