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Strawberry Peak via Mountaineer’s Route is a 10.2 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Palmdale, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, running, and nature trips and is accessible year-round.

Length 10.2 mi Elevation gain 3,474 ft Route type Loop

Hiking

Nature trips

Running

Views

Wild flowers

Wildlife

Rocky

Scramble

No shade

Description
Waypoints (8)
Tips

This hike starts out at the Colby Canyon trailhead.

This hike starts out at the Colby Canyon trailhead, following the canyon floor for about a half mile. After a few stream crossings, you will start up switchbacks that end at a large, concrete water storage tank. This is Josephine Saddle. Going to the left will lead to Josephine Peak; going to the right will take you six miles to the opposite side of the mountain where you can access Mount Lawler and Strawberry Peak via the standard hiking trail.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (73)
Photos (1109)
Recordings (59)
Completed (128)
Billy Busse
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJune 20, 2020
HikingNo shadeOff trailOver grownRockyScramble

This is a doosey of a hike, definitely not for anyone who has a fear of heights or has never done a scrambling route before. The hike up to the ridge was moderate and very well maintained. Once at the ridge, the trail takes a hard right straight up, and the trail quality diminishes quite a bit. There are two class 3 (I believe the second scramble is more like a class 4) scrambles on the route, the first one you'll encounter pretty early and isn't too bad, it's easy to find a safe route up and is only about a 50 foot climb. After the first scramble the trail will lead through some pretty thick and thorny bushes and it can be difficult to follow at times, I lost my way about halfway through and ended up going off trail all the way to the second scramble. The second scramble is quite a bit more technical, but if you follow the arrows spray painted on the rock you will be alright, there is however some exposure to some pretty big drop offs. In all I'd say the second scramble is something like 200 feet of vertical gain. I didn't make it to the top because the last ten feet to the summit were just too risky to attempt in my flimsy Merrell hikers, so I definitely recommend a a stiff pair of boots or maybe even some approach shoes to do the last portion safely. This is a great introduction to some mild mountaineering, but DON'T UNDERESTIMATE THIS TRAIL, you could very easily maim or kill yourself on this trail. If you are inexperienced, you'd be better off doing this peak from the Red Box parking lot instead.

karolina nowak
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 6, 2020
Hiking

Wow this one surprised, I liked it a lot more than expected. I will echo previous reviews - doing the entire loop is definitely not for inexperienced hikers or those who are uncomfortable with heights/exposure. I ended up doing the loop clockwise as I missed the turnoff to go counter-clockwise, which meant that I was doing all the fun scrambling on my way down. This trail in general is beautiful, great views asking the way (even with today's major fog!). On the way down from the peak I definitely almost gave up and climbed back up - finding the trail was a bit tough in one spot. Ended up finding the way and totally loved it! The fog was an added challenge as I couldn't see the end point for most of the way down. The down-climbing/scrambling is totally doable (again, if that's your thing) and I can't wait to do this section uphill next time. Even with trail finding mishaps and a couple short breaks this trail took 4 hrs 45 mins, total of 12+ miles (11 is probably without trail mishaps ;)).

View karolina's Recording
Christine Flack
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarMay 29, 2020
Hiking

The views are beautiful, but the mountaineers trail is only for very experienced hikers. Someone was rescued off the peak area today— no idea what the situation was but a rescuer dropped from a helicopter and a few minutes later two people ascended back up. We saw this at the end of our hike coming back into the canyon. Mountaineers requires climbing And scrambling a lot. Once we reached the saddle, got on the use trail to mountaineers, and reached the sheer rock wall, we went left. Do NOT go left. We didn’t feel comfortable turning right and continuing as the additional scrambles are even more challenging and our prior wrong turn had us in a very sketchy place with loose rock and big drops (up by the big burnt tree on the left when you look up from the concrete circle junction). So we headed down How we came and walked the regular strawberry peak trail which is beautiful, around each curve a new view. By going out several miles then turning around, our total hike was 11 miles. Nice to sit by the creeks otw back.

Chris Spurrell
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMay 18, 2020
HikingScramble

I really liked this trail. GPS said it was 12 car to car. I’d intended to ascend the scramble and then decide whether to return that way. The turning is easy to miss just after the saddle on the right and goes straight up... the scramble is not hard but is exposed. Definitely no fall. Otherwise a really nice trail. Stream was still running in the canyon (May 17) and was able to put my feet in the water on the way down.

Eli Cherry
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarApril 27, 2020
HikingBugsNo shadeOver grownRockyScramble

Yes, this is a 3 star review, but really for two specific reasons which both occurred during the stretch of trail known as the “mountaineers route” (between the junction at the top of colby canyon trail where you make a right straight up to strawberry peak). Other than those issues, this was a fabulous trail with stunning views of Mt baldy and the rest of the San Gabriels. If we went the longer route to strawberry peak both out and back, I would give this 5 stars. However, taking the loop and following the “mountaineers route” up to Strawberry Peak before taking the long way down, we ran into some problems. one of which put us in a pretty hairy situation. The second scramble up to the top of Strawberry Peak is not for the faint of heart. However, the trail was not marked AT ALL at this point and it was impossible to tell where the real trail was. This led to us finding our own way up this scramble and ultimately finding ourselves in a dangerous situation: exposed on a spine 20 ft above the base and hundreds of feet down on either side essentially bouldering up a sheer part of the scramble. I am convinced this was not the actual way up, as it would be too dangerous to do without ropes, but the trail was impossible to distinguish at many points on the way up to Strawberry Peak from the saddle of the Colby Canyon trail. Reason number 2 for the 3 star review is trail maintenance. As I said before, the trail was impossible to find at times and there was a looong (.75-1mi) section of spiny bramble on the same stretch of trail (between Colby canyon saddle and strawberry peak) that was very overgrown and needs to be hacked out of the trail. This made the trail indistinguishable from random offshoots at times and we found ourselves go down the wrong path a number of times. The bramble was also aggressively spikey and shredded us even when we were certainly on the official trail. In order for it to be hikeable, the mountaineers route ought to be maintained better, and certainly marked better with some arrows painted on. That being said, these were just two specific issues that caused us a lot of problems, and although they are big issues...outside of this it truly was a fabulous hike with great wildlife, stunning views, and a great diversity of vegetation and ecosystems.

View Eli's Recording
Cameron Treece
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarApril 20, 2020
Over grownRockyScramble

This trail is super dank, try to not fall to your death.

Joey Echeverria
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarApril 19, 2020
HikingRocky

There’s a trail that requires you to rock climb to the top. Be very careful. I was hiking it and on my way down from the peak and it got really foggy out of nowhere. It’s very easy to get lost when it’s clear, let alone under those conditions, and you can very easily hurt yourself. Come prepared.

View Joey's Recording
Christian Simionato
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarApril 19, 2020
HikingRockyScramble
View Christian's Recording
Jordan Safty
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarApril 4, 2020
HikingScramble

This hike definitely felt more like an adventure than a casual trek up a peak. Like everyone else mentioned, there are two scrambles - the second one is more of a challenge than the first. You get tons of views on this hike, lots of changes of scenery and elevation as well. Will be coming back to this one in the future!

View Jordan's Recording
Christian Surprise
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarFebruary 26, 2020
HikingNo shadeOff trailRockyScramble

My wife and I completed this hike on 2/26/20 and the first half of the hike was amazing, with 360 degree panoramic views from the ridge line to the summit. We mad it to the saddle within an hour, and took a quick snack and stretch break before breaking off the main trail and onto the ridge. Both climbs looked difficult on approach, but they were both pretty easy with plenty of hand and footholds along the way. After hanging out on the summit, we started to head down towards Red Box Canyon and then split off towards the Strawberry Meadows. This is where things got interesting. For some reason, we accidentally continued down the Colby Bridge trail instead of hiking the trail through the meadows....first mistake. This new trail we were on progressively got thinner and overgrown until just straight up lost the trail. It simply vanished within all the dense vegetation. Our GPS showed that we were still on top of the trail (we though we were on the right trail) so we continued to push through and see if it opened back up further down. We kept rediscovering the barely worn in footpath which only convinced us to go further until the trail vanished again. At this point, it was way past sundown, no visibility except for our head lamps, and very little water left. I almost thought we were going to have to stay the night out there and that we might possibly be lost. but we remained calm and listed our options...ended up climbing a very steep slope, through bushes and trees to reach a ridge line so we could get our bearings, that fortunately led us back to a trail sign where we made the wrong turn. Even though we found our way back to the main trail, it was another grueling couple of hours and several miles back to the saddle and down to the car. We hike all the time and this was the only incident where we thought we may have been stranded/lost. Apparently, the trail we were following has been let go for years now, and is virtually non-existent. Just goes to show that one simple mistake can cause a horrible outcome. Make sure to continue down the path through the meadows. If you come across a private property sign/side trail, you've gone too far!

Mags Venadas
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFebruary 8, 2020
HikingNo shadeOver grownRockyScramble

It’s our first time to do this trail and I really like it even if get punctured by all the yucca and got splinter and torn pants I would love to do this hike again :) but not during summer because there’s no shade .... and also it’s a must to wear gloves

Angeles Guzman
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFebruary 1, 2020
HikingScramble
View Angeles 's Recording
Justin Rimon
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 25, 2020
HikingNo shadeOff trailOver grownRockyScramble

ROUTE: Colby Canyon > Mountaineer Route > Strawberry Peak > Redbox Canyon * In order to do this route, you must have two cars. Leave one at Redbox Picnic Area first and then drive the other car to Colby Canyon (bring adventure passes). TIME: Started at 8:45am -- Ended at 3:30pm This mountaineer/rock scrambling route to Strawberry peak is action packed and absolutely exhilarating. ONLY attempt this route if you are prepared because if not...please pass because the consequences can be miserable and even fatal as other reviews have warned. If you are afraid of heights and do not have decent rock scrambling abilities (class 3 rock scramble, no equipment needed), it's best you probably ascend using the Redbox Canyon route where there are just steep inclines and no scrambling. Starting from Colby Canyon and heading to the saddle (the concrete ufo looking structure) is pretty straightforward dealing only with switchbacks for the most part. Once you leave from the saddle and embark on the mountaineer route, this is where the trail takes on a whole different personality. This portion includes: much steeper inclines with sharp yucca plants, undefined trails, overgrown thorn bushes, and two rock scramble sections to get to the summit. I highly recommend wearing long pants and long sleeves so you won't get all cut up. The first rock scramble is pretty doable with a few parts where you just need to be extra careful with your footing and hand placement. Now the second rock scramble (which is right before the summit) is where people may choose to turn around. This one is also doable too but I must say it is more challenging and technical. Be on the lookout for arrows or ribbons that help mark the proper route up. And this is the very problem too with this 2nd rock scramble, it's not always obvious or clear so you have to do your best to just analyze the problems. There are a few parts here that are nerve racking so if you feel yourself getting very uncomfortable just stop, think about what you are doing, and turn around if necessary. Scrambling can take alot of energy out of you so make sure to take your time and replenish your energy. Once you reach the top, the views are amazing and there are even a few signs that you can take photos with. We went back down the other side of the mountain which was Redbox Canyon as to avoid descending down the way we came up. Trek on, Justin @just.trek // www.justtrek.net

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