Saturday, August 24, 2013

Mount Woodson Trail

This morning Ryan and I went out to find THE POTATO CHIP. We had been told about this hike on the Mount Woodson Trail in Poway by a few people and we finally had a weekend free so we decided to check it out.

We left the house around 7am and made it over to Lake Poway by 7:45am or so. We put on some sunscreen, loaded up our waters, and decided to hit the trail. The City of Poway's description of the hike says:

Mount Woodson Trail – A difficult trail for beginners, this steep trail offers many beautiful views of the lake and other areas.  Worth the challenge, but be sure to bring extra water, as summer temperatures can be extreme.  Portable restrooms can be found at various locations around the lake, no facilities are available on the steep climb to the peak. 

We had read some of the Yelp reviews so knew we were going to need to leave early (to avoid the heat and crowds) and pack LOTS of water (we ended up taking about 80-100 ounces of water with us and drank it all by the time we reached the parking lot).

The fog/ marine layer was awfully thick driving to Poway, but by the time we got to the lake it had mostly cleared up (except for the little bit that was sitting on the lake which made for some awesome pictures).

Parking lot shot

No ponies on the trails today

Fog sitting on Lake Poway

The sun rising over the hills we were about to conquer

The lake (and surrounding park) were incredibly beautiful

An ariel shot of the lake from about 20 minutes into the hike

You can see the fog/ marine layer still sitting out on the surrounding areas

Panoramic shot Ryan was able to capture

Like the website says, the hike was pretty steep. Below are the trail details I found.

(We saw quite a few people along the way that didn't seem like they were ready for the intensity, but hey, at least they were out there trying.) Even if the numbers don't mean anything to you (because I know for me I wasn't really sure what they meant) - just trust me when I say it is QUITE the incline.

Queen of the Mountain

Water and photo breaks are a MUST


Big boulders along the path

The Potato Chip Rock (I guess it looks like a potato chip, although I think I could have come up with a better name for it...) is the main destination on the Mt Woodson Trail. Thankfully, since we left earlier in the morning, the line to take pictures wasn't too crazy (but I hear it can be pretty long - but after doing the hike you HAVE TO take a picture, right?!). There is a little leap out to the rock, which is rather intimidating (there were two girls that tried to work up the courage to jump over for a good 5 minutes before they decided to let us go first).

Waiting in line for the picture (YES, WE WERE SWEATY PIGS)

Grabbed a shot without anyone on it

Some people bring their puppies with them (I don't think Walt would have been able to make it)

Our turn

It's all about the angle of the shot

Looks like we are at the edge of the earth, huh?!

After we grabbed our shots (and returned the favor for the guy that took pictures for us) we decided it was time to trek back down the mountain. The way down is much faster, but still steep, so you have to take your time - and especially watch your footing. Some areas are extremely rocky while others are sandy - so we got awfully dusty along the hike.

On the way back down, about 3.6 miles each way

Watch out for wildlife!


Dusty shoes (BTW - Ryan really needs to invest in some SHOES)

One last shot before we made it to the parking lot

It ended up taking us about 2 and a half hours (minus the wait for the photo on the Potato Chip) and was around six and three quarter miles. I think the way up took us about an hour and a half and the way down took us about an hour. We didn't stop the watch for water breaks or photos ops, so I am sure the 'hiking' time was a lot shorter than our 'adventure' time.

Not too shabby with the heat and incline
It was definitely a fun little hike - and a lot more strenuous than I was originally expecting. If you are ever near Poway you should for sure check it out. By the time we got back to the car it was around 10:45am and already in the 90s. But if you decide to make the voyage - PLEASE heed the warnings - BRING LOTS OF WATER, DRESS APPROPRIATELY, AND LEAVE EARLY IN THE MORNING! 

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