Blue Sky Reserve to Mount Woodson Trail

MODERATE 50 reviews
#3 of 3 trails in

Blue Sky Reserve to Mount Woodson Trail is a 9.9 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Poway, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

9.9 miles
2372 feet
Out & Back

dogs on leash



nature trips

trail running



wild flowers



Blue Sky Reserve to Mt. Woodson to Iron Mt Out and Back is an out and back trail located near Poway, California. The trail is rated as moderate.

trail running
30 days ago

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!!

7 months ago

I enjoyed this hike and ALMOST made it to the peak, BUT, needed to turn around with about a mile left since I was fighting sunset cutoff for the parking lot. Since this was my first hike from this starting location, I wasn't sure how strict the park is with closing the parking lot gates. Bummer, because I was so close. Next time, I'll leave more time (I started about about 4pm and that was too late. Parking is free from this location. I do recommend hiking poles and running the flat sections if you're into that sort of thing (I am). I had about 2 liters of water with me and on a cooler day, this is fine for me. I did have a recording for this hike, but something happened and it cancelled out, so I no longer have it. I will upload photos when I get to them.

8 months ago

This was a great hike make sure to bring plenty of water!

10 months ago

Very enjoyable trail overall. but I'd classify the traffic as high. Quite the gathering of people at the top waiting for photo opportunities. There is a good deal of climbing as the terrain profile suggests; however, it's fairly gradual overall.

Sunday, May 07, 2017

Great in the rain. Tried to record the hike but the app kept glitching. Probably won't be using it for that anymore.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Great hike. The main thing that lessens it is that it is way too crowded.

Friday, February 03, 2017

I will never understand why any hike that involves Mt. Woodson is rated as moderate. I hike very frequently (2-5 a week) and I'm in good shape, but that first mile or so of incline is KILLER. Anyways, this was a great hike (: I enjoyed the Blue Sky extension instead of the normal walk around Lake Poway to get to the Mt. Woodson trailhead, as you get to walk through some pretty oak trees. It ended up being a little under 12 miles for me, and took four hours total. Good workout, beautiful views, and a well maintained trail... just be sure to bring water!

Monday, October 10, 2016

This trail is a round trip of about 6-7 miles. On the first half you climb a pretty step incline on paved road. It literally kicked my butt. I had to stop every 15-20 steps to catch my breath & give my legs rest. Now, I'm in the worst shape of my life. Still, that incline is a killer

trail running
Saturday, October 01, 2016

This trail ends up being like a mile less on my route even though I follow it pretty close, I don't know what's up with that. So everything is pretty moderate until about 1 mile then after that it starts going uphill for the rest of the time until you reach the summit. I would rate this at a higher level of difficulty for this particular route than as it is currently rated. Also I've gotten turned around every time I've gone here and missed a turn or turned somewhere I wasn't supposed to go because the markers aren't that great. I've kept having to pull this app out to make sure I'm going the right way. Make sure to bring plenty of water, I bring my 2 liter camelbak and haven't drank it all but I've drank a lot of it, but I do go beyond this trail route and run some more miles. It beats having to pay $5 at Lake Poway. It also isn't too crowded until you meet with the potato chippers who came from Lake Poway, probably about 2 miles in.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Great views!! A hot day but nice hike. Did it on a Friday so not too busy. Big sky to potato chip rock, to the peak of Woodson (radio towers so can't really get there), then back, around lake poway on the south and back up to blue sky. Just under 12 miles total and about 2400 feet in elevation gain. Not too shabby! :)

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

Yeah this was a tough hike with a 8 year old we had to carry the whole way and our fishing gear... It was an amazing hike though.... didn't catch anything other than a sunburn hahaha.

trail running
Tuesday, October 13, 2015

THis was from Blue Sky Preserve to Mt Woodson via Lake Poway. BS is less than a mile down Espola Road before you turn into the Lake Poway Road (coming from S 1-15). Its the left turn before Lake Poway and its free! Lake Poway costs $5 for non residents on weekends.

The walk down is under Oak Trees (after you park in Blue Sky Lot) along the Creekside Trail.
Then 1 mile turn Right - sign is very clear to head to Lake Poway.
The next mile is up with decent incline and switchbacks. Today it was around 98'F - in the sun direct and VERY HOT.
I finished 2 Qts of water + electrolytes.
Shortly after you are looking down on Lake Poway and follow the trail to merge with the Lake Poway trail to Mt Woodson summit. All trails are very clear.
Its 3 miles to summit from here.
There are very clear signs to bring at least 2 L / 70 oz water - and yet some people did not bring any!
Next climb is decent - wide roads but good climb.
I ran / walked the way up to the summit.
Best part is the last mile as you are past the elevation gain and have great views of Olivenhain Lake and Rancho Santa Fe and Lake Hodgess.

The way down is runable.
I hit Lake Poway at dusk - 5:30 pm and i looked up when i heard scuffling in the chaparral and a coyote was watching me. So - take the Coyote warnings for real!

This trail was better than I expected; more runnable than Elfin - but still decent inclines to keep a modest effort.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Like this hike and, we Always turn off and head up to do the Lake Poway Loop trail prior to heading back. There is a lot of poison oak but if you stay on the trail you will be fine. About a mile in turn right on the trail up to Lake Poway and there is a little picnic area on the right with flush toilets. After that the hike up to the Lake is pretty steep but rewarding once you hit the top. Stop in the beautiful grassy picnic areas and enjoy the view and shade. We take our dogs on this and they love it.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Great hike through blue sky then around Lake Poway.

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trail running
6 months ago

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