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A good hike up the mountain.

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

We went to the top for the view and came back through the canyon. Fun finding calcite pieces. We had a lot of fun on this trail.

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!

Beautiful hike. Difficult but worth it! Start early park closes gates strictly 5pm

Perfect to test our skills

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.

Looks as though this hike will have a few new views soon. Sign posted for new community, Near the dead end gate area. This is a fun hike though and we have added to this hike in the past to make it even longer. Always nice to get away from the hustle and bustle.

Beautiful hike and great views on top.

Fantastic views. Moderately challenging depending on the level of sun and heat you're encountering. Bring more water than you need and do the hike clockwise so that the heavy incline (on the S.Fortuna side), is actually a decline.

I wouldn't reccomend the north trail for mt biking unless you like hike !bike

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!

hiking
23 days ago

Great trail! Lots of steep ups and downs. Foggy morning, so I'll have to come do it again to see the views.

hiking
23 days ago

I love how the trail offers breaks just at the right time to be able to stay in motion.

hiking
25 days ago

I really liked this hike. Short, but steep! And fun! I wasn't expecting it to be so steep for so long. I couldn't hear any civilization, only birds. I felt like I was in the middle of nowhere. Just look beyond the subdivision (which is hidden by hills most of the time) and gaze at the ocean in the distance. It was just challenging enough, serene, and pretty. I went up the north side, and down the south. I met someone who hikes there every day, and he said that was the harder route to go. Both seems comparable, though.

Really well-maintained trail, nice variety in pathways, and beautiful views. Go AS EARLY as you can get there to enjoy some sense of solitude and beautiful light along the way.

For runners, a great place to practice decision-making for when to walk up steeps and when to run- and as a bonus, BOMBING downhill fun all the way.

Fun afternoon hike

Good workout, lots of up and down. We went counterclockwise and hit the stairs going up. The trails are marked with changing names. Hard to get lost, but easy to make a wrong turn. Great view from both peaks.

hiking
1 month ago

Hike was fun and enjoyable. Views of large rocky hills go on for miles on all sides. Signage was good. Went on a sunday afternoon so it was decently crowded but not too bad - still quiet. A lot of turns keep you winding around the hills. Watch your step - almost stepped on a rattlesnake out bathing himself :)

hiking
1 month ago

14OCT2018- 65 to 68 degree(F) Good hike. A lot of view going up and down.. too cloudy when we got at the top barely see any scenic view.

1 month ago

I have hiked this trail a few times. It is so close to where many of us live and very accessible.

hiking
1 month ago

this was a fun hike. trail is rocky most of the way. i liked the rest areas spread out through the preserve. very well marked and has way points by the trails. do yourself the favor of getting a map, or snap a pic of it at the start so you can navigate easier.

Did this hike in October with fall temperatures. The rating of hard I believe depends on what time of year you go and what the temperature outside is. For us we started at around 9 am and the weather was perfect. On our way back around noon it was definitely hotter and more strenuous. Bring lots of water and snacks. Very well maintained hike! The rock requires you to make a somewhat questionable jump from one rock to another. Once you do it it’s not so bad. You have to lower yourself with your arms and get your footing on the potato chip rock. To get down I slid down the side of the rock. Overall great hike!

This was a great hike.
Only advice is....be in good cardio shape for this hike, or it will kick your butt!

Awesome hike

hiking
1 month ago

Great Hike! Walked up and ran back down. Great to see a Ranger on the trail. Great views once you reach the top! definitely coming back!

I thoughts this was a nice hike to go on, relatively easy and great view of olivenhain reservoir and lake Hodges! Definately a hike to do on an overcast day since there isn’t too much shade
I would say it’s a great trail to go on if you don’t know how far you want to hike since it does connect to the greater trail system.

Love this hike for the dog, she can be off of the leash for most of it. Make sure you bring lots of water.

trail running
1 month ago

The good- This IS a great trail to hike and especially trail run due to a relatively moderate incline and flat stretches, and a nice 1/2 mile cool down at the end. The views are wonderful in all directions, with a wonderful spotting scope, with a mountain-identifier pointer, completed in 2017 by an Eagle Scout. The view west as you gain the mid mountain saddle is as good as it gets in central SD county; pause and enjoy because you still have half the vertical elevation ahead of you to reach the top.
The not so good- this hike has become so discovered, as so many trails have in the last decade. The long approach stinks like dog beach in OB Pee and poop from too many people not being vigilant about dog waste. I have and love my trail running dog, but c’mon people!
Verdict- go off hours, and preferably when it’s cloudy; there’s little shade,,, still beautiful and accessible.

Great hike with beautiful views!!!

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