The length of Straw Creek Trail (#084) is 7.5 Miles, the ending elevation at McDougal Pass is 9,360 feet, and the beginning elevation is 7,020 feet for a net elevation gain of 2,340 feet. USGS Map: Man Peak; Rock Lake Peak
Strawberry Creek Trail is one of the more accessible trails into the rugged and scenic Salt River Range from Star Valley WY. The trail starts at 7200 feet and follows a gorgeous valley 7.5 miles to McDougal Pass where Bear Creek trail begins for a drop into the Greys River Valley. Hikers can take the road to the end but if you are pulling a horse trailer find a turnout before you get into as situation you wished you were not in.
The trail starts in creek bottom boreal forest and a short way up the trail, another trail cuts off to the left, this trail is the Covey Cutoff Trail which is a shorter way to get to the Greys River Drainage. This is not marked so keep right if McDougal Pass is your destination.
From bottom to top there are plenty of open areas to view the surrounding peaks
of the Salt River Range. About halfway up you enter the sub-alpine terrain
and the forest opens up creating greater viewing opportunities. Just before
you get to McDougal Pass Strawberry Creek Trail is joined by the North Willow
Creek Trail that comes up from Turnerville WY.
Strawberry Creek Valley From right below McDougal Pass
From the top of the McDougal Pass, you look down Bear Creek into the Greys River Drainage. At the pass Cabin Peak Trail takes off to the left and goes to Cabin Peak lookout and beyond down the Cabin Creek trail to Meadows Campground on the Greys River.
I had put off riding this trail as it is open to ATV use,
and although they have every right to have their place in the forest, I find
plenty of trails where I don’t have to worry about surprise horse/ATV encounters.
I was pleasantly surprised too see that only the lower part of the trail
had seen much ATV use and we never encountered any on the trail in the dead
Thunderstorms are common in the afternoon for most of the summer. For that reason, it's advisable to get an early start and try to cross the open divide by noon; the top of a mountain is nowhere to be in a thunderstorm.
The Salt River Range is home to elk, moose, deer, bighorn sheep, black bear wolves, mountain lion as well as many other species and grizzlies are a possibility. On this hike it is common to see moose and deer and if you get lucky you could see elk, or black bear. Some of the wildflowers you may see are fireweed; larkspur, indian paintbrush, purple fleabane, columbine, and lupine proliferate turning every meadow of the region a sea of color.
McDougal Pass at the peaks of the Salt River Range that tower over Bear
Creek and the Greys River Drainage.
Expect summertime temperatures to range from highs in
the 70s-80s during the day to lows of around 30 at night. Afternoon thunderstorms
are the norm most summer evenings so plan your hiking and climbing so that
you won't be on an exposed slope when the lightning is competing for space
with the waterfalls of the canyon walls. It can snow any day of the year
and has; so visitors should come prepared for a wide variety of weather
and temperature conditions. Remember Murphy’s Law and pack accordingly.
From Afton, Travel north on Hwy. 89 to County Road #126 (Strawberry Creek). Turn right and head east through Bedford to the Forest boundary. Continue east on Strawberry Creek Road #10083 to the road end at Strawberry Reservoir. The trail leads east up the north side of Strawberry Creek. NOTE: Passenger cars and trailers are not recommended on Strawberry Creek Road beyond the power plant.
Location Information: Train begins at the end of Strawberry Creek Road #10083. The trail ends at the junction with Bear Creek Trail #085 on north side of McDougal Pass.
This trail leads into the scenic Salt River Range. It gives access to Cabin Creek Peak, and links to the Cabin Creek Peak Trail #083, the Covey Cutoff Trail #081, the White Creek Trail #082 and the Bear Creek Trail #085.
This trial is open to motorized trail vehicles. Sedans and trailers are not recommended on the Strawberry Creek road beyond power plant.