Iron Mountain

Iron Mountain view from the summit

This week we decided to try a more challenging and longer hike – Iron Mountain, the second highest peak in Poway. We were not disappointed! It was challenging with an elevation gain of 1258 ft over almost 3 miles, but quite fun and beautiful. This is a hike I would highly recommend and one we hope to do again.

We started our hike by walking through the entrance gate which led to a dirt trail flanked by a row of trees on either side. This was one of the few shady spots on the entire hike. Once we got past the trees the trail was a fairly wide dirt trail with views of the mountains straight ahead. As we continued the trail narrowed a bit and started to climb uphill, but nothing too strenuous or steep.

entrance gate to Iron Mountain
Sunny at the start of the trail
View of the mountains

As you start to climb the trail alternates between flat sections with hard packed dirt to uphill sections with rocks. And then as you approach the peak there are a lot of switchbacks with large rocks. You know you’ve reached the peak when you see the rock formation with the elevation sign. There is a picnic table (how in the world did they get that up there!?) to rest and several spots for taking pictures of the view.

on the trail at Iron Mountain
on the trail
on the trail
Summit of Iron Mountain
view of the mountains from Iron Mountain

Our Rating

Sunny and I rate Iron Mountain 3.5 out of 4 paws up. The only thing missing is a water feature, but the views on the way to and at the summit nearly make up for that. There is plenty of parking and a restroom in the parking lot. The trail is well marked and easy to follow. Although it is moderately challenging, it is a fun hike with beautiful views. This hike is not recommended for those who can not climb rocks and fairly steep inclines or those with stability or breathing issues.

How Do I Get There?

The best way to find the parking area and trailhead entrance is to use Iron Mountain Commuter Lot as the location. From Scripps Poway Parkway turn left onto CA-67N. Continue for 1.7M and then turn right into the parking lot. There is a restroom in the parking lot and the entrance gate is near the restroom.

Leave a Reply