Pets allowed
Elevation Gain
1,500.00 ft (457.20 m)
Trail type
9.10 mi (14.64 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

Chances are if you're exploring the Strawberry Mountain Wilderness you'll encounter only a few people along the way, and most of that foot traffic is found on the section of trail from Strawberry Campground to Little Strawberry Lake via Strawberry Lake. If it's your first time visiting the wilderness areas, those destinations are not to be missed. But if you are looking for a quiet trail with impressive views along the way, take a left before reaching Strawberry Lake and head up the Slide Creek Trail. 

In not too long, you'll reach a small plateau above Strawberry Lake that looks out over the Big Riner Basin. The trail from here to Slide Lake skirts the rim of the basin. In fact, there are two trails, both equally worthy, but one specifically designated for horseback riders. If you take that trail, however, it's very unlikely you'll encounter any horses and riders along the way. An unnamed waterfall flows from Slide Creek just below Slide Lake, and although you'll never gain a good view from the trail, you'll hear the rushing water for much of the hike.

Slide Lake is a beautiful end-point. Cliffs encircle the crystal-clear lake water. Bring a fly rod if you like to fish, as Slide Lake and Little Slide Lake are full of brook trout. There are also a number of backcountry campsites around Slide Lake, and chances are you'll be the only person camping there on any given summer night. If you want to skip Strawberry Lake altogether on the way to Slide Lake, all the while adding some elevation and distance to the hike, park your car at the Slide Creek Campground and take the Slide Creek Connector Trail that leaves from there and traverses to the other side of Big Riner Basin.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

Not Required


Solitude. Great views. Wildlife encounters.



Trailhead Elevation

5,748.00 ft (1,751.99 m)


Backcountry camping
Big Game Watching
Big vistas
Big Game Watching

Suitable for



Nearby Lodging + Camping

John Day + Blue Mountains Area, Oregon
John Day + Blue Mountains Area, Oregon


Have updates, photos, alerts, or just want to leave a comment?
Sign In and share them.