Hike to Iron Mountain

Iron Mountain Trailhead

Activities

Chillin, Photography, Running, Hiking, Fitness

Skill

Intermediate

Season

Spring, Summer, Autumn

Added by

Jeffrey Green

Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife

Stunning Cascade Mountain Views. Great Hiking Exercise. Impeccable Wildflower Display. Gorgeous Photography. 2.4 Miles Round Trip. Elevation Gain: 712 feet. Summit Elevation: 5,440 feet. Summit GPS Grid Coordinates: 44°24′02.77″ N 122°08′57.19″ W

There are a couple of different routes to the summit of Iron Mountain. This adventure article focuses on the shorter but more strenuous 2.4 mile 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.

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!

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations.

Nearby Lodging

From $120/night

LOGE Bend

Bend, Oregon

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

The waiting game

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 :)

Nice day hike

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.

Short hike with great views

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

Activities

Chillin, Photography, Running, Hiking, Fitness

Skill

Intermediate

Season

Spring, Summer, Autumn

Added by

Jeffrey Green

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