This is our most popular day trip in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. There’s a good reason for it. Strawberry mountain is a beautiful ridgeline on the flanks of Mt St Helens and within the Helens Blast zone. You’ll still find remnants of the historic blast that blew 1,300’ off the top and absolutely desecrated the surrounding environment for decades. Trees that once covered the forest were “Blasted” and salvage logged. The soils broken down and the landscape sprayed with Pumice. After decades of regrowth, the newly forming landscape has revitalized into an incredible piece of nature and a unique blend of soils that make for a diverse day of riding. There are long swaths of the Strawberry ridgeline still vacant of trees, which allow for incredible sitelines into the distance, on a clear day, you can catch Helens, Mt Adams and Mt Rainier from one point on Strawberry’s ridgeline.
Aside from the natural beauty, this is also an incredible day on the Mountain Bike. On the day we’ll be shuttling to the top of Strawberry 3 times, with 3 massive and unique descents. We’ll begin with a ride down the South ridgeline, a nice warmup and a chance to get right in front of Helens. After a brief/stiff 10 minute hike a bike out of the parking lot, we begin our descent on a spiny ridge. A creative line down the landscape, we’ll eventually work our way onto the broad part of the ridge and a playful forest with some fun corners and fast descending. There will be some Oh $hit moments, and some hoots and hollers, we’ll eventually make our way down to Bear Meadows.
From Bear Meadows, we’ll hop back in the Shuttle Rig and head back to the top of Strawberry, this time heading North from our drop. We’ll gain the high point of the ridge and descend into our first trail junction. From here we’ll descend West on the scrappy 213 trail, a diamond in the rough, and a real gem of a trail. This is a primitive yet sporty representation of PNW Backcountry trails that include pumice chutes and water crossings, and incredible patches of the darkest dirt. We’ll land on the 26 road with open doors, hop back in the van and head back up to the top one last time.
We do save the best for last. Strawberry North is a sweet way to end the day. A thorough look at the Strawberry Ridgeline as we undulate our way across the landscape, small fun descents and small fun climbs along the way. Jaw dropping views and rock formations, a wild landscape. We’ll eventually reach our high point and what many coin as the best descent EVER, Strawberry North! This Northern Strawberry Descent was mostly logged within the last century, the replanted mix of tree species is a nearly perfect mix of leaves and pine needles. Each season these leaves and needles fall to the ground and feed the cycle that replenishes our duff. Pair this with a North Facing Aspect, and we have an environment that breeds some of the greatest soils and one of the best trails around. But we’ll let you decide, click that book now button and make it happen!
Estimated Mileage: 20 + Miles
Day Trip Includes:
- Professionally guided tour of remote single track
MAKE IT A WEEKEND
Iron Creek Campground, roughly 20 minutes south of Randle. Detailed instructions will be sent in your confirmation email.
Shuttle Departure : 9:30 AM
Please arrive 15 minutes early.
CELL PHONES: DO NOT WORK HERE, Have an offline MAP available for reference.
MAP: 822 :: Mount St. Helens, Mount Adams [Gifford Pinchot National Forest]
with Mt. St. Helens
This was a huge project during the summer of 2018. Over 3000 hours of volunteer labor that uncovered 52 miles of newly logged out and brushed out backcountry singletrack. Our friends at Santa Cruz Bicycles come up at least once a year to attend a 4 day work party to help the cause and throw a shovel in the dirt. They wrote about their experience attending this year’s work party along with some great photos that highlight the area. Click here for the full details.