Explore San Diego - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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This hike is always my go to. Its quick enough to do before work or before errands and always has beautiful views. I occasionally run this trail too so its good for leisure or for a more intense workout! I never get tired of it and it's good for all hiker levels :)

Several things I love.
1) Typically not crowded
2) Many paths to each peak which offer their own delights
3) tons of thriving vegetation and wildlife
4) Some paths can be a bit of a challenge and leg burner
5) Some pretty cool hangout spots along the way that are peaceful and secluded

Downer: at times south fortuna is crowded at stairs, luckily several paths and theres north fortuna, significantly less crowded.

I once hiked down North Fortuna after dark without a headlamp, by myself, with several paths intersecting. DONT DO THAT scary as heck.

oh, leave a gift of poetry at North Fortuna too

10 days ago

I did this hike several times and enjoyed it very much. Assess from all four different directions.

Went early Thanksgiving AM this year. It was drizzling and foggy so there were few others on the trail. It was getting crowded on my way back, with big groups coming through. I recommend doing this early. I’ll go back when there’s better visibility

The feeling when you reach the peak after climbing the stairs is pretty great

Awesome workout. Great view. I recommend ample water, a snack for the top and a lite packable wind jacket for nov/dec/jan/ feb - stairs were awesome, but trail is best on a weekday morning ( less people)

Beautiful view at peak

The waterfall is worth it. Pack for a picnic!

I lost myself in the water at the end and loved every moment of it. The route we took was the 6 mile route: we parked, walked straight ahead, continued for just over 3 miles, walked down to the water, hung out, chilled and walked back the same way we came. This was a nice "recovery" hike after doing a more challenging one a few days prior. This was long but definitely worth it. Give yourself a few hours though because walking 6 miles takes some time! Lots of shade but there are a few points where there isn't any.

hiking
19 days ago

What the other reviews said is very true: 1) Trail is not well marked. 2) Clockwise side is easier to locate trail. 3) Going down clockwise is a challenge finding the trail but doable with the app. Now with that said the view is really nice at top and no crowds. If doing again, I would just go up the clockwise route, and then just turn around and come back the same way.

Good workout, decent views for so close to downtown SD. Pretty boulders and stairs to climb. VERY crowded.

hiking
21 days ago

I did this almost a year ago, actually. It’s like 80 flights of stairs to the top and has an amazing view.

I loveeee this hike!!!! I’m confused on why people are saying it’s not a loop cuz it is but it’s a 11 mile loop. Not 6 miles. That information is incorrect. There’s so many trails the variety is amazing it feels like all different hikes. There’s 2 trails one for hikers and trail runnings and one for bikes and cars possibly. You don’t have to really ever worry about bikes. It’s beautiful and I highly recommend it! Some parts of shaded and a lot parts aren’t. Bring a ton of water and sunscreen. Lots of fun areas! Enjoy :)

hiking
23 days ago

Love this trail. Short and easy to moderate. Pretty scenery, clean, well marked and great views at the top. Only downfall is there are a lot of people there.

First time on this trail don’t think I will do again, rather boring trail, mostly dirt service road, steep in places but easy trail. Views from top are nice

Easy practically flat trail. Beware lots of bike riders, some are nice enough to let you know they are coming close. Busy on the weekends. Nice waterfall at the end of the trail to refresh yourself in.

on Iron Mountain Trail

25 days ago

Great trail! Pretty scenery and views with a gradual uphill.

hiking
25 days ago

A good workout. Very nice views.

Went on a super windy day and it proved to be a little too much at the very top and super hazy (due to the fires up north) can’t wait to go back on a clear day. Even with a kid on my back I would say this is moderate if you are in decent shape.

Rocky hills L

26 days ago

I had a blast with this hike outstanding view at top of mountain .... bring plenty of water take your time lots to see.

Great night hike!!i

Nice hike with some challenging sections. The six mile loop is a combination of a bunch of different paths so I recommend running this app during your hike. You can’t just zone out and walk/run the whole thing. When you come out of the parking lot, there is a cool bridge over a canyon. You turn left once across the bridge to get to The Fortuna loop. If you want to go counterclockwise, the path off to the right is roughly a hundred yards after turning left from the bridge. If you turn right from the bridge, there are some very steep repeated climbs for a warm up.

I did it counterclockwise and enjoying hustling up the long run of steps. I definitely preferred going up those versus down. It took me just over 90 minutes to complete. There are spectacular views from both peaks. I was fine starting at 8am on a weekday in mid-November with a 12-16oz bottle of water. I passed maybe five people going in my direction and about the same going the other way.

trail running
30 days ago

I’ve ran this trail about 4 times. Starts out extremely steep, then opens up. Fairly narrow paths, medium brush and tons of small trails that branch off in different directions. Beautiful view from the top. Very challenging trail run.

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

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.

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.

I went with a group of kids! They kicked butt and I almost gave up:). But here I am, planning to go back! It was beautiful at the top and a couple people in our group went back to run the path... It was quite rocky at points and hiking boots would have been a good idea. Sunny- bring LOTS of water and a hat. Great place to see the neighborhood!

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