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Iron Mountain - Tonto NF, AZ

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140 9 0
Guide 9 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Globe > Queen V NE
Rated
3
3 of 5 by 4
 
1
Statistics
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Difficulty 3 of 5
Route Finding 3 of 5
Distance Round Trip 2.25 miles
Trailhead Elevation 4,835 feet
Elevation Gain 1,231 feet
Accumulated Gain 1,213 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 2.5 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 8.32
Interest Off Trail Hiking & Peak
Backpack Yes & Connecting
varies or not certain dogs are allowed
editedit > ops > dogs to adjust
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22  2014-04-05 BEEBEE
10  2013-12-22 Dave1
59  2013-03-14 FLYING_FLIVER
6  2007-02-18 Vaporman
7  2007-02-04 joebartels
24  2005-01-14 joebartels
12  2002-03-10 rwstorm
Author joebartels
author avatar Guides 213
Routes 824
Photos 10,825
Trips 4,259 map ( 21,438 miles )
Age 49 Male Gender
Location Phoenix, AZ
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Preferred   Apr, Oct, Nov, Mar
Seasons   Autumn to Spring
Sun  6:12am - 6:23pm
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2 Alternative
 
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Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Geology Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
Forget the loop!
by joebartels

History: Named after Robert A. Irion, who brought cattle to Arizona from Colorado in 1877. Mr Irion setteled in the vicinity of this mountain bearing his misspelled name. He did pronounce his name as Iron.


Two years ago I attempted to take on the summit as a simple 4 mile loop. The trail is clearly laid out on the old topo map, complete with switchbacks. The logical approach appears to be a counter clockwise hike. Unfortunately the old trail leading away from West Pinto Trail #212 near the 2 mile mark simply doesn't exist. Well it does exist but it hasn't been maintained in something like 20 years and is completely overgrown. Forget the loop and do this as a short out and back hike.

From Rogers Trough head out northwest on Reavis Ranch Trail #109. The West Pinto Trail #212 quickly turns right. Follow this up. As of this writing it's a tad overgrown. Nothing of major concern but I recommend you wear pants for the off trail section. My favorite pair of Teva shorts did take a beating. 0.5 miles up you leave #212 and turn left up the mountain. You can try and follow the old topo trail up. I did pass two cairns and a few patches of distinct trail. However there's no fooling, this trail is long gone. The footing is extremely loose and unstable rock in places. Be careful on foot placement. Evaluate each step as the wrong one will send you flipping backwards into an awaiting agave. The advantage here is little to no bushwhacking from where you leave #212 to the you next destination, the southeast ridge.

If you're wise take a GPS loaded with the topo map. Although the trail is nearly non-existent it does get you where you need to go. Which is around a few outcroppings and up to the precise section of ridge. When I got to the ridge I thought it was over. Looking up is a grim scene of thick chaparral. Remember this key piece of advice. Where the topo trail meets the ridge it turns rocky. Just to the right of the ridge is your ticket up. At first glance it looks like a wall of bush. There is a chute up, albeit tight through the bushes and steep on loose footing. Ten to twenty feet up it gets considerably easier.

Some minor bushwhacking gets you up the ridge and atop Iron Mountain! I wasn't overly impressed with the views but it sure did feel good to settle this one as done!

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

Leave No Trace and +Add a Triplog after your hike to support this local community.

2007-02-04 joebartels
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    guide related
WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

Most recent Triplog Reviews
Iron Mountain - Tonto NF
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Beautiful day to bag a new peak and put it on the air. Iron mountain is an 8 point peak in the Arizona SOTA association http://www.sota.org.uk/ and it has never been activated. I arrived at the Rogers TH at 8 am made it to the summit around 940. I set up my newly built linked dipole antenna and started making contacts. Several others in the AZ association were on peaks and we managed to work each other. My longest distance contact was in Belgium which was very cool. In the end I made 35 total contacts in the USA Canada and Belgium. After having all that fun working CW and Phone eating lunch exploring the summit it was time to break the station down and head back. I left the summit around noon and arrived at the TH at 1245

Oh I also had a message relayed to me by Tom W7RV from WA7ORV Hank aka "Grasshopper" congratulating me on my climb to the top of Iron Mountain. That was a cool surprise :y:

As for all the hype about the bushwhacking from previous trip logs someone must have been through and done some trail maintenance as I ran into very little over growth on pinto. The trail going up the mountain was faint and loose as advertised but the brush was not bad at all. The views from the top were great.

Wildflowers
Lots of the weeds were in bloom
Iron Mountain - Tonto NF
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Went to the Summit of Iron Mountain with Wally, Denny and Dave. The Summit was the easy part of the day, then we decided to bushwhack off the north end of Iron Mountain, hoping to utilize the washes to reach Reavis Ranch Trail, or Reavis Saddle, which ever came first or easiest..sigh...

Found some interesting cave dwellings on Iron Mountain above the West Pinto Trail, however, nothing substantial in way of ruins or artifacts. A few indicators, like, pottery shards and charred ceilings. Then the fun part of the hike started ;)

Originally, we intended to use the ridge lines to make our way to Reavis Saddle, however, this soon became a near impossibility and we made a bee-line for the creek and nearest wash. Wally found a nice Garmin GPSMAP 62, but did the right thing and found the rightful owner, which was me, as I had dropped it hacking my way down Iron Mountain, thank God!! :y: That pretty much set the tone for this hike, as we: surfed, crawled, slipped, snapped, broke, whacked, cussed and cursed our way across some of the most beautiful and rewarding eastern Superstition's terrain ;) It is hard to give credit to who's great idea this little jaunt through the Supes was, as we tried to gain a consensus before each rewarding phase. However, it did lead to us stumbling across a very rich in artifacts set of ruins, a mystery pair of boots and some medieval torturing devices, or circus tent stakes, verdict is still out on those. Therefore, one must consider this hike a successful one, right?

We finished the day, by checking out a promising cave on the way out, but it proved to be dud.
Iron Mountain - Tonto NF
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The day before I hiked a loop thru Rogers Canyon, up Frog Tanks, and down Reavis back to the TH. It's been awhile since I've spent a night away from the valley and decided to do so at this TH. I was looking for something quick to hike the next morning and saw Iron Mountain on the map and remember reading a triplog from Joe. I had forgotten most of the details, but remember it being described as a bushwack.

I hiked up West Pinto almost to the saddle, looking for a good place to break trail and found a faint trail that shoots off down and to the left. As described, this faint path is very loose and overgrown. I'd definelty recommend pants, long sleeves, hat, and gloves to combat all the braches and thorns. The faint trail isn't too tough to follow as long as you're willing to push your way thru. I broke many of the branches covering the path to make it easier on my descent, which ended up taking about half the time to ascend the peak. After having spent most of yesterday in the canyons and ridges of the region, it was nice to get up on a peak and view what was around me. This having been my first trip in the region, I was eager to see all the different views of the many features I recognized, namely: Four Peaks, Superstition Ridgeline, Santa Catalinas, Pinal Peak, Bluff Spring Mt, and La Barge Canyon. :D
Iron Mountain - Tonto NF
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Thought I'd hit up a nice easy hike on a trail for a change...

Took the long drive in via FR 650 since it's been a while since I've traveled the upper section. A week after the last set of storms and these mountains are draining water from every pore. Crossed countless creeks along the way. There's a tree blocking the road at the 5 mile coral. So you have to drive through three or four gates through the corals. I thought for sure this would thin out the crowds... not! passed three convoys on route to the trailhead. The upper road was slightly icy but it'll be gone in a day with the temps rising.

Took off without clue as to where the trail started. Being an "easy" day I didn't bring a map and cut back on the waypoints I uploaded into the GPS. Took about ten minutes to figure out the first waypoint in the distance. Later realized I was on the West Pinto Trail #212.

Shortly up the trail you come upon Rogers Spring which is the source for the well known "Rogers Trough" that the trailhead is named after, but you best steer clear... Ron Feldman attained permission in a wilderness of all places to dig into what he wishes to prove to be an old spanish mine.

The trail goes 600 feet up and over a saddle on the southeast side of Iron Mountain. Then drops 400 feet down to Iron Mountain Spring before heading 300 feet back up to a north dropping ridge. Pretty simple eh! Thus far anyhow...

At a bend in the trail as it takes on the ridge you need to pick up an old loop that forks left. Basically in only another 0.15 miles and 100 feet up you come to a saddle. Well, I couldn't find the friggin trail. I passed it by a quarter mile, came back, went the other way and back again. This so called trail I was looking for just didn't seem to exist.

Finally I decided to set path to the next waypoint and swim through the thickest manzanita/scrub oak I ever laid eyes on other than the southern PCT in Cali! It's not so bad, right... manzanita isn't prickly. GEEES US, talk about a bad idea. After nearly an HOUR of solid fighting my arms and shins couldn't take much more, not to mention I'd only conquerred 0.15 miles!

I made it to a gate through a fence at the 5473 saddle. I took a break(kind of a rare thing for myself) and pondered thoughts of the effort it took to put up this fence out in the middle of nowhere. I mean this puppy wasn't put up anytime in the last 40 years. Do you think the manzanita was here in this proportion back then? Not to mention, what are they fencing off... the manzanita on the east from the west. Certainly not cows, you couldn't push a cow through this stuff unless there was a bulldozer on his ass.

At the gate, I realized there sort of was a trail leading up to this point that I totally missed. With that in mind I looked ahead and kind of made out a possible trail from the mid 1900's. So I headed out into what turned out to be much easier to negotiate than the manzanita stuff I'd been through. However, about five minutes into that I decided I didn't want to do this for what might be a mile.

I headed back. The gate came quick and I was excited to take the actual trail back to West Pinto #212. Though noticeable it was still overgrown. I found crawling to be the best option for many sections.

I don't know the true story but I assume the forest service stopped maintaining this trail back in the 80's or 70's.

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Directions
Map Drive
or
Road
High Clearance possible when dry

To Rogers Trough Trailhead
Take US 60 east out of Apache Junction. A couple miles past Florence Junction turn north onto Queen Valley Road and follow 1.6 miles. Turn right onto FS 357 (Hewlett Station Road) and follow about three miles to FS 172. Turn left onto FS 172 and follow this for 9.1 miles (keep an eye out to your right near the four mile mark for a thin arch) to FS 172A. Turn right onto FS 172A and follow 3.8 miles to the Rogers Trough trailhead. The last mile of FS 172A is definitely four wheel drive due to the washed ruts and some steepness. A high clearance pick up without four wheel drive could probably make it but you'd be in trouble if it rained. Be sure to stop and look over your shoulder. The views are awesome looking down in valley extending below.

40 minute video of drive
FR 172 - Hewitt Station Road to Rogers Trough TH

From PHX (I-10 & AZ-51) - 68.4 mi, 2 hours 3 mins
From TUC (Jct 1-10 & Grant) - 102 mi, 2 hours 51 mins
From FLG (Jct I-17 & I-40) - 213 mi, 4 hours 19 mins
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