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Strawberry Pass, El Dorado National Forest

Hooligan

Xtreme wheeler of the web
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This trail runs from 50 to 88, and is generally thought of as an easy beginner trail. Which I would agree with…up until the Caldor Fire. It had like 3 or 4 (maybe 5) if you include the gate keeper obstacles, within the first mile or so. After that it was a pretty easy 2wd capable forest service road to the Strawberry Pass summit and down to 88.

Think 4wd Cliffhangers of Vacaville has adopted this trail.

The summit overlooks Caples Lake and Kirkwood resort, it has awesome views. The trail itself is in very dense forest with a few water crossings. A nice not too demanding day, even for me in a fool size double cab truck.

I ran it last year for the first time, by myself, it was nice not another vehicle on the trail (yah, yah, don’t go alone). Too bad I didn’t get many pics last year.

Well, what changed? They have bull dozed the road on account of the fire. Doesn’t appear to be heavy fire damage in the area, perhaps it was bull dozed for fire equipment, don’t see any logging activity. Basically, there are no more obstacles. Yep, all plowed away.

The two gate keeper pics are different views, truck is looking back to start of trail, the other is looking into the trail. The pic with the truck, there are bushes on driver side, forcing travel into the rocks as the gate keeper. Picture on the bottom sort of can’t see, due to the tree, but the left side of the trail has no more bushes, gate keeper can just be driven around.
Gate keeper, July 2021
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Gate keeper June 2022
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The trail, or more the “road” now, had so much water running down it in spots. If stream crossings are bad for water quality, don’t show them what the forest service did here. Road is now easily doable in a Subaru. There are rough sections, but that is due to water damage and wash out exposing rocks. Without intervention, I could see in a year or so the trail having some obstacles again as erosion occurs.

Is it worth the drive? Sure, still a nice road, and the summit view is worth it. Would I take a beginner here to try out their vehicle, nope, nothing challenging.

Here are some pics of June 2022, in order of driving from 50 to 88.
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Two views of the same spot, first is looking up trail.

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This small stream is only challenging for my fool size due to the off camber and tight turn. I’m normally a “clean the trail dont make a bypass” person, but my 18” saw wouldn’t compete against that size down tree.

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While it was neat to look at, I don’t see this level of erosion being good for use long term.
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Hooligan

Xtreme wheeler of the web
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More
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Then about a mile or so from the summit is this little twig blocking the road. Again did not attempt to clear with my small saw. Someone had spent some time on a bypass, built up a granite rock section. Sort of surprised that so Much time was invested in the bypass instead of clearing the tree. Well, anyways, the bypass is now the hardest part of the trail :lmao:.
 

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Hooligan

Xtreme wheeler of the web
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What do they use to grade the road, many areas had trees and rocks pushed to the side, but I didn’t see any dozer tracks.

:mad3:but roads have to be closed so a little OHV usage doesn’t cause damage to the fragile ecosystem :mad3::flipoff:


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jjeep71

Old Guy
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1977
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Morgan Hill, Ca
I was supposed to run Der Valley in mid August and thought I might try Strawberry on the way. After seeing this I'll probably skip it. What a joke!
 

BigWheel

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CAL4
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La La Land
Well this sucks. So the squeeze rock on the drivers side is no longer there? It’s I think the second or third obstacle. Or the uphill rock section with the logs? Maybe fourth obstacle
 

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WLDWUN

in the woods
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Pollock Pines CA
Think 4wd Cliffhangers of Vacaville has adopted this trail.


Well, what changed? They have bull dozed the road on account of the fire. Doesn’t appear to be heavy fire damage in the area, perhaps it was bull dozed for fire equipment, don’t see any logging activity. Basically, there are no more obstacles. Yep, all plowed away.
Hooligan
thank you for the write up

Gold Hill Posse is the adopt a trail club for Strawberry

I did hear about it being dozed last year for the Caldor Fire
they are to work on it to get back to the more natural state in time
 

WLDWUN

in the woods
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Pollock Pines CA
AF947E83-9814-4A83-97E6-30428AF1C146.jpeg


Then about a mile or so from the summit is this little twig blocking the road. Again did not attempt to clear with my small saw. Someone had spent some time on a bypass, built up a granite rock section. Sort of surprised that so Much time was invested in the bypass instead of clearing the tree. Well, anyways, the bypass is now the hardest part of the trail :lmao:.

OK now you just are getting me excited
tempted to run out there tonight and remove it :laughing:
 

Hooligan

Xtreme wheeler of the web
Joined
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Sacramento
Well this sucks. So the squeeze rock on the drivers side is no longer there? It’s I think the second or third obstacle. Or the uphill rock section with the logs? Maybe fourth obstacle
All gone. Wish I woulda taken pics last year to compare with. I only ran the trail once, but couldn’t even tell where the obstacles use to be.
 

Hooligan

Xtreme wheeler of the web
Joined
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Member Number
341
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650
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Sacramento
OK now you just are getting me excited
tempted to run out there tonight and remove it :laughing:
I figure that pic would tease you. :grinpimp:

If I was by myself I would spent a few hours on it, but the others I was with weren’t up for it. Its got me shopping for something to sling a longer blade.
 
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