The East Ridge route on Iron Mountain begins at the Never Summer Trailhead at La Poudre Pass, which is at the end of the Long Draw Road. The Long Draw Road turns off of Colorado Hiway 14 about three miles west of the Chambers Lake Road turnoff . It's marked with a sign, but it's easy to miss if you're not watching for it. From the turnoff it's about thirteen miles on a gravel road to the Never Summer Trailhead. Along the way you'll pass Long Draw Reservoir.
There's a good chance you'll see moose along the road in the marshes along Trap Creek.
Iron Mountain from the Neota Creek meadows.
If you don't mind some moderate bushwacking, and if you enjoy some beautiful tundra hiking, you'll probably enjoy this route.
The East Ridge is the skyline ridge from the right side of the picture to the summit.
From the parking area at the trailhead walk east on the road about 100 yards and once you've crossed Neota Creek turn north and begin a moderate bushwack for two miles up to timberline. From timberline follow the broad ridge as it turns towards the summit.
The ascent route can be used as a descent route. However, if you'd prefer to do a loop hike you can descend into the Neota Creek Drainage and return to the trailhead. There's a trail along the edge of the western edge of the meadows along Neota Creek, once you're down into the drainage. If you choose to do a loop, you can scope out the best line of descent as you're hiking up the East Ridge.
Looking west along the East Ridge towards the summit of Iron Mountain and the peaks beyond
There are two US Forest Service Campgrounds at Long Draw Reservoir, as well as, numerous unofficial campsites along the road.