59. Ironside Mountain Summit (Ironside Mountain Unit)
Suggested Citation: Kerr, Andy. 2000. Oregon Desert Guide: 70 Hikes. Seattle: The Mountaineers Books. p. 218.
What to Expect: extremely rugged cross-country assault on the summit, with incredible views
Distance: 8.6 miles round trip
Elevation Range: 5,078-7,811 feet
Drinking Water: No
Best Times: Late spring, summer, fall
USGS 7.5' Maps: Clevenger Butte, DeBord Peaks, Eldorado Pass
Oregon Map Starting Point: Unity
Drive approximately 10 miles easterly of Unity on US 26. Turn southwesterly on County Road 513, which soon turns into FS Road 16. After 2.9 miles take the southerly fork (FS Road 1684). Continue on FS Road 1684 for approximately 8 miles (FS Road 1684 goes southerly up King Creek, easterly along a ridge, and northerly down Middle Willow Creek.) Park at the intersection of a road to the right (southerly), where a culvert has washed out.
Cross Middle Willow Creek (Eldorado Pass quad) and walk 1.1 miles up east to the open ridge (elevation 7,432 feet). Continue 3.2 miles southwesterly along the ridge to the summit (a tiny bit of DeBord Peaks quad onto Clevenger Butte quad). Return the way you came. This is an insane hike. Only attempt it if you are in really good shape. Start very early and plan to return late. Take plenty of water and at least two lunches. It is worth it.