San Diego Bucket List: Hike Iron Mountain

Iron Mountain has been on our bucket list since we moved to San Diego. One of the best things about living in San Diego is how close we are to the mountains and the sea. It’s incredible. My family came to visit recently, and we all love to hike, so I took them to Iron Mountain. Disclaimer: We did absolutely zero research about the hike and weather, so we were incredibly unprepared for what the hike, Iron Mountain Trail, entailed.


The first thing we noticed when we arrived: no shade, anywhere. The trail starts off as a dirt road leading to the mountains for about half a mile. The second thing we noticed, or felt rather: it was 85 degrees and no shade. Which was quickly followed by our third realization: we had not brought sunscreen. Later on we also realized we had one bottle of regular water, and three bottles of sparkling water so full of sodium they would probably only dehydrate us more.

As we started making our way up the mountain, the view behind us quickly became beautiful as Poway shrunk into the distance. Rolling green hills started popping up everywhere, and eventually we were completely engulfed in the mountains. 


My mom – fueled by sodium water and nothing else – felt a little woozy, so we had to take it slow, and we decided just to go to Ramona’s overlook rather than the peak. I’m sure the peak is an awesome view, but Ramona’s overlook was breathtaking. We could see all the way to Palomar Mountain, and everything in between. The day was super clear, and there was even a little breeze to cool us off. Wow. Amazing.