The United States Congress designated the Silver Peak Wilderness (map
) in 1992 and it now has a total of 31,533 acres
All of this wilderness is located in California
and is managed by the Forest Service.
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.