Mount Woodson Trial, Poway, CA

Name: Mount Woodson (Potato Chip) Trial

Location: 14644 Lake Poway Rd, Poway, CA 92074


A little while back, after much badgering, I finally decided to take the baby and drive down to San Diego and visit Tams. On the to do list, asides from indulging in all the good eats San Diego has to offer, was to conquer the Potato Chip.

Potato Chip Trail Sign


Though officially called the Mount Woodson Trial, the route is commonly known as the Potato Chip hike due to the nature of it’s landmark. Like any trail, there are lots of different start and end points so do your research beforehand. I can’t say exactly at which point on the trail we began our hike, but used a sign along the highway as our starting point.

Our path was reminiscent of grandpa’s old school stories. It was steep all the way, with little relief. Bringing lots of water and getting an early start is highly recommended as shade is scare on the trail. If geocaching is your thing, the trail is overflowing with nooks and crannies for treasure hunting.

Photo Credit:

The uphill battle took about an hour until we reached our destination. Fortunately the line wasn’t too long for a photo op at the Potato Chip. To get to the ledge itself requires a bit of athleticism, but there weren’t too many people to back down from it challenge. Fellow hikers are more than willing to assist those in front and behind them so everyone can get a chance to enjoy the view.

Potato Chip

After the savoring victory, we turned around and headed back down. However, the total trail is much longer and more scenic than just the Potato Chip ledge. In total, the entire trail is about 8 miles, with a lake and panoramic views of San Diego along the way, so we only experienced a short portion of it. If not for our rumbling bellies we may have attempted the full hike, but decided to save it for another day.






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