I happened to do this loop this past Tuesday in fantastic 75 degree clear skies weather from mid afternoon until about 7:30 pm, and it was pure heaven regarding long range views; (From Diamond peak in Oregon north to Mt. Adams in southern Washington.) The large variety of wildflowers was impressive also, as most were peaking, no pun intended. All of this along with impressive old growth firs and well maintained trails culminated in a wonderful experience. For those people who have never done the Browder mountain trail from the gate creek trailhead, I strongly recommend it as a great alternative to this loop, with many of the same features and possibly even better views from the top. Its only a few miles away besides. With its huge bracken fern sloping meadows, people who have hiked crescent mountain will see striking similarities between both trails. Its also only a short distance away off of state route 20. (Crescent mountain.)
Went for a backpack to Table Rock to watch the Perseid Meteor showers. It did not disappoint! Saw 77 large meteors and not another person for 2 days.
Recommend printing directions as phone lost GPS in the area and had to navigate by site to get to trail head.
Oh man, loved this trail! Nice variety of tree lined trail intermixed with the mountain meadows and rocky out croppings. We had a perfect weather day and could see all the big peaks, although Jefferson & Hood had some clouds around. Just a great hike with very few other people on the trail, one advantage to going on a Tuesday.
Iron mountain via Cone peak trail : I did not see anybody hiking this loop. Most of the people take the direct way to the top. So I bet I was first on top at around 1100. I met about a dozen of hikers going up on my way back at around 1300. Uphill made easy with a lot of switchback. Much steeper from the fork to Iron Mountain after 3.7 miles. Left at 0815 from Tombstone Pass parking lot, spent 1h15 on top - looking at Hood, Jefferson, the Sisters, etc. - back at the parking lot at 1330. Beautiful hike, beautiful day!
Very nice, challenging loop trail with views and wildflowers. About half of the trail is in the shade of mature firs which was good yesterday as it was about 85 degrees, even at the 5000 foot level! The open areas of the trail are rocky and covered in wildflowers (July 10). Even saw a blooming Washington Lily! I spent about four hours doing the Iron Mountain-Cone peak loop, which is about 7 miles from the Tombstone parking area. Bring plenty of water as all the creeks were dry. The spur trail up to the lookout is a nice bonus and you can see the three sisters in the distance.
Kelly V. on Cone Peak Trail
This trail is part of a loop, connecting to Iron Mountain Trail. The wildflowers on this trail are amazing. The Cone Peak-Iron Mt loop is one of the most popular trails in the Cascades...not sure why it has not been listed on AllTrails before this. The day we did this loop was a weekday, so not the crowds that one might expect on weekends