Explore CALI - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.


It's not very shady and a pretty difficult hike when it's hot but of course worth it for the photo op! It gets very very busy so earlier better than later!

Amazing hike to Potato Chip Rock, the wait wasn’t bad. People were very good about trading phones for pictures , if you took their picture , they would wait for your group to go out to the rock and take your picture. Some people complain about the wait, it’s not bad especially if you work as a team.

21 hours ago

The trails at the Poppy Reserve are more like 8 miles and can be strenuous with a brisk pace. Rattlesnakes can be seen stretched across the path asleep warming themselves just avoid them and walk around in a wide arch. What may be an annoyance is the intense freezing wind so have something to cover ears. Definitely have water in hand as the drinking fountains were not working. Pull in and drive up to unmanned kiosk and please make a donation in provided envelope. Then park and you will see the 24/7 unlocked restrooms. Up the path to left is closed visitor center. (Open during poppy season March-April.)
The several trails loop around and it’s wonderful if you like being alone in nature. There’s several easy to medium incline but nothing is difficult just maybe annoyingly windy. Cell phone service is nonexistent. You may see 1-2 people off in distance otherwise may not see a soul. Great distant views and gravel But mostly dirt paths. Don’t skip. Nighttime it’s accessible but tons of nocturnal critters in total blackness isn’t advisable for enjoyment. Downright spooky! Track your steps and you will find your up to 10000 in no time walking all paths. They all loop back - check it out!

Beautiful hike, gave it only 4 stars because there was a ~45 min wait to climb potato chip rock for a picture.

5 days ago

Completed in January when trail was icy and without spikes. Very sketchy but I finished it..... sliding on my butt on a couple occasions. So worth it though! Views were aaamazing! #whyihike

5 days ago

Completed in January when trail was icy and without spikes. Very sketchy but I finished it..... sliding on my butt on a couple occasions. So worth it though! Views were aaamazing!

8 days ago

Short but keep ur heart rate up!!!

9 days ago

The trees are absolutely magnificent. It''s a really easy drive from Bakersfield and it gets pretty nice when you get closer, as the forest gets more dense. It's a simple walk a long a paved path so you can take anyone young or old. If you're looking for something a little more adventuresome, take the same road a little farther north and head up Dome Rock for great views.

It was cool to see the biggest tree in the world, but it isn’t really a hike. It is sort of one of those things that you do to say that you have done it, but aren’t dying to do again. Would recommend going when it is not busy (early morning or offseason) so that it is easier to take pictures without worrying about other people being in it.

11 days ago

Really nice hike. Roads were closed due to snow when we visited so took the long way, but was worth it because of all the Mule deer that crossed the trail in front of us. Not recommended on a cloudy day, because then there is no view from the top.

Beautiful hike. As per previous reviews, the final 0.88 is ferocious. Not moderate. Ferocious. Especially in the snow. Bring poles and an extra can of determination. Totally worth it.

Overcrowded. Overrated. And relatively boring most of the hike. A nice workout and a gorgeous wait in line at the top. This hike wouldn’t be so bad if not as many unprepared and rude people hiked it. Go extremely early if you want to enjoy yourself and the nature around you.

Hiked mid October 2018 - Beautiful hike with stunning views from the top. Moderate elevation gain till the last mile where the trail switchbacks to the top. Worth every step! Group of 6 of us went up. Didn’t see another person during the whole 6 hour hike. The road was really rough getting to the trail head. Would recommend a high clearance vehicle.

Good hard hike for a nice workout. Did this during summer so I Started at 6 am with my dog and ended at 9/10 am. Start and end with a walk near the lake. Potato chip was a little disappointing and you have to climb up on to get to but still a nice fun hike.

Try to go early in the morning. You’ll bit the sun and the line to take a photo at the famous potato chip rock.

This is my second time on this hike and is fun and challenging as always. I went with a ton of my family so we kept stopping to take pictures. This trail is definitely a leg killer but if you push yourself you will make it! People need to pick up their dogs crap and throw the bags away! I’m trying to enjoy a nice hike without worrying about stepping in dog crap! It’s also very crowded, but really fun!

Very crowded, kind of boring

Trail itself was great. People hiking not so much. Unleashed dogs. Poop bags left on trailside everywhere. Way to crowded. Worst of all was the amplified music, seriously invest in some headphones if you really need the tunes. And the mountain bikers, why even try on a weekend?

we loved this hike. Alot of people was on the trail and at the "chip". Rain made it a lil slippery coming back down but overall it was amazing.

Great Spot! Got to get in early morning and enjoy it before a crowd showed up.

This is a really nice hike. It is a difficult one though. There is alot of elevation change over a short period. Start early, understand it will be cold at the top. It had rained the day before and the puddles further up this hike were all ice.

The trail itself is extremely well marked. Just keep following towards Mt Woodson. The first few miles are about 10 feet wide, well maintained and as the trail progresses it slowly gets narrower but never much below about 3 feet wide. The very steep parts all have rock stairs on the trail.

As you're hiking you might be wondering where the peak is. Look for all the anteneas. They are just above potato chip rock.

If you don't want to pay for parking, you can park across the street from the entrance, but it adds about 1.5 miles round trip to your hike and a bit of elevation.

19 days ago

I hiked telescope peak on 12/28 and as the previous reviewer stated, trail was quite icy (not enough snow to kick steps). I managed to bare boot the hike almost to the top with careful footwork but wore crampons for like 2 miles on the descent. Microspikes would be a better option than crampons - if you want your crampons to stay in good shape - because you go through sections of ice mixed with rock. Ice axe was a little useless due to the lack of snow to self-belay with, but trekking poles were helpful for extra balance.
I bagged Bennett and Roger on the way back, which is fun - you get cool vistas of the mountain you just climbed!

Beautiful and scary at top!

First of all follow the signs and stay on the trails. I got stranded before entering parking and took an alternate route which lead through non existing paths. Finally made my entry through a different point than Poway lake.

It took me around 5 hours to complete this trail
One of the best experience , saw people of all ages making with enthusiasm. At halfway I almost got exhausted due to the climb but got encouraged by fellow climbers.
Potato chip rick was crowded as usual. I made it back to the Poway lake by sunset.
Will recommend for all who want to take the challenge of completing this difficult trial.

So, I attempted this on Dec 26th 2018 without snow gear. It was a dumb idea! Trail was iced completely over in places and, being on a bluff, it became treacherous very quickly. Bring the right gear!

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