San Diego Trails: Iron Mountain
Iron Mountain Trail is towards the east of the city of Poway and at 2,696 feet is the second largest peak in the city, (not by much though, Mount Woodson a little further north beats it by less than 200 feet). The trailhead itself is already at 1700 feet, so you might be forgiven that much of the challenge is over, but you really should think again. Any mountain biker who has ridden the trail will tell you that it’s a real test of both physical and mental strength, it does get very tricky in places. The trails are only about 10 miles long but you need to allow a good four hours of mountain biking, yes, that’s how tricky they are! Iron Mountain is also popular with hikers though, so you need to watch where you’re going, there’s plenty of room for everyone with just a little consideration.
Iron Mountain Trail head can be found at the junction of Highway 67 and Poway Road. However you intend to traverse your way up Iron Mountain you do need to be aware that there is very little to no shade at all, and it gets very hot. Wear a hat (or helmet!), take plenty of water (there are no water fountains available) and a picnic. The Iron Mountain trail is around a 6 mile round trip, and hiking the trail will take anywhere from 2 and a half hours upwards, (including a breather at the top) but remember, there are some pretty steep uphills so it could take a lot longer if you’re not very fit.
Iron Mountain Trail is pretty popular so can get busy, especially at weekends, but that just goes to show how worthwhile it is. All those people wouldn’t bother to keep on hiking or biking the Iron Mountain if the views from the top weren’t truly spectacular.