Hiking Iron Mountain

Poway Travel Blog

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Arbor as we start our hike.

This morning my eldest son and I hiked the Iron Mountain summit trail.  The trailhead for this hike is located on SR67 just south of Poway road, on the east side of the highway. We arrived at the trailhead around 0800 and there were already cars parked along the highway. When we finished our hike around 1030 there where quite a few more vehicles parked along both sides of the highway.  There was also a SDSO deputy walking along side the highway.  Not really sure what he was doing or looking for. I did not notice any no parking signs.

 

This hike is longer than the hike that we did on Cowles Mountain last week.

Brian Goat gruff (kid needed to shave)
That hike was about 3 miles round trip. This was just about 6.  The peak is at a higher elevation than Cowles, but the elevation gain during the hike is pretty close to being the same.  Both Brian and I agreed we liked this hike better.  This hike starts with walk through an arbor or trees. Not sure what type of trees they are, but I am sure we will be hiking this trail again, so I will try to find out.  The hike starts along a service road of some sort. It then starts up into the hills. As with the hike on Cowles Mountain, this hike seemed to have the steepest parts at the bottom half of the hike. At the half way point, the trail is clearly marked. My son borrowed my MP3 player for today’s hike. We decided to allow him to use it on the hike up, and I would use it on the hike down. Well the darn billy goat put on the MP3 player and pretty much took off.
Mailbox where trail log and a Bible are kept. Trail log has lots of use....
He did wait for me at the ½ point.  After a brief rest, we took off again.  Again he took off, leaving the ole dad in his dust. I saw him on the switchbacks on the way up, never to far in front, but far enough that there was no way I was going to be able to catch him. I liked the second half of the trail. The elevation gains are reasonable, and there are plenty of flat sections to catch your breath.

 

As with our previous hike, the elevation gains give you a breath taking view of the area around the trail. This trail is on the east side of the city of Poway.  There are several ranches that can be seen from the trail that you can not see from the roadside. They look like amazing places to live. From the summit if you look to the south you can see El Capitan Reservoir.

Brian at the top.
To the east is the back country of San Diego County.

 

When I made the summit, Brian was there waiting for me. I am sure there would have been a smug smile on his face, but he was busy using a large telescope that is at the summit to try to find our car. When he finally found it he was pleased with himself. Then dad, being the smart ass that he is asked, “What if you found the truck, only to watch somebody breaking into it.  Not like we could do anything about it from here”!  He just looked at me with that “Dad!” look that only a teenager can pull off.  We took some pictures at the summit and signed the journal that is keep in a mailbox at the top. I took pictures of Brian by the mailbox.

I asked Brian to take a picture of me but he had a bit of an attitude about having to scramble back down to a place where he could safely take the picture. And he took about the worst picture of me I have seen in years.  I am sure he figured out a way to do so on purpose!

 

After signing the journal, and taking the pictures, we started our way back to the trail head. Our agreement was that I was to have the MP3 player on the way down. But being the kind, caring dad that I am, I let the brat have it on the way down also. I figured he would do his billy goat impression again on his way down. And if he had the MP3 player he could at least listen to the music while he was waiting for me.  Well the kid took off, but I was never far behind him. Because of the way the trail is laid out, I felt more than comfortable running down parts of the trail. He never really got all that far ahead of me. And I finally caught him about a mile or so down the trail. From there on, it was a matter of who had the best track on the trail to determine who was in front. We finished side by side. Both feeling good from a great hike.

 

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Arbor as we start our hike.
Arbor as we start our hike.
Brian Goat gruff (kid needed to sh…
Brian Goat gruff (kid needed to s…
Mailbox where trail log and a Bibl…
Mailbox where trail log and a Bib…
Brian at the top.
Brian at the top.
Shot from the trail.
Shot from the trail.
Back side of the mountain from the…
Back side of the mountain from th…
Another shot from the top, Looking…
Another shot from the top, Lookin…
Deff looking towards Lakeside, but…
Deff looking towards Lakeside, bu…
Shot looking down into the valley …
Shot looking down into the valley…
Approaching the arbor at the tail …
Approaching the arbor at the tail…
Poway
photo by: sdbleve