Encompassing the drainages of Willow Creek and Salmon Creek, Silver Peak Wilderness rises sharply from near the shore of the Pacific Ocean, an area of steep terrain that's part of the Santa Lucia Mountains. Silver Peak lifts to 3,590 feet in the northwestern section. Lush vegetation along the creeks, fern-covered canyons, grass and oak-dotted meadows, and heavy timber are some of the area's features. The Wilderness hides the world's southernmost stand of redwoods, an isolated grove of coastal redwoods. Also hidden here is a grove of rare Sargent cypress, gray pines, and Santa Lucia fir. Waterfalls brighten some of the streams in spring. From the higher country, on a clear day, you can see the Big Sur coastline to the north, the Pacific Ocean rolling restlessly to the west, and the Salinas Valley to the east. You may spot deer and squirrels, rabbits and raccoons, and perhaps hear a gobble from a wild turkey. Trails require moderate to strenuous exercise. The most popular pathway follows Salmon Creek for about 3.5 miles and offers a great view of Salmon Creek Falls. From Salmon Creek, you can take the trail leading to Spruce Creek (two miles) or other trails climbing north across the Wilderness.
Leave No Trace
How to follow the seven standard Leave No Trace principles differs in different parts of the country (desert vs. Rocky Mountains). Click on any of the principles listed below to learn more about how they apply in the Silver Peak Wilderness.
Digital and paper maps are critical tools for wilderness visitors. Online maps can help you plan and prepare for your visit ahead of time. You can also carry digital maps with you on your GPS unit or other handheld GPS device. Having a paper map with you in the backcountry, as well as solid orienteering skills, however, ensures that you can still route-find in the event that your electronic device fails.
Motorized equipment and equipment used for mechanical transport is generally prohibited in all wilderness areas.
This includes the use of motor vehicles, motorboats, motorized equipment, bicycles, hang gliders, wagons, carts, portage wheels, and the landing of aircraft including helicopters.
Big Sur Wilderness and Conservation Act of 2002 - Public law 107-370 (12/19/2002) To designate certain lands in the State of California as components of the National Wilderness Preservation System, and for other purposes