Fred and I did a loop hike in the Iron Mountain area today. North of the insanely popular Iron Mountain trailhead is another access point to the upper portion of the Poway trails system: Ellie Lane trail. I was surprised to see the chaparral plants beginning to bloom already and collected some “primary color” photos. 🙂
Hiking clockwise, there’s quite a nice ascent in the first mile or two. At the ridge where Ellie Lane Trail becomes the Miner’s Ridge Trail (I think…) a little use trail goes left and leads further up in a north-westerly direction, to a high point that overlooks Santa Maria Valley and Ramona, with sweeping views to Palomar Mountain, Mount Gower, San Vicente Dam and Reservoir, etc. – well worth it (unlike the lower-lying “Ramona Overlook”, I’d like to add).
The trail then drops down east of what I suppose is Miner’s Ridge and joins the usually busy Iron Mountain trail (on the weekends it’s the Interstate of hiking trails and I avoid it). About half a mile before reaching the Iron Mountain trail head another trail (the Wild Horse Trail maybe? Signage is not clear here) goes right (north), past a (now dry) pond, and then leads back to the first section of Ellie Lane Trail.
The GPS log of the hike is available on GaiaGPS. I forgot to turn on logging for the first 10-15 minutes AGAIN, duh me!