Climbing Iron Mountain

Sitting west of Jackson, New Hampshire lays Iron Mountain, a peak defined by it's steep southern cliffs and abandoned fire tower. While the cliffs are quite beautiful, there are many ruins that sit in despair along the slopes of the mountain. The scenic cliffs and fields along the trail are certainly the main highlight of the hike.

The Presidential Range from the trailhead.

We started the hike with cloudy skies, which means we missed out on the first couple of viewing areas, including the large meadow at the trailhead. The trail enters the forest and is very muddy, only to get very eroded, and then very slippery. It's safe to say that the trail could use some maintenance.

The eroded trail leading to the summit.

The trail found it's way to the summit after a steep, eroded climb. There are no views to be had from here, but there are ruins of the old fire tower. From here, we continued over the summit and down the south side, where the trail became rougher and rougher, and still very slippery. It went up and down several times, until it eventually lead to the junction.

The ruins of the fire tower.
A very warn trail sign.

At the junction, we went right, which quickly brought us to the southern cliffs, which offer amazing views over the surrounding peaks. From here can be seen Kearsarge North, North Moat Mountain, Mt.Stanton, Mt.Pickering, Attitash Mountain, Bear Mountain, Mt.Chocorua, Mt.Passaconaway, Mt.Nancy, and Mt.Carrigain.

Looking west from Iron Mountain.
Looking off from a ledge. The ski slopes of Attitash are visible.
From left to right includes the Moats, Little and Big Attitash Mountain, and Mt.Chocorua in the distance.
Mt.Carrigain is seen towering above the landscape. Mt.Parker is seen in the front.
Kearsarge North from the ledges.

While the ledges are beautiful, they are not the only attraction on the mountain. Later at the junction, we went left, where the trail took a steep descent down to the now abandoned iron mines. All that can be found there now is a flooded quarry and a dank tunnel leading into the mountain, which is impossible to enter unless you don't mind getting your feet wet.

Looking into the quarry.
An unofficial trail sign.
The overgrown tunnel.
Inside the old mine.

We took the trail back up to the summit, where we were awarded with a minor view of Mt.Washington. We had missed out on many views on the way up, as during our descent, we went to a nearby ledge which also offered a great view of the Presidential Range.

The view from the ledge.

At the trailhead, the skies cleared up, and from the meadow, we got an amazing view of the Presidential Range, with great views toward Mt.Eisenhower, Mt.Monroe, Mt.Washington and Mt.Madison. There were even views toward the Wildcats and Carters.

Mt.Monroe,Mt.Washington, and Mt.Madison from the meadows.
Through the trees.
Mt.Washington and the Wildcat-Carter Range.
What a house!

Iron Mountain is a rugged climb, there's no doubt about it, but it's well worth the climb. The views are unique, and the mountain has been developed so many times that you'll always be finding new ruins, whether it's from the mine, the fire tower, or even the now abandoned ski area. There's a lot to do here, and you can only discover it yourself if you get on the trail.


  1. What a special hike this must have been. So much beauty looking through the vast meadows, the mine looks interesting to light up & explore as well. That house...WHAT A SPOT!!!

    Pics are awesome!

    1. Thank you for the kind words! That home owner is very lucky!