2   47
3   69
3   89
3   68
7   59
3   87
10   97
3   73

5 Reasons to Hike Potato Chip Rock

5 Reasons to Hike Potato Chip Rock

Location: Lake Poway (Use this address: 14644 Lake Poway Rd)
Hike: Potato Chip Rock via Mt. Woodson Trail
Distance: 7 miles
Duration: 3 to 4 hours

I’ve been wanting to hike Potato Chip Rock for a while now. Glad we were able to make this happen on a beautiful and sunny, Saturday afternoon! It provided a refreshing start to my hiatus from work.

N and I had a $200 Hilton Hotel voucher to use before it expires this weekend (yes, last minute people we are). I thought SD was close enough for a last minute getaway. Since Potato Chip Rock was on the way down, we could do the hike before spending the rest of the weekend in SD. I was also in desperate need of nature.

This hike turned out to be one of my favorite! I recommend it if you’re looking for scenery and a challenge!

5 Reasons to Hike Potato Chip Rock

Here are 5 reasons why:

#1 The views are amazing.

As you turn into the parking lot, you’ll notice a park and a big lake. People are running about, paddling boats in the lake, or fishing around the perimeter. The trail starts alongside the lake. You’ll eventually pass it and begin the steady incline into the hills. The lake view as you’re starting your hike or coming back feels like it could pass for a fjord scenery in Norway, if you didn’t know any better. 🙂

Plenty of stop points provide for clear, overlooking views of the landscape. Choose a nice, sunny day to hike!

Most notable of attractions are the boulders that sprinkle the hills. I love it! Not sure why I have a weird attraction to boulders. Nonetheless, they kept me intrigued the whole time. I made up many stories of how these boulders ended up all over this area. Ultimately, I decided to nickname this hike/area, “The Land of Dinosaur Eggs.”

5 Reasons to Hike Potato Chip Rock

On the way back towards the lake.

5 Reasons to Hike Potato Chip Rock

Land of Dinosaur Eggs.

#2 It’s a challenge.

I wouldn’t say this hike is easy or difficult. It’s just enough of a challenge that you’ll get a workout from it. You’ll be steadily inclining all the way up, so your gluteus maximus will feel a good burn!

From what I’ve read about the hike from others’ reviews, I thought I’d be dying by the time I reached the top. I haven’t done any cardio exercises or hiked in about two months. :/

However, it turned out to be better than expected! My out-of-shape self only has mildly sore hips/butt and biceps… I seriously do not know why my biceps are sore since I didn’t actually carry anything. If anyone has an explanation for this, please enlighten me!

5 Reasons to Hike Potato Chip Rock

#3  Potato Chip Rock

When you reach the summit of Mt. Woodson Trail, you’ll spot Potato Chip Rock. Most likely, there will be a queue leading up to the rock since everyone wants a cool picture. There must have been at least 50 people in front of us. If I give each person a minute of picture taking time, I’d be waiting close to an hour until it’s my turn. Weighing the option of waiting for, possibly, another hour against my growling tummy, I decided to forego the picture taking op. Potato Chip, I’ll have to come back for you another time.

5 Reasons to Hike Potato Chip Rock

Nicholai trying to make the line move faster.

5 Reasons to Hike Potato Chip Rock

#4  Plenty of other rocks to take pictures on!

Instead of Potato Chip Rock, we found a less interesting-looking rock to take a picture on. It provided a stunning view, nonetheless! I don’t think you can go wrong taking a picture with any of the million rocks lying around!

5 Reasons to Hike Potato Chip Rock

#5 Lake Poway

I told N that we should come back here to hang out at the lake and go fishing. 🙂 It’s so peaceful and beautiful. Naturally, reminds me of my younger days, growing up in California, where we would be out and about on summer days.

I never thought of myself as a hyper outdoorsy person, but I’ve been tapping into my inner kid spirit more often lately. Nostalgic about those care-free days. What better way to bring it back than a day at the lake with tons of activities!

5 Reasons to Hike Potato Chip Rock

5 Reasons to Hike Potato Chip Rock


Thanks for reading! Hope this post provided some motivation to get up and get out!

— T.


5 Reasons to Hike Potato Chip Rock


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