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

I've done this trail a few times along with several of the other nearby ones. It's a nice change of scenery on Palomar Mountain from the desert below. It's a shame Scott's Cabin has not survived, but the apple orchard still being cultivated is really neat.

This is a strenuous hike and well worth it. Did this hike on January 11, 2019. Snow was 3ft or higher and temperatures in the very low degrees. We were equipped with the necessary things that we needed to finish the hike at night. Starting at 10:20 am and finished at 8:20 pm. Well worth it. One important thing is to have a map or download AllTrails.

hiking
6 days ago

Very beautiful view once you reach the summit ! Get up there early and earn the sunrise!

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.

Too many people!

Not for the unprepared or inexperienced due to weather!! Also, prepare for 1 hour + wait time for the tram if you do not arrive EARLY.

TRAIL DETAILS as of 1/6/2019

Went up yesterday to the summit. You will need snowshoes and crampons to get to the top safely and since the going is slow, plan your daylight time for an 8 hour round-trip just to be safe.

LOTS OF SNOW: there is about 3-4 ft of soft powder past Wellman’s Divide and you may or may not have a clear trail carved out for you. Pack for temps in the 10-15 degrees with strong gusts of wind. Reservoir tubes freeze quickly so know the steps to keep your water flowing as it’s a strenuous climb in the deep powder!

Otherwise, it’s a beautiful hike in near perfect winter/snow conditions but be smart and gear up to stay warm!!

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?

Went New Year’s Day and it was trafficked as expected for a cool morning. Get hike for a challenge and felt great to accomplish it. Stay hydrated

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.

Super easy nice hike. Not sure what is up with the comments about it not being a loop. Crossover at the waterfall, then back at the sign that says park crossing... easy day.

Quite crowded all the way up to Cowles. Lots of dogs. Not too many people on the Pyles trail. Overall too busy for me. Views are ok, but you might want to pick a very clear day. Took me two hours while running most flat and downhill stretches.

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.

hiking
16 days ago

Excellent hike! Highly recommend hiking boots and gloves!

Completed this back in October of 2018. This was my wife and I first peak summit and enjoyed every minute of it! Overall the hike is closer to 15 miles, took us 7.5 hours. If you are into hiking and have decent fitness level you should be able to do this hike with no real issues. Make sure you have the proper attire and gear, plenty of water(we each brought 4.5L of water and had plenty) and a map for reference and you are in good shape. Well worth the effort! Strenuous but attainable!

Took our kids (7 and 9) down the trail to the beach. Recommend wearing good shoes vs tennis shoes. Was a fun experience and really cool rock features.

Solid easy peaceful walk. Lots of lovely oaks, plethora of picnic spots. Great for families. Tons of water after the recent rains. Not particularly my cup of tea but great for what it is!

Beautiful and scary at top!

Not terribly crowded for New Years Day - great somewhat challenging hike

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.

Great way to spend the first day of 2019!

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