Potato Chip Rock via Mt. Woodson Trail

MODERATE 1,861 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

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.

1 day ago

Third trip but this time from the 67 side once again great trip and what a surprise only the two of us at the chip!

hiking
2 days ago

Great hiking place!

4 days ago

Loved the hike, the views, the location and all of the rock gormations, including the "chip!"

We entered off of Lake Poway, the less traveled road. we began at 06:00 and were practically alone. We went mid-week and had the "chip" to ourselves for at least an hour. No line, no people, no noise, no kidding.

I'll go back again and probably begin even earlier!

hiking
4 days ago

This was a great day hike. The landscape reminded me of Joshua Tree, with lots of oversized boulders to wind around. Potato chip rock was cool and thrilling to stand on. Be aware, to get up and down the chip requires some scrambling. The biggest bummer was the line to stand on it - we literally waited for 30 minutes while people had their pictures taken over and over. It was frustrating.

hiking
4 days ago

Beautiful!! Tough hike bring lots of water. I wish I could visit more but parking a little bit too expensive

5 days ago

I loved the varied scenery of lake, mountains and Vistas. Hikers were mostly young and all were friendly. I didn’t see any other grandmas on but it’s a pretty tough hike.

hiking
5 days ago

Really busy Trail and long line if you leave to late.

5 days ago

Nice hike. Went up the service road on the back side. Nice sunset

hiking
5 days ago

Tough going up if your novice. Worth it in the end of course. Took me 3 hrs round trip.

hiking
6 days ago

The hike is fun. Theres a line to take a picture on a rock.

hiking
8 days ago

This is a wonderful hike that is doable to most people of normal physical health. It begins very scenic on a dirt trail that winds around Lake Poway and then narrows and becomes steeper. About halfway, it becomes a series of switchbacks made of mostly rocks. The views at the summit are beautiful. The only negative is that because there is one particular attraction, the potato chip rock itself, you will have to wait to get your chance at a picture on it. But be patient and courteous and your turn will come. Everybody worked their butt off getting there, let them have their moment too.

12 days ago

If only people were more considerate when taking photos at the potato chip rock...we just wasted 1h waiting in line for some divas to take the perfect Instagram photo. Other than that, the hike was great!

12 days ago

Good hike. Very popular and lots of foot traffic

13 days ago

I really enjoyed this trail. There’s this big lake next to it (although it not sure what it’s called hehe). But wowwww this trail is so sexy. The trail is a lot of dirt which isn’t my favorite but I don’t mind sloshing around in the mud. Anyway, there’s lot of really pretty bathrooms on the trail and you hear a lot of people speaking in foreign accents which is really cool. I like the different languages because I just spent a lot of time in Vietnam. And I really enjoy other cultures. Have fun w you and yours

hiking
13 days ago

One of my favorite hikes i come at least twice a week and around the holidays and weekends it’s always more people that’s than usually I’ve been all times of the day and week .. i would not recommend to go on a HOT day and your not use to the hike because like others have said the trail is very exposed . I’ve hiked it at 92 degrees the craziest idea I had that day.. but it’s def a experience for anyone I’ve seen small children as well. Hope you enjoy it !

13 days ago

Great overall workout...challenging the first couple times but such a sense of accomplishment once you are at the top with the amazing views.

hiking
17 days ago

Great hike. To add some challenge and mileage start at the Blue Sky Ecological Preserve trail head.

hiking
17 days ago

Although it is a busy trail, the view is worth the added people. Choose your time right and it is not crowded. It is very exposed so bring water.

hiking
19 days ago

Half of the hike is very boring and on hard dirt/rocky asphalt although when you get to the top there is a lot of stuff to see. The wait in the line for a picture at the rock is usually not worth it.

20 days ago

We took the hike up the fire road which is shorter (maybe 2 miles?) but a pretty steep incline the entire way! We went with our kids (8, 6, 4, and 1). I carried our toddler and by the time we reached the top, was exhausted. The kids like to hike and this one wore them out for sure! The views from top are amazing and totally worth the climb.

Load More