Iron Mountain is one of San Diego's favorite hiking trails. It ranks right up there with Mission Trail, Potato Chip Rock and Torrey Pines trail. The 5.9 miles of well-maintained trail, especially the 360-degree view from the top, is incomparably beautiful compared to other mountains. Therefore, it’s no wonder that so many people visit this trail every week.
I came here today for a night hike. However, I started late in the afternoon. Thanks to the 24 hour trail parking lot, you can hike for longer without worrying about the parking lot closing. Because of this, we could see many hikers staying longer at the summit to watch the sunset from the panoramic vista only the top of the mountain offers. We started today's hike after simply checking out our equipment, such as hiking poles and flashlights.
The beginning of the first mile is unique. This straight section, which stretches out on to a long runway, is a great place to take a breather and look out over the whole mountain. Thanks to the purple wildflowers that bloom widely throughout the mountain from spring to summer, each step was as beautiful as if you were walking in a J.R.R. Tolkien fairy tale. Like we did, you will arrive at the uphill section slowly by walking, greeting hikers passing by with a friendly energetic voice but a relaxed mindset.
The full-scale hiking starts from here, and if you climb the steep uphill for about 30 minutes, you can meet the special scenery of Iron Mountain. San Diego's unique rocky mountains are filled with beautiful trees. And there are countless unknown colorful flowers between the rocks, making the climb up the hill a sheer delight. The scenery of the Cleveland National Forest spreads out in front of you like a folding screen in the distance. This is one of the reasons why you can continue hiking without getting tired, your mind is overwhelmed trying to comprehend your surroundings.
I finally reached the top of the mountain about two hours after I started hiking. I took the time to cool off and eat some snacks I packed for this very occasion. Surrounded by the Pacific Ocean to the far west and the sprawling Cuyamaca Rancho State Park to the east, this place feels like the center of the world. Today's hike ended with a sunset drenched San Diego in the distance, beautifully cloaked in full colorful regalia.
Trailhead: 14909 CA-67, Poway, CA 92064
Length/Est/ Difficulty: 5.9 mi (3 h +/-) / moderate
Iron Mountain Trail | AllTrails
Hiking | Cocktail | Outdoor | Digital Creator