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Buckeye Trail - Los Padres National Forest
Trail Distance 8.61 Miles

A beautiful trail that has ocean views and travels through oak groves, redwood groves, chaparral. A nice place to camp is at Villa Creek, the camp is set among redwood trees and the creek provides a tranquil sounds of flowing water. The Buckeye Trail is a 8.61 mile long trail in the Silver Peak Wilderness in Monterey County . The trail leads from Highway 1 near Salmon Creek and climbs up and over a few ridges and then completes at South Coast Ridge Road (20S05.6). Please let us know if you have explored this trail recently.

Trail Details

  • Trail #: 5E09
  • Wilderness Area: Silver Peak
  • County: Monterey County
  • Ranger District: Monterey Ranger District
  • Trail-head Latitude: 35.8144
  • Trail-head Longitude: -121.36034
  • Water Sources: Villa Creek is a year round source of tasty water.
  • Trail Condition: Good - Trail is easy to follow and is in good shape
  • Topo Maps:
  • Activities & Features:
    • Backpacking
    • Camping
    • Campfire Rings
    • Creek
    • Day Hiking
    • Panoramic Views
    • Waterfall
    • Wildlife Viewing
    • Wilderness Camping



Trail Stats

  • Total Elevation Gain: + 4560 feet.
  • Total Elevation Loss: - 2686 feet.
  • Overall Average Slope Gain: + 13 %.
  • Overall Average Slope Loss: - 12 %.
  • Kilometers: (km)
  • Meters: (m)
  • Miles: (mi)
  • Feet: (ft)
  • Average Slope: (%)

Trail Camps

  1. Villa Creek Camp (1150 feet)
  2. Alder Creek Camp (2270 feet)
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Survey This Trail

Survey Photos:


  • Alan Curtis - 07-10-2017

  • Alan Curtis - 07-10-2017

Submitted Trail Reports

Buckeye Trail Survey - 07-10-2017 - by Alan Curtis
Link: Buckeye Trail
Date: 07-10-2017
Surveyor Name:Alan Curtis
Trail description:My son and I hiked up the Buckeye Trail to Buckeye Camp on July 8 2017.  There are spectacular views and we had the place to ourselves.  We met two hikers on the 9th as we were returning to the trail head.  There are a few sketchy spots on the trail with loose gravel and rock along steep drop offs.  I'm 58 and was carrying a 30 lb pack, so it is doable, but an easy hike this trail is not.  

There are two or three running water sources between the trail head and the camp.  They look seasonal so I wouldn't depend on these later in the year.  The last water source was about two miles from the camp.  I consumed 4 liters of water on the hike (it was 85-90 degrees) and was extremely happy to see water running out of the pipe at Buckeye Spring.  

There are two campsites around the meadow at Buckeye.  One of them has a rickety picnic table under a spread of huge oak trees.  This is the one closest to the spring.  A large snake was drowsing at the entrance to a hole in the base of the main tree so be careful, it's right next to the path from the table to the spring.  There was also some annoying TP litter at the base of one of the other trees.  The other site is 150 yards or so NW, and was a little nicer so we stayed there.  Swarms of gnats were a constant nuisance at both sites.

There is lots and lots of poison oak on this trail.  Most of it was avoidable, but a couple of spots had it hanging from both sides of the trail and it was basically impossible to get by without brushing some parts of your body.  I highly recommend long pants and hiking poles on this trail.

All in all it's a challenging but beautiful trail.      
Mode of transport:Hike
Trail condition:Needs some work
Condition details:A few downed trees and quite a bit of overly aggressive poison oak.
Images:

Waterfall about 1.5 miles from the trailhead.

View south from the trail. No more water until Buckeye.
Buckeye Trail Survey - 06-01-2016 - by Los Padres Forest Association
Link: Buckeye Trail
Date: 06-01-2016
Surveyor Name:Los Padres Forest Association
Trail description:Ventana Wilderness Alliance worked the Buckeye Trail in Spring 2016 from Upper Cruikshank Camp to Buckeye Camp.  It is passable for stock.  Great work!  They also brushed the trail from Salmon Creek Station out to the Soda Springs junction.
Mode of transport:Array
Trail condition:Good shape and easy to follow
Buckeye Trail Survey - 06-01-2015 - by Los Padres Forest Association
Link: Buckeye Trail
Date: 06-01-2015
Surveyor Name:Los Padres Forest Association
Trail description:Ventana Wilderness Alliance completed the trail from Upper Cruickshank Camp to Villa Creek Camp to hiker/pedestrian standards in Spring 2015.
Mode of transport:Array
Trail condition:Needs some work
Buckeye Trail Survey - 04-19-2016 - by Donald seawater
Link: Buckeye Trail
Date: 04-19-2016
Surveyor Name:Donald seawater
Trail description:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y2DxCzlBkXs
Mode of transport:Hike
Trail condition:Good shape and easy to follow
Buckeye Trail Survey - 04-19-2016 - by Donald seawater
Link: Buckeye Trail
Date: 04-19-2016
Surveyor Name:Donald seawater
Trail description:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y2DxCzlBkXs
Mode of transport:Hike
Trail condition:Good shape and easy to follow
Buckeye Trail Survey - 07-17-2015 - by Hike Los Padres
Link: Buckeye Trail
Date: 07-17-2015
Surveyor Name:Hike Los Padres
Trail description:Below is an article from the Monterey County Weekly about a Summer 2015 backpack along the Buckeye Trail.  Worth a read if you are looking at this trail:

http://www.montereycountyweekly.com/blogs/monterey-naturally-part-v-a-night-beneath-the-stars-on/article_87184dba-2b50-11e5-9898-9b23670a0ecc.html
Mode of transport:Hike
Trail condition:Good shape and easy to follow


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Last Updated: Tuesday, March 1, 2016



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