Strawberry Creek / Deer Valley Trail - June 11th & 12th

EricsXJ

Member
So people are already asking about this run, so heres the information to let everyone get prepared and get excited... because this will be an awesome trip!

Trip Dates: Saturday June 11th & Sunday 12th. You can run both days with camping in between or you can run either day as a day trip.
Meeting Time: To be announced later (but will be early morning)
Meeting Place: To be announced later

These two trails are not as difficult as Bronco Canyon's worst spot (the end, where I got hung up) but they do have some challenging obstacles. There will be all types of terrain from rock gardens to water crossings and snow.

On Saturday June 11th, we'll depart for Strawberry Creek via Carson City and Stateline. We'll stop for gas in Stateline or Meyers and have breakfast too if you guys want. (The plan is to leave early so we don't get a late start on the trail.) Strawberry Creek Trail connects Hwy 50 and Hwy 88. There is a chance that the trail won't be open due to the snowpack but we'll see when the date draws nearer. If its not open we could do Deer Valley twice running it a different direction each day (This would be fun to do.) But back to the original plan... the first two miles of Strawberry are the hardest and after the infamous "Painted Rock" its smooth sailing from there on out. We'll probably stop for lunch at Schnieder's Camp while enjoying the views. Here are some trip reports of this trail:
http://jeeep.com/2000/strawberry1/
http://www.ericsxj.com/gallery01/index.htm

Once we hit pavement, its a short drive to Blue Lakes which is where we'll camp. I figure it will be fun to go in the back way (less pavement, and much better views) if its open because there will definitely be snow there. Blue Lakes has nice campgrounds but there is a fee - corrected...$17 per spot. If we don't have any major setbacks, we'll get to camp in the afternoon, in time to set up camp, cook dinners, and relax. There's fishing too for those who want to bring their poles. Anyone that doesn't plan on camping overnight can leave for home after we finish Strawberry Creek. The trail ends near Kirkwood Ski Resort to give you an idea how long it'll take to get home (a couple hours).

Sunday June 12th, we'll start the Deer Valley Trail which is at Blue Lakes. Don't know when we'll get started, just whenever we break camp. Anyone that did not do Strawberry Creek is welcome to drive down early Sunday morning and meet up with us to do Deer Valley. This trail has more rocks and a couple water crossings which might be fairly deep due to the snow run-off. Last time we did it it wasn't that deep at all. :rolleyes: Again, we'll probably stop for lunch along the trail. This trail ends up at Hwy 4. We'll head home from there. Here's trip reports and pictures of Deer Valley:
http://www.californiajeeper.com/deerval/review.htm#recom
http://www.ericsxj.com/gallery01/index.htm

Depending on time and interest, those who want to stop at Grover's Hot Springs can on the way home from Deer Valley. Cost is $5 - $7 per person I believe.
 
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EricsXJ

Member
Because this trip is further away from home, we'll need to prepare a little more to ensure a safe and fun trip. Everyone's vehicle MUST be in good working condition (you do not want to have to leave your vehicle up in these mountains as it will be several days before you could probably get back up there to retrieve it!)

Heres some things to help get prepared:
(we can add to this list or share some spare parts if needed)

Mandatory Equipment for each vehicle
tow points front and rear
tow strap without hooks
fire extinguisher
full size spare tire
jack / lug wrench
first aid kit
tools you need to accomplish most trail repairs
spare parts you may need (they won't do you any good sitting in the garage!)

Recommended Equipment (I personally wouldn't do this trail with less than this stuff on a Cherokee - your vehicle might differ)
3" lift or taller
31" tires or bigger
rock rails
transfer case and gas tank skid plates
front diff protection is a real good idea too
Hi-lift jack
CB
a locker or limited slip would help but not mandatory
XJs with larger than 33" tires should have steering box reinforcement (put this one in just for you Izzy and Chris ;) )
XJs with 33" tires or larger and stock axles should be carrying spare shafts
if stock steering bring a spare tie rod
XJs with 35" tires or larger and stock steering should have a spare drag link
spare fluids
spare serpentine belt
specific tools you need to repair your broken down junk

We can share some of these heavier items so we all don't have to bring them, like spare shafts steering, and fluids.

Recommended Camping Equipment
tent
sleeping bag
folding chair
warm clothes including wet weather clothes in case it rains
food and drink apropriate for a 2 day camping trip + a little extra is always good
cooking pans, utensils
soap (preferably bio-degradeable)
toilet paper
mosquito repellant
sunscreen
flashlight
garbage bags
fire source
shovel, knife, hatchet
games / activities for kids
swim suit
 

NevadaXJ

Active member
Sounds like alot of fun, but I don't know that I am comfortable taking my Jeep that far away from home.... I may just ride along... we'll see.
 

LandCruiser18

New member
i will go with u guys. there is a couple of places out by blue lakes that u can camp without paying a camping fee. there is tamarack lake that is about a half mile away from blue lakes if u guys are interested. there are camp spots and it is a preety nice lake. but i dont know if that has changed cause i havent been there in a couple of years
 

EricsXJ

Member
LandCruiser18 said:
i will go with u guys. there is a couple of places out by blue lakes that u can camp without paying a camping fee. there is tamarack lake that is about a half mile away from blue lakes if u guys are interested. there are camp spots and it is a preety nice lake. but i dont know if that has changed cause i havent been there in a couple of years

You are the Landcruiser that went with us to Bronco Canyon right? It will be nice to have you along. I have been to Tamarak Lake (didn't camp there) but from what I remember there was limited space. You could even camp at a closer lake "Lost Lakes" which is close to Upper Blue. Lost Lakes are really cool and theres some nice spots but again, limited space. If someone is there before you, you are out of luck.

The spots at Blue Lakes can probably fit two tents, so one space could be shared but there is probably a fee (couple of dollars) for an extra vehicle. They might also have some group spots we could use depending on the size of our group. If you have any females along, they will probably prefer having "facilities" close by...

Connect said:
I thought strawberry creek was supposed to be a relativley easy (stock) course?
The South half of the trail after Painted Rock is definitely "stock" material. As far as the North half is concerned, it probably depends on what type of stock vehicle and how much tolerance you have for damage. A stock Rubicon TJ would be fine. A stock XJ or TJ is questionable. Either could be pulled over/through obstacles but expect some damage. Conditions on the trail can change year to year and as RARECJ8 posted a while back, a few stock TJs had to turn back because they bulldozed some errosion control berms or something.
 

LandCruiser18

New member
yea i was the one who went with u guys at bronco canyon i had a blast. yea there is limited spots there but maybe we can check them out. just have a few guys go check out tamarak and lost lakes just so if there is enough room we can stay there and have some guys stay back and hold some spots if there is not enough room at either lake...yea my girlfriend will probably go and my other friend bob...my girlfriend wont really care if there is a facility near by, she is the kinda girl who u can take camping and not hear any complaining :) , i just need to make sure to buy some biodegradable TP (if they have any). i am getting new shocks this weekend so i will be able to do a little better than at bronco canyon.
 

kairo

Moderator
Staff member
I'd like to go but I've got a zero tolerance for damage right now. I'm game if 33's will carry me safely over the obstacles, and it's not a rock canyon like bronco. I'm not geared low enough to be comfortable doing that tons of boulder crawling
 

kairo

Moderator
Staff member
blackwidow said:
oh nick don't be a party pooper....you can go and people will spot you if you need

lol

I'm beginning to feel like I'm cursed though...I didn't even hurt my jeep at Bronco Canyon.....and out of spite, the window controls go fubar.

I need a civic
 

EricsXJ

Member
LandCruiser18 said:
i just need to make sure to buy some biodegradable TP (if they have any).
Just store your used TP in something and deposit it in one of the pit toilets before we head out.

When we do the Rubicon, we'll all be doing this. You pack it in, you pack it out, and that includes all your solid wastes as well!
 

EricsXJ

Member
kairo said:
I'd like to go but I've got a zero tolerance for damage right now. I'm game if 33's will carry me safely over the obstacles, and it's not a rock canyon like bronco. I'm not geared low enough to be comfortable doing that tons of boulder crawling

Nick, you really can do these trails no problem. I did Strawberry on 31's open diffs and you know how I am with babying my jeep on the rocks. I was much more anal about it back then! Tom did Deer Valley on 235's I think and they were bald. He got hung up quite a bit, but made it through.

You should have done Bronco too. I would have spotted you. Get back in the saddle!
 

Fish Sticks

New member
I'll be putting in a leave card asap for that weekend. I got hosed for bronco canyon run, I had to work three hours last saturday, ruined my whole weekend. :(
 

88WranglerMan

New member
I thinkin about goin up there, that's if I can get my rock sliders done, do SOA and find some used 35's, do any of you know if there are any at P&P?
 

EricsXJ

Member
Here's an update. I'll try to do one every week. I'm a little worried about all the snow and wonder if it'll be melted in time. We really need some warm weather!

This info is found at http://www.fs.fed.us/r5/eldorado/ for anyone interested.

As of April 28th:

Strawberry Canyon: Inaccessible
Schneider Cow Camp (South side of Strawberry) : Closed
Blue Lakes Campground: Closed

I'm hoping all the "closures" are just due to snow. Also camping at Blue Lakes is $17 a spot but like I mentioned before one spot might be able to hold 2 vehicles. We'll have to check on that one.

19 days and counting...
 

EricsXJ

Member
Still too early to consider that, in my opinion. Even if Strawberry is closed on the 21st, we still might be able to go in through Deer Valley. Maybe we can talk NevadaXJ into driving out there to Hwy88, Blue Lakes road or Kirkwood and give us snow reports? :yup:
 

EricsXJ

Member
We talked it over at Pizza Night and we've decided to reschedule the dates to June 11th & 12th hoping for enough snow melt to have a clean run.
 
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