Eagle Peak to Strawberry - TRAIL

Eagle Peak to Strawberry - Trail, Stawberry/ Pinecrest, California

This ride is a combination of roads and trails that includes the lower half of the Pinecrest Peak Downhill. If you've ridden Pinecrest Peak, this route gets perhaps more technical in one section and has more rolling terrain with short technical climbs, steep granite drops, and cruising through meadows. The climb up is sixteen miles of mostly roads to the final trail and hike up Eagle Peak (9370'). Thirteen of the next fifteen miles are singletrack dropping 3900 feet back to Strawberry. We like to keep the singletrack entrances somewhat obscure so the motorcycles don't find and destroy. Topo maps: Pinecrest, Donnell Lake, and Dardanelle or the Forest Services' Emigrant Wildeness map shows the whole area fairly well.
Route: From Stawberry drive up Herring Creek Lane (located between the Store and Post Office). Park at the end of the road and ride around the gate and up the dirt road for a couple of minutes then hike up a short steep track on the left to the end of a road. Follow this to a five way intersection, turn right and go to another junction, and go straight past rock barriers. The road fades to singletrack then soon brings you to the paved Herring Creek road (4N12). Turn right and just keep following it up past the end of the pavement, past the Gargoyles view and keep going straight for a couple more miles. Shortly after you pass 5N06Y on the left you will turn left onto 5N11Y and then an immediate right onto 5N74 which is a jeep trail following the ridge toward Eagle Peak. Just keep following the jeep track staying left at an intersection, down a short steep and up and up with a little pushing to the end of the road at 9000'. Climb over the log and after a hundred yards you will find a mostly rideable singletrack winding up a half mile to the top of Eagle Peak. Whew! Now turn around and head back to the jeep trail, Follow the road for two tenths of a mile. You'll see a rock cairn on the right. The trail is on the left. Once you find it, it should be easy to follow. After a mile, it it dumps into an old logging road the is fading to singletrack. Another mile you cross a berm and follow a road one tenth of a mile to road 5N12. Go staight across the road and into singletrack. This is the Hammil Canyon trail. Follow this sweet trail for 4 1/2 miles, past Herring resivoir, onto a road for about a mile always veering right. As you climb up above the campgound you will merge into 5N12 again. Now pay attention. Go up another 50-100' and look for a rock cairn on the left on a corner. Hike up the hill above the cairn and you will find the trail which climbs up to a lava cap then into granite for some very technical riding. You have to hike across Herring Creek, then it's easier riding to a road. Turn left on the road, stay on the main track, climbing up to a junction, stay right 100 yards to the Pinecrest Peak trail. Go right on the trail. Just past a pond turn right on a trail and follow it down to Strawberry.

User Reviews (1)

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bpressnall   Cross Country Rider [Oct 29, 2006]

This is a great trail for the x-country rider that enjoys technical trail riding. I think it has too much climbing for the pure downhiller types. Awesome views on the upper sections and the singletrack has everything from easy cruising, techno climbs, and granite slickrock ramps and dropoffs. Some of the trail can be a bit intimidating the first time because you can't always see what's below as you crest over granite boulders, but it it completely rideable by a good rider, I think, except the two creek crossings. In spring/early summer the water may be too high too cross safely.

Customer Service

If you want to shuttle, get your mommy to drive you up while you have milk and cookies. The real mountain bikers can just follow the discription. The only mistake I found (I wrote the discription) was that I mistakenly called road 4N12 road 5N12 a couple of times and it didn't mention the county, which is Tuolumne county. If you want to add 1.4 miles of singletrack on the way up, you can go up to the Gargoyles vista and find a trail to your right. Follow this up and down for a ways and look to the right for some rock cairns leading up right. Climb up a bit and you will find a faint trail heading out across the lavacap. This will lead back to 4N12 a mile above the Gargoyle turn. Also at the very bottom of the ride, where the trail merges with a trail along the Stanislaus River, you can turn left and go to a big log that crosses the river and continue on a trail to highway 108. That just avoids the second crossing of Herring Creek.

Similar Products Used: Pinecrest Peak, Eagle Creek, Willow Meadow, Aspen Meadow-Coffin Hollow- Rock Creek, Deer creek- Crandall
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