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Photos of abandoned Iron Mountain, CA ski area - Page 2

post #31 of 103
Originally Posted by skierrob View Post

So the 3 story main day lodge where the cafeteria, ski rentals, etc. was is the building that burned down? 

Yes, the lodge is burned to the ground.  Very sad to see!


post #32 of 103

I skiid here once in the mid 90s.  Very sad to see it in its current state!  I live withing 20 miles of the resort so I tend to "check" on it every year or so.  To my surprise when I went there yesterday, the lodge was burnt to the ground!!  I wonder if they're trying to clean the place up or if someone just did it for "fun"???  I was actually upset to see that!  The roof on the motel has also partially collapsed as you can see in the pictures below.



7-31-11, Lodge... You can see where the first step is that led up the the cafeteria on the second floor.




7-31-11 Motel...  Partial roof collapse, has been ready to give for some time now...




7-31-11 Lodge... If you look closely you can see the remains of the "blue" lockers in the center of the picture..


post #33 of 103

Sorry for the double post with the pics!  Didnt realize they'd both get approved!

post #34 of 103

First, I want to thank all the contributers to this thread. I've always been curious about what happened to this place. It's like looking at an old west ghost town...wow.


I'm from Sacramento and my high school used to take trips to Iron Mountain, from like '90-92. I always liked 'reversed' concept with the lodge at the top of the runs. My skill level was somewhere between novice and intermediate so I didn't really notice at the time that the terrain was lacking, but having visited Sugarbowl and Mammoth in the years since, I can say the runs at Iron Mountain weren't very challenging. It's sad to see the pics because I have very fond memories of flirting/showing off for the girls, being extremely nervous if "Jane" would accept my invitation to ride the lift with me, etc. Fun times!


Obviously if people were flocking to Iron Mountain resort, it would not have closed. But in my opinion, the reason people stopped showing up was because of the snowboarding explosion and the lack of quality runs and obstacle features for snowboarders. Couple that with terrain which was less than challenging, and I think snow lovers ultimately chose more convenient destinations like Boreal and Sierra.


Two very specific memories stand out for me:

1) The conditions most of the time were very good - sunny and 45 degrees, groomed powder, A LOT less crowded than Boreal or Sierra. But up at the top of that Wildcat lift was a different world - the sun would disappear, the wind kicked up to about 30mph, and you froze your face off if you weren't careful.

2) While visiting Iron Mountain during my senior year (Jan 1992), one of my idiot classmates cut in front of me on the Alder trail (I think) and I fractured my fibula on the resulting fall. The ski patrol bundled me up in one of those sleds and pulled me with a snow mobile up to the lodge area. I remember they were super cool about it - I think that sort of  'rescue' work broke up the monotony - but I was beyond embarrassed at the realization that all my classmates were watching! Worst part was, it was in the middle of basketball season and I missed 3 weeks worth of games. This is why as a coach I forbid any of my players to ski or snowboard during hoops season!


Thanks again to dnjb40, stvbck and all the rest!

post #35 of 103

Hello My name is Ed Watkins,

I'm trying to contact either La Montana Inc or any body that can help me contact the owners

please help



post #36 of 103

Holy Shit!

post #37 of 103
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the updated pix, I'm sorry to learn the lodge burned down, but not surprised. Last season I intended and almost made it back to Iron Mountain to search some more, but didn't make it.  Recently, I talked with the owner of one of the last "family owned" ski areas in CA, who investigated Iron Mountain while searching for a ski area to purchase, and his statement was that the forest service has ensured that a ski area will never again operate at that location.





post #38 of 103

I was a season pass holder there: 89-90, and 90-91.  It was cheap, and a blast.  Face on 5 and jumping off the lift on 4 and skiing boulders out stand out.  What a shame.  I used my season pass as an ID in Mexico, on trip shortly after losing my wallet.


post #39 of 103

Wow this was such a shock to me I would go up there but havent been in a few years.. Last time I was up there they were putting a new roof on the lodge. If you look at old pics you'll see the old one peeling away.. Loooked as tho someone was cleaning the place up and spending some money there. when I was up there there was a few men who only spoke spanish living there and working.. I found out alot of info on the place from my past visits up there.. I live about an hour away..


this is what I had found out.. not sure if its all true tho lol


Iron Mtn was the first resort in Cal to allow snowboarders


the property was listed on Ebay a few years back but didnt sell


there was a caretaker living on the property but had died in a motorcycle accident..



I cant believe it burned down.. does anyone have any info on how?


when i was there it wasnt too vandalized.. even the ski boots were stil on the shelf lol.. so sad to see something that had such promise just rot away



post #40 of 103

Broke my right wrist Jan 1991.  Snow was sparse and was dogging.

post #41 of 103

Don't know if this thread will ever be looked at again...   This was the first place I ever strapped on a board and yes...  If Iron Mtn wasn't the first place to allow snowboarders, I know for a fact it was one of the first 3 along with Kirkwood and 1 other (can't remember off-hand).  It was the main part of the owners' business plan and what he felt would set them apart.  This is back when snowboarding was deemed the fastest growing winter sport in America.  Seems so long ago now.  Little did he know that soon everybody would switch over and his niche would disappear.  The owners took out a small loan from my grandparents and in exchange they gave me a season pass and permission to bring up anybody I wanted with me.  Living in Sacramento and being 10 at the time I only got to put it to use twice but had a blast each time.  Looking at this thread brings up a ton of nostalgia.  Wish I had made it up more often.  The owner seemed a good guy (granted I was just a kid) but I really wish he could have pulled it off.  Sucks.  Looks like a great place to tow somebody in on a snow-mo for a super poppy booter and use the far side of the roof as the landing though

post #42 of 103




Edited by tcrow - 2/2/12 at 11:40am
post #43 of 103

My brother was kind enough to forward me this thread and what great memories it brought back. I used to go ride here when I lived in the bay area. We would stay in the dorm rooms for something ridiculous like $8 per night. I wanted to share this photo that was taken by my good friend Ken during the 89/90 winter. This is just below the cliffs on chair 4. Chair would be to the left when viewing the picture.


Iron Mt.JPG

post #44 of 103
Thread Starter 

New pictures taken 4/16/12






Where the lodge was









Did not venture inside any buildings this time, Lots of tracks going into motel but with a partially collapsed roof? Naah.


post #45 of 103

wow interesting stuff

post #46 of 103

I also wonder why Kirkwood didn't take it over, could have been their June Mountain. Maybe they tried. It would be nice to see it come back to life, how would a co-op work. I know this is a terrible economy for anything right now. I live in Pollock Pines, lived in Tahoma for many years and enjoyed the local feel of Homewood, it was special.

post #47 of 103

One other comment... What is the deal with shooting around here? I am all for everyone having their own hobbies, and there are plenty of places to setup targets and safely shoot throughout this area, but I have never seen so much public and private property destruction as I have up through Mormon Emigrant Trail. I mountain bike in the summer, and I always try to be conscious of other peoples property and activities, and the environment. it's really kind of sad.

post #48 of 103
Originally Posted by EELeigh View Post

I also wonder why Kirkwood didn't take it over, could have been their June Mountain.


I think you just answered your own question.

post #49 of 103

I just saw this thread today. I have a lot of great memories of skiing Iron Mountain.

I took a ski lesson there.

I stayed overnight in one of the rooms there.

I remember getting such big air once that I went far enough that I passed the downhill landing and landed headfirst on the upslope. Fortunately the snow was soft and deep.

I liked the lodge being at the top. I also appreciated the terrain/lifts being segregated by ability level to some extent.

One of my all-time favorite runs was Lion's Run in the spring because you could ski next to a little waterfall.

I miss Iron Mountain and the great vibe of the place.

post #50 of 103

Hey JayT,


Given recent situations, i guess you are right. Bummer as we would have said back then.

post #51 of 103

If this is the same Iron Mountain that I have read about in California, then I believe their may be some envionmentaly hazardous sites in the area that could have made the ski resort hard to reopen.  For sometime now acid drainage has been occurring on iron mountain due to years of mining and microbial activity within the mountain.  there are many caves that seep out a soultion that is close to pH 0.  




It's really kind of sad if its the reason to keep a ski resort from reopening 

post #52 of 103

Woah - Iron Mountain is a Superfund site?  There's a twist I did not see coming.

post #53 of 103

No, the ski area is NOT a superfund site.  The Iron Mountain Mine site is located north of Redding, California in Shasta County in the "southeastern foothills of the Klamath Mountains, approximately 8.7 miles northwest of the city of Redding".  This is several hundred miles away from the ski resort.  ;)


http://www.epa.gov/aml/tech/imm.pdf (see page 2)


BTW -- I was at Iron Mountain ski area last weekend on my way home from Kirkwood.  Looks worse than it did last year.  The roof collapse in the old motel seems to have gotten a bit bigger with the walls buckling in, and the old ski patrol building has lost part of its roof also.  The rest of the old model barely has any wall left between rooms -- people have definitely destroyed almost all the of the wall partitions between the old rooms.


I also noticed that the old ski lift towers, chairs and haul rope from chairs 3 and 4 which were taken out several years ago and placed in the parking lot were now gone... as were a bunch of other old lift parts that were scattered through the parking lots previously.  I wonder what happened to them?  They still haven't removed the top and bottom terminals of those lifts, so I'm sure they most likely weren't sold as complete lifts?  Were they possibly sold by the forest service as scrap metal?  Strange.



post #54 of 103

^^ I was going to say, that seems a little strange / unlikely.  On the other hand, they did build a school on top of one in SoCal so you never know.

post #55 of 103

Wow...(deep breath), k...so what I ask is a question of youth. Yes, no "adults" did these abhorable crimes to that beautiful place. Just because the previous owner/manager failed and shut down does not give ANYONE the right to vandalize the hard work that was done. The buildings that were constructed by the good men and women still shows the love of snow sports and it is sad that in today's society that the YOUTH seems to not give a care. They go there(too accessible by auto) and reek havoc cause they(think) can get away with it. If they had to hike from below they prolly had a sense of worth... being outdoorsy and saved(protected) the place....one bad apple..ect..ect...


Very sad to see this happen in our good old USA....bad form kids.....very bad form.....


Ashamed...very ashamed...and so very sick to my stomach of how destructive we as (ignorant)humans(ignorant) can be. Come on parents>>>>>TEACH YOUR KIDS ETHICS......PLEASE(on my knees BEGGING YOU).


Poisoned seepage can be solved, this is not Chernobyl, a CO-OP sounds great and I will be all in. So what if the terrain sucks for expert gliders, the place can succeed with the right management.


One idea would be winter camp just like summer camp, but the kids have to get wood and live in the elements(that means you will be doing work that you need work gloves for kids...blisters? yep)....!


Outward Bound??? Ropes courses, zip lines and trust falls you bet. And chores?..lots of them, (hint to parents)>...it works. Hard work brings out who we can be, that sense of accomplishment(not getting best score on whatever game on a screen device)  matters in the real world(not the eworld).  All devices checked in at the door....rough huh?? ......Not even.... 


This is a perfect learning area for....yep... you guessed it....THE YOUTH!!! Lets get proper peeps that care involved and eeff the rest, anything is possible.


New movie title "We bought a ski area" starring Matt Damon and Scarlet Johansen.....LOL


Peace everyone,



Edited by Markus Alt - 12/13/12 at 12:18am
post #56 of 103
I boarded and skiied there from 87'-93 and I love the place. I live a half hour from there and am interested in reopening the resort. Let me know if there are any investors out there. G-love
post #57 of 103

A couple BIG issues with the financial viability of this area:

  1. No electric power.  Like Kirkwood, if you want to turn the lifts and light and heat the buildings, yoiu need to build and operate a set of generators.  Good luck making that economical.
  2. The only access is via Hwy 88.  I think if the forest road aka Mormon Emmigrant or Iron Mtn Road were opened in the winter, the area could attract more guests.  Kirkwood is another 12 miles east, and beyond the Carson Spur, so Iron Mountain always got the folks that didn't want to go the little bit further.
  3. Use permits must be obtained from the Forest Service.  Don't expect much support there.  The will require a ton of mitigation (if they would permit it at all), and especially for the air impacts from the generators, traffic and related impacts.
  4. The top of the ski area is at 8000 feet, and there is no water for snowmaking.  This area has good and bad years, completely dependant on what mother nature provides.
  5. The competitor (Kirkwood / Vail Resorts), is not going to like the idea of this area intercepting guests, so not much support there either.


I remember buying some leftover things when the last owers were salvaging out what remained in the lodge.  It was already a ghost area.  Really, today, it would cost more to demolish and remove the buildings, than if it was an undeveloped site. 

post #58 of 103
Thanks for the info. However power is coming right by there starting this year and I would do away with the lifts for that very reason, and also to lessen labor overhead. Cat skiing only( each cat could hall as many as 40 skiiers up at a time with the new trailers they have, maybe 6-10 cats to start?) dont need power for that plus the liability of the lifts is astronomical! with a separate snow machine park. R.v. Hookups a new lodge, bar and maybe a twenty room motel with ability to add other wings. A sort af new school snow park. My grandma and I almost bought it back when it closed and they wanted like $161,000.00. Chump change.
post #59 of 103
Wow, this is such a cool place. All the trips I've taken up 88 to Kwood, I've never knew this place existed. Sure would be fun to get some snowmobiles and ski the mountain like the good old days with some buddies exploring the old trail map.
post #60 of 103


Watching the above vid makes me think of both The Shining and Evil Dead

films - definitely a little creepy!


More footage from the area...


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