|Peak Summited||2021 Strawberry Peak|
|Type of Hike||Day hike|
|Hiking Companions||Hiked with a partner|
|Road Conditions||Road suitable for all vehicles|
|Bug Status||No bugs|
|Snow Conditions||Intermittent snow - not hard to cross|
|Trail Conditions||Trail in good condition|
I hiked my first summit in October 2020. It was a very adventurous first date with someone I barely knew, but hey, go big or go home right?! I figured if he could keep up with my adventurous side he might be a keeper. Well, he totally kept up! In fact, he was super encouraging when I was having a hard time. We had been together on that first mountain for 12 hours. After that hike, I knew he was “the one”! Fast forward to January and I signed us up to complete the 6 pack of peaks! It has become a great bonding activity for us. We really get a chance to know each other on these mountains. Nature is nurturing our budding relationship in an amazing way. So enough of the mushy, let's get to the good stuff… Strawberry Peak!!
I knew this would be our first summit of 2021 because it was recommended to me last year and I had been putting it off while life happened. I finally said LET'S GO when I was getting overwhelmed with life and needed a break. You see, nature heals just as much as it nurtures, exercise gets the blood pumping, and a challenge always gets me excited. I did some research so I knew we would be scrambling some rocks the last half of the journey so I made sure to have my trekking poles at the ready. I also heard there might be some snow and ice in the morning hours that could turn to mud/slush so I made sure to pack appropriately in case I got wet.
We got there a later than we anticipated but managed to find parking on one of the little side lots off the road. It tacked on a 1/4 mile to our hike but no complaints! We reached the trailhead at 7:50AM where we took our obligatory start of the hike photo then we were off!! I am kind of a wimp in the cold so I dressed in light layers that I could peel, wore some light gloves and a warm hat. Well, within 10 minutes of our hike I stripped a layer and pulled out the baseball cap instead! It was the most beautifully perfect day! The sky was so blue and the sun was shining! We saw small patches of snow in the shaded areas, but nothing that made the hike a challenge. My love and I took every opportunity to stop and enjoy the views. We don't rush, we savor. Life is fast enough.
We came across some other hikers, but it was never crowded or too busy. Everyone was kind and cheery and said hello as passing each other. The first part of the hike was nice and easy. Lots of greenery on one side and some burned areas on the other. Once we reached the first false peak we could see many peaks in every direction and even Downtown, Glendale, and Burbank with some light smog cover. I was hoping it would clear up and we might see the ocean, but no dice this time! Around 11 am we reached a “fork” in the trail. There was an incredibly steep hill right in front of us and a trail to the back of us next to the one we already were on. We assumed that the big steep hill was where we needed to go, but we were wrong! Got some tips from other hikers and checked our map to realize there was an almost hidden trail off to the left of the big steep hill. Phew! Dodged a bullet there. The big hill ended up being the way to Mount Lawlor, we could have made it to Strawberry Peak going that way as well, but opted to just do the one today so we took the almost hidden route.
We made our way onward where we started to encounter a bit more ice. We have both lived in cities with lots of snowfall so we weren't worried about the ice and took our time using our trekking poles when needed. It was beautiful to see the icy trails and sparkling snow, but I was glad it wasn't a lot. I'm not a huge fan of the snow, haha! The trail came to another “fork” that had a marker telling us to go left for Strawberry Peak, this is where things got a little more challenging. There started to be many more rocky areas. Many that we had to step up pretty high to get above. It was, what I called, a booty burner! Lots of exercise for the legs and glutes!!! The scrambling was fun! I mentioned that it made me feel like a mountain goat. The view became more and more breathtaking the higher we climbed. We found a few great photo op spots and continued to take our time.
We finally reached the peak around 10:30 am. There was a bit of a crowd so we waited for our turn to take our summit pictures, hugged each other, and moved along to find a good spot to picnic for a bit. We found a down tree to rest and have a little snack and water break. The sun was starting to get pretty warm so we just basked in the glory of the scenery and sunshine for a while before we turned to go back.
We made it back to the bottom by around 12:45. Coming down was fun fun fun jumping rocks and we made sure to keep enjoying nature for anything we may have missed on the way up. All in all it was a great hike, a wonderful day spent with someone I love, and my first summit of 2021!