Potato Chip Rock via Mt. Woodson Trail

MODERATE 1,956 reviews
#1 of 4 trails in

Potato Chip Rock via Mt. Woodson Trail is a 7.5 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Poway, California that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
7.5 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2070 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

camping

hiking

mountain biking

trail running

walking

lake

views

wildlife

scramble

One of the most popular trails for photo ops and scenic views of the Pacific Ocean, this steep and narrow hike up to Potato Chip Rock and Mount Woodson summit is a must-do for locals and visitors alike. Located in northern San Diego county, the Mount Woodson trailhead starts at the end of Lake Poway Road at Lake Poway and offers hikers, climbers and trail runners a challenging trail up to the famous potato chip boulder and Mount Woodson Summit. This is a great place for a good workout and training for long hikes and runs. This is a very exposed trail so please bring plenty of water and sunscreen. Lake Poway PARKING IS FREE during the week- (weekends and holidays it's $10.00 for non- Poway residents)

hiking
16 hours ago

Beautiful trail!

Tough but worthwhile the hike.

1 day ago

good

hiking
3 days ago

The hike is fairly steep in the beginning but it gets better as you go. It is paved and has beautiful views all through out. There is a line to take photos at potato chip rock, which for us was about a 45 minute wait. Don't know when we will be able to go back so we went ahead and waited but we got some cool pictures.

4 days ago

Tough hike for most but worth it and if you get up there you should go to the top of the mountain for the view of the other side about another 1/4 mile up.

4 days ago

greathiking

hiking
5 days ago

Great hike. Make sure you have at least three hours and LOTS of water. The trail is easy but the elevation gain will kick you butt.

5 days ago

Great work out, but lots of people at the potato chip.

6 days ago

Wow! This was definitely a 7 mile trek round trip! Felt like I was going up and up and up a ton of steps for a good mile or so! Great step up workout! My glutes were on fire! Great view at the top but people were taking forever on top of the “chip” so we decided not to wait an hour and half to take a pic! Weekend was very very busy! Go during the week if possible!

6 days ago

Loved it.

8 days ago

difficult to do, but nice once you're on top.

hiking
14 days ago

Pay 5 for parking - when I last did this trail. Trail is really only 3 miles one way, so about 6 roundtrip - not 7.5 as this suggests. This trail is not difficult, that is unless it is not very hot. Even then there is bountiful shade to be had, but be sure to bring water. There is a long line to get a picture with the rock. I'd say this trail is not worth your time, unless you are there for the picnicking or fishing. For a good hike, see el capitan in Lakeside.

14 days ago

Wait 1hour for pics

hiking
14 days ago

Listed as moderate.....ummm....I guess I’ll stay away from anything listed as strenuous in that case. The steps/switchback nonsense were a surprise. Didn’t see anything about that in the reviews before we went

15 days ago

intense , i enjoy sceneries so i wish they’re was a bit more , i really liked about halfway point there’s a tree that overlooks the mountain , the highest peak there’s a view of the highways which didn’t really satisfy me , 6 mike hike to see highways is not really what i enjoy

15 days ago

Good Hike

hiking
17 days ago

Fantastic trail and great view at the top!!

hiking
18 days ago

Lake Poway PARKING IS FREE (except weekends and holidays it's $10.00 for non- Poway residents)

hiking
18 days ago

I’m not sure if was because it was hot but this hike was not a favorite. Going up was challenging for me and I hated going down even more. It’s not on my “to do again” list. More like one time was enough for me. People were very friendly and encouraging which I appreciated.

hiking
21 days ago

We had to do this hike that everyone posts photos of and it was a good, challenging hike, but it wasn’t at the top of our list. We commented that the views weren’t as nice as some others, but I wonder if it is because it is so much about people trying to get photos of themselves (inward) at Potato Chip Rock versus just enjoying the views outward more.

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