Back to index Buck Pasture & Cody Meadow Loop Hike

Trip Date:  11/16/2016

: 12.8 Miles

Vertical Gain: 1700'

Group Size: 4

Hike Rating:  Easy   Moderate    Hard    Strenuous
Buck Pasture Route
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Buck Pasture Trail Elevation Profile
Start Coordinates:   N 38 46.420, W 120 08.905     End Coordinates:   N 38 46.412 W 120 08.902
Car Shuttle Req'd:   Yes, unless you wish to add 1 1/2 mile of road walking from the end to the beginning area.
Parking Directions:   Take Highway 50 to 42 Mile Tract Rd.  Turn south, and then turn right quickly on Strawberry Creek Rd.  Drive approximately 3/4 of a mile to the parking area for the end coordinates.  To get to the beginning coordinates, continue 1 3/4 miles further up the road to the parking area for the hike.
Hazards of Note:   Some route finding on the beginning of the hike, and creek crossings during early spring and high water times.  

Crowd Factor:   Negligible.  There is very little use of the beginning of the hike, although there was evidence of bike tracks and an organized trail run earlier in the summer along the route.  
General Notes:
From the parking area, head along a dirt road for a little over a half mile, until the trail turns into a single track trail for the section all the way to Cody Meadow.  There is a hand-made sign pointing to the right which will head on up toward Cody Lake, the site of a boy scout camp.  Continue on the main trail until you reach the beginning of Cody Meadow, which the trail will pass through until the end of the meadow where an old, abandoned winter cabin still resides.  From this point you will pick up a dirt road, and head along it until it intersects with Cody Meadow road.  Head to the left toward the Southeast, and follow the Buck Pasture trail for the next couple miles which offers some spectacular views of the Carson Pass mountains to the south, high above the Caples Creek drainage area.  
After about a mile the trail turns sharply east, and continues for another mile.  Stay right at the junction for a trail off to the right, as this just heads to the top of a knoll.  Buck pasture is in another 1/2 mile, and then past that turn left at the trail junction, following the way to Strawberry Canyon.  The other direction will take you to Schneider Cow Camp, another 4-5 miles ahead.
The last part of the hike up Strawberry canyon is mostly along a 4WD jeep road, with limited views along the way.  Crossing the creek at a safe point will get you to the end coordinates and shave off at least a mile from just continuing up the road the entire way.

About a half mile in the dirt road fizzles out, and the start of the Cody Meadow trail to your left heads up a grade into the forest.  
Cody Meadow Trail

Our group braved the early snow on the trail just 2 days before 2 feet fell in the area.  It would have been really tough after then.
Braving the early snow 

About a mile into the hike is a hand made sign marking a turnoff to the right which heads up to Cody Lake.
Cody Lake Junction 

Mark making his way across the first of a few creek crossings along Cody Meadow trail.
First creek crossing

Bill and Julia stopping for a quick snack break at the very first part of Cody Meadow.
Cody Meadow break 

Making our way through a dry, fall Cody Meadows.  
Cody Meadow

Heading toward the abandoned Cody Meadow Cabin at the south end of the meadow area. 
Cody Meadow Cabin

Mark checking out the abandoned cabin, which has been left nearly intact after many years of no use.
Scoping out the cabin

Round Top mountain visible from the early part of the Buck Pasture meadow trail.
View south

This guy ended up being the only other creature hiking on the trail that we saw today.
Carson Pass range    

Fresh bear prints in the snow right along the trail.
Bear Prints

Close to the Strawberry Canyon turnoff, the trail heads right by Buck Pasture.
Buck Pasture

The trail junction at the end of Buck Pasture trail toward Strawberry Canyon and Schneider Cow Camp.
Trail Junction

A closeup view of Pyramid Peak from along the trail near the last junction
Pyramid Pead view

GPX image of the hike. GPS track of hike