Thursday, June 29, 2017

Summer School ~ Iron Mountain

Iron Mountain Hike @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

Hike #11, and possibly our last hike for a while. And what a hike on which to end our streak. Wowza!

[A little story for you: Lola and I were shopping at Costco the other day, and the gentleman who was loading our groceries asked if Lola was glad to be out of school. I always wonder how my kids will answer that question at any given moment, especially Lola, but she simply answered, “Yes, we hike.” It sounds so simple, but the way she said it made my heart glow. We hike. Not “we have been hiking” or “we’ve gone on hikes” or “we hiked,” just a simple “we hike” as if that tells you something about who we are and what summer is. He smiled and replied, “Have you ever been to Iron Mountain?” “We’re going on Tuesday!” “But have you ever been to Triangulation Peak?” “Yes! It was so lovely!” I hope he felt as good about that little exchange as I did.]

This hike, Iron Mountain, is 2.4 miles each way: UP. And Down. 1,358 foot net elevation gain. I took it SLOW and enjoyed the scenery.

In the picture above, my legs were already tired, and I realized we were hiking to the TOP of that rock looming in front of us.

Here is our great hiking crew of the day (yes, I decided to leave Lola at home for this one):

Iron Mountain Hiking Crew @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

The weather was overcast and only slightly cool when we began our hike. I was confident that the cloud cover would burn off before we reached the summit and I was immensely grateful for cooler temps (after a weekend of 90-100 degrees).

Nothing could diminish the scenery on this hike.

Iron Mountain Hike Trees @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

Levi was in his element.

Iron Mountain Hike Cloaked @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

Getting a bit closer. In this next picture you may see the itty bitty humans up higher on the trail. Obviously, they hike uphill much faster than I do.

Iron Mountain Hike Closer @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

A patch of snow. Bluer skies. A tiny Mount Hood in the distance.

Iron Mountain Hike Snow @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

A rockier path (and beautiful wildflowers) as we climbed higher.

Iron Mountain Hike Higher @ Mt. Hope ChroniclesIron Mountain Hike Wildflowers @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

Switchbacks as we climbed higher and higher.

Iron Mountain Hike Switchbacks @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

More wildflowers.

Iron Mountain Hike More Wildflowers @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

Clouds continuing to burn off and move past.

Iron Mountain Hike Clouds @ Mt. Hope ChroniclesIron Mountain Hike Even Higher @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

And, finally, the summit, with the last whisps of cloud.

Iron Mountain Hike Summit Clouds @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

It’s difficult to see the peaks in the distance in the photos, so we’ll go with a few close-ups. The summit of Iron Mountain boasts a 360 degree view.

These are the Three Sisters, three volcanic peaks in the Cascade Range/Cascade Volcanic Arc. They are the 3rd, 4th, and 5th highest peaks in Oregon, each over 10,000 feet in elevation.

Iron Mountain Hike Three Sisters @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

Then Mount Washington, an eroded shield volcano in the Cascades. 7,794 feet.

Iron Mountain Hike Mount Washington @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

And Mount Jefferson, a stratovolcano also in the Cascade Volcanic Arc and the second highest mountin in Oregon at 10,497 feet.

Iron Mountain Hike Mount Jefferson @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

Finally, Mount Hood (below right), a potentially active stratovolcano in the Cascade Volcanic Arc, northern Oregon. It’s the highest mountain in Oregon at 11,240 feet and apparently "one of the loftiest mountains in the nation due to its prominence."

And Mount Adams (tiny distant center), a potentially active stratovolcano in the Cascade Volcanic Arc and the second highest mountain in Washington at 12,280 feet.

Iron Mountain Hike Mounts Hood and Adams @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

Three Sisters and Washington in the distance:

Iron Mountain Hike Summit View @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

There is a lovely platform at the summit with benches, a map, and railings. We all sat and ate together while enjoying the view.

Iron Mountain Summit Platform @ Mt. Hope ChroniclesIron Mountain Hike Summit Cloaks @ Mt. Hope ChroniclesIron Mountain Hike Wildflowers and Rocks @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

In the picture below, notice the tiny thread of road on the left. To give you a sense of the height we climbed, we crossed that road on foot at the beginning of our hike.

Iron Mountain Hike Tiny Road @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

After a relaxing time with friends in the sunshine at the summit, we began the descent.

Iron Mountain Hike Descending @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

Holly and I spent more time looking at flowers on the way down.

Iron Mountain Hike Indian Paintbrush @ Mt. Hope ChroniclesIron Mountain Hike White Wildflowers @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

I loved the different shapes of white flowers. The leaf pattern above left is my favorite.

Iron Mountain Hike White Wildflower @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

When we finished the hike, we stopped off at our favorite campground to picnic, wash off the dust, and be refreshed. What a beautiful day with friends.

Iron Mountain Hike House Rock Swim @ Mt. Hope ChroniclesIron Mountain House Rock Luke Swim @ Mt. Hope ChroniclesIron Mountain Hike House Rock @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

1 comment:

Jill Foley said...

This looks amazing!