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Los Angeles, CA: Strawberry Peak

Ascend razor-thin ridgelines and scramble up sheer rock faces on this 10.7-mile loop to Strawberry Peak, one of the most challenging summits in the San Gabriel frontcountry.

Rating

At 6,164 feet, Strawberry Peak isn’t the tallest mountain in Los Angeles, but climbing nearly 5,000 feet over talus, exposed ridges, and vertical cliffs to bag the summit is a test of fitness and will that will leave a lasting impression.
Hike from the bottom of Colby Canyon, river-hopping occasionally across the canyon’s meandering creek. The trail switchbacks through chaparral to Josephine Saddle then circles around Strawberry’s northern slope. Take the unmarked Mountaineer’s Route, a low ridge with a skinny use-trail, to the first of two Class 3 bouldering climbs. After you’ve conquered the first rock wall, walk through thorny bushes, rockslide debris, and fields of jagged boulders to the second scrambling section: Strawberry Peak’s western face is a 500-foot nearly vertical climb with extremely steep drop-offs.
At the top, you’ll notice the heavily forested summit doesn’t offer many far-reaching vistas. However, the remainder of the counterclockwise loop showcases the peak’s remarkably sheer faces, high-desert yuccas and Spanish bayonets, and a subalpine meadow.
*Editor’s Note: This route contains two mildly technical, vertical climbs that require you to use your hands and feet. The hand and foot holds on both climbing sections are clearly marked with spray paint.
-Mapped by Casey Schreiner

To Trailhead

From Pasadena, head north on North Lake Ave. Turn left at East Maple St. Take the ramp on the left onto I-210 W, then take the exit toward San Fernando. Keep left at the fork to merge onto I-210. At 5.2 miles, take the CA 2/Angeles Crest Hwy. for 10 miles to the trailhead.

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