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Lower Salmon Creek, CA

Guide 1 Triplog  0 Topics
  0 of 5 
no permit
9 1 0
Canyons are inherently risky. Flash floods occur without notice on sunny days. Technical skills & surrounding topography knowledge required yet does not eliminate risk.
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Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance Loop 3.65 miles
Trailhead Elevation 3,652 feet
Accumulated Gain 1,159 feet
Kokopelli Seeds 9.45
Interest Off-Trail Hiking, Perennial Waterfall & Perennial Creek
varies or not certain dogs are allowed
editedit > ops > dogs to adjust
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9  2017-08-26 autumnstars
author avatar Guides 26
Routes 19
Photos 562
Trips 1,391 map ( 11,424 miles )
Age Female Gender
Location Las Vegas, NV
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred Apr, Mar, Nov, Feb
Seasons   Late Spring to Autumn
Sun  5:01am - 6:59pm
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unique rappels
by autumnstars

A fun, pretty canyon with flowing water and some unique rappels. Uphill, but fairly pleasant approach, mostly on a real trail!

Be smart! Although this is a frequently-visited canyon, always be prepared with enough gear to replace webbing and rapides in case they are worn or missing. At minimum, you will need: helmet, harness, rappelling device and biner, and 2x90 ft ropes. Check out the canyon flow before you commit - the rabbit hole rappel may be too powerful for even the most experienced during strong flow. As always, carry extra rope.

From the trailhead, simply follow the Rincon Trail uphill, over a saddle, and then up along Salmon Creek until you reach a bridge crossing the creek (approx 1.3 mi from the trailhead). Suit up here with whatever attire you wish, depending on water and air temps - you will not be continuously submerged, but may want some cold water protection. From the bridge, descend into the watercourse, and make your way down canyon. Watch for poison oak in this section, best avoided by staying in the water flow.

Apparently, there is a short Rap 1, but many groups accidentally miss it in among the downclimbing. Regardless, Rappel 2 cannot be avoided, and is a beautiful rappel down a 50' waterfall. Depending on water levels, it's a short swim or wade to the other side of the pool. Stay in the watercourse for another short rappel or take one of many high RDC use trails to avoid some of the bushwhacking. Either way, when you see the canyon narrow dramatically, work your way back to the watercourse, where you will shortly encounter Rap 4, aka the Rabbit Hole Rap. This is a moment to pause and check in with everyone. Each rappeler will have to enter the small rabbit hole, along with all the water flowing through the canyon. Even though this rappel is only ~15', if flow is high, this could be deadly. In additional, the landing at the bottom is not a nice deep pool, but jagged rocks that would seriously injure you if you lost control.

If flow is too high and you need to eject, return up canyon a bit until you can climb up along the ridge on the RDC side. You can traverse along until past the problem spot, then anchor off a suitable boulder to rappel back down into the canyon.

Once down the rabbit hole, swim or wade across and continue down the watercourse. The last rap is off a huge boulder/chock-stone in the middle of the watercourse. Bolts are present on the farthest edge of the boulder, creating a nerve-wracking situation for those with a fear of heights. In spite of an awkward start, this is a highly picturesque rappel (90') with some free-hang action. Swim or wade out the hallway and continue down canyon. Shortly, you will spot a use trail headed up on the LDC side. You can either follow this use trail or continue in the watercourse to the small dam. Both courses will meet up with a dirt road that takes you back to the 3-way fork you passed on your drive to the trailhead.

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2017-09-07 autumnstars
    WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

    Permit $$

    Map Drive
    FR / Dirt Road / Gravel - Car Okay

    To canyon trip
    From Kernville, drive north on MH-99 to an unsigned dirt road on the right. This will be 11.4 mi from Kern River Brewing. If you see a gravel pull-off on the right with a small sign saying "Salmon Creek Falls," you have gone slightly too far and should turn around and go back approx 0.3 mi.
    Turn sharply right onto the unpaved road. After approx 0.25 mi, turn a very hard left (basically a U-turn) onto another dirt road. For most vehicles, the turn will be too sharp to take in one move - there is a larger open area to turn around more easily if you continue a few feet straight ahead.
    When you reach a 3-way fork in approx 0.7 mi, take the rightmost fork. There may be a sign here indicating "Rincon Trail" after you turn. Follow to the end of the road / Rincon trailhead.

    Back at the 3-way fork, you can leave a shuttle vehicle a short way down the middle fork at the road end / dam.
    page created by autumnstars on Sep 07 2017 6:15 pm
    90+° 8am - 6pm kills
    Avoid Heat Illness - stay cool

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