Cone Peak - Iron Mountain

June 20, 2004

Twelve of us met at 7:50 at South Eugene HS parking lot. The day promised to be warm and fair. After introductions we got into two vehicles and drove up the McKenzie River Valley and the Clear Lake cut-off to Highway 20 and turned west to Tombstone Pass. There are two trailheads: the one to the east leads to Cone Peak; the one to the west to Iron Mountain. Since the trail is a loop, it’s a matter of preference which way to start out. We chose to go to the wildflower meadows on the south slope of Cone Peak first. We passed lots of wildflowers under the forest canopy on the way up. When we emerged onto the rock gardens and sparse soil of Cone Peak meadows, the wildflower displays were spectacular: too numerous to mention. By-pre-arrangement the two seven year olds, their mom and grandmother stopped on the slopes of Cone Peak. They later returned to the van to await the rest of us. The eight of us of us who wanted a longer hike continued along the slopes of the connecting ridge between the mountains passing large and small patches of colorful flowers and sedums along the way. We had lunch in the shade with views of Mt. Jefferson and the Sisters. We then hiked through a north slope forest for a while, then we emerged onto the open meadow on the west side of Iron Mountain. The trail to the lookout is steep with several switchbacks. By the time we reached the lookout it was after 1:00. The sky contained scattered clouds which occasionally provided welcome coolness. We admired the clear views of the Three Sisters, Mt. Jefferson, Diamond Peak, Mt. Hood and other peaks. Hikers who went only to Cone Peak were Nancy Coons, Juliana Coons, Charlotte Coons, and Victoria Emmons. The eight hikers who covered the entire loop were Craig Renkert, Josh Emmons, Anne Bonine, Jim Fritz, Jan Stoecker, Mark Lancy, Eben Fodor, and Allan Coons, leader.

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