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(Mountaineer Series 2) Iron Moutain - The Real Deal

  • Apr 28, 2013 · 8:00 AM
  • This location is shown only to members

To avoid traffic, we are moving the hike to Sunday, 8 am.

Organizer: Mike Cheng

Hiking assistant: Mark, Kevin and Tim

Summit time: 1:00 pm (plus or minus 30 minutes)

Group photo at the peak: 1:30 -1:45 pm

Mandatery turnaround time: 1:45 pm

Regardless of where you are on the trail, you must turn around and head downhill by 2 pm. If you have not yet reached the summit, you are not going to make it this time. You must turn around.

By signing up to this hike, you agree to abide by this rule. If this is not acceptable to you, please join a different group.


Location: Azusa, CA

Hike difficulty:  Level 9.5/10

A beginner hike: Absolutely not

Distance: 14.5 miles 

Elevation Gain: 7000'

(From trailhead to Allison Saddle: 800' elevation gain per mile, from Allison Saddle to mountain peak: 1200' gain per mile.)

Time: 10 -13.5 hours

Trail condition: mostly single file trail, no shade 

Water: Minimum 5 liters.

From trailhead to Allison Saddle:                     1.25 - 1.50 liters

From Allison Saddle to summit (out and back): 2.50 - 2.75 liters

From Allison Saddle to trailhead:                     1.25 - 1.50 liters

 (If you bring less than this amount, you will be in very serious trouble.)

(I am 5'10" tall, and I weigh 169 lb. I need 4.75 litters for a 70-75 degree day hike. If you are bigger than me or the temperature is hotter than 75 degree, you will need to bring more water.)

Guest: no

Dog: no

Toilette: At trailhead

Parking: Public and street parking near the trailhead. Adventure Pass is required. If parking is full near the trailhead, you can park at the Oaks Picnic Area and hitchhike to the trailhead. It is only 1 1/2 mile south of the trailhead.


Direction:  From the 210 freeway exit at Azusa Avenue (Highway 39) and head north for 10 miles or so. Azusa Avenue becomes San Gabriel Canyon Road and parallels the San Gabriel Dam on the right. Turn right on East Fork Road and continue for another 8 miles until the road dead ends at the East Fork Ranger Station. Park in the lot or beside the road below the ranger station. 

What to bring: hat, long pants, hiking poles, headlamp, sunscreen, energy bar, lunch, snacks, water and the usual stuff.

Proficiency: Anyone interested in participating in this event must share with my your hiking activities during the past 3 months to substantiate your proficiency before your name will be added to the list.


Trail description:

Iron Mountain is the most difficult single trail hike in So. Cal. This is the real deal. You body and mind will need to be in tip-top shape to do this one.

According to John Robinson, author of Trails of the Angeles, "8007 foot Iron Mountain is by far the least accessible peak in the San Gabriels....No trail approaches its isolated summit , and to climb it you must start miles away and thousands of feet below." In this local hiking legend's view, "Big Iron" is the most strenuous one-summit hike in the entire San Gabriel range.

Originally, local miners in San Gabriel Canyon referred to the mountain as Sheep Mountain, descriptive of the herds of Bighorn sheep that once roamed its slopes. However, the U.S. Geological Survey, which mapped the San Gabriel Mountains in the 1890's, was apparently not as impressed with the fauna that roamed the surface of the mountain as it was with what lay beneath the surface, iron ore deposits. Thus the present name was bestowed. But the Bighorn were not entirely forgotten for the designated wilderness area where Big Iron is located is named "Sheep Mountain Wilderness."










































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2013 Activities:

Trekker Series: On the 1st Saturday of the month and will be 6 miles or less.
Explorer Series: On the 2nd Saturday and will be 7- 8 miles.
Adventurer Seires: On the 3rd Saturday and will be 9 miles or more.

Mountaineer Series with elevation gain of 4000' and more will be scheduled for 3rd and 4th quarters for seasoned alpinists.

Exploratory hikes are available off schedule. To participate, you must be a strong and seasoned hiker. Please email me if you are interested.

Waiting list priority: People who hike with me or with Los Angeles Hiking Group frequently will be given priority when they are on the waiting list.

No show policy: If you sign up for an event and no show, you will either lose your waiting list priority or not be able to sign up for the next event.



If you have prior medical condiction or a family history of illnesses pertaining to heart, lungs, brain, etc. that can be aggravated by heat and physical exertion, this is not the hike for you.

If you have never done a hike of this distance or difficulty before, this hike will be very difficult for you. It may well be your death march. The mountain is not going anywhere. We will schedule this event again in the future. Do it when your mind and body are ready.

Hiking is a recreation, not a suicide mission.

Release of Liability:

The organizer (me) of this trip is a volunteer and is not a professional guide. The function of the organizer is only to organize this trip. Each person who signs up for a trip/hike/or outing is responsible for his or her own safety and the safety of his or her guests.

By signing up for this trip, or any other event organized by me, you are acknowledging that you are aware and have made your guests aware of the risks, dangers and hazards associated with any outdoor activity and freely accept and fully assume all such risks, dangers and hazards, and further agree to release and discharge the organizer (me) of this hike from and against any and all liability arising from your and your guest's participation in the group activities.

In addition, you and your guests are acknowledging that you agree to the Meetup terms of service especially paragraph 6.2:

Profile Photo:

Members interested in joining this hike must have a profile photo showing his/her face. This is a requirement of the L.A. Hiking Group. Without it, you will not be allowed to sign up.



Join or login to comment.

  • Erren

    A tough hike going up from the saddle but the worse is going down on the loose soil and rocks. Fell my 5 times. Thanks Mike for opportunity!

    April 28, 2013

  • Elizabeth T

    Can't make the new date. Have a great time everyone and be safe!

    April 25, 2013

  • Mark B

    Anyone want to meet at REI and carpool

    April 2, 2013

    • Tim

      Which REI? I'm in Santa Monica.

      April 22, 2013

    • Elizabeth T

      I'll be there. Thanks, Mike!

      April 22, 2013

  • jimmy

    Any chance you'll add anymore? I want to be able to schedule another hike if there's no chance I get to do this one. I am doing baldy Sunday as well.

    April 22, 2013

    • jimmy

      Ok thanks for letting me know. Have a good safe hike!

      April 22, 2013

  • Neil

    Knees not happy :( Next time!

    April 20, 2013

  • jimmy

    I've done baldy Wilson 3 times from each option in chantry and several 20+ mile hikes recently. I've done skyline & c2c

    April 8, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Out of town that weekend

    April 8, 2013

  • Amanda S.

    Mike - Do you suggest bringing head lamps for this hike in case the hike goes into the 12 hour bracket? (I need to purchase one if so)

    April 6, 2013

  • alex

    why not

    March 22, 2013

  • sondra

    sounds awesome

    March 22, 2013

  • Dana

    Intermediate hiker, so I'll leave with the 6am group.

    March 22, 2013

  • olivia c.

    THANK YOU MIKE!!!! me very happy:(:(

    March 22, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Thanks Mike :)

    March 21, 2013

  • Amanda S.

    I am so excited. Hiking has become the most favorable thing in my life. I look forward to doing this with ya all.

    March 21, 2013

  • Stephanie

    I'm training for summer ascents in the eastern sierras. This is one of the training hikes on my list.

    March 21, 2013

4 went

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