Iron Mountain via Hwy. 39
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Iron Mountain is the least accessible mountain in LA County. Anyone who survives its 11 hour round trip will certainly feel that they have climbed a mountain. The summit offers a wide, flat piece of ground which would serve well as an overnight destination.
Relevant Guidebooks & Maps
Trails of the Angeles, Mtn. San Antonio topo map.
Take 210 West to 39 North in Azusa. Turn right at the junction and park at the East Fork Ranger Station.
Potential climbers of Big Iron should start very early in the morning at the East Fork Ranger Station, 18 miles from Azusa. Walk past the locked gate and follow the old East Fork Road for a quarter mile or so to a small clump of pine trees. On the right side an old rusty is hidden which says, "Heaton Flat Trail." Follow this trail up the slope to the ridge top along which the trail rides over several bumps to a prominent saddle at 4582'. Here the trail more or less ends at an old orange, rusty metal triangle on a pole. Old trails head down into Coldwater Canyon on the right and around the slope to Allison Mine on the left. Do not follow these trails, rather just follow an old scrambling trail straight up the ridge to the North. Continue up this incredibly steep and open ridge above the chaparral line at about 6500' where the going becomes much easier. Continue on to the 8007' summit where the weary hike will be rewarded with sweeping views of the San Gabriel River country, the most wild terrain in the LA area. Note the ridge leading east to Mt. Baldy. Climbers have reached Big Iron via this route as well (see "Iron Mountain via Mt. Baldy"). Keep an eye out for bighorn sheep!
This is a very strenuous hike with a 6000' foot gain in over 16 miles. It is not recommended May-September. Bring lots of water and food - at least one gallon of water/person. The East Fork Ranger Station at the parking lot is the nearest ranger station.
Edited by (in order): OTL Staff
Last updated: 05/22/2009