Iron Mountain/Ellie Lane Muni

We’d heard good things about Iron Mountain for over a year so Josh, Morgan, Don and I sucked it up and drove 120 miles to San Diego County, trudged three miles up the mountain and rode the twisting, rocky single-track down. A nice run with some good rolling.

However, wanting more, we took a detour on the way down – the inauspicious-sounding Ellie Lane Trail and after a mile hike up yet another mountain, we found ourselves on the Ramona Overlook and a seldom-traveled singletrack, rocky, twisting, narrow, and steep, with ample ledge drops—all told, a gauntlet (guidebooks call it a 19-degree grade) that made Iron Mountain seem like the Venice Bikepath. Some sections were not rollable owing to drops and steepness, twisting hairpin turns and off-camber ledges, and these became challenging natural trials runs. Owing to fatigue we started walking around stuff toward the bottom. When we got back to the car we’d been going pretty much non-stop for almost five and a half hours. We were cooked.

Hope to go back there sometime soon and ride just the Ellie Lane loop. That’s one of the great ones in So Cal.

Pics to come.


One thing to note with the pictures is that we only have shots of Iron Mountain. It’s a fun ride with some very sweet sections - Ellie Lane, however, was the absolute gem. When the trail gets crazy, we forget about the cameras and focus on the fun. And while Iron Mountain was a superhighway of hikers on this vacation weekend, we saw only a handful of hardy souls on longer Ellie Lane loop. I rode every downhill section, and could barely roll out under my own power at the end. As John said, we got our money’s worth.

SoCal Sky at the top of Iron Mountain:

Morgan with the moves:

Josh cheating:

The new and improved post-Moab Don:

John destroying a good section:

Nice to see some stills that really capture the technical quality of Iron Mountain. Those are the exact same sections I rode, and which are seen in my “Iron Man” video, but the still really pinpoint the technical aspect and puts in in clear focus. Nice job guys!

Ellie Lane gets my vote for serious muni - the hardest part about Iron Mountain was waiting for all the hikers. We need to go back to Ellie Lane on another cool weekend when we’re fresh. And don’t even bother bringing the camera!

Let us natives know when the next time you are planning on coming down to San Diego for a ride. I’m getting out of school in a 3 weeks so I’ll always be open for a ride.:slight_smile:

very nice photography. what camera do you use?

Haha, it’s no bother for me. In fact, it’s a requirement!:slight_smile: I couldn’t imagine being on a trail deemed so amazing, without getting some killer footage! I’m going mid-week to avoid the hikers, and bringing Daniel along again to shoot an Ellie lane video–just because you guys said it’s so awesome! I won’t even bother with Iron Mtn. Been there, done that! :stuck_out_tongue:

I’m sooooooooo jealous guys! I’ve ridden Iron Mt and loved it so I think the other trail would be awesome as well. Haven’t been able to ride in 2 1/2 weeks and it sucks! Dang broken foot…