Salmon Creek Trail

Difficulty
This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
Moderate
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.
4-5.5h
Distance
This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
11.6 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.
642 m
User Ratings
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Directions to Trailhead

The Salmon Creek Trail is a wonderful day hike in the Big Sur that offers a diversity of scenery. Travel a busy path to the famous Salmon Creek Falls before escaping into the woodlands laden with ferns and wildflowers to a more secluded cascade and backcountry campsites.

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Route Description for Salmon Creek Trail

This adventure boasts the perfect opportunity for self-reflection and reconnection with nature. Admire the beauty of the Salmon Creek Waterfall before venturing along a more secluded and tranquil trail up to Spruce Creek Camp and Estrella Camp. As this route travels through the lush coastal forestlands, it is important to be mindful of poison oak—If you are worried about exposure, we encourage you to wear long pants. Additionally, those who climb along the rocks that flank the waterfalls should be mindful of their footing, as the boulders are often slippery.

The Salmon Creek Hike follows the Salmon Creek Trail, setting out from the trailhead. The initial segment of the adventure will be busy as you wander along the highway before diverting up to the Salmon Creek Falls. Appreciate the beauty of the waterfall, then retrace your footing, continuing eastwardly along the Salmon Creek Trail. Soon the path will redirect you north, demanding several stream crossings as you ascend through the woodlands. Mind your footing, and you will soon reach the Spruce Creek Camp. From here, the Salmon Creek Trail will deliver you to the Upper Salmon Creek Falls, a smaller, more secluded cascade worth admiring.

Continue along the trail, and you will soon reach the Estrella Camp, which marks your turnaround point. From here, simply head back the way you came, and you will ultimately reach the trailhead and parking lot.

Getting to the Salmon Creek Trail Trailhead

Access this hike via the Salmon Creek Trailhead off Cabrillo Highway.

Route Information

  • Backcountry Campground

    Spruce Creek Camp and Estrella Camp

  • When to do

    Year-round

  • Pets allowed

    Yes - On Leash

  • Family friendly

    Older Children only

  • Route Signage

    Average

  • Crowd Levels

    Moderate

  • Route Type

    Out and back

Salmon Creek Trail Elevation Graph

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