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Should be a "5 star" walk, but very poor visibility due to fires in California. Trail approx 13 miles, not 14 miiles as sign-posted. Road was very rough from about 2 miles before Charcoal Kilns due to recent storms - would challenging without an SUV/AWD.

https://hikingtheworld.blog/2018/11/10/telescope-peak-death-valley/

1 day ago

The trail is in great condition for the 3.5 miles we hiked (7 mile round trip). Lovely views of Temecula Valley and Vail Lake as we came back down to the campground.

Pristine conditions, but this trail is 14 miles, not 12.

hiking
15 days ago

The views on the way up and especially at the top are simply outstanding. Overall this is a much easier hike than C2C, but the long steep ascent is total murder on the legs. Quads in particular get hit quite hard. Hiking poles would probably help give the legs a break. Going back down is a little tricky in spots, due to the loose sand and rocks, but nothing careful foot placement (and grabbing on to surrounding brush) can't solve. On a Sunday I saw lots of people of varying fitness levels at the summit, so this is a doable hike as long as you do it at a pace that's right for you. In terms of water, for me 5 liters was perfect.

Awesome hike and views, not too many people. While not the highest in elevation gain, the combo of Panamint City, immediately followed by Telescope kicked butt.

backpacking
28 days ago

To date, one of my most favorite hikes I've ever been on. 5/5 for sure. Went on a Labor Day weekend, had the town to ourselves. Multiday trip makes for awesome exploring in the mines and structures. Read up on hantavirus. Water from the spigot is potable, made for a cold shower!

Solid overall hike! Also can confirm that while it is a bit tight at the top with vegetation, I had no real trouble getting through and is currently very accessible. Only negative is the parking lot is a decent distance to the actual trailhead.

Amazing view at the top and really great cliff-side hiking most of the way. I would only do this trail if you are steady-footed as most of the trail is cliff-side and gravelly. Dress in layers as it can be both hot and cold depending on sunlight and wind!

hiking
1 month ago

Great views throughout the entire trail! Not too many people today (only passed by three groups) in the AM.

Excellent hike. We exactly followed the route in the app, and my new Garmin GPS has the distance at 11.6 miles, which is longer than the advertised 9.8. The vertical gain is spot on. Need to be wary of mountain bikes going fast downhill, particularly on the single track portions. Suggest you plan a forecasted clear day to really enjoy the view from Inspiration Point.

longer than indicated. full sun exposure towards the top.

Definitely a nice little ass kicker, although not as tough as I was expecting. We started at 2am and made it to the summit in 5 hours. Think it helped getting most of it out of the way in the dark... Lots of false summits toward the end and not being able to see what lies ahead helped ease the mental aspect. Very exposed so definitely start early to avoid the sun. I think next time will start an hour earlier to do the whole thing before the sun comes up. Brought micro-spikes and it saved us on the way down - provided lots of traction on those rocky slippery sections and we didn't have to slide on our butts like some people talk about. Trekking poles are a must as everyone else stated. 6-7 liters of water seemed to be the perfect amount. Lots of bugs on this trail so cover up and bug spray is a must!

I loved this hike! Lots of shade to cool under and it’s a quiet hike. This place is beautiful! No one was on the trail when I went so all I was able to hear was the animals in the bushes, birds chirping and lizards moving around. The first time getting here I didn’t know there was a $5 day fee. I ended up just getting a annual pass all year so I can go back here. The camping spots are very pretty. Some have huge spots available with great shade!

Holy crap this trail is STEEP and LOOSE and RELENTLESS. The hardest hike I've done in SoCal so far. Bring trekking poles and a willingness to suffer.

As hard as you’ve heard and then some. The hike up to the summit is not even that bad. I’d say it’s the descent that takes its toll on you physically and psychologically. We started around 4:30am and finished close to 6pm. You ascend wildflower lined ridge trails and then up to false summits of pine. Gorgeous views and trail. But that descent is a beast. Trekking poles are a must! Although there was a guy trail running this beast with only 2L of water and he started after us and finished long before we did. So there are those with magical tendons, otherwise, help your knees and bring your poles. The trail is almost all exposed so if you’re doing this in the summer start in the dark and bring plenty of water. At least 6L worth.

All previous reviews are pretty good, read each one. I will just highlight some things that were not too obvious too me when I read them but realized on the trail. Trail (top 2.5 miles) is hard because the terrain, TRUE. But is not only the angle is the combination of angle and slippery. This trail has a high potential to injuries (coming down)!! I will NOT recommend this for the people thinking to do this as a training for Mt.Whitney or Cactus2Clouds. I done both and I think this hike is harder. Specially if you are training for something that you need a permit (e.g. Whitney), you don't want to miss/waste that permit due to an injury. There are plenty of hikes in the same area that have similar views and elevation, with a much lower risk to an injury. (Exception will be if training to do C2C2C or how to slide down).

Not trail terrain related: How come there is so many mosquito here? Because I went the first weekend of summer, I knew it was going to be hot. After reading how people ran out of liquid, I over packed a lot of water and electrolytes. That just backfired at me! Hiking this during the heat and with lot weight is even less fun. (I consume close to 5L of water and close to 1.5L gatorade). If you really want to try this hike with the best chances to finish it or with the less amount suffering, then try during the fall (I missed the previous review).

Oh almost forgot, thanks to rangers, Sierra club and anyone who maintains this trail and killed and trim some of the yuccas. If you hike this and get poke/cut from the yucca, please take that leave and bend the tip and poke back the plant keeping the tip away. Thanks!

Okay folks, this hike is often considered the most challenging trek in all of Southern California and I 100% believe it... my body is still aching all over from it. This is the BEAST of the San Gabriel mountain range. If you are to attempt this 14 mile, 12 hour+ grueling journey you MUST have the following: hiking poles, hiking boots for sure, at least 6/7L of water, try to avoid doing this in the heat or in the summer, and start this trail at 5am or 6am at the latest. I would say this hike is probably 3x more difficult than Mount Baldy. This hike will push your physical and mental limits to the edge. Another thing that makes this hike even crazier is just how steep you have to ascend and descent at different sections, it was literally a never ending rollercoaster ride. I highly recommend wearing long pants and a long sleeve tshirt as you will be dodging enormous yucca plants and overgrown brush all along the trail. It is inevitable that you will get stabbed and fall a few times. This mountain takes no prisoners.

I attempted to summit Iron Mountain on Cinco De Mayo (I guess because I'm crazy lol) and managed to only finish 3/4 of the trail which was brutal in itself (13.1 miles, 10.5 hours). My hiking partner and I only had a few hours of sleep the night before and we started at 9am so we definitely did not set ourselves up realistically for success. Also it was surprisingly warmer than we expected which definitely contributed to exhausting us even more than normal.

I WILL BE BACK TO SLAY THE BEAST!!

This is the same trailhead as Bridge to Nowhere. When you go down the fire road look out for the Heaton Flats sign on your right and the narrow green pathway will set you on your Big Iron journey. Bring an Adventure Pass to place on your car's dashboard and also grab a self issued day permit and keep a copy with you (this can be found at the trailhead).

UPDATE (6/9/18): I officially slayed the beast! Reaching this summit was one of the most exhilarating and intense things I have ever done physically and mentally. The view is breathtaking as you are in the heart of the San Gabriel mountains with 360 degree panoramic views of all the nearby mountain peaks such as Mount Baldy. There is a registry at the top that you can sign and leave your mark which I highly recommend since it's highly unlikely you will want to do this hike ever again or in the near future. It was a pure testament of willpower to reach the top (it felt like eternity to summit). This mountain is NO JOKE and any hiker that plans to attempt this peak must be super prepared. Also the mosquitoes and bugs when you start the last 2.5 miles to the summit start to get real intense. Definitely bring headlamps because you might be hiking in the dark back down the mountain. Another thing, this is the most isolated trail in the San Gabriels so you might be the only hikers the entire day along with just a few others, another reason to be fully prepared because you most likely will not run into any friendly hikers that can help you in case you need anything.

- @justroc @just.trek

hiking
5 months ago

Getting there: We had a 4WD and camped at Mahogany Flats for 2 nights. IMO, you might make it as far as Thorndike CG in a 2WD. Charcoal Kilns, no problem. The road is very rough between Thorndike and Mahogany Flats. We started at 6:30 AM and made the summit in 4:15 with lots of pics and rest stops. Return 2:30. Nice views all around and the elevation made for pleasant temps.

Well marked
Awesome

Great hike. Amazing views. Don’t mind the ladybugs, they won’t bite.

There is nothing fun about this hike. The terrain is strenuous, exposed, tons of yucca plants, very steep, very rocky, and DEFINITELY need trekking poles. It's just as challenging coming down as going up. I have gotten 1/2 mile from the peak twice now and failed to summit due to it being cold and just too exhausting. Do not do this hike unless you are specifically trying summit Iron Mountain. This is not an enjoyable/challenging day hike, but rather a testament of will to prove you can get to the top.

5/29/18. Trailhead Map says it’s 6.9 miles up. Started GPS where I parked and got 7.2 up. You have to walk through the entire campground to get to the trail head. That sucked on the way back...

Started at 8:05am with a 30# pack. Stopped to take a lot of pictures along the way. Got to the turn around at 11am. You’ll see a wooden sign at the end. Left the turn around at 11:30am and got back down at 1:30pm. I didn’t expect to do the entire thing but brought 10 x 16.9oz bottles of water for weight and just in case. When I finished I had 3 bottles left. It was a hot one. Expected temp was 87F for Temecula but felt a lot hotter since most of the time you’re under direct exposure of the sun. #sunscreen :(

If I were to do it again, I would have stopped when the views stopped. I am guessing around mile 5 you start to go into woodsy terrain with not much to see as far as views. It was cool to see the change in foliage though. It was nice because it was at least somewhat shaded. I kept climbing expecting to see a view from the top. There is no view at the top :(

Only passed 1 person on the way up and a group of 3 on my way down.

Easy hike, historic, interesting, good views, everyone should do this hike at least once.

Easy hike, historic, interesting, good views, everyone should do this hike at least once.

Completed Iron Mountain 5/19 as part of the San Antonio Ridge Traverse. We started at 5:26AM and hit the summit at 10AM. In total, I brought 3 liters of water, 2 liters of electrolytes and a liter of coconut water. This trail is STEEP as most have said. Unless you are at peak fitness, bring trekking poles. Also bring sunscreen as much of this trail is rather exposed. While I did wear pants, I didn't feel they were necessary up Iron. Most of the Yuccas are cut back so as not to jab you. Just be careful where you're stepping and you should be fine. Having done C2C before, I felt this trail was more difficult than Skyline but YMMW.

Did part of this hike yesterday. Made it up to MtLowe during a really cool foggy day. No way of judging most of the views due to the fog. Soon after the parking area you will come across a nice tunnel made in the 1940s. Once you reach the top there’s a few view finders that point out the surrounding peaks.

hiking
5 months ago

My son and I hiked this today, 5-26-18. First, you can't get to the trail head by regular car. You need to walk the road from Charcoal Kiln to get there Or take a 4x4.. This is about 1.5 miles with an elevation gain on the road of about 1200 feet...just on this road. Many have said you can't drive the road. Not true. You can safely drive at least 1/2 up and park at or near the Thorndike campground. This saves you a lot.
Trial is well marked and you should know, we are both in great shape. This is a very difficult hike. First portion, very tough. Flattens out a lot for the middle third . Then, the climb to the top starts. The switchback gain a ton of elevation in a very short order.
People have said the view at the top is to die for. However, I can't say that. This may be, though, due in large part to the fact that we have been to so many top of mountains, they are all starting to have the same "appeal". If you haven't done many hikes to peaks, this may be one worth looking into, but again, not an easy trek. It took us a total of 10 hours round trip moving at the best clip we could.

hiking
5 months ago

I've done this a few times, both half way to the Lowe Railway Camp, which is about 5 miles round trip and all the way to Inspiration Point, which is 10 miles round trip. It's definitely worth it to go the entire way if you have time, the views are amazing at inspiration point and the trail is empty and quiet the second half of the way. It can be a bit confusing around the ruins on the way back, but if you have your app/maps then you'll be fine. I rate this as moderate not difficult as long as you're in halfway decent shape you should be fine.

6 months ago

I downloaded the trail map. Wish I knew I could load it into the recorder. My strava recorded it as 14.6 miles. I was packed with my PCT pac. 36 lbs. 95 degrees. took off at 7:25 returned 3:30. Nice rest at top and really nice breeze and shade. 1 gallon of water. came across 1 couple running the trail.

However the camp ground was noisy. Some group of young ragers arrived at 2:30 screaming and puking and woke me from a much needed sleep. Foul mouthed shouting which had to have awaken the boy scout group camping.

3 of us Left at 5am with 8 liters of water a piece. Made the summit in 5 hrs, 49min. This was a beast of a hike... gives new meaning to steep. Going down is treacherous- bring trekking poles and start early - gets really hot and is mostly exposed with no shade

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