Wild Horse Trail

I wanted something with some difficulty as the last hike before my final PT appointment. Between the heat and some afternoon commitments, I did not have a lot of options for this hike. I settled on doing the Wild Horse trail out at Iron Mountain.  We pulled into the parking lot at about 6:30, finding plenty of parking. The forecasted temperatures probably kept some folks home (or they were at ComicCon). We took the required photos of the trailhead sign and the tree tunnel and set off. The Wild Horse trail parallels the main trail, just one ravine to the north. 

After passing a small pond, our route headed east and began its climb to the ridge line. The sun was just starting to crest over the hills as we made our way up. Some of the trails were closed due to raptor breeding. At the ridge line, we decided to make the short side trip to the top of the Ramona Overlook. This is one of the 12 peaks that make up the Iron Mountain Preserve. After grabbing our photos, we set off toward the junction with the main trail toward Iron Mountain.

Since the trail is on the east side, we could feel the sun beating down on us. Once at the side, I debated if I wanted to try for the summit or not. Heat is not my friend, so I was uncertain, but opted to try, while being mindful of how I felt.

We worked our way up toward the summit and the trail was much more populated than our initial route. As we neared the Little Iron Mountain, I knew that the full summit was not in the cards. Maybe if we started an hour earlier or took the direct route it would have been. We decided to weave our way through the brush and scramble up some rocks to the summit of Little Iron Mountain. I enjoyed some of my orange and grabbed a few photos, but the heat kept assaulting me, so it was time to make our descent. I plodded back down the trail, taking a couple of breaks in the shade just to be safe. I was amazed at the number of folks ascending in the heat and with so little water. I saw one couple with an Iced Starbucks for each of them and nothing else. Adding to that, they had a dog with them! Ted and I also looked quizzically at one hiker ascending in a jacket!

I pushed on down the mountain, bummed that I did not summit again, but knowing I made the smart call to turn back. While my foot is doing pretty well, my fitness level is not where it was pre-injury. That is going to just have to come with time and effort. Back at the car, the temperature read 91 F in the parking lot. Yikes, that was toasty for 10 am! All told it was a good hard hike, I got a couple of summits in, and it was a friendly reminder that I am still rebuilding…

I am an avid peak bagger, sometimes backpacker, and former sea kayaker living in San Diego. In 2019, I became the third person to complete the San Diego 100 Peak Challenge. Not stopping with that accomplishment, I set my sights on the harder San Diego Sierra Club 100 Peak list, which I completed in 2021. In addition, I have conquered several Six-Pack of Peaks challenges (SoCal, San Diego, Central Coast, and Arizona-Winter). Beyond attempting the San Diego Sierra Club 100 Peak list a second time, I am looking forward to exploring new summits and new adventures across the southwest. 

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