It was my first time hiking up Strawberry Peak. The week leading up to the hike I did my research, I read all about the hike, I looked at many pictures and I gps’d where I had to park.
I went with a group of four. My sister, my cousin, his friend and myself. We decided to meet at the parking area (Redbox Canyon) at sunrise (6am), that way we don’t get stuck hiking in the heat.
Driving up the mountain was scary because it was a foggy morning, and I mean foggy! By the time we passed mile marker 35, we were above the clouds, it was an amazing view.
We started the hike at 6:30am. The parking lot was kind of empty, there were maybe ten vehicles total. The road was blocked off at the parking area so crossing the street wasn’t scary. I hate crossing mountain streets because so my drivers like to speed race up and down mountains. As we passed little landmarks, I felt comfortable and familiarized with the hike because of all the reading and pictures I’ve seen. It was like I hiked this virtually and now I got to do it in real life.
The first two miles were nice and shaded. It wasn’t hard at all, we were just walking at a steady pace. Not difficult at all. And we still had not ran into any other hikers, which was nice. Don’t get me wrong, I love hikers, but hiking is my destressor, and I can think more clearly when I’m not constantly passing people.
Once we got to the fork in the road and began hiking up Strawberry Peak instead of going to Strawberry Meadow, we really began to feel the heat of the sun. The hike intensified and we were stopping at every “false peak” we came to. I put that in quotations because there really is only 3 false peaks but we were calling every hill one as well lol. We were leveling up.
Before we reached the peak, we had to climb up some rocks which made the hike that much more difficult. My sister was right behind me and I heard a loud thump because the had slipped off a rock and hit her ankle. This scared me because I didn’t want her to get hurt, it was my idea to go on this hike and she is not an experienced hiker at all. She is a beginner, but she was okay, just a little bruised. We stopped so she could put some corrective-x on the ankle. (It’s an ointment to help with cuts and bruises).
We finally reached the top! And I knew it was the top because I could see the iron pole I’ve seen many people take pictures with! Of course I did too, that’s why it’s my featured photo. I was surprised to see a metal box nailed to a rock up there full of notebooks and notes that people that have made it to the top left in there as a little memento to the mountain.
I didn’t bring a pen or paper with me but luckily there were multiple pens and a brand new notebook in there in which I wrote my little piece. We stayed at the top for about an hour. We refueled with snacks we brought with us, like Cliff bars, beef jerky, and almonds. We also took many pictures with the beautiful scenery all around us.
On our way down the mountain is when we started seeing hikers coming up. I thought they were crazy because at this time it was soo hot outside. I tried to get down the mountain as soon as possible because I needed shade. My legs were starting to feel like jello and my abs were hurting too. We kept passing people, I guess a lot of people don’t mind the hot sun, but I couldn’t do it.
We were gonna go towards the meadow once we came down the hard peak but since we were all drained we decided to just call it a hike and go home.
Right before we got to the part with the electric telephone wires, I saw a snake rushing into one of the bushes. It caught me off guard because I was so tired and wasn’t looking for it. I really need to invest in a snake poison anecdote. You never know, and you can never be too safe.
When we got back to the parking lot, it was full! I am so glad we got there when we did. Early. But of course, 30 minutes earlier would have been even better because we all got burned!
All in all, I absolutely LOVED this hike and would recommend it to everyone. But you have to start before sunrise because coming back down in the sun was a beach.