Heaton Flat Trail to Iron Mountain is a 13 mile moderately 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, walking, nature trips, and birding and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.
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.
Per Garmin GPSMAP64:
Distance: 13.6 mi from the locked gate and back.
Total Ascent: 7355 ft. (a few ups and downs)
Minimum Elevation: 1939 ft
Max Elevation: 8009 ft.
Nice weather made the hike very enjoyable.
If you are using hydration pack, make sure to either bring extra water bottles or be aware how much water is being consumed. Ran into a hiker who had to turn back because he ran out of water. My wife and I brought 6 liters water and two apple juice for both of us and we had 1/4 liter remaining at the end.
Watch out for ground level branches. We bruised our shins from them while concentrating avoiding thorny yucca plants. Be careful during descent. It is very slippery at places.
You may bring plenty of water. The trail is quite hot. I bring 7.8L and left 1L. But it is due to I camping on the Allison saddle at night, when the trail is cooler. After Allison saddle, the trail is steep but relatively safe. The top is approachable if prepared well. Amazing view at top. You may also bring a glove to avoid possible bleedings from yucca.
Strenuous, but amazing views.
Here is a quick video of Heaton Flats Trail
ayer logre conquistar Iron Mountain por primera vez y lo logre en 5 horas ida y vuelta y si q esta pesada esta muy dura pero si se puede
Thanks to the cruel reviews and there were just a few reviews on this trail .. I had to go see myself and all I can say is brutal steep on 45degree angles at one point and those yucca plants penetrates you like needles.. but we made it 11 of us started together at 5:30am all the way to the summit made it all together to the star point at 3pm it was 15 miles 10 hrs weather help a lot a little rain hail and some snow flakes.. wind was just perfect to keep us cool of our own body heat . I am amaze of how difficult is this trail... IRON MOUNTAIN HAS BEEN CONQUERED thank you LORD.. 11/26/16
Not HARD like Mt Baldy ...
After I passed the fork for the bridge to nowhere, I did not pass a single person
First 3 mi are wonderful just for the views
I HATED this trail solely for the fact that I was constantly attacked by the plants from my face to my toes after that (my poor dog ... who hikes with me and can last up to 16mi was miserable). The terrain turns to sandy and sometimes steep covered areas ... so you lose the wonderful view.
I wanted to get to the top, but I was bleeding from the plants and was annoyed ... turned back early.
Much better, challenging,rewarding trails out there. Though if I lived close by .. I would consider doing a 6 mi out and back trail run.
This hike. Till now is the most difficult hike i have ever done
We did 6 hours. Just to
Get to the top me and my friends.
We star 5am and we get back at 4:45pm
Almost 10 hours hike.
If anyone is planning to do this hike
Please. Carry a lot of water. You might need easily 7 litters.
Don't take big iron mountain easy.
This hike should be on the six pack of peaks (SoCalHiker.net). In the past few weeks I've climbed Wilson, Cucamonga, and Baldy, and this was MUCH harder than those. The first 4 miles are OK, but then the trails climbs to about 45 degrees, with slippery rocks, lots of yucca plants , that have grown into the trail, and at many points the trail is very narrow due to shrubs and trees growing on each side, making trekking poles useless at those points. I slipped a good 6 or 7 times on the way back down, and was just lucky to not slide into anything prickly.
I planned on doing a loop down the other side and to the waterfall, but couldn't even make it to the summit. Temperatures went from the low 60's on the way up to low 80's on the way back down, and it was windy and chilly towards the top. Got to 7800' and was too wet and cold to finish. Started at 7AM, called it quits a little before noon, back to the car at 3. Bring more water than you normally would. I burned through 3 liters and ran out with 4 miles left to go.
I give this 3 stars because of the yucca plants :) and because even the descent was a challenge, and a bit dangerous at times.
I'll be back to finish this one after I get some proper cold weather hiking.gear.
This was my third attemp to summit Big Iron, and for me, the difficulty of this hike was second only to Mt. Whitney. Started in darkness and ended the same way. Took a hard fall on the way down one of the crazy steep sections above Allison Saddle. I doubt anyone comes down from this mountain without leaving a little bit of blood behind thanks to the spiney Yuccas hugging the trail. Great trail for solitude and veiws. Bring more water than you think you'll need, because you'll use more water than you think!
Great trail recon today up the Heaton Flat Trail to just beyond the Allison Mine Trail (except the last two miles). I started out from the parking lot at 0645. It was about 55'. At 2.5 miles in it climbed to 69'. I covered the 4.98 miles up in just under 3 hours. The first 3 miles were pretty easy. From mile 3 to 4 is where you just go up and down, and up and down. Take some elevation from the mountain and then give some back. Not too bad though. Mile 4 to 5 is where the challenge began. The 60 and 70 degree grades showed up. There was a little bit of scrambling up rock and dirt too. I stopped just before the saddle. My goal today was to hike to the Allison Mine Trail. It was 85' by this point. Spent about 45 minutes resting, eating and taking pictures. Then I headed down! The first mile down is a slow process. At mile 7.86 the temp was 100'. By the time I got to mile 3 going down, I felt great and was moving at a pretty good pace. Not smart! Just under 2 miles and past the wilderness sign, I slipped and rolled my ankle. Needless to say I slowed way down. I waited to ice and wrap it until I got back to the car because I didn't want linger and let it get stiff. Yes I carry a wrap and ice with me on all hikes. Second time in a month I've had to use them too. Once for me (today) and once for a young lady who twisted her ankle coming down San Jacinto. Anyway, my total time for the hike (including breaks, lunch and pictures was 6 hrs 50 min. Total hiking time was 5 hrs 42 min. It was 95' when I finished at 1335. I'm guessing the final 2 miles to the peak would have taken about an hour each and have about a 2500 foot elevation gain. I carried 6.5 liters of water and drank 3.5 liters. Two of those were 16oz bottles with electrolytes. Glad I hiked it, but hoping I'll be ready and healed for Oct 8 when I go to the top of Iron Mountain with a fellow hiker.
This trail is a BEAST!! There's a reason you don't see a lot of reviews. Not too many people attempt, nor finish. I hiked up in April started early and took me all day to complete. Finished about 7L of fluids and wanted more. .. The total elevation gain is a bit north of 7K... don't let the false summits fool you.. Also bring a pen to sign the log at the summit..
This is considered the most difficult hiking trail of all the San Gabriel mountains according to some hiking books.