Virginia Peak is one of the most visually appealing peaks in the Salt River Range. As seen from the Grey's River it is a steep, fluted pyramid shaped face, that is very difficult and innaccesible looking. Many people see it from the Grey's River Road, but not many stand on its remote summit.
No trailheads are close to it from the Grey's side, making it a long hike from that direction. I only recently thought to go from the western side from the Strawberry Creek side as a means of access.
The name Virginia has been on the old maps for a long time. Nobody knows who it was named after, but the name was given a long time before. It was probably first ascended many years before, but it receives very little traffic today. It is photographed a lot, being visible for many miles on the Grey's road. The valleys and cirques around the peak are very wild and pristine looking. To the east of the peak, are many signs of sheep usage, and lots of ATV trails. The western side of the peak is connected to the ridges above Strawberry Creek, and some lovely terrain.
Greys River Road view at dusk of Virginia Peak
Lovely Strawberry Lake
The Turiano guide book mentions one way to go from the eastern side. There were also some ski descents described from that direction. I will only go over the western approach that I have done.
First you must get to the Strawberry Creek trailhead. South of Thayne, Wyoming is the turnoff for Bedford and Strawberry Creek. Follow the road for a few miles past houses and the small settlement of Bedford. You reach the end of the pavement when you pass the residence of the caretaker of the hydroelectric station. You will see a large pipe containing a lot of the creeks flow being used for power, on your right as you ascend the canyon. Past the house the road starts to narrow and get a little rocky. Follow the road a couple of miles past many nice campsites and views of the creek. You go up one steep loose section that might be difficult for some low clearance cars. Soon you traverse a rocky hillside and you see the dam and small reservoir on your right. Shortly past the reservoir the road ends at a small parking area.
Take the obvious trail up the canyon on the left side of the lovely spring fed creek. A little less then a mile up canyon, you cross the small creek coming in from the north fork. A short ways past you see a trail going left, near a white diamond on a tree. Take this trail up the north fork, a very beautiful hike with amazing views of Haystack above you. After a couple of miles and some steep sections you curve around to your right and you finally reach the lovely little lake. The lake has no official name, but Strawberry Lake seems fitting. From here I will describe the way on the route page.
wild rock formations above Strawberry Lake
The area is not in protected wilderness, but it still has a wild character. Sometimes the main Strawberry Creek drainage has sheep grazing in the summer, but I did not see many signs of that in the North Fork. Fortunately there are no ATVs on the trails, there were mountain bike tracks on the main trail, the north fork gets too rocky up high for bikes. Hunting season is when there might be some traffic around, I could see a well established hunting camp in the main drainage. Wear orange in the fall, so you don't get shot at. I saw some very healthy mule deer on my hike, one reason many go there in the fall.
The southwest sub-summit of Virginia Peak
There were some campsites on the road to the trailhead. At the lake were signs of some regularly used campsites. There was some garbage, but the sites were mostly well taken care of. Some of the sites looked very nice with fire rings established, and tent sites close by in the trees. Please use care to preserve this beautiful area for future generations to use.
"Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity."