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Iron Mountain (Los Angeles County) facts for kids

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Iron Mountain
Iron Mountain - San Gabriels.jpg
Iron Mountain seen from above the East Fork, San Gabriel River
Highest point
Elevation 8,010 ft (2,441 m) NAVD 88
Prominence 687 ft (209 m)
Listing Hundred Peaks Section
Location Los Angeles County, California, U.S.
Parent range San Gabriel Mountains
Topo map USGS Mount San Antonio
Easiest route Very strenuous hike, class 1

Iron Mountain is a mountain in the San Gabriel Mountains of Los Angeles County, California. It is within the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument, in the section managed by the Angeles National Forest.


The 8,007 ft (2,441 m) peak is sometimes referenced as Iron Mountain #1 or Big Iron, was originally called Sheep Mountain by the early miners in San Gabriel Canyon because of the large bands of bighorn sheep that roamed the slopes. The United States Geological Survey, which mapped the San Gabriel Mountains in the 1890s, ignored the local Sheep Mountain designation and gave it its present name. According to Will Thrall, there was once a USFS plan to change the name back to Sheep Mountain in 1940.

The mountain is in the federally designated Sheep Mountain Wilderness, a reference to the mountain's original name.


While this mountain is far lower in elevation than other Southern California summits, it is the most difficult mountain to climb in the entire region. There are no water sources on the mountain, unless one finds snow. There are no maintained trails, the summit is seldom visited, and the climb is of about 6000 vertical feet (1,800 m), much of it at a 30° to 50° angle on loose soil, decomposed rock, or through brush. Some approaches to the summit require high degrees of rock-climbing skill. One route over the ridgeline from nearby Mount San Antonio (Mount Baldy) is long, difficult, and dangerous. The south mountain slopes in summer are directly exposed to the sun. Some climbers stay at the ruins of the Allison Mine about 3,900 feet (1,200 m) below the summit. There are no facilities of any kind on the mountain.

Climbing statistics

  • Distance: 14 mi (23 km) round trip on trail and cross-country
  • Gain: 7,200 ft (2,200 m) total, 6,600 ft (2,000 m) out plus 600 ft (180 m) on return
  • Time: 10 to 12 hours round trip
  • Rating: class 1 but very strenuous
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