Via Poway Lake
Note: You can start either from the Blue Sky Ecological Reserve parking lot (map below) or from the Lake Poway parking lot. Lake Poway parking lot is $10 during the weekends and is a bit shorter.
Potato Chip Rock via Mt. Woodson Trail is a 7.3 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Poway, California that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
This is one of the most popular trails for photo ops and beautiful views of the Pacific Ocean in all of Southern California. The steep and narrow hike up to Potato Chip Rock and the Mt Woodson Summit is a must-do for locals and visitors alike. Potato Chip Rock is certainly one of the most unique rock formations in the area and draws scores of visitors looking to get a photo at the top.
Located in northern San Diego County, the Mount Woodson Trailhead starts at the end of Lake Poway Road and offers hikers and trail runners a challenging route up to the famous boulder shaped as a potato chip. You’ll start along the Sumac Trail before turning left to follow the Lake Poway Trail for a short distance. Once you reach the intersection of the Mt. Woodson Trail, the route begins to ascend.
This is a great hike that provides a good workout and is a fantastic option for those looking to train for longer hikes and runs. The Mount Woodson Trail is very exposed so it is highly recommended that you bring plenty of water and sunscreen, and turn around once you are halfway through your water supply. Although the trails remain open year-round, this is not recommended for less experienced hikers during hot weather.
Lake Poway PARKING IS FREE during the week- (weekends and holidays it’s $10.00 for non- Poway residents)
Blue Sky Ecological Reserve Parking is free.
Length 8 mi
Route type Out & back
Walking Time 4 hours (2 hours to Potato Chip Rock, and 2 hours back)
Via Hwy 67
Woodson Mountain and Potato Chip Rock via Hwy 67 is a 4.1 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Ramona, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, running, and rock climbing and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
Length 4 mi
Elevation gain 1,220 ft
Route type Out & back
Walking Time 2 hours (1.5 hours to Potato Chip Rock, and .5 hours back)