Blue Sky Reserve to Mount Woodson Trail

MODERATE 9 reviews
#5 of 5 trails in

Blue Sky Reserve to Mount Woodson Trail is a 10.5 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Poway, CA that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is accessible from March until October.

10.5 miles 2657 feet Out & Back



nature trips



wild flowers



Blue Sky Reserve to Mt. Woodson to Iron Mt Out and Back is an out and back trail located near Poway, California. The trail is rated as moderate.

1 month ago

This trail is a round trip of about 6-7 miles. On the first half you climb a pretty step incline on paved road. It literally kicked my butt. I had to stop every 15-20 steps to catch my breath & give my legs rest. Now, I'm in the worst shape of my life. Still, that incline is a killer

trail running
2 months ago

This trail ends up being like a mile less on my route even though I follow it pretty close, I don't know what's up with that. So everything is pretty moderate until about 1 mile then after that it starts going uphill for the rest of the time until you reach the summit. I would rate this at a higher level of difficulty for this particular route than as it is currently rated. Also I've gotten turned around every time I've gone here and missed a turn or turned somewhere I wasn't supposed to go because the markers aren't that great. I've kept having to pull this app out to make sure I'm going the right way. Make sure to bring plenty of water, I bring my 2 liter camelbak and haven't drank it all but I've drank a lot of it, but I do go beyond this trail route and run some more miles. It beats having to pay $5 at Lake Poway. It also isn't too crowded until you meet with the potato chippers who came from Lake Poway, probably about 2 miles in.

2 months ago

Great views!! A hot day but nice hike. Did it on a Friday so not too busy. Big sky to potato chip rock, to the peak of Woodson (radio towers so can't really get there), then back, around lake poway on the south and back up to blue sky. Just under 12 miles total and about 2400 feet in elevation gain. Not too shabby! :)

2 months ago

Yeah this was a tough hike with a 8 year old we had to carry the whole way and our fishing gear... It was an amazing hike though.... didn't catch anything other than a sunburn hahaha.

8 months ago

trail running
1 year ago

THis was from Blue Sky Preserve to Mt Woodson via Lake Poway. BS is less than a mile down Espola Road before you turn into the Lake Poway Road (coming from S 1-15). Its the left turn before Lake Poway and its free! Lake Poway costs $5 for non residents on weekends.

The walk down is under Oak Trees (after you park in Blue Sky Lot) along the Creekside Trail.
Then 1 mile turn Right - sign is very clear to head to Lake Poway.
The next mile is up with decent incline and switchbacks. Today it was around 98'F - in the sun direct and VERY HOT.
I finished 2 Qts of water + electrolytes.
Shortly after you are looking down on Lake Poway and follow the trail to merge with the Lake Poway trail to Mt Woodson summit. All trails are very clear.
Its 3 miles to summit from here.
There are very clear signs to bring at least 2 L / 70 oz water - and yet some people did not bring any!
Next climb is decent - wide roads but good climb.
I ran / walked the way up to the summit.
Best part is the last mile as you are past the elevation gain and have great views of Olivenhain Lake and Rancho Santa Fe and Lake Hodgess.

The way down is runable.
I hit Lake Poway at dusk - 5:30 pm and i looked up when i heard scuffling in the chaparral and a coyote was watching me. So - take the Coyote warnings for real!

This trail was better than I expected; more runnable than Elfin - but still decent inclines to keep a modest effort.

1 year ago

1 year ago

Like this hike and, we Always turn off and head up to do the Lake Poway Loop trail prior to heading back. There is a lot of poison oak but if you stay on the trail you will be fine. About a mile in turn right on the trail up to Lake Poway and there is a little picnic area on the right with flush toilets. After that the hike up to the Lake is pretty steep but rewarding once you hit the top. Stop in the beautiful grassy picnic areas and enjoy the view and shade. We take our dogs on this and they love it.

2 years ago

Great hike through blue sky then around Lake Poway.