"The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in
its net of wonder forever."—Jacques Cousteau

Nov. 3 - Iron Mountain Trail

"The best views come after the hardest climbs." - Author Unknown
We woke to a beautiful day and decided to hike a trail that would give us views of the area. We chose the Iron Mountain Trail that began on Crystal Park Road, just a few miles from our house. 

It was a 2.7 mile out and back trail with a 600' elevation change. The hardest part of the trail was at the beginning where you scramble up the hillside to an existing small dirt road. 

Once the trail leveled out we passed a Medicine Wheel with a great view of the Garden of the Gods. In fact we had wonderful views of Colorado Springs and Manitou Springs all along this trail. The true pay off of this hike was the 360 view from the summit of Iron Mountain. I read that this trail is fairly new and there was once a home on the top of this peak

The trail map from Crystal Park Road to Iron Mountain.
The beginning of the trail.
Looking east toward Red Rock Canyon Open Space
The Medicine Wheel, sometimes known as the Sacred Hoop, has been used by generations of various Native American tribes for health and healing. It embodies the Four Directions, as well as Father Sky, Mother Earth, and Spirit Tree—all of which symbolize dimensions of health and the cycles of life. Each stone has a purpose and you can read more about at this link.
Looking out at the Garden of the Gods.
The trail
Iron Mountain - There are two trails that lead to this peak. The bottom trail in this picture leads back to Manitou Springs.
Enjoying our views from the top of Iron Mountain.
Pike's Peak is just visible under the clouds.
Panoramic views from the top...looking east to west. 
We could look down into Manitou Springs and see our house. The green arrow points it out.
Looking east at part of the trail around the mountain.
Starting back down the mountain...ready for lunch.
We enjoyed shrimp and fish tacos at the Crystal Park Cantina...both were very good.
I found a picture of the house that once sat at the top of Iron Mountain. They definitely had a wonderful view of the area.
We could see Iron Mountain from our balcony at the apartment.

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