There are two main routes to the summit of Strawberry Mountain, one via Strawberry Lake, and this one from the south via the Roads End Trailhead. The trails offer a completely different perspectives on the Strawberry Mountain Wilderness, and both reward hikers with the incredible view from Strawberry Mountain's pinnacle.
This featured route is the shorter, easier version. The total elevation gain from the trailhead is just over 1,100 feet, compared with the 3,200 feet gain in 6 miles from the route starting at Strawberry Campground. But what it makes up for in ease, it loses in sheer magnificence. The trail starts along an old forest service road that's now blocked off and only accessible by foot. The area is very exposed to the sun; a forest fire burned much of the area, and the skeletal trees and brown grasses make for a stark contrast to the forested sections in other parts of the wilderness. There are no streams or potable water along this route, so come prepared with all the water you'll want to have to make the trip to the summit and back to the trailhead.
Strawberry Mountain's summit will retain snowpack late into summer, so it's best to plan a summit trip in late September when you'll be certain to have a clear, dry trail. From the top of the mountain you'll have incredible views of the wilderness area north into the John Day River Valley and south to Seneca. Many other trailheads lead into Strawberry Mountain Wilderness and could eventually take you to the mountain's summit. If you are doing a full loop of the wilderness, don't miss out on the short side-route to get to the peak and see the entire area.