Cone Peak/Iron Mountain

June 17, 2007

Another great trip with a great group! Mostly sunny skies, mild temperatures, and the usual grand wildflower display. This trail once again lived up to its reputation as a premier wildflower hike. Departing the lower trailhead off of FS Road 15 about 10:00 a.m. we hiked counter-clockwise, climbing east to the Tombstone parking area first, so that we could avoid that uphill at the end of our trip, on through Tombstone Prairie and up the Cone Peak Trail, enjoying forest flowers all along the way. We soon entered the first of the many clearings and open ridges, where we were treated to our first spectacular wildflower displays.

A side trip to the top of Cone Peak offers a change of pace from the normal loop. The strenuous climb up Cone Peak was rewarded with panoramic views (almost 200 feet higher than Iron Mountain), more wildflowers (who’d have thought) and the serenity of enjoying a place where few come, even though it is within ½ mile of one of the most popular hikes in the area.

After a leisurely lunch and enjoying the view, too soon we were off again, down Cone Peak and on around the north side of Iron Mountain (no snow on the north side trail this year) and up to its lookout where we enjoyed even more wildflower shows and great views. Can their ever be too many wildflowers or great views? Another break on top and then downward we go, back to the cars at about 4 p.m. It was a treat not to have to hike up the last half-mile to the Tombstone parking lot.

Hikers were: Max Brown, Marianne Camp, Heather Croson, Brian Hamilton, Mary Hamilton, John Jacobsen (leader), Barb Revere, Rich Romm and Glen Svendsen; and nonmember Jane Brolsma.

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