|October 22, 2010|
Iron Mountain is a San Diego hiking staple. On a Saturday morning, it would not be unheard of to see a hundred people on the trail, and I'd rank it as #2 in popularity for San Diego peaks behind Cowles Mountain. Though it is so popular, it can still be found deserted with a bit of luck, or at night time, which is when I decided to make my "official" ascent for the SDC peak list. Anna wasn't feeling well, so I decided that I'd see how fast I could get to the summit and back. I'm not a runner, but I'd been wanting to try out my running legs, and now was a good time with the shape I was in from all the hiking I'd been doing lately.
I pulled into the newly built parking lot on the corner of Poway Rd and the 67, pulled on my trailrunners and headlamp, and set off. I was able to keep a decent pace for the first mellow mile, passing just one small group of hikers, and reaching the halfway point (distance-wise) near the helipad in just 18 minutes. The 2nd half of the hike is much steeper, and even though I wasn't able to keep running the entire time, I made the summit in 42 minutes after leaving the car, passing 5 or 6 spread out hikers along the way. I took a 2 minute rest and made the return trip, feeling like a football player running through tires on the rocky sections, and made the roundtrip in 75 minutes car to car. Certainly not fast by running standards, but not too shabby for a hiker.
Since I didn't take any pictures during my nighttime hike, I included the below photos from a previous trip...
Iron Mountain from the trailhead
The view from Iron's summit
Iron stats: 6.4 miles roundtrip, 1100 feet gain/loss