Potato Chip Rock via Mt. Woodson Trail

MODERATE 1202 reviews
#1 of 5 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.

7.5 miles 2335 feet Out & Back

dogs on leash

camping

hiking

mountain biking

trail running

walking

lake

views

wildlife

Mt Woodson offers breathtaking vistas along the hike from Lake Poway. This hike is moderately strenuous, and easy to access due to its convenient location. The trail is very steep and narrow in some places, but well marked and maintained most of the way until the last 1/2 hour to the top. In the summer, be sure to take enough water, it gets extremely hot and dry! The views to the ocean and to Palomar Mountain to the East are worth the effort. Consider bringing a picnic for the top or when getting back to Lake Poway. There is a shorter but steeper way to the top, via highway 67 that is paved and well maintained, but less often travelled.

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8 hours ago

This is one of my most favorite hikes! The view is amazing and it definitely is a workout! If you're looking for an easy hike, this is not the hike for you. Very steep and please please go early, with the difficulty of the hike and mid-day heat...especially in the summer... it can be even more brutal. Pack plenty of water and a rewarding snack once you get to the top. Enjoy!!!

hiking
10 hours ago

I loved this hike but it is very steep the majority of the way and because southern California is mostly desert, this hike is exposed to the sun the entire way. Potato chip rock is cool but I unfortunately could only view it from afar, as there were a ridiculous amount of people literally lined along the summit to get a picture on it. I intend to do this hike again, but not midday on a weekend.

21 hours ago

1 day ago

Nice hike. Took the shorter, but steeper route. Mainly uphill with a some shaded areas and places to stop for a drink/snack. Waiting to take a picture was almost as long as it took to hike up, easily 45 minutes. According to some locals at the top, the line was shorter today, as it was a Monday. Although it's also "spring break season". Be prepared for that if you want a picture and bring some water.

hiking
1 day ago

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hiking
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2 days ago

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trail running
2 days ago

Second half of hike is pretty steep. Very beautiful view

2 days ago

It wasn't that bad but bring lots of water and sun screen. There's two ways to get to Potato Chip Rock, this trail is accessed from the park's parking lot.
For those that are like me... once you see the antenas on top of the mountain... you're almost there.!! ;)

hiking
2 days ago

Great hike, lovely views.

2 days ago

Pretty long (7.5 round trip) but very scenic. This is obviously a popular trail in San Diego with the potato chip rock at the end. Hurry and do it if you haven't already. I have heard that the chip is cracking and they may close it to the public. There was about a 30 minute wait to get onto the chip rock, but it was a scenic wait. Definitely sketchy to get on the rock. You have to leap onto it and then carefully climb onto it. Its MUCH smaller than it looks in photos, and is fairly high. If you're afraid of heights like I am, its a bit nerve wracking. haha. But a nice feeling of accomplishment afterwards. Great hike!

3 days ago

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hiking
5 days ago