Hiking Project Logo

Potato Chip Rock

Intermediate/Difficult
  4.3 ( 41 ) Favorite

Trail

7.1 mile 11.5 kilometer out and back
Intermediate/Difficult

Elevation

Ascent: 1,881' 573 m
Descent: -1,881' -573 m
High: 2,717' 828 m
Low: 946' 288 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 10% (6°)
Max Grade: 42% (23°)

Dogs

Leashed
Driving directions Take a virtual tour
Zoom in to see details
Map Key

Potato Chip Rock is located near the peak of Mount Woodson and can be accessed by a moderate hike.

David Galy

Features Birding · Lake · Views · Wildflowers

Overview

The Mt. Woodson trailhead is located on the west side of Lake Poway off of Lake Poway Road. Starting from the Lake Poway Staging area, the hike to the Mt. Woodson Summit is a difficult but rewarding ~2,000' climb.

This seven-mile round trip hike may take 3-4 hours on average and is only suggested for experienced hikers looking for a good workout with beautiful views.

Need to Know

There is a $10 parking fee for automobiles (Non-Poway residents) and a $2 fee for motorcycles between March 1 and mid-November.

Description

To begin this route, head east/southeast on the Lake Poway Trail as it bends around the south shore of the lake. At a little under one mile, look for the right hand turn on to Mt. Woodson Trail. This marks the first stage of the out-and-back climb on a wide fire road.

After a mile, there will be a quick break in the uphill grade and there will be a clearing here on the south side of the trail (right).

Push on for the remaining ~1.8-mile ascent through a network of boulders. This section is very exposed to the sun so plan accordingly with water and sun protection.

Make the final climb along the switchbacks and look for the iconic Potato Chip Rock as you make your way to the top. Rest up, refuel, and explore this bizarre geologic feature before heading back the way you came.

Hiked this trail?

We need help with the following missing trail information:

Family Friendly, ADA Accessible, Flora & Fauna, History & Background

Contacts

Rate This Featured Hike

Rate Quality


   Clear Rating

Rate Difficulty

Share This Hike

Check In

Check-Ins

Sep 5, 2019
Hannah Mitchell
7.3mi — 4h 00m
Aug 31, 2019
Chad Foster
Aug 17, 2019
Ale Garofalo
7.1mi — 3h 05m
Jul 23, 2019
Daniel Grotte
I drank 1 gallon of water. 7.1mi — 3h 50m
Jun 22, 2019
Taylor French
Very busy at the top. Better hike than I was expecting. Fun. 8mi — 2h 46m
Jun 9, 2019
Lorenzo Page
Jun 9, 2019
Mariko Burgin
Jun 2, 2019
Rogelio López

Trail Ratings

  4.3 from 41 votes

#1

in Lake Poway

#180

Overall
  4.3 from 41 votes
5 Star
44%
4 Star
44%
3 Star
10%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
2%
Featured Hike Rankings

#1

in Lake Poway

#26

in California

#180

Overall
201 Views Last Month
10,164 Since May 6, 2016
Intermediate/Difficult

0%
9%
24%
56%
12%
0%

0 Comments

Hiking Project is part of the REI Co-op family,
where a life outdoors is a life well lived.

Shop REI Hiking