Thursday, June 5, 2014

Strawberry Peak from Red Box - 5/25/14

The Forest Service recently reopened a bunch of trails that had been closed since the Station Fire in 2009. That means that Strawberry Peak is BACK OPEN!!

Yucca posing with Strawberry

We've been staring at this big granite berry for the last five years, just waiting for USFS to give us the go-ahead. There's a class 3 route that may or may not still exist, but we stuck with the easy route that definitely still exists.

This has to be one of the most San Gabriel hikes in the San Gabriels. If you do a lot of hiking in the San Gabriels and then you do this hike, you'll know what I mean.

Most of the trail looks like this. So San Gabriels.

The trail from Red Box is only about 3.5 miles/1800' of gain to the top of the peak, but half of that 1800' is in the final mile. The first 2.5 miles are almost completely flat, but the view to the west and the wildflowers lining the trail make up for it.

The trail is in perfect condition; there's absolutely no sign that there was ever a fire here (other than a few mostly dead poodle dog bushes. Don't touch the pretty purple flowers!)

These pretty purple flowers. Don't touch them.

Feel free to touch these pretty purple flowers though.

The final mile is slightly scrambly and sort of steep with lots of rocks to hop over and a bit of routefinding. It's similar to the final section of Condor Peak but probably not as steep.

The peak stays in view for most of the way so there aren't really any false summits until the very end when you think you might be climbing up a pile of rocks that lead to the top but there's still about 1/4 of a mile to go.

The views from the summit might not be quite as spectacular as some of higher peaks in the range, but you can see in every direction and it's definitely one of the best summit views among the under 7000' peaks.