Iron Mountain/Cone Peak

July 7, 1991

The day dawned clear and sunny, a perfect day for the Iron Mountain-Cone Peak Trail. There were 12 others who agreed, meeting at 8 a.m. in the SEHS parking lot eager to be on their way. We drove the northern route to Brownsville and Sweethome then east on Hwy. 20 to just past milepost 63 where we turned onto Deer Creek Road to use the new Iron Mt. Trailhead. The beginning woodsy part of the trail was awash with snowy white wild flowers including cornus canadensis, anemones, wild strawberry and vanilla leaf to name the more common. The meadows contained intense blue larkspur, orange Indian paintbrush, a few columbines, etc., and sure enough the rock penstemon nestled in the rocks at the top of Iron Mt. was in bloom. At the top the group was treated to a spectacularly clear view of snow capped peaks from Mt. Adams in the north to Diamond in the south. As we headed down the Iron Mt. Trail then through the dense forest on the north side of Iron Mt., a lunch site in the first open spot was quickly selected on the basis of unanimous hunger pangs! At that point and over lunch everyone could contemplate an ascent of Cone Peak! When all was said and done, four elected to “go for it”. The rest of the group reluctantly picked up wending our way to the meadows below Cone Peak to await the arrival of the peakers. All three cars elected not only to make the loop hike but also to make a highway loop trip by going back via the Clear Lake cut-off and McKenzie Hwy. to find that the mileage is identical though perhaps 15 minutes shorter. Those enjoying the warm but often refreshingly breezy day were: Harold Busby, Christy White, Gerhard Hoffman, Richard Sundt, Ed & Ann Lichtenstein, Betty Jean Wylie, Virginia Thille, Jim Lindberg, Virginia Prouty, Dot Leland, Richard Bredsteen and Lin Pierce (leader).

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