Salmon Creek Falls

HikeSnobs rate this: 1.5thumb


Visited: August 22, 2015

Description: A short hike to a 120 foot waterfall

Length: .25 miles

Elevation: 100 feet

Duration: 15 minutes

Difficulty: Easy

Terrain: Dirt and rocks/boulders

Wildlife: Fishes

Parking: Roadside (35.815808, -121.358745)

Best time to go: Anytime, but better after a good rainfall

Bring: Camera, snack/lunch (optional), bathing suit (if you’re going in the water)

Driving the scenic Highway 1 route along Big Sur, we had a bunch of places we wanted to see. Salmon Creek Falls was one of the lucky ones to make it on our list.

Without reception, we knew it was about 33 miles south of McWay Falls. Luckily, Linda also had an offline map of the area so we didn’t have to worry about missing the stop. Seeing a bunch of cars parked on the side of a big horseshoe bend on the highway is a good sign too.

After parking at the horseshoe bend with all the other cars, we walked toward the right end of the bend and found the sign for Salmon Creek Falls. Following the trail for about .2 miles was easy peasy.

When we reached the split, we were not sure which way to go anymore… Listening for the waterfall, we headed right, toward the rocky and bouldery grounds that almost looked like something we’d see in our nightmares…


We knew we were going the correct way when we saw these weird metal bars which were mentioned in our research. What is that crazy contraption? It’s the route for crossing the little creek to the waterfall!


It looks a bit scary at first but there’s really nothing to worry about. The bars were pretty stable with a little swaying here and there. There’s a rope you can hold onto but it wasn’t much help. And if you happen to fall from this, it shouldn’t be a big deal because you’d fall into a shallow pool. But if you wish to not do this part at all, then get in the water and walk to the other side.

Once we survived the metal obstacle, just a few more feet and a few more boulders, we reached Salmon Creek Waterfall! Feel free to relax in the freezing pool and enjoy your day.


If you’re feeling adventurous, you can take the path on the right up to the middle of the fall. Be careful of slippery algae and moss.


Even though the waterfall wasn’t that powerful, it was definitely worth the short hike to cool our bodies from the heat. We are extremely happy to have this waterfall close (enough) to San Francisco so we can make the trip more more easily than all the other amazing waterfalls we’ve experienced.

@HikeSnobs Tips:

  • Have a picnic here!
  • The water is really really really, like REALLY, cold.

Comments? Questions? Suggestions? Leave us a message below!

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