Potato Chip Rock via Mt. Woodson Trail

MODERATE 542 reviews
#1 of 5 trails in

Potato Chip Rock via Mt. Woodson Trail is a 6.7 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Poway, CA that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

6.7 miles 1843 feet Out & Back

dog friendly

camping

hiking

mountain biking

trail running

walking

lake

views

wildlife

Mt Woodson offers breathtaking vistas along the hike from Lake Poway. This hike is moderately strenuous, and easy to access due to its convenient location. The trail is very steep and narrow in some places, but well marked and maintained most of the way until the last 1/2 hour to the top. In the summer, be sure to take enough water, it gets extremely hot and dry! The views to the ocean and to Palomar Mountain to the East are worth the effort. Consider bringing a picnic for the top or when getting back to Lake Poway. There is a shorter but steeper way to the top, via highway 67 that is paved and well maintained, but less often travelled. https://alltrails.com/explore/trail/us/california/woodson-mountain

4 days ago

Not.for out of shape and faint of.heart. We decided to take the long route from Lake Poway. Im.out of.shape.but not.faint of.heart
Took.me 8.5 hours between 3.5 hours getting up and took more rest stops.on the way back as 9 yr. son was having breathing issues. Husband and 7 yr.old manage it is 6 hours round trip that's with plenty of rest stops.

2 each.had 2 L.of.camelback water,plus hubby and I brought up.an extra 40oz each. We ran out of all 8L on the way up. Make sure to.bring more.or.ration out, it.was 2pm when we started our trek down, no shade, minimal fluids placed.us at risk.for.heat stroke

will do again, but would work on smaller trails firsr

5 days ago

Great work out!!!

Great trail

hiking
10 days ago

11 days ago

hiking
12 days ago

A most excellent journey this time. Bring water in these summer months, it gets hot up there. Definitely a moderate hike. The true summit is a little past potato chip...heard there are free potato chips at the top.

14 days ago

Awesome trail! Very challenging...

17 days ago

17 days ago

hiking
18 days ago

Trail was good. This trail is difficult not moderate. You are climbing up hill the whole time. Bring good trail shoes and at least 2L of water. protein bars and trail mix

20 days ago

hiking
21 days ago

Aside from hikes on the coast/beach, this is my all time favorite inland. But I'm not done exploring ...

hiking
22 days ago

Just went today, no lines for the picture with the potato chip. It was my first California hike, and it was definitely a lower body workout. It was a good hike over all

hiking
24 days ago

I'm not from California, and my out of shape body doesn't like hills, but I love going on walks and hikes and exploring new things, so my determination is what helped me get to the top. Everyone should try it at least once ☺️.

hiking
24 days ago

It was a fun nice hike. We went at 6am right when it opened. That was the best time to go because we weren't hot at all.

26 days ago

Awesome hike, I've done this one many times.. Lots of people though so it's best to do during the week.. Also, I talk my German Shepard hiking ALL the time.. And give her many breaks and she does better than me but people insist on trying to tell me she needs a break without knowing when we stopped last.. Or acting like she can handle even a short hike like that..

hiking
26 days ago

Nice Hike. Moderate. We decided to take the 4.50 mile route instead of the 8 mile. The route starts in Ramona instead of inside of Lake Poway. It was uphill the entire time. The views are spectacular. We started our hike about 315 on a Saturday afternoon. It was not too hot. The hike was full of people both young and old with pets as well.

hiking
28 days ago

This hike was fantastic! Bring plenty of water and snacks to last you for the return trip. Go early in the morning to avoid the dry heat during that last mile of the way up! Coming back down still takes another hour and a half so get plenty of rest at the top. We went on a weekday and experienced very little traffic - we highly recommend avoiding the weekend crowd. This was my first legit hike and I was exhausted. I will prepare better for the next one, and there will DEFINITELY be a next one! What a relief, making it to the top! The views and the breeze are worth the journey!

1 month ago

This was a great hike, full of challenges and great views! However, The pictures posted are a little misleading when it comes to the actual rock. The rock was very crowded and there was at least a 45 minute wait to take a picture. Having said that,
I did go on a Saturday, and the hike may not be as crowded On a weekday. Just remember that if you go - to be considerate of others and your surroundings! I would definitely hike this trail again for the exercise and views alone!

hiking
1 month ago

Awesome hike, go early if you don't want to wait in line for photo opportunity. Make sure to bring plenty of water, sunscreen & hat. Very hot after 8:00am in August. Ran into a snake so be on the lookout for them! Logged almost 200 floors on my FitBit, a very steady climb. Hiked it alone, quite a busy trail so I never felt unsafe. Definitely would do it again!