- Difficulty Intermediate
- Time 1.5 hours
- Round-Trip 3km
- Elevation Gain 75 meters
- Season April - October
- Camping No
- From Vancouver 1 hour
- Public Transit No
- Dog Friendly Yes
The Iron Mountain Lookout in Mission, BC, has an incredible view looking across the west side of Hayward Lake and the surrounding area. The trail is not long but it climbs steeply and the top section can be done as a loop before descending to two separate viewpoints.
The route is confusing and not well marked at times as a network of hiking and mountain biking trails exist on the mountain. There are some blue ribbons wrapped around trees that make it easier to follow.
From the metal gate, follow the gravel road into the forested area and stay on this road until it reaches a corner where the road goes to the right. This is the part of the route that can be a bit confusing. Where the road veers to the right, look for a trail on the left and walk to that trail. Walk only a few steps along this trail and, almost immediately, look for another trail on the right that goes up into the forest. Walk up into the forest, then just after entering the tree cover of the forest, look for yet another trail to the left that goes up a steep hill. Follow this trail up the steep hill.
Continue to follow the trail uphill until it briefly levels and reaches a junction. Go left at the junction and continue as the trail begins to climb again. Eventually the trail will reach another junction which is the one that is the start and end of the loop, however it's not well marked and easy to miss. To complete the loop, continuing hiking straight uphill as the trail continues up a very steep section.
The route will begin to climb at a more gradual rate before dipping down into a rocky section. Climb up the rocks, following the path and, once at the top, the trail completely levels as you follow it along a ridge. Carefully make your way down a smooth rocky section and continue to follow the trail as it meanders through the forest along the ridge.
The trail begins to descend when suddenly, you reach the first viewpoint. This is the best view as it provides stunning scenery looking across the valley and the west side of Hayward Lake.
After enjoying the view, continue to hike down hill, carefully watching your step. The trail reaches a junction where you can walk around and up onto a rocky outcrop to the second viewpoint. This is a great view too.
Return to the trail and continue following it downhill through the forest until it reaches the trail that you hiked up earlier. Go left and walk back down the steep hill, staying right at the junction, then continuing down another steep section. When you reach the section near the road with the several junction, exit the forest and go left back to the gravel road. Follow the gravel road to the right back down to the metal gate where you began.