Cone Peak

AreaWestern Cascades
(Willamette National Forest)
Best time to visitMid-June through mid-July
Blooming NowNo
Elevation4800-5600 feet
Trail Info5 miles round-trip, 900 feet elevation gain to Cone Peak meadows

7.8 mile loop, 1450 feet elevation gain including Iron Mountain summit

 Hike information - Oregon Hikers Field Guide
 Northwest Forest Pass required!

NOTE: The blue marker indicates the trailhead.


Cone Peak is located near Tombstone Pass along Highway 20 east of Sweet Home, Oregon (approximately 13 miles west of Santiam Pass if you are coming from Central Oregon). It's a veritable wildflower cornucopia with over 300 species, along with some 17 tree species. I consider this to be REQUIRED visiting during the first half of July, but you should expect a fair number of other visitors on weekends.

The first 0.6 mile is a gradual descent below Highway 20. You then cross the highway, and walk 50 feet to the left to pick up the main trail which heads up into the forest. BE CAREFUL WHEN CROSSING THE HIGHWAY!

The trail is well-graded with numerous switchbacks, passing by numerous different types of trees. At the sixth switchback you will catch your first glimpse of the wildflower meadows... keep going and your patience shall be amply rewarded! After several more switchbacks, you will find yourself in open meadows littered with penstemon, larkspur, paintbrush, stonecrop. Cone Peak will be directly ahead of you, with Iron Mountain to the west (left) and Echo Mountain to the right.

If you have time and energy, this trail can easily be extended into a loop that includes Iron Mountain. The total length becomes 7.8 miles if you include the Iron Mountain summit, along with an additional 650 foot elevation gain/loss.

To do the full loop, proceed on the trail through the wildflower meadows. You will walk downhill across a swale, and then angle left (west) toward Iron Mountain. The loop continues through forest, and then circles around the west side of Iron Mountain, with an optional 0.9 mile trudge to the lookout shelter at the top. If you are doing this hike on a weekend, expect this Iron Mountain summit spur trail to be packed with people of all ages.

Beyond that, it's a mile downhill through forest to Highway 20. Continue across Highway 20, walk downhill several hundred yards, and watch for the Santiam Wagon Road trail on your left. This climbs gradually for 0.6 mile back to the Tombstone Pass parking lot.


Drive on Highway 20 heading east past Sweet Home, Oregon. In 36 miles you will come to Tombstone Pass. (This is approximately 13 miles west of Santiam Pass if you are coming from Central Oregon.) Watch for the parking area on the right, between milepost 63 and 64. Walk to the end of the parking lot beyond the bathroom to find the trailhead.

Trip Reports

DateSubmitted by
Reports from previous years
06/21/2014Greg Lief
07/04/2013Greg Lief
07/06/2012Greg Lief
07/12/2010Jim and Nina Pollock
07/04/2010Greg Lief
07/10/2009Greg Lief
07/26/2008Greg Lief
06/26/2008Greg Lief
06/20/2007Greg Lief
06/12/2007Jennifer Travers
05/24/2007Jennifer Travers

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Photo Gallery

Wildflowers on hillside at Cone Peak

Wildflower meadows at Cone Peak

Wildflower meadows at Cone Peak

Iron Mountain from Cone Peak

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