Explore the most popular birding trails near Poway with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Good hike that can choose a varying distances.

Love everything about this hike.

Beautiful hike. Difficult but worth it! Start early park closes gates strictly 5pm

Great hike to chat with friends while getting some nature time on :)

Perfect to test our skills

Really well-maintained trail, nice variety in pathways, and beautiful views. Go AS EARLY as you can get there to enjoy some sense of solitude and beautiful light along the way.

For runners, a great place to practice decision-making for when to walk up steeps and when to run- and as a bonus, BOMBING downhill fun all the way.

Did this hike in October with fall temperatures. The rating of hard I believe depends on what time of year you go and what the temperature outside is. For us we started at around 9 am and the weather was perfect. On our way back around noon it was definitely hotter and more strenuous. Bring lots of water and snacks. Very well maintained hike! The rock requires you to make a somewhat questionable jump from one rock to another. Once you do it it’s not so bad. You have to lower yourself with your arms and get your footing on the potato chip rock. To get down I slid down the side of the rock. Overall great hike!

This was a great hike.
Only advice is....be in good cardio shape for this hike, or it will kick your butt!

Excellent choice for beginners, be prepared with a lot of water, crowded in the morning

Good hike that’s clean and taken care of. I carry a toddler in a backpack and it’s easy to manage and lots of spots to stop and enjoy the view if need be.

Great avenue for trail runners and hikers itching for a workout with a sip of Lactic Acid (moderate trail not Hard). In the summer of course it will feel hard (little to no shade). I loved the inclines, the switch backs are fun as they have cleverly constructed steps from surrounding rocks (beautifully done), a trail that keeps you guessing what’s next, and the routs are easy to navigate.
Nice rest areas, great scenic views, and surprisingly they have conveniently set out several bathroom areas. No matter if a beginner or avid hardcore runner you can find it here. If only looking for a relaxing picnic with friends and family they have a nice lake, fishing, boats, lots of grass and trees. While they “rest and eat” come with me and we will run up to eat some potato chips @2100ft. (Start from the Lake don’t cheat, take plenty of water, and enjoy Poway!)

This is a great hike with amazing views along the way. The thrill is when you get to the top and see the potato chip. As a bit of advice, do this one early to stay out of the heat but most importantly to be the crowds. We started at 8:00 from the parking lot and we went got to the top there was only a handful of people there. Within 1/2 hours there were at least 100 people and the lineups were getting longer and longer.

I give this trail a 4+. The beginning is easy and shady even after leaving late.(10AM) The middle is moderate, but the last mile or two is tough. November through March is the best time for this hike. Views we're hazy but impressive.

hiking
1 month ago

Used to hike here all the time when I was in high school.. I should go back and hike it again!!

I’m giving this 4 stars only because it was soooo crowded when I went. So my advice to you, don’t go during the weekend!! There was literally a long line to take a picture on the damn potato chip rock. And people take foreverrrrrr since there trying to get that perfect Instagram worthy pic, or their new tinder profile pic. Who knows, i didn’t stand in it. Overall the hike is great, def bring plenty of water if your going during the summer. Great workout, there is plenty of shady spots if you get too tired and need to rest.

Beautiful views the whole way up. Park your car at lake Poway. $10 parking fee on the weekend. They open at 6:00. I started at 6:30 and it was already pretty busy. The trail is very well maintained and marked. Moderate hike.

This trail is awesome and only lightly used until you meet up with the Iron Mountain Trail. Love training from this TH.

Great! Food and gallon of water very important. Beautiful view.

Make sure to go early if you’re doing this as a summer hike, as the trail has little to no shade most of the way. Bring more water than expected if you do leave early in the day. Very high incline for most of the hike and switchbacks until about 3/4 of the way through.

just did it yesterday. beautiful hike started 0700. all incline. scary jump needed to reach the chip rock. got help from a nice man. worth the photo op. going off the rock 2 options: 1. go back the way u jumped but requires help from people who could lift u. 2. go down to right. requires treks on shoes midway just slide down while laying down.

Great hike fore family. Make sure you bring water!!

Nice hike but can be over crowded. The earlier you go the better.

Love this trail! It can get a little crowded but if you go early in the morning or later in the afternoon you’re usually okay. Also there’s no shade so bring plenty of water!! Both my dogs have made it all the way up and back, it’s a great workout!

Nice hike, but can get very crowded. I have done this hike twice, both on weekdays mornings with a 7:30 start time. No line at the rock either time. By the time we started back down there were quite a few people on the trail. It's basically uphill all the way to the top but worth it for that cool photo. It's definitely not a casual stroll, so be prepared for a workout.

Good work out on a consistent uphill slope all the way to the top. Coming down is tough on knees and toes. But , it is all worth it! Good view and yes, the special Potato Chip rock!

amazing hard hike

For a continuous moderately paced hike, you can make it up to the summit in 1 hour. If you start right before 7 the mountain will shade you up until the last mile of the hike. Between 2- 1 1/2 mile point from the summit there seems to be an endless set of steps that are pretty challenging. Past the potato chip rock there is not much else and a radio station that ruins part of the view, but overall a decent hike.

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