Iron Chest Mine

HARD 3 reviews
#49 of 86 trails in

Iron Chest Mine is a 5.2 mile out and back trail located near Nathrop, Colorado and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking and off road driving and is best used from March until November.

DISTANCE
5.2 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1886 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

hiking

off road driving

off road driving
9 days ago

I don't write reviews but I felt I must after taking my '15 Jeep Wrangler Rubi with wrangler mtr tires and a 6" lift up most of the way. First off, the first 3/4 ish mile is straight large boulders that will straight up hand you your ass. It was extremely difficult and I'm pretty sure I got a concussion from all the head banging (only traveling 1-2 mph). If you survive past that point, look forward to more random holders and a very tight trail. There are a few sketch spots (including one we had to cut a dead tree out of the path) that will make you strongly consider turning around until you realize you can't. Made it 3/4 of the way (almost to the old cabin on the left) until we were stopped by a giant snow drift that covered the whole trail coming from the left (the right side was a dropped). Parked the jeep and tried to hike more which was difficult through the snow. Amazing view from the top with some cool old buildings and equipment. The way down was just as treacherous until the bolder section which once again kicked my ass (and my jeep). Bottomed out a few times and struggles to get around some huge boulders. Once we finally reached the end we surveyed the damage which mostly included a scratched and dented up skid plate. One of my rims was also scratched and I'm having issues with my sway bar. Other than that it was alot of fun and definitely an experience I will never forget.
Not for the feint of heart. Make sure you have a buddy to help you navigate from outside the vehicle.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

hiking
Saturday, June 30, 2012

The first quarter mile, or more, the trail was just boulders (some big, some small) that required extra time and care while crossing over. The entire hike to the mine was uphill and quite a steady grade (over 1,800' elevation gain), hence the "Demanding" rating. I mean, it is the Colorado mountains, what do you expect, right? Anyway, it's a nice trail and has some scenic views on the way. The mine is interesting and contains some old buildings and mining equipment that were left behind. It appeared that more trail wrapped around to the east and followed the ridge back north; however, I didn't have time to explore that extra route.