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Iron Mountain - Tonto NF, AZ

Guide 9 Triplogs  0 Topics
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no permit
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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 1,172 feet
Accumulated Gain 1,191 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 2.5 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 8.21
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 253
Routes 841
Photos 12,826
Trips 5,229 map ( 26,536 miles )
Age 52 Male Gender
Location Phoenix, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred Apr, Oct, Nov, Mar
Seasons   Autumn to Spring
Sun  5:33am - 7:29pm
Official Route
2 Alternative
Historic Fire Perimeteracres
🔥 2019 Woodbury Fire123.8k

Forget the loop!
by joebartels

Iron Mountain was named after Robert A. Irion, who brought cattle to Arizona from Colorado in 1877. Mr. Irion settled 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 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.

2019 Note
Likely torched due to Woodbury Fire.

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 significant 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, and this trail is long gone. The footing is exceptionally loose and unstable rock in places. Be careful on foot placement. Evaluate each step as the wrong one will send you flipping backward into an awaiting agave. The advantage here is little to no bushwhacking from where you leave #212 to your 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 around a few outcroppings and up to the precise section of the 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 the 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!

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2007-02-04 joebartels
  • S_map.jpg
    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.

Permit $$

Map Drive
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
90+° 8am - 6pm kills

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