5 September 1999: Hiked from the Ellie Lane Staging Area to Iron Mountain in the afternoon, 2 - 7:30 p.m., using Schad's recommended loop. My pedometer read 9.00 miles exactly, and the altitude gain and loss given by Schad was 1600'.
Plants in bloom: a few tree tobaccos at the trailhead, buckwheat still going strong, the 4' tall yellow-flowered bush, everlasting firmly in its dried flower phase, dodder's little white flowers still in full swing, purple aster ending, a short pink/purple belly flower (gilia?), and a buttercup-type flower on a bush made of wiry stems, mostly in seed. Red berries adorn a low manzanita-type bush. Lots of star thistle is in its dried spiky form, and the dead chamise flowers give a lovely rust brown color to the hillsides.
This was an exceptionally cool early September day, with a temperature at 2:30 p.m. of only 79°. As a result, the views were very poor due to the high humidity. There were no bugs at all. There were only two other cars at the Ellie Lane trailhead, but there were over 10 at the Highway 67 trailhead, with those people concentrated between Ramona Overlook and Iron Mountain. The trails were in great shape, with no overgrowth at all.
At Table Rock, the trail branches, but both branches join again quickly. The tricky left switchback at 2.20 miles that Schad warns about is now much clearer, since the false straight-ahead trail is walled off by some large rocks.
Although there are a number of dirt roads that intersect the trail that returns from just east of the Highway 67 Staging Area to the Ellie Lane trailhead, it is easy to follow the correct road by looking ahead for the series of "stay on trail - the rest is private property" signs. I encountered no snakes except for a medium-size snake trail across that road. The second pond, nearest Ellie Lane, is totally dry.
|Recording number||Mileage||Time arrived||Time left||Altitude||Comments|
|0||0.00||2:09||1600||Ellie Lane Trailhead. Sign: Constructed by CCC; Funded by Prop. 70. Table Rock 1.5; Ramona Overlook 3.0; (P.R.T.K.?) 5.0; Iron Mountain Peak 5.5|
|1||0.32||2:19||1650||Jct. trail to Highway 67 Staging Area. Left|
|2||0.60||2:25||1800||"Iron Mountain Trail 0.5 mile"|
|3||1.12||2:47||2150||Large oak with picnic table; "Iron Mountain Trail 1.0"; trail branches around table rock|
|4||1.22||2:52||2250||Trail rejoins after table rock|
|5||1.67||3:07||2200||"Iron Mountain Trail 1.5 mile"|
|6||2.07||3:19||2100||Just above low point before creek bed crossing|
|7||2.20||3:22||2150||Jct. just past stream bed, where right branch is walled off. Left|
|8||2.25||3:25||2200||"Iron Mountain Trail 2.0 mile"|
|10||2.75||3:44||2450||"Iron Mountain Trail 2.5 mile"|
|11||3.05||3:51||2300||Jct. to Ramona Overlook. Left|
|12||3.20||3:55||3:58||2350||Ramona Overlook (second of the two hills)|
|14||3.55||4:07||2200||"Iron Mountain Trail 3.0 mile"|
|15||3.82||4:15||2050||Just past low point.|
|16||4.02||4:20||2100||Jct. Trail to Iron Mountain. Left. Sign: Iron Mountain Peak 1.45; Ellie Lane Staging Area 3.3; Ramona Overlook 0.5; Highway 67 Staging Area 1.45|
|17||4.20||4:26||2200||"1.5", followed by "Trail adopted by John Tomlinson"|
|20||5.32||5:00||2700||Iron Mountain, complete with mailbox, telescope and picnic table.|
|21||5.45||5:18||2700||Left Iron Mountain.|
|22||6.57||5:44||2200||Spring-fed pool with greenery, that I missed on way up.|
|25||7.45||6:07||1800||Cross Poway Creek|
|27||7.82||6:19||1550||Jct. Trail to Ellie Lane. Right. "1.5".|
|29||9.00||6:50||1700||Ellie Lane Trailhead.|
Copyright © 1999 by Tom Chester.
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Comments and feedback: Tom Chester
Last update: 13 September 1999.