Strawberry Mountains Traverse Backpacking

Canyon City, Oregon

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The narrow spine of the Strawberry Mountains packs a lot of scenic punch in a small package. Its snowy line of peaks provides a lovely backdrop seen both from the north over the upper John Day River Valley near Prairie City and from the south over Logan Valley. Happily, the backcountry trails provide scenery at least as good as that seen from a distance. Views are spectacular throughout, flowers are abundant, and wildlife is unusually common. The range is crowded only near the few lakes in it, so there are miles of rarely traveled trails. For those who do make the scenic traverse of the Strawberries, most begin at the Canyon Mountain trailhead near Iron King Mine. The route described here is shorter, involves less climbing, and has better road access. It also passes through some of the range’s best wildlife habitat, so your chances of seeing elk, bighorn sheep, and other animals are significantly improved.
Backpacking Oregon: From Rugged Coastline to Mountain Meadow

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Backpacking Oregon: From Rugged Coastline to Mountain Meadow

by Douglas Lorain (Wilderness Press)

The narrow spine of the Strawberry Mountains packs a lot of scenic punch in a small package. Its snowy line of peaks provides a lovely backdrop seen both from the north over the upper John Day River Valley near Prairie City and from the south over Logan Valley. Happily, the backcountry trails provide scenery at least as good as that seen from a distance. Views are spectacular throughout, flowers are abundant, and wildlife is unusually common.

The range is crowded only near the few lakes in it, so there are miles of rarely traveled trails. For those who do make the scenic traverse of the Strawberries, most begin at the Canyon Mountain trailhead near Iron King Mine. The route described here is shorter, involves less climbing, and has better road access. It also passes through some of the range’s best wildlife habitat, so your chances of seeing elk, bighorn sheep, and other animals are significantly improved.

© 2007 Douglas Lorain/Wilderness Press. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Backpacking, Hiking
Nearby City: Canyon City
Distance: 35
Elevation Gain: 7,600 feet
Trail Type: Shuttle
Skill Level: Difficult
Duration: 4 days
Season: Usually open late June to early November; best early to mid-July / mid-October
Local Contacts: Prairie City Ranger District
Local Maps: USFS - Strawberry Mountain Wilderness
Topo Map: Strawberry Mountains Traverse (Backpacking) Topographic Map
Guide Book: Backpacking Oregon: From Rugged Coastline to Mountain Meadow Guide Book
Driving Directions: View Directions
Trail Directions: View Guide

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