Explore the most popular trails in Lake Poway Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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.

how many switchbacks? companies to Grand Canyon north rim climb. the payoff was worth every switchback

Great hike. So glad we hiked this trail up to the top rather than the shorter route from the other side. The trail on the lower portion ascending from Lake Poway is a wide gravel road and there are several sets of portable toilets dispersed along the way. Next the trail changes quickly to a steep rocky incline with lots of switchbacks. The views are spectacular and the prize at the top is Potato Chip Rock! Be prepared to stand in line to get your chance to stand on the ledge (our wait was 45 minutes), and ask a fellow hiker to take some photos of you.

hiking
bugs
no shade
3 days ago

Nice view good condition!!

hiking
3 days ago

I love this trail. I’ve hiked it with experienced hikers, newbies, and solo. It’s different every time. Now that I’ve gone later than my usual time I can say going early vs going later both have their pros and cons. The pro of going early is definitely the cooler weather, but the con is there’s usually more people. A pro of going later in the morning was the benefit of wide open trails, but it was fairly hot. The incline can definitely be challenging, but once you get to the top the views are amazing.

This is an amazing hike! Make sure to go as early as possible and bring enough food/water - the weather is heating up and the inclines getting to the Chip are intense. Totally worth it!

awesome views. cool rock

Great hike. Bring water and your camera. Takes around 4 hrs. Lengthy but not too difficult.

amazing trail. once you get to the top you can see for miles.

this was an excelent espirience...

Awesome trail and when you get there wait in the line to take a pic. younqill regret it in a week if you don't. also it dosent you t unless you go from lake Poway side.

It was definitely a challenge, but so worth it. Hiked/ran and completed in 2 hr 25 min.

Nice trail to walk/run with your dogs. Be there early, it gets warm.

hiking
rocky
19 days ago

Loved this hike, amazing with lots of shade. 3/30/2019 Wide trails, fabulous views, finished with cold drink by the lake. Outstanding!

Great hike! Surprising how many people are waiting in line up there taking selfies considering how tough it is, though. Usually something like this weeds those people out lol.

There's nothing like hiking in cooler weather and wild flowers blooming

Great views of Lake Poway. Trail is in good condition.

great hike for training, use this trail to get used to climbing. terrific view at the top. Gets very crowded, hike it in the morning!

it was steep and long, but it was worth the fun

Hike was more of a moderate climb to me. Not real tough and awesome views. Was a lot more difficult getting on to potato chip rock than anticipated. Very enjoyable hike ! Be careful climbing onto the chip

Instagram junk. This is a solid hike, but the Instagram crowd at the "summit" is insufferable, taking up to 5 minutes per "session" of glamor shots and other nonsense monopolizing the potato chip. All Instagram photos conveniently omit the eyesore cell phone towers just a few yards away.

I have done this hike a few other times, today I was feeling luckily and hiked it twice in one day. I know I’ll regret it for the next few days, but it felt rewarding today

Excelente trail with gorgeous views. The infamous potato chip rock is an amazing sight and worth the hike and wait
For your turn to take pictures.

Great trail.

Had a blast doing this trail! We got to the trail head around 745 and was greeted by an empty parking lot! I assume this was the case because it was daylight savings the previous night so there weren't nearly the amount of people I expected. This trail is not for the faint of heart, it's a pretty steady incline the entire way with rock stair during the second half of the trail. The views are nice and the Potato Chip Rock itself is pretty awesome to be on! There also wasn't a line for photo ops so that was awesome. Logged just under 4 hours and 2,180 ft of elevation gain. We will definitely be back for more trails in this area as we live in OC :)

Started around 6:30am so it is not too crowded. Good hike, but not so nice view compared to other hiking sites in San Diego. The only highlight here is the potato chip rock which is popular site for taking photos, other than that it is just a regular hiking site. Good thing we arrived early so there are no long queue just to take a photo.

1 month ago

This is an overcrowded and overrated trail in my opinion. I stay away because there are so many better options in San Diego county.

Super worth it! Just keep in mind that the majority of the hike is uphill to get to the Chip rock. If you're not used to walking uphill for a couple of miles this hike might be a tough one for you.Make sure you bring plenty of water. Now some people here have said that it gets very crowded but it all depends on what day you go. We went on a tuesday afternoon and it was not crowded at all. So just plan ahead. Definitely a good hike.

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