Ironside Mountain

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Vale Sewer Ponds

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Bonita Road Willow Grove

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Willow Creek Road and Malheur Reservoir

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From Vale travel 55 miles west to E. Camp Creek Road on the south side of Highway 26. From Prairie City travel 45 miles east on Highway 26 to E. Camp Creek Road, less than one mile past tiny Murray Reservoir. You will turn off and follow paved Camp Creek Road / NFD 1684 three miles to a fork where you will make a left turn onto gravel. Although you have left the main paved road you are still on NFD 1684. Follow this gravel road five miles up King Creek to a burned out mountain pass, where you will take a left driving directly towards Ironside Mountain. Follow this increasingly rough road 1.3 miles to another fork. Here you will take a right and head uphill another 2.7 miles to the base of Ironside Mountain’s summit cone. Use this MAP contributed by Dean Molen for reference. Once at the parking spot, the route will be obvious. Just head uphill using animal trails whenever possible to make the climb easier. The summit can be reached in less than 45 minutes at a leisurely pace.


Habitat and Birds

This is one of the best locations in the county for high elevation species like chickadees, nuthatches, finches, and especially woodpeckers. Flammulated Owl can be here as a probable breeder and Northern Pygmy-Owl is joined by Northern Saw-whet Owl as a local resident. A Broad-tailed Hummingbird was seen at a local feeder in 1991. Woodpeckers here might include Williamson’s Sapsucker, White-headed Woodpecker, Black-backed Woodpecker, and Pileated Woodpecker. There is an old record of Least Flycatcher here. This is the best place to find the forest Corvids. Gray and Steller’s Jay are here and Clark’s Nutcrackers can sometimes be found. Iron Mountain is, of course, good for forest birds like nuthatches, Brown Creeper, and chickadees. This is the best place in the county to find Western and Mountain Bluebird. Though not by any means common, Pine Grosbeaks and Gray-crowned Rosy-Finches have been seen here in winter. (Contreras and Kindschy, OFO Publication #8)