Iron Mountain


By: Dave Jurasevich


In exploring new possibilities for addition to the DPS list, sometimes nearby peaks are overlooked for nomination. I think that a good example of this has occurred with the highpoint of the Iron Mountains in southeastern San Bernardino County. The terrain of this range is similar to the Joshua Tree type, bouldered country of Spectre Peak in the Coxcomb Mountains. It is a sufficiently challenging climb on steep Class 2 ground and has a reasonable elevation gain and mileage associated with it. As an added feature, it has a nearby historic point of interest worth seeing (General Patton's WW II Iron Mountain Camp). The only other entry in the register was that of Gordon MacLeod, Barbara Lilley and Bill Sanders on February 25, 1984. Maps required are 1983 Iron Mountains, Calif. and 1985 Granite Pass, Calif. 7.5' topos. Following are the DRIVE and CLIMB directions for the peak.


From the junction of Hwys 62 and 177 (27 miles N of Desert Center, CA), drive 1.1 miles E on State Highway 62 to highway milepost 86. Turn left here, following the very good MWD power line road NE for 6.7 miles to steel tower #134-1. Turn left (W) here and drive 1.1 miles on an excellent dirt (and partially paved) toad to a borrow pit. Continue to the W side of the borrow pit and park.


From the borrow pit follow a boulder-strewn wash 0.75 miles WSW, where you'll enter the mouth of a large canyon running NW-SE. The peak can be seen at a bearing of 290" from this point. Hike directly toward the peak, in 0.5 miles passing between two giant, lightish-colored rock masses. Continue WNW in a wash toward the peak to the 550 meters (1800 feet) elevation level, where the wash splits. Bear left and head for either of two obvious, steep chutes that cut the W face of the mountain and terminate on the skyline ridge. Climb either chute to the ridge above, gaining it at about the 850 meters (2800 feet) elevation level. Turn right (NW), following the ridge to the summit, en route bypassing more difficult sections either on the right or left.

Detailed information for visiting one or more peaks mentioned in this article can be found in the
Desert Peak Section Road and Peak Guides

DPS Archives Index | Desert Peaks Section