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

San Diego County - Easy Map

Great view of Joshua Tree when you reach the top. Watch out for high winds!

Really enjoyed this trail. The actual “potato chip” was cool to see but surrounded by a ton of people. The trail in itself is I think the actual draw as it had great views and a nice amount of incline. Couldn’t find any bathrooms here but there are facilities four minutes up the road at the Iron Mt trailhead.

Excellent rock formations at the base, a moderate hike with few trees and sweeping valley views. Great way to get some altitude in a short amount of time. Hiked on New Years Eve in blistering wind. The hiking experience on the way up overtops the payoff at the top, so enjoy the journey!

5 days ago

Crowded, nothing too special. View was mediocre not really a Joshua tree vibe.

Did this hike on Sunday, January 13th 2019.

I’ll first start off by mentioning that you should pay no attention to those who say “you’re not really making the effort if you don’t hike the long way”. I’m calling all you out.
This was a good SOLID leg burning, heart pumping hike. This said after hiking down and back up out of Havasupai. Hats off to those I saw jogging it. Going to use this route to prepare for Whitney amongst others.
Do your research here. 1200’ over 2 miles = don’t be silly and try to take your kids up it after church on Sunday unless you know they can do it.

Great views await you at the top, from the Coronado Islands, Downtown, Cowles Mountain and up to Oceanside/Camp Pendleton even with the cackle of folks waiting, posing and trying to get that perfect photo on the “chip”. Would love to come up here to see some of those late summer sunsets.

If you are looking for a quiet, relaxing, back to nature hike, THIS IS NOT THE ONE. Go somewhere else to enjoy yourself and if you do decide to hike here and are looking for that, then don’t complain.

Dog owners: pick up your damn dog $h!t and haul it down with you. No one is going to do it for you, and as the signs say, there is no “poop fairy”. I was completely taken back by the lack of respect and endless baggies of crap tossed and conveniently placed for “pickup”. Respect the spot and the outdoors, or you might end up on the wrong side of a flying turd. Karma’s got her eye on you.

9 days ago

Very nice hike. Good views from the top, and challenging enough to make you work a little for it. We trail ran down which was super fun on all of rocks and “stairs”. Would definitely do again, but probably run the entire trail.

nature trips
10 days ago

Short loop around the area. Boulders to climb and play on. Very quick with informative placards. Good for families.

Perfect short hike that provides great views of the surrounding valley and mountains. Top of the mountain has a great stop and overlook for pictures. Challenging due to hiking uphill the whole way, but very worth it. If it’s summer, definitely pack water and sunscreen.

11 days ago

Great short hike with amazing views!

11 days ago

Went up early January 2018. Sunrise at around 6:50am, it took us about 35 minutes to get to the top, the hike is fairly easy as it’s not particularly rocky and the steps are wide and flat. Does get very windy and cold at the top (~20F) around that time. Great 360* view although not a lot of Joshua trees

My father and I went on this hike on January 6th 2019 and we enjoyed it.
There are many steep hills, hence breaks were taken when necessary. But it pays off to do the hike because once you get up to Potato Chip Rock you can get the best pictures there.
I would also recommend to dress warm if you are planning to hike this during the winter.

Short but really beautiful hike. The landscape changes a lot and a bit of rock climbing needed at certain points.

Well defined trail.

off road driving
12 days ago

CLOSED! Either due to the rain or the government shutdown. All trails on that road are LOCKED SHUT.

I would actually rate this is as "Hard" than "Moderate". I attempted it with a friend in September around 10 am and could not get to the top. Although concrete, there is a significant incline that takes your breath away (literally).
I went back on Jan 1st by myself, a little more prepared, at 8 am in the morning. Strong wind and biting cold aside, if you take stops along the way and enjoy the beauty of the Poway area, you will finish this. Took my about 2 hours to reach the Potato Chip and back. Did not spend much time up at the Potato chip as my fingers had frozen beyond feeling. Recommend an early start in general as parking is also easy. If going between Dec-Jan, cover yourself up like you would in snow. Otherwise, hiking gear with lots of water, sunscreen and a hat. Planning to do the 8 mile hike and compare as that's rated "Hard".

The road to the trail was closed today.

Easy and great scenery!

Pretty straight forward, high traffic hike. Start at the top, hike down to the water fall, turn around and hike up. Short scramble through a creek bed, nothing serious. Waterfall was very but there was a large pool at the bottom that was full. Very picturesque, and other routes to get to other vantage points of the waterfall are around. We clocked more like 6.2 miles on this hike. As I said, it’s all down hill to the waterfall then all uphill back.

16 days ago

I love this hike. When you get to the top, the silence is amazing. You can hear a single car approach from miles away. The views of the dancing Joshua Trees are captivating. I can't wait to go back! (Sept. 2000)

18 days ago

Quite possibly my favorite hike at Joshua Tree! Challenging enough to break a sweat and really feel accomplished when you reach the stunning 360 views at the top! Be sure to bring layers and sturdy shoes, in the winter it can get cold and even have ice/snow on some parts.

Great views, pretty easy trail. Got there early and there was plenty of parking, but as we were leaving the parking lot was full with multiple people waiting for spots.

nature trips
19 days ago

Great little loop with the whole family. Lots of fun boulders to climb and idyllic picture spots. Really cold and crowded day yesterday. Had to park a half mile away in a pullout because the parking lots nearby were all full.

I just did up to the mine then climbed to the top of the hill behind it. Really nice secluded hike for a generally packed Joshua tree np. Very peaceful, the mine is fenced off but kinda cool since it’s preserved well. Climb to the top of the hill behind it for a SICK view of the valley. Great for a morning hike and not too challenging!

19 days ago

Loved doing something a little different to get above the rock formations and see wilderness as far as your eyes can see. Went early and had no trouble with crowds. Lots of kids with families on the trail, which was impressive!

Would not recommend...a tad sketchy.

20 days ago

Simple, pleasant. Beautiful views east and west from the trailhead at sunset

on Ryan Mountain Trail

20 days ago

Busy, very chilly on Dec 29, and strenuous, but you don’t have to work very long to get to the simply stunning 360° views. If you only have a daytrip, consider making it your first hike and the other scenic loops will seem easy.

off road driving
20 days ago

Fun Jeep trail, not too hard.

Great moderate 6 mile out and back hike. Very peaceful finish at the end as we were able to have the resovoir to ourselves for a few minutes although there is no active waterfall.

20 days ago

Good intro to the park and some easy bouldering for nice vistas. Don’t choose this if you want to avoid the crowds.

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