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Heaton Flat Trail to Iron Mountain is a 18 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Azusa, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, nature trips, and bird watching and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Length 18.0 mi Elevation gain 6,338 ft Route type Out & Back

Dog friendly

Hiking

Nature trips

Bird watching

Forest

Views

Wild flowers

Wildlife

Fee

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Contact
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Getting There

Relentless, grueling and intense are accurate. Do not go without several Liters of water for each person. And plenty of food or high calorie bars. DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE THIS HIKE. It’s steep and almost constantly uphill except for the drops where you actually hike downward on the way up, followed by steep inclines (which means you also have some uphill on the way back too). The last stretch is all rock scrambling to the peak. The trek down offers no relief and can almost be worse. Note: $5 parking fee at trailhead

California Travel and Tourism Commision, P.O. Box 1499 , Sacramento, CA, 95812-1499, Phone: 800-862-2543

1) Headlamps are a life-saver given our late descent. Also for this hike, BRING HIKING POLES- the risk of injury is simply too high not to have them. Even if you don't want to use them, carry them. It could be the difference between walking out on a sprained ankle and getting airlifted. 2) Planning. Only do this hike after careful planning and consideration of the weather. 3) Turn around time. Have a pre-agreed time to abandon the hike if need be. Even with headlamps, the last two miles from the summit would be extremely dangerous to do at night. Difficulty. Some have compared to cactus to clouds, or Mt. Whitney. Another apt comparison would be the final approach to Rabbit peak (Anza Borrego), but for a lot longer and a lot higher.

Directions from Azusa, CA: Travel north on Highway 39 for about 12 miles, turn east (right) onto East Fork Road and travel 6 miles. Entry is from the East Fork Trailhead adjacent to East Fork Fire Station.

Weather
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Reviews (278)
Photos (455)
Recordings (250)
Completed (352)
Adam Atkinson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Jul 04 2020
HikingRockyScramble

This is an awesome trail if you want to push yourself. Pick a cooler day if you aren’t a complete masochist. Took 6.5 hrs with very few breaks. 4 liters of water was barely enough. Good training for Whitney or similar.

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Susan Lange
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Jun 15 2020
Hiking

This is a butt kicker trail. Lots of steep up and down, some loose gravel and unsteady soil, be very careful try not to rush and pay attention, we saw 2 baby rattle snakes. Bring plenty of water and electrolytes even Motrin and a wide rim hat and hiking pole too. I got plenty of leg scratch and some bug bites too. Otherwise; this is worth it, the view takes away all the misery!

RikRask(Eric Richard Lasko)
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMon Jun 15 2020
HikingBugsNo shadeRockyScramble

(Hiked on 6/12/2020) Have a nice cold beer and hug your loved ones after this hike...... Started off at 7:25am on the Angry Iron Mountain. Deceptively easy at first( I averaged 20 minute miles for the first 4 - then by mile five(49 mins), mile 6(57 mins) then mile 7(68 mins!). These increased times all coincide with the massive and very angry and aggressive ascent! It’s up and down and will test your mettle something fierce....... I normally listen to an audiobook on headphones while I hike, but this was so strenuous I ditched the listening and went au natural so I could concentrate on staying alive.... Went thru 5 liters of water for sure( one of those being a Gatorade) but would’ve done 6 if I had it. Started to really jam on the way down but definitely need poles for stability and safety. Bugs were also intense and whenever you had to stop you would get attacked so be prepared for that. Body went into cramping mode in the last mile hardcore but pulled thru..... I left a Gatorade in the car as an incentive and boy was that worth it, almost better than..... Either way what an amazing challenge, beautiful views and if you finish, you’ll be a better person for it! For sure have your head examined upon completion..... Also - kudos to the individual that left yellow/white(can’t remember) markings along the trail with strong guidance indicating this way and that. They all appeared at the right time which helped in the mental game and made you feel considered..... I now have the itch again and I’m ready for the next challenge - Until next, RikRask

DBoy Nievez
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Jun 08 2020
Hiking

Got it oFF My To Do List Today!!! Beautiful Trail Beautiful Views Lonely Summit round is 14 miles Made it in 5:40 Round Trip Definitely Going Back For A Sub 5 Only went Thru One L of Coconut Water

Jeff Welgan
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Jun 08 2020
Over grownRockyScramble

Hiked it for the first time yesterday and I definitely plan on hiking it again. More like 14 miles, but it's a climb from step one. The last 2 miles are relentless and coming down is even harder. Excellent pre-requisite for anyone attempting C2C.

Christopher Morgan
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarTue May 26 2020

We completed the hike on Saturday 5/23/20. The difficulty of this hike is not overstated. As for the hike distance, I tracked the hike on my Gamin GPS and it showed 14.5 miles round trip from the parking lot, not 12.6! The last 3-miles going up is basically straight up with loose soil/rocks which is what makes this hike difficult. I was able to walk the entire trail without using my hands but the others in my group crawled up and down some sections. The steep sections are slow going up and down. We also saw 2 rattle snakes sunning on the trail and had to run them off with rocks. The advise below to carry 5-liters of water is accurate and start early (sunrise) to avoid the heat in warmer periods. I definitely recommend this hike for anyone looking for a challenge but don't make this your first 14+ mile all day hike otherwise you may also need a headlamp to find your way back.

Fit Katra
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMon May 25 2020
RunningBlowdownBugsOver grownRockyScrambleWashed out
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Matthew Molinare
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri May 22 2020

I was fortunate enough to have the trail to myself this morning (May 22, 2020). In my opinion, the difficulty of this hike is overstated; I would liken it to San Gorgonio Peak via the Vivian Creek Trail. I started the hike at 4:30am to combat sun exposure since the first half of the trail offers little to no shade. The hike along the ridge to the summit offers some of the best views in the San Gabriels.

arin kim
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarTue May 12 2020
Hiking

(May 12, 2020) Just finished this today. Beautiful weather. I recently been creating loop hikes to get some big gains, this one fit the bill perfectly. Read a lot of horror stories about this hike, but I found it to be probably one of the best ones I have done lately. Everyone knows about the difficulty of this hike so will not go into to it too much. But the trail is in excellent condition (kudos to all the ppl that keep it up), most of all the bushes and thrones seem to have been trimmed nicely, the trail path (dirt) is compact and padded down nicely (pretty ideal for hiking/trail running). There are spots directly exposed to sun but there seem to be plenty of shade...really pleasant. I started at 7:08 AM with two quarts of Gatorade and my trusty one can of Red Bull and snacks (worked out perfectly) got to summit at 10:10 AM (took tons of pictures and took nice 45 min break on top) . Met a few delightful people on the way up coming down, solid hikers all sub 4 hours to summit. Out of all the trails and loops I been doing around San Gabriel Mountains I have to say this one is now my favorite...it is a solid trail that really works you. If the weather holds up I would like to hit this one up again this week. So with all that said the review might make it seem like it was an easy hike, just want give a little perspective: last couple months I been putting in a lot of long loops hikes anywhere form 12-28 mile loops with 5500'-12000' gains through bush whacking, snow and rain. So I felt the hiking gods finally gave me perfect weather, perfect trail and solid gain hike today :) If anyone is interested in big gain hikes let me know...be fun to have a partner to suffer with :)

Paul Fisher
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarTue May 12 2020
HikingBugsNo shadeRockyScramble

Warning PLEASE READ 1) *Bring 5 litres of water* and sugar and protein snacks. 2) Start at the LATEST at sunrise if you are attempting to make it to the top. It gets extremely hot. 3) When you get to the two way split (two miles in) take a Left, not a Right. 4) Wear bug spray, BEWARE of snakes 's (I saw three), and there is very limited shade on this trail. Remember that the elevation gains fluctuate throughout the duration of of the trail, and that it can be rough. 5) And Lastly, DO NOT ATTEMPT if you are not familiar with moderate to difficult level hikes. This is a difficult hike for sure. Use your noggin' ! I don't want to see anyone get airlifted out of here. Be safe and God Bless.

Sara St. Hilaire
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat May 09 2020
HikingNo shadeRockyScramble

A bit of a scramble after the saddle. Bring lots of water and food. Start early to avoid the worst of the sun.

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Karla R
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarThu May 07 2020
RockyScramble

A real kick in the butt! take at least 4 liters of water. you're gonna use muscles you didn't know you had. A hike you must experience. My Samsung Health app recorded a total of 15 miles starting from the parking lot... but don't underestimate this mountain and be prepared to climb up and slide down.

Ryan Short
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSat May 02 2020
HikingRockyScramble

Beautiful day for hiking, but I way underestimated this hike because of the distance and elev. gain shown for the trail. The last couple miles were absolutely brutal. Also pretty sketchy because of all the steep parts you have to hike up and lots of exposure.

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