How to get to Potato Chip Rock, San Diego

How to get to Potato Chip Rock San Diego

Potato Chip Rock via Mount Woodson Trail

I've been eyeing this Potato Hike Trail in San Diego since April of this year.  I'm fascinated by how people hike this trail for just a rock.  I would go for sunsets and sunrises but this idea really sparked my curiosity.  We decided to drive to San Diego on a day when the weather said to stay at home and have a hot chocolate while reading a book.  Let's go!

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Travel Tips
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How to get there: Potato Chip Rock, San Diego

Location: Mount Woodson Trail, Poway, CA 92064
Admission & Parking: 10 USD 
Route: Potato Chip Rock via Mount Woodson Trail
Distance:  7.5 miles (back and forth)
Elevation: 1,220 feet
Duration: 3-4 hours (back and forth, depending on pace)
Highlights: A rock that looks like a potato chip

Starting Point

It started raining as we arrived in San Diego.  We waited for the rain to slow down a little bit then made our way to the starting point.  It was drizzling at the start of the hike but eventually stopped.  We worried that the trail would be slippery and made sure to be extra careful.  Surprisingly, it wasn't that bad; the first part of the hike was paved and grounded. 

We started the hike at Potato Chip Hike Start Point (Menifee Fit Club).  You'll see the beautiful Lake Poway at the start of the trail. 

The first sign that will lead you in the right direction.

It's a moderately difficult climb depending on your fitness level.  This is a good exercise for those who want a challenge as the trail continuously ascends all the way to the top. 

This never fails to amaze me: imagine a world where we can create a spider web to filter trash in the ocean. 

Always keep in mind to follow the signs to Mt. Woodson Trail.  The group separated based on our pace — one pair hiked quickly with their dog while the rest of us took our time climbing up the mountain.

Make sure to stop and drink some water along the way even on a cold day.

I found another rock creature again; this time it looked like a whale.  So don't litter! Clean up your mess.

As we climbed higher, the temperature got cooler and we saw a cloud of mist enveloping the mountain.  The visibility was still clear, so we proceeded with the hike. 

This was a new kind of hike for my husband and I'm glad we got to experience a different kind of hike this time.  It's always sunny and hot in California — most of our hikes are under the scorching heat of the sun.  A change of environment was very refreshing. 

The mountain always looks different after the rain.  This looks mysterious.  It makes you wonder what's behind this curtain of mist. 

The Potato Chip Rock wasn't too visible from a distance.  I didn't mind as I enjoyed the journey more than the arrival. 

When we got there, a guy had an accident. Instead of slowly making his way down the rock, he hopped down and broke his ankle. It's a good thing that the main road was near the rock, making it more accessible for the medics. 

Always practice safety first especially if it has just rained and everything is slippery.

When going back, just follow the same route.  Make sure to get back on the same trail towards the Lake Powell parking lot. 

Keep going!

As we descended, the sky turned brighter, and the mountain clearer.  We saw what we were missing all this time — the beautiful mountains calling us with a happy good-morning vibe. 

Another find: a rock shaped like a human head or a monkey's skull.

We took it easy as we watched the rocks and trees on our way down.

One more look!

Right there!

We got lost here and went to the other side facing the lake.  This point goes back to the parking lot. 

Always take the time to enjoy the scenery.  My husband and I stayed here for a while as we waited for our friends to catch up with us. 

Our hiking shoes made such a difference.  I didn't slip at all.  Even my tripper hubby made it in one piece.  After hiking all these years I strongly believe in investing in good hiking shoes.  My favorite hiking shoes so far are my Columbia shoes. And it's not because we are also an Amazon affiliate — that came later — but the durability and ankle support it provides.  It's lightweight and breathable.  We found our hiking angels in a different form. 

I really like the fact that it rained that day of our hike, even if the trail was a bit slippery.  The misty mountains reminded me of my summit climbs back in Asia. 

Have fun and be safe ^__^

Do you want more adventure?
If you still have one more day to spare why not go hike to Escondido Falls in Malibu, California.

Where am I going next?
My next adventure is Travelling to Europe for 2 weeks: Art Class in Paris, France then getting on a Hot air balloon ride at Siena, Italy, and relaxing by the beach at Amalfi, Coast with a side trip to Rome, Italy before flying back home.

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