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

To Hike Map

Easy to get to and very well maintained trail. First half is a wide, uphill path with the second half being a stepper trail up stones. There is a long line to take a photo at the top though. Got up in about an hour really pushing the pace.

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.

no shade
washed out
2 days ago

It’s a great stroll! It’s washed out from the recent fires and mudslides but still very pretty and doable.

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

Definitely go counter clockwise - it’s a gorgeous hike, bring plenty of water. We did 7miles in 3 hours including brief stop for snack and pics at the summit. It’s a bruiser, definitely a long and great work out.

Great Sunday Hike enjoyed it for sure doing this hike again.

9 days ago

Gorgeous rolling greens trail. Moderate yet muddy when I chose to go last weekend after the rains. Lots of fun off shoots to explore. It was beautiful to see the regrowth coming in since the fires. A total rebirth of the valley. We saw loads of coyotes coming back and looking for meals so think about keeping small dogs on leashes.

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.

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.

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.

It was a tough climb . We chose to walk anti clockwise , which gave us spectacular views as we climbed to the peak . We hit the hot springs on the way down which was perfect .

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.

tough hike ...I got sore knees and hips FOR 10 DAYS !

A good workout for sure. We started at the lake and walked up. Paths were pretty wide and well laid out. Some shade but mostly exposed so I’d suggest wear a hat and sunglasses.
As an aside...Some groups take a long time at the photo opp at the rock that caused a long (45 min) line on a Friday. Maybe there should be a sign reminding people to be more considerate.
Not a beginner hike but saw people of all age and size on this trail! Just need determination.

So sad that this beautiful place was ravaged by wildfire, but it is still beautiful and interesting. We saw lots of birds of prey and a coyote. We hiked just the loop with 5 kids ages 8-16, and they did great! Only one slightly steep section, the rest was a lovely meander. Bright green new growth makes one section look like Hobbiton. The rest is a bit Desolation of Smaug...

group of us did it lake Poway took us 2 hours from the parking lot to the potato chip. Nice cool day lots of people. great trip even with my bad knees and pending hernia surgery.

great workout and amazing views.

Loved this hike! It’s definitely a moderate hike that requires some endurance for all the hills. I would not take a beginner here due to the amount of hills that are pretty steep. Moderate to more advanced hikers for this one. I also think there are many ways to enter this hiking trail that allows for more of a flatter trail experience , but I do not know that so well. I’m only giving information based off of entering the hike through O’Melveny Park.

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