Iron Mountain Road Climb

Level of Difficulty:  Difficult (5200' total climbing)
Riding Time: 5 hours  Printable Area Map:  Iron Mountain Climb  (Adobe Acrobat required)
Season to Ride:  Summer through Early Fall

Description:  Wow... every time I do this ride, I promise myself to do it more often.  The ride is scenic, has generally light traffic (though sometimes on weekends it can reach moderate traffic levels), and you are treated to an absolutely wonderful downhill on the return.  This is also a great ride for hot summer days.  Weather at the top can be 20 degrees (Fahrenheit) less than Sacramento.  So if it's a hot day, start early and plan to enjoy the cooler weather as you climb.  You will definitely feel the heat increase as you descend on your return trip.  The road generally has good shoulders - though sometimes the shoulders can be clogged with branches or rocks.  The road may not be snowplowed all the way through until July (depending on how strong and late the winter storms were). 

One area is prone to rock slides, and riders should use caution on the return downhill (this area is marked by road signs stating rock slide area).  This ride can be done earlier (in late May or early June) with the expectation that the road may not be snowplowed up near the summit - but then again that means less traffic - as cars cannot get through to Highway 88.  There are no facilities along the way, so make sure you carry plenty of water and food.

Miles  Directions


Start at Information Station – about 3.3 miles east of Sly Park Rd and Iron Mountain Rd junction.  Parking available at Information Station (this gets you past the heavier traffic at Sly Park).


Pass North South Rd.  Climbing becomes more “staircase” type climb shortly after this point.


Pass Silver Fork Rd.  Final climb to summit occurs shortly after this intersection.


Top of main climb.  Rolling hills after here.


Intersection with Highway 88.


Summit on return ride.


Pass Silver Fork Rd on return. 


Pass North South Rd.


Ride ends at Information Station