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Trail Conditions

Trip Log


Iron Mountain
Jackson, NH, Bartlett, NH

Trailheads, measurements, times, distances, and maps are all approximate and relative to the hike(s) as shown below.
Looking across the fields near the beginning of the trail to Iron Mountain
Looking across the fields near the beginning of the trail to Iron Mountain

Today was the big test in my latest knee rehab - a hike with more than just a few hundred vertical feet. Prior to the hike, I was doing some research on Randy Johnson when I connected a few dots. Seeing the pitching control problems Johnson was having early in his career, Nolan Ryan pulled him aside and recommended that he not land on his heal when pitching. A little while after reading this, it struck me that this might explain why I has having relatively no pain whilst going uphill since my injury, but progressively worse pain on downhills - I do my uphills almost on my toes.

The beginning of the Iron Mountain hike was absolutely beautiful - the trail wanders through a meadow and then through a blueberry field with tremendous views of Mt. Washington and the Wildcats. This is, in fact, the nicest view of the hike.

After crossing the blueberry field, the trail cut through a short set of woods before hitting a large plot of sapplings. It was a bit wet here and at one point it was hard to see where the trail went (to the left and then to the right), but shortly thereafter I was back in the woods.

The woods section of the trail is quite frankly a bit ugly - the trail is eroded, lots of blowdowns on the sides, and not much in way of on trail views.

Before I knew it, I was staring at a pile of large timbers that once made up the frame of the fire tower. While the rocky summit may have once provided great views in all directions, there's very little to see here other than small glimpses through and above the trees.

After looking around the summit a bit, I backtracked three minutes down the trail to a decent viewpoint on top of a large rock on the side. From here, there were nice views of the Wildcats, as well as glimpses of Mt. Washington and Kearsarge North.

The next stop was a few minutes further down, this time on the left side of the trail. There's a really nice ledge here with tremendous views of Mt. Washington and the Wildcats - due to the exposure, there is very little evidence of man (a road or two, the Mt. Washington summit building, and a house are all that's visible if I recall.

I put a special effort into walking all pitches essentially almost on my toes, as well as pausing for a few seconds whenever I felt anything odd in my knee. To my surprise, I was able to make it to the base without any sort of knee support or pain. In fact, it felt decent enough that I was fighting myself not to do another hike. Next stop, something around 1,000 vertical feet in a few days.

Hike Ratings
Getting To Trailhead: Easy
Destination: Iron Mountain
Length: Moderate
Steepness: Moderate
Navigation: Easy
Views: Moderate
Crowds: Minimal

Hike Stats
Date Hiked: Sunday, June 10, 2007
Hike Commenced: 11:31 AM
Parking Elevation: 1,910'
Destination: Iron Mountain
Ascent Commenced: 11:32 AM
Summit Reached: 11:58 AM
Time Elapsed: 00:26
Trailhead Elevation: 1,910'
Summit Elevation: 2,726'
Vertical Gain: 826'
Hike Ended: 12:38 PM
Hike Time Elapsed: 01:07
Hike Vertical Gain: 846'

Trailhead to the Iron Mountain summit on Iron Mountain Road
Trailhead to the Iron Mountain summit on Iron Mountain Road

Looking north toward Wildcat Mountain - Click to enlarge
Looking north toward Wildcat Mountain

Topographic map of Iron Mountain - Click to enlarge

Directions to trailhead: Take Route 16 North past the first covered bridge in Jackson. Almost immediately after, take a left onto Green Hill Road. Continue up this road, eventually bearing left onto a somewhat rough dirt Iron Mountain Road. There is a parking lot at the top of this road on the right hand side. Trailhead is just after, on the left.

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