Iron Chest Mine

Total Miles


3,646.48 ft


3.5 Hours

Technical Rating



Best Time

Summer, Fall

Trail Overview

Very challenging trail, but a classic favorite with outstanding views at the top. Explore Iron Chest Mine and Ghost House. Obey all signs and do not enter any structures. Following the rules will keep this trail open.

Photos of Iron Chest Mine

Iron Chest Mine
Iron Chest Mine
Iron Chest Mine


Difficult. A short stretch of boulders at the beginning of the trail is brutal. After that, the trail continues as a narrow shelf road, often with small washouts. Snow can block trail late July.


The buildings at Iron Chest Mine are over 100 years old and are in relatively good condition given the 12,000-ft. altitude. A giant pulley lies on the ground in front of a large tram house with tram towers going down the mountain. Just over the high ridge above the mine is the Mary Murphy Mine, which can be reached via Pomeroy Lakes, Trail #41. Take a short 250-yard hike to the interesting Ghost House near start of trail. The cabin was built in 1886. Flattened tin cans were used as roof shingles.

Technical Rating


Status Reports

Jeremy Amos
Sep 04, 2023
Timothy Broughton
Jul 05, 2023
Deep Snow

Access Description

From Johnson Village, head south on Hwy. 285 about 6 miles. Just past Nathrop, turn right on C.R. 162. Go west 15.4 miles to parking/ staging area (with toilet) on left. Immediately after parking area, bear left on C.R. 295 where road forks right to St. Elmo. Watch for small road and parking area on left after 0.4 mile. (Don't confuse with Grizzly at 0.2 mile.)

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