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Strawberry Saddle/Colby Cyn-Car Shuttle

May 18 @ 8:30 am - 2:30 pm

The Stats

Distance: 10 miles

Level: Moderate



The Plan

Red Box to Strawberry Saddle

Strawberry Meadow

Colby Canyon

The Story

Strawberry Peak – 6164 ft.

Strawberry Peak is located in the San Gabriel Mountains of Southern California. Just a short drive up Angeles Crest Highway (SR2) from the city of La Cañada. Being so close to the Los Angeles metropolitan area and offering such outstanding hiking opportunities, Strawberry is understandably very popular. The summit offers wonderful views of Los Angeles and the Pacific Ocean (although often obscured by smog). And to the north the High Desert and Tehachapi mountains are visible.

Named by “some wags at Switzer’s Camp”, according to Hiram Reid (1886). It is told that they fancied a resemblance to a strawberry standing with its blossom end up. “We named it Strawberry because there weren’t any strawberries on it.” Reid icily noted that “the joke took” and that burlesque name has been commonly used by the old settlers; but the peak name is waiting some worthy occasion for a worthy name . Like many other playful peak names, few expected the name would last, but it has-perhaps because Americans have always loved to toy with place names.

The first known ascents were by parties led by Ezekiel Simmer from Switzer’s. A trail was built along the Arroyo, and then up Colby Canyon to the saddle west of the summit, and then up the Class 3 rock to the top. This was one of the most popular destinations during the first “Great Hiking Era” (1895-1935). It was also climbed and poetically recorded by Saunders (1923). One of this peak’s most curious moments was when a giant gas balloon, the America crashed on the summit after being caught in a storm. The six men aboard, including Captain. A. E. Medlin, spent a freezing night on the mountain but clamored down Colby Canyon to safety the next morning (1909). It was front page news and some sought to rename the peak after Medlin but nothing came of it.

Called “Strawberry Peak #1” on original HPS List–there once was a #2 in the San Bernardino N.F.

Directions: From the 210 Freeway north of Pasadena, exit at Angeles Crest Hwy (SR 2) and go north 14 miles. At mile marker 38.38 you’ll come to the Red Box Junction and Mt. Wilson Road. We start the hike here but WE ARE NOT MEETING HERE!! We will meet first in about <1000>ft from Switzer Falls entrance on Hwy 2, there is a dirt apace to your left park here, from here we shuttle to the trailhed(Red Box)

Caravanning: A good area to consolidate vehicles is at an area many hikers use just north of the 210 on the 2 fwy. On Angeles Crest Hwy turn right on the second street north of the 210, Milmada Drive and then take an immediate left on the street that parallels the Angeles Crest.

These locations do require a National Forest Adventure Pass for parked vehicles. These passes can be purchased at most ranger stations (if open) in the area of our hike, most sporting goods, convenience stores and gas stations. The cost is $5/day or $30/yr. When buying an annual pass for $30 you can also buy an additional annual pass for $5. Splitting this fee with someone is the most economical way to get the passes. A National Parks Pass can also be used for parking as well and should have come with a rear view mirror hanger.

PLEASE – Know your limits and abilities. Bring and drink plenty of liquids when hiking. Check weather conditions and dress accordingly and be aware of your surroundings at all times. Watching out for snakes, ticks, uneven footing, spectacular views, beautiful fauna all while carrying on a conversation with awesome (usually) fellow hikers can be extremely hazardous, rewarding and fun.


Rating a hike is subjective, meaning the difficulty of a hike will be in direct relation to how often you hike and the type of hike you prefer. Keep in mind that any hike can have the following: un-even hiking surfaces, various obstructions, water and/or water crossings or bouldering and/or rock hopping. A great hike will have all of these!

1 – A long walk

2 – 4 mile hike w/little elevation gain

3 – 5 mile hike w/up to1000 ft. elevation gain

4 – 5+ mile hike w/up to1500 ft. elevation gain (heart rate increases at times)

5 – 7+ mile hike w/over 1500 ft. elevation gain (heart rate increasing even more at times)

6 – 7+ mile hike w/over 2000 ft. elevation gain (at times you might be trying to remember how to perform CPR)

7 – 5+ mile hike w/over 2000 ft. elevation gain (at times you might be muttering expletives to yourself)

8 – 10+ mile hike w/over 3500 ft. elevation gain (at times you might be angry with the hike leader)

9 – 10+ mile hike w/over 5000 ft. elevation gain (at times you might be thinking of reporting the hike leader to the authorities)

10 – Use your imagination

Class 3 Scrambling: Scrambling or un-roped climbing. You must use your hands at times to hold the terrain or find your route. This may be caused by a combination of boulders, steepness and extreme terrain. Some Class 3 routes have ropes in place for assistance.



I am a volunteer (i.e. not liable for the group). Safety is a priority for everyone in the group. Think of this as hiking with a group of friends.

Outdoor sports and other events we plan can be inherently dangerous and accidents may happen. By participating in any posted event, you’re taking responsibility for your own safety and well-being. The VHC Meetup Group and its organizers are not trained leaders and we do not confirm the qualifications of any of its members to lead or participate in trips. All participants take full responsibility for their own actions. If you choose to sign up for any VHC Meetup events, you are releasing the VHC Meetup Group and it’s organizers from all liability in case of possible injuries as stated in paragraph 6.2 of the Meetup “Terms of Service” located on the bottom of the Meetup website. Your personal safety depends on your own judgment and experience.


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May 18
8:30 am - 2:30 pm
Event Category:


Colby Canyon Trailhead
701 Angeles Crest Hwy
Tujunga, CA 91042 US
+ Google Map



Trail statistics are approximate.  For safety purposes always assume they are underestimated. But don’t be disappointed if they are overestimated. Bring more water and snacks than you think you’ll need.

Trail descriptions are based on previous hikes. Current conditions are unknown until arrival. Expect the unexpected and plan accordingly.

The Organizers and members in this group are not professional leaders, guides, or mountaineers. The function of the member or organizer is only to organize the trip. Each person who shows up for a trip/meetup (and their guest or guests) is responsible for his or her own safety. By attending a hike, or any other event organized by this group, you are acknowledging that you and any guests that you bring are aware of the risks, dangers and hazards associated with the activity and freely accept and fully assume all such risks, dangers and hazards, and further agree to release and discharge the Organizers, Members of the Hiking With Dean Meetup Group from and against any and all liability arising from your participation in the group activities per the ASSUMPTION OF RISK AND LIABILITY WAIVER.

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