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Photos of abandoned Iron Mountain, CA ski area - Page 3

post #61 of 103

Hi Everyone,


It seems like there is still a lot of interest in this cool place. I am wondering if something is being done there as we were by there a couple weeks ago, and there was a pile of pavement chunks from one of the parking areas and a tractor there. Also, a metal salvage guy was in there loading up small stuff like bed frames. There was an RV there too, but nobody around I could ask. Anyone know?



post #62 of 103

I plan on visiting the park for the first time, possibly as soon as this Monday. I'll be taking a ton of pics and video. I'll post what I can on here.

post #63 of 103

It's a real ghost ski area.  Be sure to look over the hill where the runs were / are (if you hike)

post #64 of 103

Went up to Iron Mountain today on my way home from Kirkwood for the first time in about a year.


As I think everyone knows, the main day lodge was destroyed in a fire about two years ago.


Today, I saw that the following buildings have also been destroyed in additional fires since the last time I was there.


1.  The Iron Mountain Lodge motel

2.  The reception building / conference building

3.  The maintenance building where the generators and water tank were.

4.  The top terminal of Chair one (intermediate chair near where the day lodge was, and the only chairlift at the ski area with chairs still on the lift).


It looks like all these fires were not "planned" as I could see charred trees near where the buildings were.  In addition, there are still debris from the fires below the snow.


At this point, the only buildings still standing are the old ski school building and the old ski patrol building, although both of those have been heavily damaged.  


Here are some photos that I took at the ski area while I was there.  The first photo is where the motel stood and the photo of the water tank is where the maintenance building was as that tank was inside that building.















post #65 of 103

Circa 1977-78 I *worked* at this place in its previous incarnation as "Ski Sundown".


I helped build up the place's meager electrical generation facilities and participated in the construction of a new lift line.  A co-worker lost his leg in the process ot that one...


I lived in a space above the vehicle maint shop, very cool spot.


Prior to that I worked at Kirkwood's powerhouse and lift maintenance / mountain ops for a couple of years.


I always had my doubts that this place would make it, mainly due to its comparatively low elevation, and the extreme variability snowfall depth and quality.  It tended to be pretty wet Tahoe Cement when it did fall.  And Kirkwood, just up the street - so to speak - offered a far superior skiing experience. (They too generated their own electricity with diesels, and still do - and therefrom hang many stories)


Working at Sundown and at Kirkwood, was like being in an episode of "Peyton Place".  I was glad to see it, and the whole scene, in my rearview when I left after a year or so.


Any other alums out there?  Phil?  Dale?  Cookie?...others who's names I can't remember.... the Austrian Ski instructor ("Bend Ze Knees - fifty cents please" - and - "I im zi blag sheep of ze femily begauze I begame ze ski bum").  What was his name??


Good Times! (not)


Oh - and back in the time of the Dinosaurs,  I believe this place also served as a landing pad of sorts for the "Peddler Hill Rope Tow".  I was told by locals at Silver Lake that the PHRT actually crossed perpendicular to what eventually became Hiway 88 and dropped over the edge towards Devil's Lake.  This would have to be verified with archaeological digs and carbon dating techniques.

Edited by jimbalioblane - 3/29/14 at 6:20pm
post #66 of 103

Interesting stuff.  Thanks for the photo update Rob, and Jim for the first hand history.  Wow, nature and vandals are about to erase any evidence that Iron Mountain was a ski area. 

post #67 of 103

Thanks for posting.  Great photos and videos. I see this place all the time along Hwy 88 on the way to Kirkwood.


Shame it went to pot.  Now wish I would have skied it back in the 80's.  Been to every resort at Tahoe area....except for his one :(




post #68 of 103

Hello-I was up here 2 days ago-looking for a lost dog that has been up here since Nov. of 2013-anyway sorry to say this but nearly ALL the buildings are gone now.  Massive cleaning going on. I wonder if "Nala" used the abandoned buildings for shelter this last season (buildings were still there-actually came across a BIG PILE of the grey rental boots that could be rented. Hotel building, everything is now GONE.  Something else that was a trip was the restaurant building had an upstairs part to the building but the stairs were missing-Yes I will admit I wanted to see what was atop there-tried even "building" a make shift ladder-HA-but that's a "hippie" for you.  The lifts (and little little booth where operators/mechanics would sit? are still basically there-some cables like hanging.  But know that for all of us real "souls" I thanked the Mountain for all her years of putting up with such a selfish species, such as the human species.  I will end this though on a rather bad note and that is-Still have not been able to retrieve Nala.

signed Teena

post #69 of 103

Mwah all those Salomon rear entry boots just abandoned.


Some of us old farts like those comfortable relics of the past. When my red SX 90 equips broke I tried new style boots but went back to a pair of white SX 92 equips. Which I found after considerable searching.


That last pic shows a pair I think on the right.


Mwah! Just lying there.

post #70 of 103

Sorry to hear about your dog, Teena.

post #71 of 103
I was up there last weekend and both entrances were fenced off. No signs saying no trespassing or anything, but someone definitely looking to keep people out. No fences earlier this spring. Anyone know what's up? Development plans underway?
post #72 of 103

Darn -- you didn't go past the fence to explore?  ;)  I won't be able to make it up that way for a few months.  If anyone gets a chance to drop by, let us know what is going on and take some photos! 

post #73 of 103

I saw the same, 2 big tractors and a huge pile of pavement chunks, etc. a couple weeks ago on my way back from Mammoth. I just live in Pollock Pines, so maybe the dog and I will dart up there and look.

post #74 of 103

Hi Teena,


I saw your signs too... very sorry you haven't found Nala yet. I live right off Sly Park about 2 miles from Mormon Emigrant Trail. I am up there usually 3 to 5 times a week with my dog or mtn. biking. I will keep an eye out. I put your number in my truck. If there is anything we can do, my cell is 530-412-1233.



post #75 of 103

Hey Skierrob and everyone... I just drove up there and looked around. I couldn't find anyone to ask, but I think I see what is going on. All they have done is re-graded those 3 parking lots on the left end. Those are right across the road from the Snow Park, which didn't have much parking, so I think they may just be adding parking or expanding the Snow Park. Everything else is still how it was after the last fire. I'll add some pics I took today as son as I can.



post #76 of 103

Hello this message is from Teena-today is sept 24th still have not found dog-it's raining and I'm crying thinking of how she is out there on her own cold, starving, scared, etc...I'm sure you can see what I'm doing to myself "mentally" here. God I hope she is found.  Teena

post #77 of 103

Teena, there are a lot of dog lovers here on this board, and I suspect anyone who might happen to get by the Iron Mountain area would want to help by keeping an eye out. I saw your other post dated 7/15/14, but not a lot of detail there either. Can you provide a little background as to how Nala came to be there, and give a description of her, maybe post a picture if you have one?

post #78 of 103
Yes, I spent time trying to find a picture of Nala or any info on a missing dog by Iron Mountain and came up empty. You haven't "gone viral", that's for sure.
post #79 of 103


post #80 of 103

I guess so, and figured that might be the case, but if it's a missing dog I'll bite anyway.


Why?  Sigh.  :-(

post #81 of 103

Any updates in terms of what the area looks like?  Have they done any cleanup at all?  Any "signs of life" or is it just abandoned?

post #82 of 103

Here's the current Google Maps (Earth) view...




From what I can tell using the actual Google Earth app it appears that image was taken May 2014.


If you do use Google Earth you can go back in time to see different satellite views using the "Show Historical Imagery" tool (clock in toolbar at top of app window).

post #83 of 103
Interesting to read up on the ski area. So sad it is lost. I was on the ski patrol there when it opened as Silver Basin around 1972. A rancher named John Allen was the owner, with just the two lifts. It closed down after a couple of years, the Kit Carson ski patrol moved up to Kirkwood, I patrolled there through college. It was a fun place, we got to ski some of the undeveloped areas before it closed. I worked at Sierra Ski Ranch after college, one of my coworkers worked at the resort when it was called Sundown. After reading the posts, it looks like there were big plans for the place. Its hard to say it it would have survived low snow years and the competition from Kirkwood. But anyway, I have it to thank for getting me started with the National Ski Patrol.
post #84 of 103
I worked and lived there as a lifty in the 1991-1992 seasons. Travelled from New Zealand to spend my first season in the USA. Great times were had by all in that motel and the bar at the lodge! Small mountain but we had all the good runs figured out by the end of the season. Sure is sad to see it in the state it's in now. Wow.
post #85 of 103

Hello-This is info on dog.  This is what happened.  Some people in Cameron Park had 2 "wolf-hybrid dogs, which are illegal to have in this County.  Long story short, somehow Animal Control got wind, said hey you need special permit blah blah blah, some these people not getting a permit took female dog up to Iron Mountain and yes "let her go" so to speak.  Someone in June took a picture of a very sickly skinny white dog up on Iron Mountain off one of the 4x4 dirt roads, it started at that point for me.  UPDATE ON DOG.  Turns out her name is Star, has been spotted for a few weeks now in the Sly Park Hills development thingy area there.  I've never "met" the dog or anything after doing so DEEP research into who the dog is etc...and that's what I found out about her ending up on Iron Mountain Road

post #86 of 103

Hope the dog is OK. It's a shame someone abandoned their dog.

post #87 of 103

Wow what a sad thread.  I can't believe the resort buildings stood so long, just abandoned...and now vandalized, burnt and just a pile of junk. We stopped by a week ago. Anybody recently ski there?  I understand it sometimes gets used by the sledders but it looks like a fun place to yoyo some laps on waxless skis.

post #88 of 103
hey, I came across this thread trying to find more info after seeing some pictures of Iron Mountain on a post.

If anyone's interested, there are some pictures posted recently - March 2015 - here:


post #89 of 103
Wow worked here as a New Zealand ski instructor in the 91/92 and 92/93 winters, I was responsible for employing ski instructors and lift operators from NZ. American Dan was ski school director. Very fond memories and have lots of photos buried away in storage. I too had some night adventures with the groomer drivers... There were some real characters... Lots of stories.. Lived on mtn first winer and in Pioneer second year. Also worked at kirkwood. Small ski area that was well priced and a great place to learn how to ski and develop at intermediate level. Limited advanced terrain but did get good snow the years we were there! Great skiing in area too and south lake wasn't far away... Sat and passed my american PSIA full cert exam while working there..

Very sad to see these images. Always wondered what happened to the ski area as it dropped off the map.

Thanks for sting images and info
post #90 of 103
John Mckenzie here... Ski school 91 and 92... Wow. How did you find this site? I stumbled across it on a random search .. Bloody interesting and yes, some good times
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