The Killing of Iron Mountain

Here is a special contribution from a long time riding friend of my mine.   Iron Mountain is (rapidly heading towards the “was”) a classicly technically challenging hike/ride in San Diego County).   People enjoyed this trail because it was hard.    Once again we have well intended but misguided people in charge listening to the vocal minority of the trail users who want to “say” they did something hard without “doing” something that is hard.   There are plenty of sterile dirt sidewalks being touted as trails in the city of Poway.     The city has plans for additional trails, how about putting the sparse resources they have to making new trails instead of screwing of the ones we already have.     

The Killing of Iron Mountain

by: Steve Gordenker

Mark and I had a chance to get up to Iron Mountain, yesterday. We witnessed firsthand, the latest round of “Trail maintenance”, by Poway parks and recreation trails manager, Bob Hahn. Recall if you will, last year, I spoke in front of Poway’s city council, sat in on parks and trails planning meetings, wrote letters, and emails, and made phone calls to city council members and the Mayor.

 What a complete, colossal waste of my time.

The slow death of Iron mountain continues, at the hand of Bob Hahn.


This is towards the top, at the “Hemotoma” area. Large swath of granite removed.


Wheelchair accessable.


Ironic, no?


They dismantled the Iron Meatball.


Two military guys were hiking down Iron from the top. This poor guy slipped on the loose, powdery mess that Bob Hahn’s butchers left when they removed large portions of granite. He rolled his ankle badly and was unable to put any weight on it. With no way to walk out, his buddy had no choice, but to carry him out on his back. They were 2.5 miles up at this point.

 Thank you, again, Bob Hahn, for making Iron Mountain a “safer” outdoor hiking experience, by completely obliterating all of that dangerous grippy granite.




Another iconic section of trail at the top , sanitized for your protection.


Yet another switchback section cleaned and smoothed out by Bob Hahn’s wrecking crew.

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7 thoughts on “The Killing of Iron Mountain”

  1. So please clarify a bit further; is Iron mountain even worth riding anymore? I’ve been planning on going back after 5 years…tomorrow in fact!…and would not want to waste a 200 mile round trip! The pics about still look decent.

  2. From what I can gather from your page describing Ellie lane trail, it sounds like some of the best tech sections are just after switching up from Ramona overlook, as you start going downhill, where you said grades are close to 19%. Is this right? So at that point it would be only about 1.5-2 miles in from the Ellie Ln. junction? Thanks!

  3. Drove 120 miles to ride Ellie Lane for the first time, and I was pretty humbled by this super-tech trail today, (2/28/13) and after a bad fall early on, I admit I was a tad intimidated to try the harder stuff, which was scary enough just looking at it! Even the “easier” sections I did manage to ride were tough enough, and you can see me “feeling my way” through some of it.

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