Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Iron Mountain 8-8-2010

Iron Mountain (5,448') is a hike I started 4 years ago, but never finished. I think this is where I really got the point that smoking wasn't just going to kill me, but seriously limit the things I enjoyed doing. Since there's not too much elevation in the Coast Range, I decided to head back to the Cascades and finish something I started. The Iron Mountain Trail system has several points of entry, either from Hwy.20 at Tombstone, or up the FS Road 2000-035, which is where I started. This is a fee use trail, or Northwest Forest Pass. I picked the pass, because come to find out, Mary's Peak is a fee area as well (oops). The road up is pretty screwed, very washboarded up and not maintained, but there is an outhouse and picnic table at the parking area. There used to be a fire lookout at the top, which was one of the things I was looking forward to seeing, but in 2008, they removed it and built a viewing platform because of the cost to maintain the lookout. From here, the trail is 1.7 miles to the viewing platform. I headed up after work and arrived at the trailhead at about 5pm. Changed boots, slapped on the sunblock and got my pack ready, and headed on up. It was kinda rough going, not being used to thin air, but I managed to pace myself and make it to the top. After snapping a few pics and getting visited by chipmunks, I headed on down. Fry the lungs going up, and the legs going down! Made it back to the truck at 7. Not bad for a 3.4 mile roundtrip hike.

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