Potato Chip Rock | Hiking Mt. Woodson Trail | Lake Poway Hiking

Potato Chip Rock | Hiking Mt. Woodson Trail | Lake Poway Hiking

Potato Chip rock

Potato Chip Rock is a fun and very rewarding hike in Southern California. Located in the city of Poway, roughly 30 miles North East of San Diego. It’s a very popular hike with high traffic trails, but still one of my favorites!


The Stats

  • Difficult
  • Roughly 2,000 ft elevation gain
  • 3-4 hours roadtrip
  • Roughly 8 miles

Poway lake


Soooo… You ready to take on the Potato Chip challenge!?!? Well, I got you boo.  I’m going to walk you through an amazing hike that’ll satisfy all your potato chip cravings!!

The Hike

This is a great hike with great terrain.  It can however be slightly difficult when the weather is hot hot hot!!! Make sure to bring plenty of water. And make sure to check the weather before you go.

There are various ways to reach Potato Chip Rock, but I’m going to walk you through my fav way. The way where you get a great work out and an epic pic on that potato chip!!!

You’re going to start at Lake Poway. You’ll want Lake Pokay Concession address 14644 Lake Poway Road, Poway, CA in your GPS. Once you get there you’ll find very helpful directions posted for your hike.

You’ll start by taking the Lake Poway trail. This trail wraps around part of Lake Poway. Make sure to snap some pictures because you get fabulous views of the lake. I got a great view of the sunset on my last trip to the famous Potato Chip Rock.

Lake powayPotato Chip RockPotato Chip RockLake powayLake powayLake poway

Once the Lake Poway trail ends you’ll need to start following Mt Woodson all the way to the tipy top! Look for the trail markers directing you away from the lake and up up up!

Mt Woodson trailMt woodson trailMt woodson trailMt woodson trail

The Mt Woodson Trail has rock formations that are absolutely beautiful.  It’s actually my favorite part of the hike. So make sure to take some time to enjoy the view.

Mt WoodsonMt WoodsonMt WoodsonPotato Chip RockMt woodson trailMt woodson trailPotato Chip Rock

I have a favorite spot to sit and enjoy a picnic. Look for a large tree, all by it’s lonesome, in between a sea of rocks. The view is beautiful here and who doesn’t deserve a picnic break mid hike!

Potato Chip RockPotato Chip Rock

After your picnic with the lonely tree, it’s the last push up the mountain, then the chip is all yours.  Just keep heading up, enjoy the view and you’re almost there!

Potato Chip Rock

Once you get to the summit you’ll be so excited to see the ever famous potato chip rock. Enjoy and wait in line to get your pic. If you can go on a week day do so, this place is packed on the weekends!!!

Potato Chip RockPotato Chip Rock

Tips and Advice

  • Please please bring a lot of water. This hike gets very hot and there is little to no shade. I’m talking over 100 degrees sometimes!
  • I personally wouldn’t list this hike as difficult,  but at the same time I don’t think it’s a beginner hike.
  • Hiking shoes/boots will really help you out on this trail since you’ll be climbing up and down the rock formations.
  • Bring cash to pay for parking, $8.00

More Resources

Potato Chip Rock

Yup,  that’s one tired pup.Now go explore,  adventure awaits!!!

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: