Nestled in the hills of Poway, the Lake Poway Recreation Area not only serves as the water supply for residents, but also has provided exceptional outdoor recreational opportunities since 1972. Get hooked on fishing and boating, head up the mountain on a hike, take aim at archery, or enjoy a leisurely picnic. Park closes at sunset.

trail running
1 day ago

I love going here and taking my pup. It's nice cause it has some shady spots in the valley to stop to let him rest for a bit no no where really for people to sit which is fine. You do need to get their early for parking on the weekends but the weekdays are not so bad. They also have hiking events and knowledgable volunteers that you'll see walking the trails sometimes. They're friendly and happy to answer questions about this trail and others in the area. It was fun cause we've seen deer on multiple occasions which threw my pup for a loop since he'd never seen one. This is a regular spot for us!

One of my favorites/ from Blue Sky preserve its a mile down before switching back up to Lake Poway and continuing to the summit. Bring more water and electrolytes than u expect. It is always hotter near the lake compared to the parking lot and does cool off as you climb. Also don’t underestimate water for your dog!!

Beautiful hike

Worth the climb! Amazing views from every angle! Great workout!

The boys (husky mixes) and I finally made this hike today. Gorgeous views & rock formations; I took so many photos of the boys standing on the rocks and looking off into the distance.
I average 3-5 miles daily with some elevation on run days and I really felt like this was a challenging hike; we took about 3 hours including breaks for water & photos and a long walk back to the first parking lot. Next time, I’ll park much closer to the trailhead. I couldn’t believe the number of people we encountered running this trail! I also was amazed at the number of kids doing this hike!
I brought 4 liters of water and we went through most of it- though I’m pretty sure I leaked as my pack & back were soaked when we reached the top. Thankfully, I had 2 separate bladders and the second was full for our trip down. Had just enough at the end to fill the boys’ bowls one last time and the stinkers didn’t even want it!
We started at 7:45 and managed to have much shade up until probably the last mile or so on the way down. We did not see any snakes, but the boys found a few lizards.
There were enough people that I felt safe as a solo female but, surprisingly, not near as many people I expected having read about this hike online. We did not stop for a chip photo, as we were solo. Like others, we saw some drones up at the top and heard an occasional speaker.
We didn’t come across any aggressive or unleashed dogs.
We found people we encountered to be polite, if not downright friendly. The boys got a few pets & ear scratches from new friends. We tried really hard to give way in narrow spots and others did the same.
We’ll definitely be back.

Amazing trail and great workout!

Excellent workout!...
Afraid of snakes but worth the hike. I will come back with friends, perfect place to meditate and relax.
This is where I realize that I must workout harder to be in shape " GOOD HEALTH ".
Enjoy life!......

Great location and fun hike.

Good trail & perfect Apring temps yesterday. We did see a rattles Abe crossing the trail, so keep an eye out.
4/08/18

Good trail; perfect Spring temps yesterday. We did see a rattle snake crossing the trail, so keep an eye out.
4/08/18

Needed to wait in line for a pic on the rock

Great trail run for uphill and downhill. Approx 2 hrs if you bypass the line up top to take a photo.

A good workout for the day. The views are great but teenagers ruin it with loud music all the way to the top. Even at the top there was a small crowd (50+) waiting in line to climb on the rock. Still, the battle for whose loud music to overcome the other. 10am on top was not early enough.

Great hike. Really enjoyed these steeper climb toward the end. Lots dogs and lots of people. Recommend if you don’t mind a lot of traffic.

Really fun hike and shockingly not that crowded on a Saturday. From Poway lake to Potato chip rock it was 2.5 hours, just under 7 miles round trip. I would say a moderate hike but have hiking shoes and plenty of water. One crazy thing we saw was people with drones at the top. One guy on the potato chip rock had drone taking pictures of himself for about 10 minutes while other people were waiting in line! How about this- get on the potato chip rock take picture like a normal person and walk away?!

great endurance hike

Amazing hike! Definitely a great workout with a solid 33 pounds of baby on your back. Great views! Go early to get some shade and not have to wait long to get your picture on the chip ;). Bring plenty of water and snacks!

Amazing trail. Great views. Definitely would do it again. Take plenty of water!! On the harder side.

best trail i have done,will definitely be back.

Great hike and view!

This trail is more on the hard side because of its length (7.6 miles) and it’s steepness. If you or whoever you’re with isn’t in pretty good shape don’t try it. There is a long line at the potato chip rock to take a picture. Take one bottle of water per person plus snack bars. Wear hiking shoes or boots, not running shoes, due to rocks. Wear sunscreen at midday.

Really great trail, but really exhausting for the people we brought along who don’t hike all the time. There weren’t any maps located at the trail head, but as long as you keep following the Mt Woodson Trail and don’t get led astray by other trails forking off, you should be fine. Jumping across to the potato chip park of the Boulder was a little scary for myself who is afraid of heights, but had to do it for the pic. Happy trails!

Great incline for a workout. I went on Tuesday and just a few of us in line for the photo op :) bring lots of water and protein bars.

done it a few times. great trail. make it longer by going the other way around the lake on the way back down

Great incline with beautiful views

Fun day, a lot of people...

challenging and so much fun. bring plenty of water and snacks! sunscreen and hats required.

The All Trails description is right on, beautiful views. Definitely harder then I thought it was going to be though. We went on a Monday in early March, only 10 or 15 people at Potato chip. Bring plenty of water!

Great trail, in good shape.

Great as long as it is cool!!

Such a beautiful view!! Go on a weekday (we went on a Tuesday) for free parking and little to no lines to take a picture on top of the Potato Chip Rock. Prepare yourself for a lot of inclines. There are many interesting rock formations. We spotted both hamburger and hippopotamus rocks along the way. When you start the hike to Mt. Woodson trail, you'll be greeted by a breathtaking lake. Also, get there early! We started the hike around 8:30am and finished around 11am (round trip). Definitely worth it!

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