Iron Mountain

On the 4th of July I did the hike up to Iron Mountain on a hot beautiful day.

There were lots of columbine along the trail:

Columbine

The trail traverses the lower slope of Cone Peak (which is right next door to Iron Mountain):

Cone Peak

The trail crossed this huge rocky area where a billion wildflowers were blooming. All the hikers going through here were stopping to take pictures. It was a pretty impressive display:

Attention-getters

I encountered some ladies who were tallying all the wildflowers they saw on the hike. They said they were up to 50!

Hardy flowers

Paintbrush extravaganza

Walking through wildflowers

Looking west to Iron Mountain:

Iron Mountain

After a hike through the forest and a steep climb, I reached the summit of Iron Mountain. There’s an old fire lookout up here. Apparently the lookout that preceded this one blew off the mountain in a 1976 windstorm. Yikes! It was a hot day and most hikers were huddled in the shade of the building:

Fire lookout

Looking northwest:

Forested hills

Mt. Hood peeking into view to the north. Three Pyramids on the right:

Distant Mt. Hood

Mt. Jefferson:

Hey, Jeff!

The Three Sisters:

Three Sisters

View to the south and Diamond Peak:

Looking south

Looking down on the highway:

Rock weirdness

After leaving the summit I looped back to my car at Tombstone Pass. Great hike!

Molalla River Recreation Corridor trail network

My sister and I went down to the Molalla River Recreation Corridor today to explore part of the trail network there. We also brought along my roommate’s dog, Besa. There appear to be miles and miles of trails down there, and we explored just a small part of the area.

There don’t seem to be any trail maps online, so for anyone who goes down in future, here are pictures of the maps at the trailhead.

Map 1

Map 2

We hiked north on Looney’s Trail, to Amanda’s Trail, then looped back on Mark’s Trail and Clifford’s Crossing Trail to return on Looney’s Trail. There’s also a whole network of trails south of the Hardy Creek trailhead that we didn’t see. It was pleasant walking, although we did get sprinkled on. The sun came out later, fortunately. There aren’t any sweeping vistas or waterfalls or anything, but it’s a good spot to get some exercise. We walked several miles over the course of a few hours. Never saw anybody else out there.

We walked through several of the areas that are part of the Annie’s Cabin Timber Sale. Lots of trees marked for thinning with blue paint. (More information on the timber sale here, here, and here.)
According to one of the maps in those documents, the actual Annie’s Cabin still exists, further south from where we were. We were going to go down there and check it out, but we ran out of time.

Walking through the timber sale

Afterwards, we took Besa down to the river so she could swim. A MUCH better swimming river than the filthy Willamette where she normally swims!

Plunge!

All in all, a pleasant way to spend an afternoon with off and on weather!