The Strawberry Mountain Wilderness is located east of John Day, Oregon, in the Malheur National Forest. The area includes approximately 68,700 acres and encompasses the headwaters of Pine, Indian, Strawberry, Canyon, Bear, Lake, Wall, Roberts, and Big Creek. The area is dominated by the Strawberry Mountain Range with the highest point being Strawberry Mountain. This area has extremely diverse ecological makeup. Five of the seven major life zones in North America can be found here. It also supports native population of Rocky Mountain Elk and other wildlife. The additions including the Canyon Creek Research Natural Area have improved both the quantity and the quality of the wilderness experience.
The complex geological story of this landscape began millions of years ago with the buckling of an ancient sea floor beneath the area where the western part of the Strawberry Range now rises. Much later, volcanic ash and lava formed the eastern part of the range. Most recently, the glacial ice carved its classic signature--U-shaped valleys--into the mountains. The ice also hollowed out the rock beds that today hold the seven alpine lakes of the Strawberry Mountain Wilderness--rare pleasures in the arid wilderness experience.
In a normal year, most people use the Wilderness between July and November. Snow may be encountered at higher elevations any time of the year. The climate from September is mostly mild, with clear skies. Summertime thunderstorms may occur, usually in cycles lasting several days. Daytime temperatures normally range between 30 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit; nights are cool. Freezing temperatures can occur any time of the year. When you go to the Strawberry Mountain Wilderness, be prepared for hiking in the high country. The land is rugged, and elevations range from 4,000 to the 9,038-foot summit of Strawberry Mountain. Over a hundred miles of trails cross the wilderness, offering vista after vista to the enterprising hiker.
The campground is located at the edge of the Strawberry Mountain Wilderness. Set amongst ponderosa pine in a beautifully wooded area, the campground is an excellent starting point for anyone wanting to hike, hunt, fish or simply relax. Strawberry Basin Trailhead is located at the campground. Strawberry Basin Trail #375 connects to other trails in the wilderness allowing for day hiking or backpacking trips.