Ellie Lane Trail to Iron Mountain

MODERATE 52 reviews

Ellie Lane Trail to Iron Mountain is a 9 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Boulder Oaks, California that offers scenic views and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

9.0 miles
1909 feet
Out & Back

dogs on leash



nature trips

trail running



9 days ago

Great alternate route in the vicinity of Iron Mountain. The Ellie Ln trail was empty. A good climb with views of both Poway and Ramona at the top. Once we intersected with Iron Mountain, there’s about 1.5 mi to the top. Tons of people making the ascent. On the way back down we tracked back to The Ellie Lane trail for a final 3 miles of amazing views and solitude as we headed back down. Bring walking poles for the descent. It’s loose and rocky. After the climb your legs may need some assistance. My GPS read 9.1 miles and 2000 ish ft of elevation gain. Great hike.

11 days ago

My favorite “secret” trail!!!

25 days ago

Definitely a lot more empty than the Iron Mountain Trail.

Towards the beginning of the trail, there is a fork, you want to stay left. Once you get to table rock and check that out, get back on the main trail. Do not take the trail that's on the other side of table rock. Someone on the trail recommended that I cross table rock and take the trail there.There is a nice area to take pictures but I soon got lost and backtracked to the main trail.

Throughout the trail, there are some forks and what not but use your best judgement and you'll find that you're on the right trail. If there's a lot of vegetation, then you're not on the right trail.

The map shows that once you get to the Ramona Overlook, that you have to hike back down. However, Google maps (which is right) shows that you continue through the Ramona Overlook and it takes you to Iron Mountain.

Once you get onto the Iron Mountain trail, you'll probably see a ton of people (on the weekend). Nevertheless, still worth it to go up to Iron Mountain and take a lunch break.

Taking Wild Horse Trail back to the parking lot was a bit confusing since there were some off trails, but try to stay on the main trail (use your best judgement) and you'll be fine. It also helps to have a compass (or your phone compass) to make sure you're going the right direction.

I wish there were some more signs at these forks but still a good hike. I did this in about 4 hours including getting lost and take a 20 minute break at the top of Iron Mountain. However, I had an aggressive pace going to Iron Mountain.

26 days ago

Considerably steeper, and with more loose rock than adjacent Iron Mountain trail. Beautiful views, some more shade, and lots and lots of steps up onto logs or rock slabs. Even on a busy winter weekend, the Ellie trail was essentially empty.

1 month ago

It definetly made Iron mt. more interesting

1 month ago

We started this hike at the Iron Mtn trailhead and turned at the first left around a small pond/lake which was still fairly flat. The Ellie Lane Trail took us along the ridge and we were shaded most of the time when we went in the morning. We were the only ones on the trail which was nice. The raptors were nesting at that time when we reached a viewpoint. There was a sign that said do not disturb the raptors. The views were beautiful up there! I loved it so much more then the regular trail. Ellie Lane trail intersects with the Iron Mountain Trail after about 3 miles near the heliport. You can continue on to go to the peak of Iron Mountain or go down the trail that most people come up to make your hike a loop. It's such a peaceful hike compared to going up to the top everyone goes. It adds an addition 2 miles if you go to the top and come back down the popular trail that is marked.

1 month ago

Quiet side. Some shaded areas. Enjoyed the view.

2 months ago

Beautiful!! Quiet trail with wonderful views!

But as always, and unfortunately, the trail is poorly indicated.

2 months ago

Much more challenging and quiet until you merge with Iron Mountain trail. Most beautiful hike in this area. Make sure you eat lunch at the natural oasis

2 months ago

Really enjoyed this route as it was shady and less crowed.

trail running
3 months ago

This has quickly become my favorite place to trail run. It’s a nice workout and an amazing run down the mountain. I prefer this side of Iron Mountain as it’s less crowded. Sunrise hikes here are the best! I highly recommend it.

6 months ago

Peaceful, less traffic, and still a good workout

7 months ago

Beautiful. Like Ellie lane trail better than iron mtn. Less people and just as steep. Beautiful early morning fog blanketed the valley

10 months ago

10 months ago

My favorite hike in San Diego.

11 months ago

this is a trail we do often, there are several connections to other trails including iron mtn, it's much less trafficked so nice for just going

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