Iron Mountain Trail

MODERATE 1,144 reviews

Iron Mountain Trail is a 5.6 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Poway, California that features beautiful wild flowers 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.

5.6 miles
1036 feet

dogs on leash

kid friendly



horseback riding

mountain biking

nature trips

rock climbing

trail running




wild flowers



no shade

One of San Diego's most popular hikes, the Iron Mountain Trail leads to the second highest peak in Poway and offers great views of Northern San Diego County. On a clear day hikers can see Mt. Woodson as well as the Catalina Islands. The hike takes place just west of the Boulder Oaks Preserve and the Iron Mountain trailhead is accessed just south of the intersection of Poway Road and CA - 67. There is no shade on this hike so bring plenty of water and sunscreen. Mountain biking and horseback riding are permitted along the trail. Visitors can also access the Wildwood Mountain and Ellie Lane hiking trails from the Iron Mountain trailhead.

21 hours ago

Great hike. Weather was kinda chilly today but had great views either way. Kinda bummed the prayer box was not up there anymore.

3 days ago

Great moderate hike. Loved it.

5 days ago

PERFECT hiking spot

Awesome trail for hikers & runners, too. Take water & snack like oranges or apples leave no footprints!

7 days ago

This hike is similar to Potato Chip and Cowles in the SD area. I liked Potato Chip more, but I like this one more than Cowles. It is similar to Cowles with many parts of the trail that are rocky and jaggedy. It was about 5.5 miles from the parking lot to the top and back. There are some great views of the surrounding area. It is just that these inland SD county trails are a bit boring in terms of the plant life and very little in the way of trees. I prefer coastal hikes. It took us about 2 hrs to complete.

8 days ago

Great quick hike. some difficult parts near the top but a nice place to picnic at the top with awesome views. big dirt parking lot with bathrooms available. go early if you want a spot, otherwise you may end up parking along the street. I drive by the lot everyday for work and it's always pretty close to full by 8-9am even on the weekdays.

12 days ago

Might be difficult for beginners but an awesome trail that can be completed in just about 2 hours. Well worth the trip to the top to see the full expansion of the rolling hills

13 days ago

Have hiked here many times. I would call it moderate, a decent challenge for someone who just began and likely hard for someone just starting in their fitness journey. One of my favorites when it's not too hot out. Great vistas and a good workout.

22 days ago

On a clear day you can see the bay. Pretty awesome

25 days ago

Solid hike. Easier than Mt. Woodson, with a similar view at the top. Take the trail to the right about 1/4 mike in for a more scenic/green view and a bit steeper incline for another 1/4 to 1/2 mike.

27 days ago

28 days ago

very clean trail, took me about 50 min to go up. Signs are easy to read, its kinda hard to get lost. plenty of parking.

1 month ago

It's okay, I prefer potato chip

1 month ago

Iron Mountain is a beautiful maintained trail. Gorgeous 360 view when you reach the top. Great for taking nature photos.
Hike date: 2010Jan15

1 month ago

Really great views from Ramona Lookout.

1 month ago

Definitely a kick in my booty but lots of fun and laughs.

1 month ago

Nice Hike. No shade and lots of rocks. Picnic tables at peak. Lizards and birds sighting.

Great hike, took about 3 hours while pausing for the view at the top. Recommend good hiking boots!

1 month ago

1 month ago

Nice well maintained trail. Challenging climb to the top but really worth it especially on a clear day. Best to do it early in the day as it can get quite hot. Took about 3 hours round trip.

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