Lakeside Trails

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Best Trails in Lakeside

Potato Chip Rock via Mt. Woodson Trail

Poway, CA

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.

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Recent Reviews

on El Cajon Mountain Trail
2 days ago

hiking
11 Completed3 Reviews

Hard!!!

on El Capitan Preserve
4 days ago

hiking
1 Completed1 Reviews

I started with three liters of water. I thought it a grand idea to jog when possible and hike quickly up the assents. I made the mistake of bringing too little water and no snacks. This is a serious hike! Do not take this lightly. It was 90 degrees during my hike so I was losing a lot of water and electrolytes. My advice would be to bring bananas, clementines, nuts, and plenty of water. I ended up drinking 6 pints during the 4 hour and 45 minute hike. I think I made pretty good time but my ass was surely kicked. A great trail for those looking for a seriously challenging hike that also offers amazing views.

on El Cajon Mountain Trail
7 days ago

hiking
1 Completed1 Reviews

Tough to rate a hike with a simple 5 star rating, but here are my thoughts on the difficult El Cajon Mountain Trail:

Difficulty: 5/5
Definitely the most difficult hike we've done. The elevation gain in both directions combined with the distance length was a real killer. This was not a simple out and back trail. The elevation changes in both directions make the hike out a slow grind while the hike back is full of challenging, slow downhill stretches mixed with psychological demoralizing uphill portions.

Shade: 1/5
There are few areas to take a break in the shade. Make sure to plan for a 5+ hour hike!

Risk vs Reward: 2/5
We've been on some shorter, more epic hikes when it comes to the view and feeling of accomplishment at the peak. This trail was full of the same view of local hills and their rocky terrain. Peak had panoramic views, but they were similar to everything around it! Entire trail was a combination of up/down that all looked the same.

Random notes:
-Trail was clean and relatively wide most of the way. A few washed out areas, but that's nature!
-Parking lot should open before 8am, as a lot of early bird cars were parked on the side of the road.

Final say: super challenging, but "boring" hike when it came to views and change of scenery.

on El Cajon Mountain Trail
13 days ago

hiking
5 Completed2 Reviews

Challenging hike! Would recommend extra water on a warm day.

on El Capitan Preserve
13 days ago

hiking
10 Completed10 Reviews

on Stelzer Park Loop Trail
14 days ago

hiking
1 Completed1 Reviews

You don't want to go alone to hike. But, the trails were great, the view is spectacular. The park itself it so cute. There are two jungle gyms. Bathrooms with running water. Shade, lots of trees.... Until you go hiking. Then bring lots of water. I will certainly go back. PS, it was 93 degrees, so not the best on a hot day, but we survived and bought water there.

on El Capitan Preserve
20 days ago

2 Completed2 Reviews

on El Capitan Preserve
25 days ago

walking
1 Completed1 Reviews

I did this trail this morning for the first time. Shouldn't have done it solo for starters. I don't have much hiking experience but I'm in good shape so figured it would be cake! let me tell you this kicked my butt! Here's some things I'd do different: I would take more water!! Id recommend a camelback. I started out at about 9 AM--way too late since there's not much shade on the trail and it heats up quick out there. I used this app to make sure I stayed on the trail. No cell service at the top, so I got lost. The trail gets hard to follow close to the summit. I'd def do it again but on a cooler day! Check the weather :)

on El Capitan Preserve
1 month ago

hiking
8 Completed6 Reviews

Went a couple weeks ago while it was still cool and not too hot. This was a really great workout. Without doubt the most difficult hike I have done in San Diego. None have even come close. It is around 12 miles round trip. It takes about half a mile just to get to the trailhead. From there you are looking at what seems to be endless miles worth of steep inclined hills. One after the other after the other. I consider myself in good shape but definitely got my butt kicked. By the time I was close to my car, my feet and whole body were just very tired. It's a nice view once you get to the summit. Also, very important that you bring enough water. I usually don't drink much water on hikes but found myself easily drinking over 3 liters and had I had more, would've drank more. It's a strenuous hike and must not be taken lightly. Only do if you have hiking experience and are fit. I would recommend bringing something to eat because you'll need to regain energy for the way down. I personally enjoyed it and will be summiting again very soon.

on El Capitan Preserve
1 month ago

backpacking
1 Completed1 Reviews

It was the perfect balance between challenging and therapeutic. Highly recommend for semi-fit and fit people. I'm the former of the two NO DOUBT. Gorgeous on a clear day, just be sure to beat the heat.

on Oak Oasis Open Space Pres...
1 month ago

3 Completed3 Reviews

RATTLESNAKES! This hike had a rattlesnake right on the trail- almost at the beginning. Not that you can judge a trail by that of course, but it is the perfect habitat for snakes so beware! It is extremely hot and has a lot of rocks. There is an amazing view about halfway through the trail, though. I don't recommend taking your old, small dog like we did, though. The sand in the trail was too hot for her!

on El Capitan Preserve
1 month ago

hiking
1 Completed1 Reviews

Amazing hike! I am training to hike Mount Whitney in 3 weeks. My plan is to hike this, then Mount Baldy next week in preparation. This hike kicked my butt, really fun though. I did it in 3 hours and 40 minutes (1 hour 54 minutes to the top) with no breaks - other than a few minutes at the peak to take it all in. This was my first real hike, outside of recreational hiking while camping.

on Lindo Lake Loop
1 month ago

birding
5 Completed6 Reviews

A nice little park to burn off a few calories after dinner. You never know what local birds youll see.

on El Capitan Preserve
1 month ago

hiking
6 Completed7 Reviews

This is a very difficult hike.
Its all up and down each way.
There are parts that have huge slates of rock with fine gravel covering it which makes things slippery, this includes on step, very steep inclines which youll have to go down. Other parts of the trail are covered in large rocks.
I would suggest trekking poles be used.
When you start at the bottom there is a post saying gates shut at 8pm but at you go up the mountain there are other signs saying 0630 then 0530.... Not sure what thats all about.
Bring lots of water and trail mix / peanut butter to keep up your energy and SUN SCREEN!

on El Capitan Preserve
1 month ago

hiking
5 Completed2 Reviews

Agree with everyone else's post. Can be very grueling at times and the way back is almost as hard as the way up depending on how exhausted you are from the ascent. Definitely bring sunscreen, food, and at least 3 liters of water. Great views and sense of accomplishment once you've completed hike.


1 month ago

hiking

Great lil hike with the bestie! Swore I saw a bobcat she says it was bark but I know what I saw-lil guy was just chilling in the Oak Oasis! Unscathed by the poison oak-lots of it on this quaint lil nature hike. Had a great time and the scenic outlook was rewarding! Lots of lil froggies-a lil bit of everything! Goodtimes!

on El Cajon Mountain Trail
1 month ago

4 Completed1 Reviews

Did this hike last week with my dog. Was an excellent workout. Luckily it was overcast so the heat wasn't too much of a concern. Take lots of water, especially if you bring your dog. They'll need it too!!! Mile 3 is definitely the hardest. Great view at the summit!


1 month ago


1 month ago

canoeing

Steep all the way up!! Very rocky... Beautiful hike

on El Cajon Mountain Trail
1 month ago

hiking
2 Completed2 Reviews

I have hiked this four times since February. A difficult/strenuous hike for sure. Here are some tips:

Very exposed: wear sunscreen and proper clothing/hat/head covering

I go through 3-4 liters of water each time.

My best time to summit was 2 hours 10 minutes which included brief breaks to rest legs.

Mile 3 seems to be the most difficult. Leg burner!

Trail heat seems to radiate pretty well, so 70 degree air tem feels much warmer

I see a lot of hikers on this hike use hiking poles. Probably a good idea. I have never used these but can see why....

I hope this is good training for San Jacinto because that is my next challenging hike.