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Such a sweet hike with some breath taking views right in our back yard... you get to feel disconnected from everything as if you were in Julian. That last part to get to the top gets a little tricky since it’s covered in bushes and the trail markers don’t start until you get to the rock of the summit.... the old mines and Jeep are some super cool things to check out to keep your mind distracted on your way up! I usually don’t take water but thought I should for this one and even then was really thirsty at the end after downing two liters... stay hydrated and enjoy the views!!

Great views and great workout both ways

A good hike up the mountain.

Beautiful place

Was a good hike, surprised how fast it went at a waking pace.

Good workout for sure. Took about 3 hours with a few breaks throughout. The trail terrain changes quite a bit from dirt, to moss, to rocks. Definitely wear good shoes. Didn’t think the views were outstanding. Don’t think I would hike this again.

I have been wanting to do this one for a while. There was no water when I went but it was still pretty cool. To get there it is all down hill, that means it is a pretty steep hike on the way back. Every one says it is crowded. I went late afternoon and there were only a handful of people out. Most of the time I was just completely by myself. Cool hike though!

Nice trail with a gradual climb for about the first half of the hike up then switch backs finish to the peak give a paced workout to the summit. Well groomed trail and fantastic panoramic views at the top with picnic tables and perch points let you celebrate the trek up Iron Mountain. I didn’t bring or need walking sticks as the trail rocks are easily maneuvered.

I hiked this trail on a Sunday. The parking lot at the trail head was full. The only downside about this trail is that almost everybody starts and finishes at the main entrance and there is one path shared for hiking up and down so the traffic got pretty heavy at times and we were paced by the number of people (and their dogs). I like when there is some dispersion of hikers and trail options that let me hike at my own pace. I love people and I love dogs, I’m not complaining about that, I’m just pointing out that there was traffic on the trail. Maybe a weekday hike would be a quicker pace for this trail. 4 stars, I will hike this trail again!

Fun hike for any ages.

hiking
4 days ago

Beautiful.

Beautiful little hike however no water in the creek right now but still beautiful. I got 4.8 miles. When the trail turns sharply to the left it climbs quickly. If you take the left trail near the Y you would have an easier time of it but I enjoyed the climb. You are supposed to pay a fee but I tried calling twice and also tried the internet URL but not functioning which also happened to another couple. A nice day out and about.

hiking
4 days ago

Saturday, 11/10/2018 completed The Warrior Challenge Hike supporting our Veterans Day 2018. Triumph at El Cajon Peak, signed the official Peak Log and located all 3 Geological Benchmarks. Tallied up 11.39 RT mileage and 3,936’ total elevation gains gains. 2nd time hiking the El Capitan Preserve and only made it El Capitan Peak back on 12/22/2013. 5-years later, 60-lbs lighter I now have sense of accomplishment being this is labeled the hardest hike in the entire San Diego County! So steep with numerous peaks and valleys to trek through I developed cramps again but all worth it at the end!

Great 10 mile hike!! I found this mountain to be very hard in the sense that is none stop up hill and down hill from beginning to end. It was a challenge!!! You definitely need plenty of water and snacks to replenish your energy.

This is a pretty quick hike but it can be steep in spots which is great for me since I'm an experienced hiker. The view from the top is amazing.

Excellent

I am a recreational day hiker and this is one of the prettiest hikes I have ever been on. The views going up the last mile are just outstanding.

Amazing views.

first time hiking this trail. its relatively a short hike but has steep inclines towards the summit. easy to find parking and the trail is dog friendly. not a lot of shade and the summit can get a little crowded but overall great views at the top! not very crowded either. i ran into maybe 30 people the whole time on a saturday morning.

Best bang for your one day hiking buck! Well marked informative mileage signs with elevation profiles. Only out and back trail in SD County that is up hill in both directions.

Beautiful hike and great views on top.

Great trail!!! Did this with our hiking team, The Ginger Girls, on November 3, 2018. It is hard and definitely an out of comfort challenge...we loved it! amazing 360 degree views!

Great Hike! Lots of other hikers! Some parts are a little tough and steep, but rewarding view at top make it worth the pain. Not a lot shade, cover up or have sun screen.

Beautiful hike and breath taking views at the top! Plus, a great workout.

Amazing hiking. All the trail was very quiet so you could hear the sound of nature.

on Lake Calavera

18 days ago

Good workout

we started at 7am, when the sun was nice and finished by 1pm, around 11am the sun killed us, we consumed much more water and stoped more often to rest. 2.5 - 3 liters of water was enough! :) start early, finish before the sun is up!! great hiking!

My girlfriends and I did this hike at 6am and we were back in the car by 11am. it was foggy when we reached the top so we couldn't enjoy the view. It was also freezing cold so we headed back down. It was a great work out for all of us and will definitely come back again.

Good climb in elevation. Feel the burn. Really pretty scenery. Manzanita, oak, pine, and lots of beautiful views.

Make sure you go early and wear shoes with good traction! It looks harder than it is.

This was a beautiful trail with great rest stops, pretty decent instructions, and incredible views! Reading the previous posts really helped in being prepared for this hike. It is pretty rocky and I would suggest hiking boots, although I did it in my regular walking shoes and was okay. But it’ll ruin your shoes pretty fast if you do this trail often in them. I also agree that it’s so much better to go earlier rather than the middle of the day because then the sun is so high and more direct and that makes it less enjoyable. For me at least! Make sure to read some of the other posts for some good tips. I also would suggest bringing water. I didn’t think a little over 3 miles one way was going to be that big of a deal, but you it’s a pretty decent incline most of the way, so having some water and maybe a snack bar would be helpful. Hopefully this helps!

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