Iron Mountain Trail

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Iron Mountain Trail

Trail Distance: 5.8 Miles
Best time to hike: During the week
Directions: Poway Rd and HWY 67
Review 0
Hiking Trail
6.7 10 29 Overall
Users 5.9 (29 votes)
Difficulty6
Scenery7
Map Info7

Iron Mountain Trail

We did this hike after completing the Poway Lake to Mount Woodson hike the week before. I couldn’t believe how many people where on this trail. I must have seen at least 100 other hikers on the way up. This is a moderate hike, the trail is in really good condition and the scenery is beautiful. There are a lot of other trails that lead off to other peaks. I would recommend ditching the main trail and exploring some of these.
Maria G.

“I moved to Poway 5 months ago and passed this trail regularly and have been keen to get on the track. Today I finally did and it was a blast. Its been a while since I’ve done a hike, but it was a wonderful time. Especially with my 8 year old nephew – his first hike! – took only 2 hours in total, about 1:10 to get to the top and then 50 or so minutes to get back down in a hurry as the sun was setting and I didn’t want to be caught out in the dark. I’d say its an easy hike, but if you’re taking kids, it can be more challenging.. he loved it though!”

EliPoway ,Ca

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What other hikers say... 29 Help fellow hikers by leaving a review of this trail
Rough !!
I am a beginner hiker and have hiked a few ofher trails , they where cake walks compared to this. The climbing over rocks and the 95 degree weather was brutal. Wear good shoes and bring plenty of water. I took my husband who is the best ever, he was Exhausted!!! I didnt realize it was rough trails but it is do able, was glad I tryed it , ( came back 1 mile short of the summit) coming back was treacherous lose rocks and steep incline. Will do it again and finish . Thank water angel for leaving water on the trail @ the sign !!
August 14, 2015, 9:38 pm
Difficulty7
Scenery5.5
Map Info5
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Good Workout
Made this hike on a Friday morning. hit the trail at sunrise and kept a good pace. nice clean trail and polite hikers in passing. took the side route to the Ramona overlook to add an extra mile. I can see that on the weekend it could get crowed. go up prepared with your needs and it will be a great adventure.
January 11, 2015, 11:58 am
Difficulty6
Scenery7
Map Info7
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Fantastic views and a lot of fun!
I moved to Poway 5 months ago and passed this trail regularly and have been keen to get on the track. Today I finally did and it was a blast. Its been a while since I've done a hike, but it was a wonderful time. Especially with my 8 year old nephew - his first hike! - took only 2 hours in total, about 1:10 to get to the top and then 50 or so minutes to get back down in a hurry as the sun was setting and I didn't want to be caught out in the dark. I'd say its an easy hike, but if you're taking kids, it can be more challenging.. he loved it though!
May 5, 2014, 12:56 am
Difficulty4
Scenery8
Map Info6
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Iron Mountain Rocks
Literally and Figuratively iron mtn rocks! There are tons of rocks everywhere small and huge boulders to climb on. The trail is very well maintained and the view is spectacular. You can see everything from the top including the ocean. Plus is you can bring your dog. Minus is if you plan on being alone, this is not the hike you want. There is always a parade of people hiking up to the peak to claim their daily exercise victory. If the sun is out, and it usually is in San Diego, bring a 1 gal for your dog and 1 liter for you. I hike slow so it takes me about 3 hrs round trip and I am in fairly good shape.
February 1, 2014, 5:29 pm
Difficulty6
Scenery8
Map Info9
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;-)
Just hiked Iron Mountain, not a bad lil Saturday. After reading the reviews we decided to attempt, good choice on our part. The mountain was too difficult but it had its moments. Plenty of other hikers including kids and dogs. My wife and I both agree that good hiking shoes is a must as the last portion to the top is kinda tricky; our ankles are a bit sore.

ENJOY!

Cam & Katie
September 21, 2013, 3:40 pm
Difficulty6
Scenery5
Map Info10
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Family Hike
Set on the trail with my wife and daughter at 1515 and finished 2 hours and 40 minutes later. The mountain trail is well maintained with some slightly rocky trail area during the last half mile. The breeze was awesome and the view was great. Will certainly do it again.
July 22, 2013, 6:20 pm
Difficulty6
Scenery7
Map Info8
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Easy hike
Pretty simple hike, took my 8 yr old daughter and 10 yr son and they loved it. Be advised that they are in superior shape. There and back in 3 hours. Plenty of stops along the way for great pics.
July 28, 2012, 10:59 pm
Difficulty1
Scenery10
Map Info8
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Social Running for Warriors
We run Trails like Iron Mountain along with Beach Runs and Bike rides. We have a fun group of runners that all loved Iron Mountain. Look us Up!
www.ZTActive.com
Facebook.com/ztactive
April 28, 2012, 12:46 pm
Difficulty7
Scenery8
Map Info8
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great trip
this hike is alot of fun for kids and great if you like difficult. :)Have Fun!!!!!!!
December 26, 2011, 12:33 pm
Difficulty0
Scenery0
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Hike/Run
For the past 6 months a buddy of mine and me hike up to the top then run down to the parking lot. It is a great workout and each week we try and beat our time from the last week. It has been great training for the mud runs we have been doing. Highly recommend this trail for a great workout whether you hike or run it.
December 12, 2011, 12:20 pm
Difficulty7
Scenery8
Map Info7
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The Iron Hike
I have done nature hikes for years and this hike would be best done on weekdays as the weekends are crazy with people from everywhere with lots dogs and children. Going for a hike should be relaxing not done with a crowded bunch of people walking/jogging and pets on narrow paths.-Regards,your fellow hiker
April 23, 2011, 7:04 pm
Difficulty5
Scenery5
Map Info9
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Nice Hike
This was the first time I did the hike. For being a beginner and not in such good shape. It was a little difficult towards the peak. It took me about 1:30minutes up and about an hour coming down. When you start your hike, you can either go straight up or take the trail to your right which comes together towards the top. Apparently the trail to your right is more smoother and less rocky. I would take that one instead. It was a good hike and a good work out. Bring a lot of water, I took a camel pack. I went when it was cloudy and I don't think I would go on a hot day. At the top they have picnic benches for a little snack. I really enjoyed this trail! Bring good shoes, hard on your ankles on the way down..
March 21, 2011, 9:09 pm
Difficulty7
Scenery7
Map Info7
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Iron Mountain Hike
Hiked Iron Mountain for the first time on 2/6. Took 56 minutes to get up, 50 to get back down. Fun trail to hike, but on a Sunday way too many people and dogs, definitely did not get that away from it all feeling with so many people. Wind was gusting about 50 mph near the top, don't know if it always blows like that in the area. Do this hike on a weekday to avoid the crowd.
February 7, 2011, 9:27 am
Difficulty0
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Kept me coming back!
First time I have ever actually hiked, and "kept me coming back"! There are plenty of other hikers and joggers there, especially at the peak, so I wouldn't recommend it as an escape, however, the scenery is amazing and you do get that sense as if you are away because you are at a 2,684 feet peak surrounded by lumps of hills and trees. The difficulty I would say is about a 7, but that may be biased coming from me since it was my first time. The steepness isn't too bad if you take a breather before making that next step. You must be very careful on the trail though because there are a handful of large stones and logs all over the place, so with that being said, the trail is not boring what so ever. Moreover, dogs are allowed !
December 29, 2010, 6:23 pm
Difficulty7
Scenery9
Map Info6
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Kept me coming back!
First time I have ever actually hiked, and "kept me coming back"! There are plenty of other hikers and joggers there, especially at the peak, so I wouldn't recommend it as an escape, however, the scenery is amazing and you do get that sense as if you are away because you are at a 2,684 feet peak surrounded by lumps of hills and trees. The difficulty I would say is about a 7, but that may be biased coming from me since it was my first time. The steepness isn't too bad if you take a breather before making that next step. You must be very careful on the trail though because there are a handful of large stones and logs all over the place, so with that being said, the trail is not boring what so ever. Moreover, dogs are allowed !
December 29, 2010, 6:06 pm
Difficulty7
Scenery9
Map Info6
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For experienced hikers...
I complete this hike every weekend to start the day. I recommend the 8 or 9 mile alternate routes for those who are serious about their hiking. At the begining not long after leaving the parking lot you will see a trail leading left and away from the mountain. This trail leads around a smaller mountain and after many switchbacks end up at a fork before proceeding to complete the regular hike.
July 9, 2010, 9:56 pm
Difficulty5
Scenery10
Map Info8
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Hot days = no dog or booties
This is a nice, challenging trail. The view from the top is excellent, too. On hot days, though, it's probably best to either leave the dog at home, or make sure they have hiking booties. The trail gets HOT on their little paws. Our dogs kept ducking into the shade and holding their feet up until we turned around and took them back home, then came back to finish the hike without them. Bring the dogs on a cooler, cloudy day. Also to note, we saw a large coyote in the shaded around, right on the trail on a busy day...so especially watch out if you have a smaller dog. Great hike, though!
June 14, 2010, 10:39 pm
Difficulty6
Scenery6
Map Info7
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Harder than I thought
I read all the reviews for this hike and thought I knew what to expect. As a beginner hiker, I was not ready for the difficulty. Thought we were getting near the end when we hit the halfway sign! Thought about stopping there but made it slowly but surely all the way to the top (well almost). The last 3/4 mile is a lot steeper and there is no shade for most of the hike. There are a lot of other hikers around and everyone is very friendly, View from the top is worth the hike. Was exhausted after finishing but proud that I did it. If you're a beginner or not in very good shape - be prepared!
June 10, 2010, 9:36 pm
Difficulty0
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Fun!
I am a fan of Iron Mountain! Its a fun mountain to hike up. My friends and I jogged part of it just to get in an extra work out. There are some rocky areas where you should be careful with your ankle. There's not much shade so I suggest bringing a hat and a good amount of water if you go on a warm sunny day. I brought about a good 40oz of water which was plenty for the hike.
May 24, 2010, 5:58 pm
Difficulty6
Scenery7
Map Info5
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Iron Mountain
My friend and i go hiking here locally in east county San Dego. Searched for a few new trails and came up on Iron Mountain...Great View, and when it rains, your virtually sucked into a rain cloud at the top...its was a great time, and we are determined to finally make it to the top.

I would recommend going on a somewhat cloudy day, the sun really beats down on you, but it has a great little spring running therough the bottom, and lots of great rocks.
April 19, 2010, 11:38 am
Difficulty6
Scenery7
Map Info2
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Iron Mountian
This hike took us about 2 & 1/2 hours total. We did stop several times. It was a little challenging as you get closer to the top. Scenery is beautiful. There are lots of lizards,we saw couple moles,squirrels. At the top there are lots of butterlies. The view is amazing. Lots of other hikers and dogs.We had a great hike.
March 28, 2010, 3:55 pm
Difficulty7
Scenery9
Map Info1
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Easy hike
This trail is very easy and lots of people with dogs. Good to get out and get some fresh air but not very difficult.
March 21, 2010, 2:24 pm
Difficulty0
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Deceiving Long
A semi-challenging trail. I went up middle of the day during summer (not the smartest) and should have brought more water. The temperatures bounced around 100-110. Between the girlfriend and I, we had 2 liters and were rationing it on the way down. I read somewhere that a liter both ways per person is the way to go, and that would have been dead on. There is a portable restroom at the base about a 1/4 mile in if you need it.

The trail seemed to drag on. Looked like the peak was in site, but it wasn't. The last bit to the top is a doozie.
October 5, 2009, 1:27 am
Difficulty8
Scenery6
Map Info6
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Iron Mtn - 8/8/09
I got my hiking backpack back from my friend and decided to attempt this again without the jogger stroller. I have to say that I'm glad that I turned around where I did a few weeks ago, as the trail just got rockier and more difficult to maneuver the stroller.

With the backpack, things went much smoother!! The hike up was very nice, very easy to navigate and lots of friendly hikers along the trail. I did pass a couple of people with their dogs off leash and was a little disappointed. One lady's dogs ran up to my (leashed) dog and tried to start a fight until I asked the lady to please control her dogs since I have a baby on my back. Another guy was more involved with his cell phone conversation to notice his unleashed dog approaching my leashed dog. I asked him if his dog was friendly and his reply was, "I think". My suggestion, folks, is to please keep your dogs on a leash on this trail. There is too much traffic and other dogs for you to allow your dog to be loose. If you want your dog to run free, then please go to another trail where there is much less traffic.

The peak was very nice with views from Cuyamaca to the sea. I definitely would suggest this hike to anyone up for a peak :)
August 11, 2009, 1:43 pm
Difficulty6
Scenery7
Map Info10
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Iron Mtn on 7/25/09
I brought my son and dog with me to check out this hike, as we have never been. I didn't know what to expect. The trail can be very rocky and I came to a little wash that I had to hop down. This normally would be no problem, but I didn't want to risk any problems since my son was in his jogger stroller and not the backpack. I want to go back and reach the top ASAP (with the hiking pack for my son to ride in). Definitely bring lots of water, there isn't much shade along the trail.
July 27, 2009, 2:16 pm
Difficulty7
Scenery10
Map Info10
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personal favorite
I hike here every few weeks and it's great. The view at the top is very sweet. Go on a weekday and you won't see many people (Cowles is insanely crowded, that's why i started coming here) but beware, the weekends always bring huge crowds.
July 7, 2009, 2:41 pm
Difficulty7
Scenery9
Map Info8
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A nice workout
As far as San Diego hiking goes I would say Iron Mtn is a pretty nice workout for it's distance. The scenery is nothing special - mostly desert. The main trail gets crowded on the weekend, but there is an alternate route that leads you up to the sign (where you can choose to return to parking or ascend the mountain). The alternate trail is much less crowded and is pretty nice itself. Just head North (that's a left) at the porta-potties about a 1/2 mile into your hike.

Iron Mountain will always be a favorite of mine.
June 9, 2009, 5:57 pm
Difficulty8
Scenery6
Map Info10
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Iron Mountain - Ramona Lookout
We just did the hike.
Park on Hwy 67, there is planty of parking.
At the start of the hike, you will walk between a nice lane of trees that form a canopy, it's pretty cool.
Continue hiking the trail to Iron mountain.
You come to a "T" and have the choice to hike to Iron Mountain or take the trail to your left which leads to the Ramona Lookout trail.
We took the Ramona Lookout trail.
As you reach the Ramona Lookout point you will have the option where you can go further another 2.5 miles to another walkout point.
it was getting late so we did not go on that trail.
Need to save something for the next trip.

As anyone who has hiked this trail knows it is Very Crowded.
As you venture further you will get some relief from the population.
This is really a cool trail and I would highly recommend it.
The hiking is pretty easy so it's perfect for beginners or kids.
Always take a bottle of water.
Good Hiking and we'll see you on the trail...
February 15, 2009, 7:43 pm
Difficulty6
Scenery7
Map Info10
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Really nice place.
December 23, 2008, 4:53 pm
Difficulty7
Scenery7
Map Info2
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David Hay

by David Hay

An Aussie transplant living in San Diego. I've chosen to live in this fair city for the past seven years because I truly believe it's one of the best in the world; there's no better city to enjoy sunshine and the outdoors.