Beautiful Northern San Diego Hiking

5 Beautiful Northern Hiking Trails

Iron Mountain Trail

(page 1 of 2)

Who doesn't love a gorgeous hike? These five hiking trails offer spectacular views not only from the top, but also along the way. The climate in Southern California allows for people to hike year round--just take extra water and precautions in the summer. North County offers numerous trails to explore and breathtaking sights to see. These top five trails are waiting for you to start discovering them, so get hiking!


Iron Mountain Trail

Found at the end of Highway 67, Iron Mountain Trail is roughly five and three-quarter miles following the main trail head. This trek is a moderate challenge and can take two to three hours to complete. The peak of Iron Mountain is one of the most popular in San Diego, so to miss the crowd try and get an early start. Your four-legged friends can come with you, just remember to keep them on a leash and pick up after them. Most of the plant life was wiped out during the Cedar Fire of 2003, but since then most plant-life has recovered and they are beautiful in bloom. There are other paths to take to reach the peak, such as the Wild Horse Trail. These paths cover eight to ten miles of trail and offer different scenery. The view from the top is magnificent, and the surrounding area can be seen for miles. Iron Mountain is the most southern peak in this mountain complex, and it separates Poway and Ramona.

Jack Creek Meadow

Jack Creek Meadow Loop

Roughly three and a half miles comprise of the Jack Creek Meadow Loop, however to reach the trail, hikers will have to follow it to the Daley Ranch House from the parking lot. The overall hike from the parking lot is about five and three-quarter miles. This trail, found partially on the Daley Ranch, allows pets, biking, and equestrians to traverse and explore the area. Jack Creek Meadow is open year round, and though it can get steamy in the summer, it is a great choice if you're in need of calming serenity. The trail is fairly easy with an elevation of about five-hundred feet. If Jack Creek Meadow is now on your list of hikes, you should block about two and a half hours of your day to complete it, though you may like to take your lunch and enjoy it while sitting on a bench beside the trail.

Woodson Mountain

Woodson Mountain

Known by San Diegans for the Potato Chip Rock, Woodson Mountain is a six and three-quarter mile hike. Lake Poway is the starting point to the top of Woodson Mountain, which has a three-thousand foot elevation. Known for the granite boulders, this trail is highly popular, though quite difficult. A majority of the hike is steep; the path can get quite narrow. Be prepared to spend nearly two and a half hours or more just hiking to the top, with another hour and a half to hike back down. Before you reach the top, however, the “famed” Potato Chip Rock juts out over nothing. The formation was created when a granite boulder fell away and left a thin layer of granite behind. The sights from the top are absolutely breathtaking, offering views of the ocean and surrounding areas. 

Double Peak Park