Vistas and Wildflowers: Hiking Cone Peak/Iron Mountain
Generally I try to avoid high traffic areas during their peak usage. Iron Mountain is world renown for it's impressive collect of wildflowers. Being that the only time to see the wildflowers is during the time of peak use, I opted to hike on a Monday. Though the wildflowers were slightly passed their peak it was still incredible.
Having a vague idea of where I wanted to hike, I stopped by the Sweet Home Ranger Station, Isabel Fish was very helpful. She gave me a map of the area trails and a booklet on some of the wildflowers growing along the trail. Deciding that I wanted to hike out of Tombstone Pass I set out for the trailhead.
|Turn off for the Tombstone Pass trailhead|
|The beginning of the Cone Peak Trail|
The trail descends slightly into a mature forest before coming to the Tombstone Meadow.
The climb up to the shoulder of Cone Peak was a pleasant one, the forest provided needed relief from the warm sun. After about 6 switchbacks you will start to see the first of many impressive open areas filled with wildflowers.
|Before August is better to visit to see wildflowers|
The views get better and better as you reach the saddle between Iron Mountain and Cone Peak.
|Cone Peak Trail- looking south|
|Clearcuts dominate the views north|
Soon after you contour around Iron Mountain you reach a trail junction to the top of Iron Mountain or down to the parking area with a garage.
|Though it says LO there is only a platform now|
I hadn't seen any pictures of the new platform on top of Iron Mountain and was impressed with what the Forest Service had done.
|Iron Mountain 'Lookout'|
|Geographic Locator in the middle of the platform|
|Three Sisters from Iron Mountain|
|Huge Douglas Fir|