Sunset Hike on Iron Mountain
Have you ever watched a sunset on top of a mountain, then hiked down in the dark? If so, then you get it. It not, then it’s time for you and your date to push some boundaries together. A sunset hike of Iron Mountain is one of the most beautiful experiences you can have in San Diego. Fill up your picnic backpack(s) with wine, dinner or snack, and wine to toast the sun. Savor the unpredictability of the evening—you may or may not see one or more tarantulas, endangered kangaroo rats, or coyotes. One thing is for certain—you will become closer to each other (both literally and figuratively) on this fun date.
- WHERE: Poway/Rancho Bernardo
- VIBE: Eat & Drink, Active, Romance
- INVESTMENT: $, $$
- WHEN: Evening, Night
- HOW LONG: 4-6 hours, 6+ hours
- MEAL: Cocktails, Dinner, Snack
- DRESS: Sporty
- DOG-FRIENDLY: Yes
ICING ON THE DATE:
- Bring some wine (in a lightweight container) and two plastic wine glasses so you can toast each other as the sun sets.
- If the sunset’s a good one, allow time for a stunning selfie session.
- GUYS: Whipping out a flower for the table (either picnic or rock) is a winning move.
- On the way up or down your sunset hike on Iron Mountain, surprise your date with a little slow dance on the helipad (look for the sign about 1/3 of the way up or 2/3 of the way down). Be sure and have the song picked out on your phone!
- You’ll need to check what time the sun sets and work backward from there—allowing approximately 1 to 1-1/2 hours (depending on how fast you hike) for the climb up PLUS an extra 30 minutes to get settled so your full attention can be on the sun (and each other) as it sinks into the horizon.
- North Park Produce is not for the faint of heart…although the food is good and reasonably priced, it’s a funky international market that tends to be a bit unkempt. If this will ruffle you or your date, head to Sprouts instead.
- This is NOT an easy hike. Make sure you and your date are in good enough shape to climb up a mountain for 3 solid miles and back down for another 3.
- BE PREPARED! Don’t forget your TWO headlamps, make sure you have enough water, layers of clothing (that you WILL put on, take off, and put on again) and your CHARGED cell phones. It’s always good to have a little baggy with some toilet paper and, if you have one, bring along your personal alarm.
- If you don’t already have one, we love this Picnic Backpack for 2.
- This is an easy trail to follow—follow the signs (and your eyes) for the peak. Make sure you both pay attention to landmarks on the way up, so when you’re coming down in the dark, you know where you are. You’ll see a fair amount of fellow hikers on the trail.
- There are some picnic tables at the top…only one on the west (sunset) side. Depending on the day, you may or may not find other people sitting at them. There are several big boulders on the back (east) side of the mountain that are usually people-free.
- Remember “your” table…hopefully, you’ll be coming back for another sunset hike on Iron Mountain in the future.