Iron Mountain Trail

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Poway, California

Iron Mountain Trail is a 5.2 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Poway, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, running, mountain biking, and ice climbing and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 5.2 miles Elevation Gain: 1,102 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly

hiking

mountain biking

running

views

wild flowers

rocky

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.

rocky
8 hours ago

This is an easy hike. I think great for trail running. If you do not mind big crowds. Underwhelmed with the view but great entrance sign.

hiking
1 day ago

Great trail! Perfect hike for a quick day trip.

hiking
no shade
3 days ago

Wide trail. Well maintained. Rocky at some points. Nice gradual incline. Good hike!

hiking
bugs
no shade
rocky
3 days ago

”Here comes the sun, do do dooo.” This is my favorite trail for a sunrise hike! I generally don’t like to do trails more than once but have done this trail countless times. Catching the sunrise ensures it is different each time and it helps you beat the crowd. I start an hour before sunrise to make sure I make it to the top for when it comes over the horizon. Happy trails, please keep them beautiful.

hiking
rocky
4 days ago

hiking
no shade
rocky
4 days ago

Difficulty: Moderate to Easy Mileage: ~6 View: SD county Parking: Designated lot or street parking on Hwy 67 Fee: free Pets: Dog friendly What to bring: 1/2 to 1 liter, hat, snacks IMO this trail is pretty easy. A nice slow ascend, takes about 2-2.5 hours. Some parts get really rocky. Be careful or you can sprain an ankle. The parking lot gets filled up before 7am. The view at the top is pretty nice with a picnic table. A very popular hike in SD. The heat is strong but doable. Suuuuuuper crowded on Sundays.

4 days ago

Good trail, really busy, narrow path so it's impossible to stay 7' apart and only 10% of homes had masks. Really not safe, especially given how heavy they were breathing. If we are not careful they will close all the trails.

hiking
rocky
4 days ago

hiking
no shade
rocky
5 days ago

The parking lot was completely full at 7 am. There is some street parking but an “end parking” sign, if you park after it you will get a ticket. My car was about 2 feet into the no parking part and I still got a ticket. Thanks Poway! The trail is okay... rocky and heavily trafficked. About 40 people congregated at the top. Would be pretty hot mid day.

hiking
no shade
rocky
5 days ago

hiking
no shade
rocky
5 days ago

It was my first time, it was hard for me (out of shape) but I’d do it again. It’s very rocky!!! Take lots of water, no shade.

hiking
off trail
rocky
6 days ago

Hey. It’s a great walking trail. As for bikes you’re better off using the smaller pathways for some fun. But beware it is rocky and I hope you’re going tubeless or packing a spare tube. Because it was sketchy! Extremely fun little paths. Only saw one Rattle Snake. Much older (and bigger) so it didn’t lunge.

hiking
no shade
rocky
8 days ago

running
no shade
rocky
9 days ago

For a trail runner's perspective: I love to train on this trail because of the modest ascent to the summit. If I'm training for an ultra marathon, I wouldn't shy away from doing three loops from the parking lot to the summit. That's just shy of 17 miles. The trail itself can get pretty rocky, so I'd wear a pair of trail runners with maybe a rock plate. There aren't any crazy vertical grades on this trail. The steepest section is probably towards the end where it zigzags up the summit. For a casual hiker's perspective: My friends say that this is a nice workout. They won't complain of dying like they do on the potato chip trail. The ascent up to the summit is very manageable. The difficulty rating as "moderate" is a very accurate description. If you could get comfortable doing this hike several times without getting too tired, then you should be able to do the potato chip hike. My fastest time doing three loops is 3:54:57 of 16.85 miles (recorded using a Garmin Forerunner 945). I got caught in a rainstorm during my last loop and slowed me down quite a bit, so I'll have to do another trial run some other time.

hiking
no shade
rocky
10 days ago

hiking
no shade
rocky
11 days ago

Great views. Parking lot was full by 7:00 am. on a Thursday. Only about half the people were wearing face coverings and social distancing. Cowles Mt. is still closed so many of the fitness enthusiasts are coming here.

hiking
no shade
rocky
scramble
11 days ago

Great trail, got there at 7am and parking lot was full, had to park on the street. Although parking lot was full the trail wasn’t crowded as we hiked up, as we were coming down the trail it began to become crowded because of the people arriving later in the Morning. Different points in the hike where there is a lot of rocks to walk over which was challenging. A lot of people with dogs and little kids. Bring lots of water it’s about 3.1 miles to the top. The top of the mountain was crowded from people eating snacks to refuel and taking pictures... so wear those masks. Didn’t see any rattle snakes but we heard them!

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