Potato Chip Rock via Mt. Woodson Trail

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Lake Poway Park

Potato Chip Rock via Mt. Woodson Trail is a 7.6 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.

Length7.6 miElevation gain2,112 ftRoute typeOut & back
Dogs on leashHikingMountain bikingNature tripsRock climbingLakePartially pavedViewsWildflowersWildlifeRockyNo shadeFee
Description
Waypoints (4)
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Getting There

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)

Ample parking is available in the park. There are restrooms and picnic areas at the park surrounding the trailhead.

From Espola Road go to the Lake Poway entrance. On weekdays access to Lake Poway is free. On weekends, for non-Poway residents, the fee is $10.00 for all day. The lake and park are very clean and a well maintained. We had a picnic with our kids and had an enjoyable day at the park after our hike. Take the lake trail to the east side where the trailhead is clearly marked about .5 mile from the dock going counter clockwise around the lake.

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Reviews (6,027)
Photos (3,690)
Recordings (5,126)
Completed (14,300)
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Susan Terhaar
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Perfect hiking conditions...low 60s, weekday, mostly cloudy. Few other hikers. Definitely recommend hiking poles or walking stick for the 55+ group, like me!

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gil gonzalez
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Hiking

Awesome hike!

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C. Gutierrez
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Hiking

steeeeeeep! but such a gain. the view was beautiful and what a work out! I finally did it after wanting to do this for 5 years! I will do it again someday make sure your foot gear is good. there were rocks & pebbles on the hike. if you have not so good knees, might be wise to have walking sticks, which I didn't bring. go early as it could get crowded.

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Yolanda Aguilar
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HikingGreat!

Every step of the way was beautiful! A total recommend for anyone that wants to push themselves! First part of the trail was steep.. after 15 minutes the trail gets super easy! And the view is amazing !

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Nadia Felix-Hyde
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Tony James
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Hiking

Tons of fun. Bring a friend. Or don’t

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Justin Horwitz
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Hiking

Came on a Thursday and trail was nice and quiet. Overall a great hike and definitely a good workout. Getting out to the potato chip was a bit tricker then I had expected but a fun way to enjoy the summit.

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Paul Weiler
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Hiking

It’s all good

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Logan Sibbet
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Hiking

Ass kicking to run

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Adam Carlin
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Hiking

Beautiful and windy!

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Shani Anderson
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Hiking

It was EXTREMELY windy which made the climb up even more of a challenge! Almost got blow off the rock trying to take a picture which was scary and hilarious! Not many people at all! Great climb with beautiful views

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Kelsi Hendrix
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Hiking

Nice & empty on a Tuesday afternoon! Trail in great condition

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Jolly Hiker
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HikingGreat!

Great trail, start early to avoid the heat.

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Charley Taylor
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HikingGreat!

Great, scenic hike. Def go in the morning before it gets busy (and hot). The climb up hike can be a challenge for some but I enjoyed it... didn’t get me too winded going up. Definitely bring lots of water!

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Trace Tomme
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Hiking

Stunning views of influencers in the wild

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Bryan Kestell
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Hiking

Great trail. Get’s more crowded the later in the morning ya start, so if want less ppl, consider gettin there early

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Alene romero
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Hiking

the trail was hard but worh it

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Bevy Magette
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Ni Yingqi
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Hiking

Always the best trail. More trees than before

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Bri T
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Hiking

Nice workout

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Shashank Sarbada
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domingo arredondo
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Steve Castelblanco
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Hiking

Great trail. Fun. Relatively moderate. A helicopter flew right over us. Cool stuff.

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Danny Farah
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Natalie Chernik
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Hiking

Nice trail, but too crowded even with starting at 6:45am.

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Cintia Hernandez
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Hiking

Awesome, beautiful day

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Mike Hayden
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Hiking

Good fitness hike. To crowded on a Saturday morning but I usually just pass people up.

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Michael Bui
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Hiking

Amazing views. Love that we have this in our own state. Went on Saturday during peak covid, the wait to the actual chip for photos is 1.5hrs. It’s worthwhile but don’t expect anyone to abide by the mask or 6ft rules. Took about 2.5hrs up and 2hrs down.

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Nick Hofmeyer
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HikingGreat!
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Thuỷ-Vân Nguyễn
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