The Albany group did this as an unplanned hike a couple of weeks ago and the meadow was in full bloom. Several people expressed interest in doing this hike so here it is.
From Tombstone Pass we'll hike 2.6 miles (~+800 ft elev) to the meadows & enjoy the scenery. From there, the Iron Mtn summit is 2.5 miles. Should have spectacular views of the entire Cascades. We'll descend via the shorter trail (2.7 miles) back to the parking area.
Sullivan lists this as "difficult." It's a 7.8 mile loop with a total of 1900 elev gain. I haven't done this hike, but I would say moderate-to-difficult. The final pitch up Iron Mtn looks steep with switchbacks. If you did the recent hike to Chimney Peak this looks a little easier.
- Get to Sweet Home any way you like. Continue through town on Hwy 20.
- Drive ~36 miles to Tombstone Pass, between mile markers 63 & 64. There is a parking area for the winter SnoPark.
- The egress trail is at the far end of the parking lot, about 100 feet beyond the outhouse and near the message board.
Leave Fred Meyer ~9am. From Albany, Sweet Home is about 35 minutes. From Sweet Home, Tombstone Pass is about 40 minutes. The goal is to hit the trail at 10:30am. I don't have a good idea of total trail time.
None, although I assume that parking at the SnoPark lot requires a NW Forest Pass or a ($5?) day fee. I have a Forest Pass I will bring.
As usual, carpooling is recommended. We will meet at Fred Meyer in Albany for carpooling. We can also pick up add'l folks in Sweet Home at Safeway. As usual, tip your driver with gas money if you can; if you can't, please join us anyway.
What you need
Lunch, plenty of water, and sunscreen. I believe a fair amount of this hike is in the open with lots of sunshine.