Strawberry Peak Hike Featured 2
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Los Angeles Hikes

Strawberry Peak Hike

  • 7.2 miles - Moderate Effort
  • 3-4 Hours (Total)
  • Can Get Very Busy
  • 1,700 Total Feet of Climbing
  • Max Elevation of 6,164 feet
  • Leashed Dogs Allowed

This Strawberry Peak hike offers a ton of great scenery in a relatively short distance. You wind around a ridge on Mt Lawlor with spectacular views, then do a short but tough climb to Strawberry Peak, the highest point in the front range of the San Gabriels at 6,164ft. You'll earn great views of LA, Mt Wilson, and Mt Baldy. It's a fun hike on its own, but even more attractive if you want to get a mountain climb in to build confidence for the higher peaks in the area.

In this Guide:
  • Turn by Turn Hike Directions & Hike Video
  • Strawberry Peak Trail Maps
  • How to Get to the Strawberry Peak Hike

Why is it called Strawberry Peak? Because it looks like an upside-down strawberry. So there's that.

Where is Strawberry Peak?

The trailhead for Strawberry Peak is in the easy to find Red Box Picnic area. You need a National Parks Pass or Adventure Pass to park here. There are primitive bathrooms and picnic benches, but no other services.

Use this trailhead address:
Red Box Picnic Area, Angeles Crest Hwy, Azusa, CA 91101

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The Red Box Picnic Area trailhead is at the junction of Angeles Crest Highway and Mt Wilson Red Box Road. Mt Wilson Red Box Road is a popular road for people working on Mt Wilson, so you might see more traffic than you expect.
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There's a decent amount of parking here. It can get crowded later in the day.
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Red Box Picnic Area is a pretty awesome place for a picnic. I generally come early and eat my breakfast with the sunrise, but it's also a great place for a post-hike lunch.
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Right next to the picnic area is Haramokngna American Indian Cultural Center which celebrates the culture and history of the first peoples of Los Angeles County,

Gear For the Hike

One of the convenient things about Strawberry Peak is that you can generally climb it year round. It does occasionally get snow, but it tends to melt quickly. A more common scenario is sun and heat; there's minimal cover on this hike. It's generally best to leave very early when it's cool in the warmer month. Sunscreen and 2L of water are a safe bet here.

The last section is steep and if you like trekking poles on climbs or descents, this is a great place to have them.

There's also a decent amount of brush along the trail, so long hiking pants are nice unless you have lizard skin legs like me.

If you want to check if there's snow on your hike, read this guide.

Gear That I Love Right Now

Nothing is sponsored or promoted, just the actual gear that I use.

Gear Inreach Mini 2
Garmin InReach Mini 2If you are out of cellphone range the Mini 2 will reliably allow you to hit SOS via satellite. You can also send non-emergency texts to just say that you're late, let friends and family follow along, and check the weather. You can see my review here.
Gear Topo Pursuit
Topo Pursuit 2The wide toe box means no blisters, an aggressive tread is great on the trail, it dries very quickly, and it has lots of cushion for long days. It combines everything I love about every other shoe into one.
Gear Epix Pro Up Ahead
Garmin Epix ProThese watches are pricey, but I use them 24/7 for sleep tracking, workouts, heart rate, and tracking my hike. It has preloaded hiking maps that help me navigate the trails and is a backup to my smartphone navigation. The Epix Pro has a great battery life, a screen similar to an Apple Watch Ultra, and works in harsh conditions when just using the buttons. See my review here.
Hikelite 26 Gear
Osprey Hikelite 26This updated version of the Hikelite 26 offers incredible value for the money. It's got a wide trampoline back, so your back doesn't get sweaty. It's under 2lbs, has deep side pockets, and is a great balance of what you need without what you don't.

Check out the complete list here. ( Updated May 2024)

Strawberry Peak Trail Maps

There are a few ways to hike Strawberry Peak, but this route from Red Box Picnic Area is probably the most common route and doesn't involve any scrambling. I highly recommend this route because you have great parking, bathrooms, and a very scenic route to the summit.

There are also some small side trails to Mt Lawlor and other points. In general, the side trails off this hike are pretty rough, so if you decide to improvise and mix up the route, just a heads up.

Click Here To View

Use This Map:
View in CalTopo | PDF Map | GPX File

Strawberry Peak Elevation
After a short uphill section in the beginning, the trail levels out for a bit before a final steep climb to the summit.
Strawberry Peak 3d Map
From the 3d map you can easily see the sections: the initial climb from the trailhead, the mellow ridge along the side of Mt Lawlor, and then the steep climb to Strawberry Peak at the end.

Strawberry Peak Hike Directions

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Head to the far end of the Red Box Picnic Area parking lot.
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The trailhead is right across the street from the picnic area.
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Once you cross the street the trailhead is easy to spot, and there's a sign marking the trailhead as well.
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The trail starts to hike up above Angeles Crest Highway.
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The trail starts winding away from the road.
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You'll get some nice views of Mt Wilson as you climb this section.
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The trail eventually turns away from the highway and starts heading through some brush. You'll see some burnt trees here from the massive 2009 Station Fire.
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When you come up a small hill to this junction, make the right.
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And shortly after that, bear left along the ridge. The small path to the right ascends Mt Lawlor.
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After that last turn you'll be hiking along the side of Mt Lawlor with incredible views to the West. Keep your eyes open for a peak with antennas on it, which is Mt Lukens, also a great hike.
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Eventually the trail winds around the ridge and you'll see Strawberry Peak and the saddle in front of you. You're heading to that saddle.
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At the saddle you'll be at a junction. Head on the trail going up the hill, not the trail to the right going to Strawberry Meadow. NOTE THE SIGN ISN"T HERE ANYMORE
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It gets steep right away. Until you get to the peak it's mainly uphill.
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After the first uphill you're rewarded with a little downhill that you'll probably hate on the way back.
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And you start climbing again. That's a false peak in front of you. There's a few of them, so set your expectations accordingly. There's nothing like thinking that you're about to summit, only to see more climbing ahead of you.
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The trail is steep and rocky, but there are no major scrambles. I see some the biggest lizards on this stretch of the hike. I don't know why but there are some whoppers around here.
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BINGO! After a few false peaks, you'll see the actual Strawberry Peak with the trail winding up it.
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You did it, this is the peak. There are peak signs here most of the time, hopefully when they get stolen someone will replace them.
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You'll be able to see Mt Baldy and the high peaks of Angeles National Forest.
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And on the other side, LA, Josephine Peak and Mt Lukens.
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There's also a trail register if you want to sign in.
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From here, you just head back down the way you came. See you out there!

Check out the nearby Switzer Falls hike for a mellow, post-Strawberry Peak experience.

Need More Info?

  • Have a question about the guide or want to see what other people are saying/asking? View the Youtube comments for this video. Leave a comment and I will do my best to respond.
  • When planning, always check the park website and social media to make sure the trails are open. Similarly, check the weather and road conditions.

This Guide Was Written by Cris Hazzard

Cris Hazzard 4 Mile Trail Yosemite
Hi, I'm Cris Hazzard, aka Hiking Guy, a professional outdoors guide, hiking expert, and author based in Southern California. I created this website to share all the great hikes I do with everyone else out there. This site is different because it gives detailed directions that even the beginning hiker can follow. I also share what hiking gear works and doesn't so you don't waste money. I don't do sponsored or promoted content; I share only the gear recommendations, hikes, and tips that I would with my family and friends. If you like the website and YouTube channel, please support these free guides (I couldn't do it without folks like you!). You can stay up to date with my new guides by following me on YouTube, Instagram, or by subscribing to my monthly newsletter.