Strawberry Mountain Wilderness is an isolated and lightly visited area just east of John Day, Oregon. At just under 70,000 acres, there are approximately 125 miles of trail through this wilderness. This loop covers the highlights of the area, including Strawberry Lake, Little Strawberry Lake, Strawberry Mountain, High Lake, and Slide Lake. If you are lucky, you’ll spy several mountain goats on the steep cliffs that this hike circles.

The high elevation of the wilderness means this loop is best accessible from late summer through early fall. Early season visits may require navigation across dangerous snow crossings and mosquito swarms.

Topo map and GPX track:


Loop on well marked trails. Some sections of washout and exposure.


Approximately 20 miles including side trip to summit of Strawberry Mountain.

Elevation Gain:

+/- 5800 ft

Trailhead and Permit Notes:

The northern trailhead with access to Strawberry Mountains Wilderness is approximately 11 miles south out of Prairie City, Oregon. The road is gravel but passable to passenger cars as of this listing. The trailhead has a pit toilet, water faucet, and small campground. This loop can also be hiked from the Roads End or High Lake Rim trailheads, though they are smaller with no amenities.

As of this publication, no permits are required for backpacking or hiking in Strawberry Mountain Wilderness. Please practice Leave No Trace and see the trailhead sign for current wilderness information, including campfire restrictions.

Useful Guides and Gear:

Rebecca Sowards-Emmerd

Mountain sports addict. Dog Mom. Craft beer drinker. Tech nerd. The best days are those spent above 10k ft. Meet me on Twitter, Facebook, or Google +


Leave a Reply