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Strawberry Mountain Wilderness
IUCN Category Ib (Wilderness Area)

Lower Strawberry Lake, with the Palisades in the background.
Location Grant County, Oregon, USA
Nearest city Canyon City and Prairie City
Coordinates 44°18′10″N 118°47′36″W / 44.30278°N 118.79333°W / 44.30278; -118.79333Coordinates: 44°18′10″N 118°47′36″W / 44.30278°N 118.79333°W / 44.30278; -118.79333
Area 69,350 acres (28,060 ha)
Established 1964
Governing body United States Forest Service

Strawberry Mountain Wilderness is a wilderness area of the Strawberry Mountain Range, within Malheur National Forest in the Blue Mountains of east Oregon. The area comprises 69,350 acres (28,060 ha), including mountain peaks and several lakes, and contains more than 125 miles (201 km) of hiking trails. Strawberry Mountain was designated wilderness under the Wilderness Act of 1964, and in 1984 more than doubled in size with the passage of the Oregon Wilderness Act.[1] It is managed by the United States Forest Service.[2][3]



Strawberry Mountain Wilderness ranges in elevation from 4,000 feet (1,219 m) to 9,038 feet (2,755 m), at the summit of Strawberry Mountain, and contains five of the seven major life zones in North America.[3] There are seven alpine lakes in the Wilderness, including Strawberry Lake, High Lake, and Slide Lake. It also contains the headwaters of numerous streams, including Pine, Indian, Strawberry, Canyon, Bear, Lake, Wall, Roberts, and Big Creek.


Millions of years ago an ancient sea floor began to buckle beneath the area where the western part of the Strawberry Range now rises. Volcanic ash and lava later formed the eastern part of the range. More recently, glaciation carved U-shaped valleys and hollowed out beds that today hold seven alpine lakes.[2]


Oregon grape (Mahonia aquifolium)

Strawberry Mountain Wilderness contains a large number of larch trees, as well as spruce, fir, and pine forests. Common flowers in the Wilderness include buttercups, mariposa lily, shooting star, paintbrush, wild onion, yarrow, and western Jacob's ladder. Other abundant vegetation includes wild strawberry, grouseberry, thinleaf huckleberry, Oregon grape, swamp gooseberry, thimbleberry, and Sitka Alder.[3][4]


Strawberry Mountain Wilderness is home to at least 378 kinds of animals and 22 species of fish. These include Rocky Mountain elk, mule deer, antelope, black bear, cougar, bighorn sheep, ruffed and blue grouse, pileated woodpecker, sharp-shinned hawk, bald eagle, pine marten, mink, and beaver. Some species of fish in the Middle Fork of the Malheur River include bull trout, redband trout, and rainbow trout.[2][3][5]


See also

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