Hiking Herring Creek Road, Stanislaus National Forest

Hiking Herring Creek Road, Stanislaus National Forest (1)

  • Location: Herring Creek Road, Stanislaus National Forest, Strawberry, California
  • Distance: 3.3 miles (out and back)
  • Ascent: 521 feet
  • Difficulty: Easy

The last of our big hikes from my New Years trip to my cabin in the mountains (see hike #1 and hike #2 respectively), this started out a bit eventfully — we initially drove up the mountain to see where the road closed (which turned out to be kind of lame and boring, thought there would be more to see), we then drove down to where we initially wanted to hike, and turns out the entire area was taken over by a sledding hill with no real way of getting to the hiking trail (not to mention we were wearing hiking clothes, not snow boots.)

It was getting late and I was worried about getting home before dark, and turns out I shouldn’t have worried at all — we found another hike (really, a fire road where people go four-wheeling, but I’ll take it), and it turned out to be super lovely, especially with the sunset.

Continue reading

Hiking Sugar Pine Railway, Stanislaus National Forest, Strawberry, California

Hiking Sugar Pine Railway, Stanislaus National Forest, Strawberry, California (3)

  • Location: Sugar Pine Railway, Stanislaus National Forest, Strawberry, California
  • Distance: 4.6 miles (out and back)
  • Ascent: 1079 feet
  • Difficulty: Easy

It’s funny how you can visit an area for years knowing about a trail right around the corner. I’ve been heading up to Strawberry to my family’s cabin for five years now, and it wasn’t until this last trip at New Years that we finally expanded our hiking area (maybe it was the lack of snow!) In my defense, I’ve always gravitated towards the nearby Pinecrest Lake trail, and when sticking close to home, we tended to walk the backroads and search for mushrooms.

Right before this trip, we were walking one of the roads when I saw a sign saying, “Do not enter, trail 300 feet ahead.” What? A trail? And lo and behold, 300 feet ahead, there were indeed trail markers and a well-defined (and well-used — am I really the last to know about this?) trail heading down the hill.

A couple weeks later, friends and I finally explored this new trail, which turned out to be the Sugar Pine Railway trail, where a railroad used to be and taken down in the ’70s.

Continue reading

Hiking Strawberry Peak, Stanislaus National Forest

Hiking Strawberry Peak, Stanislaus National Forest

  • Location: Strawberry Peak, Stanislaus National Forest, California
  • Distance: 4.1 miles
  • Ascent: 767 feet
  • Difficulty: Easy

Alas, didn’t take many photos of this hike near my cabin in Strawberry, California. I’ve heard about Strawberry Peak from family who had climbed it before (and “climb” is kind of a poor term, since it’s really just walking up a hill.)

Continue reading