About this Trail
This alternate route to Iron Mountain is more challenging than the main trail. It starts off relatively flat and takes you past a ranch and some stables. It then quickly takes you on a series of ups and downs before connecting to the main Iron Mountain trail.
This trail can get a little confusing, as there are lots of little trails crossing back and forth. For the first few branches of the trail, stick to the left. After that, you can pretty much take either left or right as they all eventually re-connect.
I marked it as good for mountain biking, but I honestly am not confident enough in my mountain biking to attempt it. SoCalTrailRiders.org has a really good write-up for bikers with pictures here
Some people choose to make this a loop instead of an out-and-back. The loop is a shorter and easier on the return: just take the main Iron Mountain trail back on the return and a little before you get to the main trailhead, there will be a relatively flat trail returning to the beginning of the Ellie Lane Trail.
Dogs are allowed on this trail.
No water or bathrooms on this trail.
Directions to Trailhead
From the 15, take the Poway Rd exit. Head east on Poway Rd until it dead ends at the 67. Turn left and go approximately 0.7 mile to Ellie Lane. Turn right and trailhead will be immediately on your right.
Notes on Difficulty Rating
This is nothing extremely difficult - no rope climbing, no real scrambling - but it is rated as strenuous on some sites and moderate on others. I feel it's somewhere in-between, more of a "moderately strenuous."