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Mt Woodson

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I’ve been meaning to do this hike since a year ago and finally got around to it.

This was one of the more strenuous hike that I have been on in a long time, but I think it is highly manageable still. My motivation to do this hike was mainly because I wanted to visit Potato Chip Rock… and more specifically, have my go at trying to break the thing off. Yes, I am often delusional and misinformed about my own strength sometimes. The rock is located at the top of the mountain and sticks out like a diving board overlooking the surrounding northeast San Diego County. A successful breaking off of this rock would not only make me famous throughout San Diego, but also plunge me about thirty feet straight down and then tumble a few hundred feet down a steep incline. Challenge accepted!

When you arrive at Lake Poway, park as far as you can to the southeast corner of the lot on top of the hill. The trail begins near the edge of the parking lot. How do you get to Potato Chip Rock? Take that trail all the way east until you reach the antennas on the mountain top. Remember, this is a very long hike just over seven miles round trip so bring a hat, sunscreen, lots of water and good shoes.

Here are some pictures:

Morgan is stoked to go hiking. It’s been a while since she’s been on a challenging trail

You hike around the south end of Lake Poway near the beginning of the hike

Lots of rocks along the mountain side

We started to determine what the rocks looked like. I said the rock on the left looks like a fist pound and my friend said the right rock looks like a butt. Perv

About 2/3 of the way up, there is a magical tree that provides shade. And by magical, I mean that it has special powers that draw any and all hikers to rest underneath it. This is the only shady spot during the entire hike so make sure if you are feeling the effects of the hot sun to get some shade and rest and hydrate.

Here’s a picture of Morgan taking a break under the magical tree. I love how she always crosses her legs…like a real proper lady should

You have to go about a mile further after the magical tree before you reach Potato Chip Rock.

Here are some more pictures:

And here are some awesome pictures at the top:

At the top of Potato Chip Rock

My friend being Gollum at the top

My friend obviously does not know how to surf…

After reviewing the previous two pictures, I realize that I should be more wary about hanging out with her in public places…

I felt super lame listening to my friend to pose for this but I guess it turned out okay

After our short photo session, we turned and headed back down the mountain. It was a lot easier and cooler by the time we were going down.

Morgan leading us home

A Few Important Notes:
1. Bring enough water and sunscreen! Half of our group made it to the top, the other half stayed at the magic tree. This is a pretty intense hike if you’re not used to walking uphill on trails for long distances.
2. Parking for non-Poway residents is $5
3. The first third of the hike is flat or a steady incline. The second third is steep and rocky and brings you to the magic tree. The last third is steep and rocky as well and ends at the Potato Chip Rock and radio antennas.
4. About 75% of your effort will be the hike up. The hike down is pretty easy but be careful about going too fast to keep pressure off your knees and twisting ankles.
5. The hike took us about 4 hours hiking at a really slow pace and taking a long break at the tree and taking pictures at the top.

A Few Important Dog Notes:
1. Don’t bring a little dog unless you plan to carry it. If your dog is smaller, it won’t make the hike. One couple had to carry their dog the entire way up. I don’t know how it made it down.
2. Bring enough water for your dog. They don’t sweat and can’t you when they need water. Even though Morgan is a bigger dog and pretty hardcore at hikes…it was definitely a challenging hike for her. She had to find shade and lay down every once in a while as we rested.
3. Don’t bring your dog if you don’t plan on picking up after it. I passed a couple of people who just let their dog do their business on the path and didn’t pick it up. If you can’t pick up after your pet, don’t bring them on hiking trails. Morgan blessed me with two opportunities to clean up after her and I had to carry her warm, soft, stinky load for a good portion of the hike. Double bag it!
4. The trail gets hot. Every time you stop to water your dog (yes, like a plant), make sure you rub some cool water on their paws to alleviate pawburns. Or you can get those little goofy dog shoes that I will never buy for Morgan because they look ridiculous and I will secretly laugh at your dog.

Sounds scary? It’s really not. And the views are great.

Until next time. Cheers.


Written by jonewantsm3

August 16, 2011 at 1:00 am

Posted in Adventures

2 Responses

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  1. great photos, Johnny! that hike looks super fun but I’m guessing you weren’t able to break that potato chip part off. 😛 how do you find time to go do stuff like this?


    August 17, 2011 at 5:53 pm

  2. glad you made it 🙂 i almost died going up…hahahha.


    August 18, 2011 at 5:23 pm

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