Salmon Creek Trail and Waterfall

Updated: May 6, 2019

So far we have been out to explore the trails around the Southern end of Big Sur three times. The drive we did north to reach the trail head is one of the most spectacular parts of the experience, winding round the coast, up above clouds and sea.


On the first trip we got distracted by the beautiful waterfalls that are about a quarter of a mile off to the left of the main trail. Salmon Creek waterfall is stunning, although there are quite a few people at the base. Some had even brought inflatable pool toys to use in some of the lower pools.


While I was shooting the falls from below trying to capture rainbows catching in the spray, Brooks scaled the side of and scouted a nice trail round the back. We climbed up together through a big cave to the top and beyond. Using some fallen trees to cross the stream, we got to a part where we were completely alone. The area felt like a magical fairy grove.



The following two trips we made to this area we pushed ourselves further each time. The most recent hike we did we followed the path on and out to see the coast, and then up through Silver Peak Wilderness. We crossed some beautiful wild meadows and then scrambled up through thick un-kept trail towards Mars Camp. At points we thought we might be on old fire-truck paths, as they were wide, but mostly wild.


The trail back down towards the car was extremely steep and Brooks had to swap out his Luna Sandals for his Merrells to take the strain of his toes. The sandals were a good call for the rest of the hike as we crossed several streams. It was worth wearing leggings as the foliage was a bit rough and occasionally we were up against some poison oak.


We covered about 9 miles with a considerable incline, stopping just after Mars Camp, where we had the best view over the ocean and Highway 1. While we took in the vista we had turkey and mustard sandwiches and a celebratory sip of tequila. This was a winning combo at an amazing highpoint.


© Anna Bruce