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Slide Basin / Skyline Trail

 
Slide Basin / Skyline Trail

Page Type: Route

Object Title: Slide Basin / Skyline Trail

Route Type: Hiking

Season: Summer, Fall

Time Required: A long day

Route Quality: 
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Page By: calebEOC

Created/Edited: Aug 14, 2006 / Jan 6, 2009

Object ID: 215493

Hits: 2080 

Page Score: 74.01%  - 4 Votes 

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1st step: Strawberry Campground to Slide Mountain

Starting at the Strawberry Campground head up the trail towards Strawberry Lake. There are many forks when heading for Slide Mountain, so be sure you follow these directions after leaving the campground and heading towards Strawberry Lake:

1. Take the first left onto the marked Slide Basin Trail.
2. Shortly after the first fork take a left at Slide Lake sign.
3. Left at Big Riner Basin fork, head downhill towards Slide Creek.
4. Left at unmarked fork, still heading downhill.
5. Cross slide creek, head left down Slide Creek.
6. After a short distance take a right onto Skyline trail 385 at the base of Slide Mountain.

Below, a map showing trails and this route, view at original size to read
Map of Route
 


From here you will follow Skyline Trail up Slide Mountain's base until you can see the following cliffs above the trail as the forest begins to change to sagebrush. Here you want to head straight up the mountain towards the summit.
Below; once you see this cliff above the trail head directly for the chute in the middle and beyond towards the summit.
This is where you leave the trail
 


This route has roughly 3100 feet of elevation gain, and is a little over 5 miles one way.

2nd: Slide Mountain to Graham Mountain

From the summit of Slide Mountain head southeast along the ridgeline connecting to Graham Mountain. This is a low difficulty walk except for making your way up Graham's northwest butress seen below. I believe the easiest route is to circumnavigate the summit block to the right (south) watching above until you find a suitable path up mountains steep face. I found the further around Graham you travel, the easier access becomes to the summit. Circumnavigating Graham to the left (east) would be much more dangerous as the loose talus is steeper than the west side.
Graham Mountain on approach
 


To return to Strawberry Campground head southeast from Graham Mountain to reconnect with Skyline Trail 385 which you can follow back to Slide Creek and retrace your route to the trailhead.

Close up of NW face
 



From Strawberry Campground to Graham Mountain has roughly 3700 feet of elevation gain and is about 6.5 miles one way.

Getting There

In Prairie City which is 13 miles east of John Day, turn south off of Highway 26 onto South Bridge Street. Follow South Bridge Street until you see the turnoff on the right for Strawberry Campground / Wilderness which is Bridge Street / county road 60. Follow this road 11 miles to its termination at the Strawberry Campground.

Essential Gear

There is plentiful water along the route, especially at the Slide Creek crossing. Beware of Cougars if bringing pets, and wear bright colors in fall months as the Strawberry Wilderness is a popular big game hunting area.

Images

This is where you leave the trailClose up of NW faceMap of Route