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Iron Mountain

Foster, Oregon

based on 11 reviews



1.79 miles

Elevation Gain

610 ft

Route Type



Added by Jeffrey Green

Iron Mountain offers stunning Cascade Mountain views along the trail. The summit sits at an elevation of 5,440 feet. Summit GPS Grid Coordinates: 44°24′02.77″ N 122°08′57.19″ W.

Getting There

There are a couple of different routes to the summit of Iron Mountain. This adventure article focuses on the shorter but more strenuous hike to the summit of Iron Mountain. To get there, drive to the upper trailhead (Trail # 3389) via Highway 20. Take Forest Service Road (FSR) 035 and drive 2.6 miles to the trailhead. A Northwest Forest Pass or $5 self-pay at the trailhead is required to park at the gravel parking lot. There is a vault restroom in the parking lot.


Iron Mountain is part of the Old Western Cascades that formed roughly 40 million years ago and has since eroded away into a number of smaller mountain peaks in the mid 5000 ft. elevation range. Currently, the Old Western Cascades live in the shadows to the west of the mighty North Cascades as we know and love them today.

The Hike

This hike is an absolute must for any hiker looking for a fairly strenuous hike traveling through lush wildflower habitat to an incredible summit lookout with beautiful sweeping views. According to the U.S. Forest Service, Iron Mountain boasts approximately 300 species of flowering plants.

At the summit, you will find a newly constructed viewing platform that replaced the abandoned L-4 fire lookout cabin that was torn down in 2007. Attached to the viewing platform is a wonderful table that shows a visual representation of all the various mountain peaks you can see in a 360° range.

Mountains that can be seen are Mt. Hood, Mt. Jefferson, Three Fingered Jack, North Sister, Middle Sister, South Sister, and Mt. Washington of the North Cascades. Some of the Old Western Cascade Mountains you can see are Coffin Mountain, Bachelor Mountain, Cone Peak, Echo Mountain, and the Three Pyramids.


Overall, I would highly recommend this hike to the summit of Iron Mountain. The views are incredible! The workout is well worth the effort. As a reminder, camping is strictly prohibited in the entire area. Additionally, due to the fragile nature of the wildflowers, the U.S. Forest service requires hikers stay on-trail at all times.

Happy Trails!

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Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly

Iron Mountain Reviews

We did this hike on May 2 and there was still lots of snow, ended up not going all the way. We did it again today (7/11/2020) and it was PERFECT. It was definitely busier, but the wildflowers were blooming and the view of all the mountains at the top were amazing. On a clear day you can see Mt. Hood, Mt. Jefferson, Three Fingered Jack, Mt. Washington & Three Sisters (and more, there’s a nice map at the top to point out what you’re looking at if you’re not familiar with the area too!)

Drove to trailhead and only did the 1 mile hike to top from there. Great exercise. Fabulous views. Enjoyed it so much, went back and did it again a will later. Was a tad crowded but doable. This was in June

I hiked this a couple of days ago and it was gorgeous!!! There was A LOT of fog when I started the hike and when I got to the top but I waiting up there for about 30 mins and it cleared up so I could see the view. There were also TONS of chipmunks up at the top that were super friendly :)

I went today & had a nice time! I would say this is more of a difficult hike. There were still some wildflowers blooming which was so beautiful, the observation deck was the perfect spot for lunch.

A short but steep hike up for some awesome views. The observation deck was nicely done.

Couldn't have asked for a more wonderful hike. Some of the best views in Oregon. Can see Mt Adams and Mt Hood to the north, Jefferson and Sisters to the east, and all the way south to Diamond Peak, and even Marys Peak far off in the west! It was very difficult to have to leave that beautiful view and head down, but the views along the way are incredible too!

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!


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