Potato Chip Rock (Mount Woodson Trail)

About Potato Chip Rock (A Not-So-Secret Spot)

Potato Chip Rock is a popular picture destination in San Diego which is located on the Mt. Woodson hiking trail. The hike itself is a little over 7.5 miles roundtrip and is generally rated as moderately strenuous. However, for those in moderately good fitness will have no trouble and it is still pretty easily accessible although there is an elevation gain of approximately 2300 feet and  it does get a bit steep at certain points. Dogs are allowed on the trail, just remember to bring waste disposal bags.

How to get to Potato Chip Rock

To get to Potato Chip Rock, just go ahead and pop Mt. Woodson Trail Poway, CA 92064 into your Google Maps and start driving. Note: you can also pluf in Lak Poway and get to the same place. There is plenty of parking in the area, although the parking lot does fill up during Summer weekend days. Once you are in the parking lot, you will see signs leading to the trail head. From there, it is a pretty straight shot up and back down the mountain. The Potato Chip Rock is just about at the end of the trail at the very top of  Mount Woodson.


General Suggestions for Hiking Mt. Woodson:

  • Stay Cool – Bring plenty of water and try to leave earlier in the AM or more towards evening after it has begun to cool. During the Summer, the temperature can exceed 100 degrees
  • Skip the Line – For pictures, try to avoid weekends. There is often a long line to get a picture taken on the rock so if you want to avoid a 45+ minute line, then try to get there early in the morning or just go during the week.
  • Sunsets & Sunrises – With panoramic views, it is a great place to be for sunset or sunrise. Just remember to bring flashlights if you plan on going up for either.
  • Bring a picnic  – there are plenty of large rocks and side trails where you can easily set up shop and enjoy some food.