Mt. Woodson, Potato Chip Rock

7-mile out and back hike with an elevation gain of 2,300 ft, moderately/strenuous

Mt. Woodson - The Potato Chip Rock Hike

November 20, 2015

It’s been about a year and a half since I’ve hiked Potato Chip Rock with AJ. Actually I wasn’t planning on hiking Potato Chip that Friday, but when I picked up AJ, that’s where she wanted to go.

It’s a tough hike and within the first mile we were already taking our first break. Check out the video below.

A 7.22-mile out & back with, with an elevation gain of 2,300’ within 3-miles, that’s tough. On the day we went, it was about 79, but there was a nice breeze, so the heat wasn’t that bad.

This is one of those difficult hikes, where after you do it, you say that you’ll never do it again. I said that after the first time, but this was the 3rd time I’ve done it, and will probably do it again.

There is always a little drama on this hike, that first time we did it. These two couples blow by us on the way up, the two girls were must have just hit up the running store, because there were decked out in the latest running outfits. Their hair and makeup were also perfect. Towards the top, one of the princesses hit the wall and said she couldn’t go any further. We continued onto the rock to take our pix. On our way back down we ran into this group again, about 1.5 miles away from the trailhead. Well, Miss Princess said her knee hurt and she couldn’t walk any further, and was screaming at her boyfriend, and other couple wasn’t having any fun, it was a really awkward scene.

AJ and I fully expected to see Life-Flight flying into rescue her. We think she finally walked out.

During this hike, not as much drama, just a little ... this couple was taking each others picture while standing on the rock. It’s a little bit of a process to get onto Potato Chip Rock, but once you’re on there, you do your pose, someone takes your picture, then you head back down. So the girlfriend is on the rock, posing, she comes back down and looks at the pictures her boyfriend just took and said, “Are you serious, what were you thinking?” she was a little upset, and head back to the rock for a reshoot. That was kind of funny. 

We hiked it back down to Lake Poway and made it there around 4:00. Had our picnic, and when we went to stand up again to leave, it was very difficult, our legs weren't working very well.

Dogs are allowed, but if it’s hot out, just leave your dogs at home. We’ve seen more than a few dogs overheated on this trail. Also remember to bring lots of water.

Mt. Woodson is easy to get to. You take the Rancho Bernardo Road exit right off the 15 Freeway and head east, follow the signs to Lake Poway. The trailhead is on the south side of the lake.

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