Sunday, September 21, 2014

Moderate to Difficult Hike up Iron Mountain on Tombstone Pass in the Central Oregon Cascades

Where we went and why

Today we went to Iron Mountain on Tombstone Pass in the Central Oregon Cascades. We have wanted to do this hike for a long time and we finally decided to just do it. We thought about doing it a few years back when we did the Cone Meadow Peak hike, but we're glad we didn't try it that day. This hike was a lot harder for us than either one of us anticipated. There are a few options for doing this hike and we did the easiest one. 

How to get there

The hike is on Hwy 20 between Sisters and Sweet Home. If you're coming from Sisters, make sure you stay on Hwy 20. (Don't go to Detroit on or Eugene) You'll see a sign for Browder Ridge Trail. I think it also mentioned Iron Mountain on that sign. If you want the easy way, don't park here! Keep going and take your next right onto an unmarked road. Once you turn onto the road, you'll see a sign that sign with 35 on it. You're on the right road. Follow this dirt road for 2.6 miles and park at the trailhead. Make sure you don't take any of the little offshoots. You shouldn't have a problem with this since the little offshoots are little and scary looking. 

The Hike

From the trailhead we used, the hike starts off with a slight downhill for a short bit. It then goes uphill for the next mile. It never flattened out. It was just different degrees of uphill. Most of it was rather steep. Most of the trail was packed dirt, but there were some patches with small rocks. There were also sections where we walked only on large rock. There were also some sections with rock stairs. 

There isn't much to say about this hike. It goes uphill. There are some decent views along the way. This area explodes with wildflowers in the beginning of July, but we went in September. We knew that it wasn't going to be an impressive trail, but we wanted to conquer this beast so we went ahead and did it. We're going to go back next year during July so we can get some pictures for my calendar that I'm going to make. I'm so excited about the calendar! 

The trail went up along switch backs, you can see that there were a bunch of them on the map. There is a viewing platform at the top. It had plenty of benches for several people to sit down. There was also an informational circle that explained which mountains we could see. We went on a hazy day, but we still got a good view. 

We had to stop a lot on the trip up, but we only stopped once on the trip down. You can see that on the BodyMedia screen shot. We're happy that we went, but this hike was crazy hard for both of us. I did PiYo Sweat the day before the hike. That thing left me a bit weak in the hamstrings and glutes! We survived though! We'll see how I feel tomorrow morning when I have to wake up and do Sweat again!

BodyMedia Screen Shot

Here is the BodyMedia Screen Shot. You can see how many times we stopped on the way up and how few we stopped on the way down! 

Runtastic Screen Shot

I forgot to shut off the app before we left the parking lot. I was a wee bit down the road when I remembered. The hike starts and ends at the blue dart and goes to the right until the yellow 1 mile marker. According to Runtastic, it was about 800 feet. According to one of our books, it should be about 900 feet. When I get the iPhone 6, maybe I'll have better results! 

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