Strawberry loop from tram

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Strawberry loop from tram

Postby Ellen » Sun Jul 31, 2022 6:34 pm

Howdy All :)

Yesterday, I hiked the Strawberry route with friends. It was wonderful to say hi to our tram family, who warmly welcomed us back. The last two times I took the tram up and down was to snowshoe to the peak earlier this year. I also did several Skylines to the tram with friends before and after the closure. I don't even recall the last time I hiked the Strawberry loop :oops: It was probably before the multiple Covid shutdowns.

It was warm and humid when we started (about 8:30). However, we had cloud cover. The trail to Round Valley was in great shape -- thank you trail crew 8) The one mile, 900-foot vertical gain from Round Valley to Wellman's divide handed me my ass as expected :lol: The view from the divide was exquisite. About halfway down to the Strawberry junction, we saw a doe :D Wellman's Cienega was flowing well and treated us to wildflowers and ferns (a friend refers to this a "middle earth"). Once on Strawberry, the views were even more spectacular and enhanced by clouds. When we reached the Deer Spring junction, we began the long, rolling section through pines and ferns to the Fuller ridge (PCT) junction.

I refer to the section from the Fuller ridge junction to Little Round Valley as Three Bears (too many years of hiking the Strawberry loop solo :lol: ). Water was flowing well at Bed Springs crossing. Took a short break at LRV, then headed up the never-ending switchbacks to the junction (it feels like more than 1.3 miles :lol: ). Hiked and scrambled up the rocks to the summit. Due to the weather, there were fewer people than normal for a Saturday. Quick lunch break, then headed down the winter route to Miller saddle. Took the trail to a bit below 10 K and headed down ranger overland to Tamarack. Hiked out Sid Davis (very overgrown) to rejoin the main trail. As it was a weekend and we didn't get to the tram until about 5:30, it took a while to take the tram down.

Miles of smiles,
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Re: Strawberry loop from tram

Postby Ed » Mon Aug 01, 2022 9:49 am


Thanks for the trip report. I thought only old crocks with wobbly knees like me had to drag their butts up from Round Valley to Wellman's Divide, and Little Round Valley to the trail junction. I am sure you danced up by comparison!

The first time I saw Wellman's Cienaga was Memorial Day Weekend, 1970. I was awestruck by it. Even more beautiful then than now, the brush was not as high, and not overgrowing the trail. Records show the previous winter was very dry in LA, but I remember quite a bit of water flowing at Wellman's Cienaga, and some snow between the junction and the summit.
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Re: Strawberry loop from tram

Postby guest » Thu Aug 04, 2022 1:07 pm

Hi Ellen, always enjoy your posts, (usually w some great pics,,,,:). That is a tough course you did, plenty of ups & downs. Glad to hear there's water running, (even if a little), in middle of summer. I know San Bernardino's got rain in the last week or so, maybe San Jacinto's as well, (imagine SanJac John has info on that). I hope you had a can of soup in the Mt. hut, for ol times sake, (kiddin, ha).
Always a breath of fresh air to see wildflowers & the ferns in summer, when most everywhere else is dead on dry.
Seems like the altitude is really noticeable after 9k, like on the way to Wellmans. Be interesting to see if anyone, (SP or otherwise), does any trimming on Sid Davis.
Always a bit of a shock to me to return to tourism-ville at the tram, after spending a long day surrounded by wilderness. scott
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Re: Strawberry loop from tram

Postby Hikin_Jim » Wed Aug 31, 2022 5:48 pm

That's a fair piece of walking there, Ms. Ellen. I figure it's about 16 miles round trip including the peak. See

Nice to hear that Bed Springs was running. I think that's the only really reliable water on the mountain above 8000' elevation. There could be water at Strawberry Cienega, Joyce Spring, Deer Springs, Rock Spring, Lily Spring, and maybe even Little Round Valley, but those are all far less reliable.

I wonder if the spigot in Round Valley is running at all.

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