There are so many beautiful hiking trails and nature walks throughout San Diego County, but one of San Diego’s most popular and well known hiking spot is Potato Chip Rock at Mt. Woodson. Hiking to Potato Chip Rock San Diego will offer you plenty of nature viewing pleasure and scenic landscapes.

Hiking To Potato Chip Rock
Hiking To Potato Chip Rock

Mount Woodson Hiking To Potato Chip Rock

As you make your way up Mount Woodson, there is a special place where people are trying to get to. This is the point of interest that captures many hikers, Potato Chip Rock. It is a narrow, thin looking piece of rock that might appear somewhat risky and scary. This is the most popular selfie and photo spot on the trail. Here are my captions from this gorgeous San Diego hiking trail.

Mt. Woodson: Backside Trail: 4.1 Miles Elevation 1220 feet  DIRECTIONS

Views from Mount Woodson
Views from Mount Woodson

Getting There

The backside trail is one of two different trails to hike to get to the Potato Chip Rock area. We decided to take the backside trail to see what Mt. Woodson was all about. Especially since we wanted to enjoy a more moderate level trail and not over do it for the weekend. One of the other paths to hike to Potato Chip Rock are via Lake Poway Recreation area. Directions

Parking For Mount Woodson

This is a beautiful trail and the day we hiked it, we enjoyed a gorgeous sunny afternoon too. Parking for this trail is actually along CA-67; and it can be busy so be careful and be patient as you look for a space to park.

Mt. Woodson Hiking Trail
Mt. Woodson Hiking Trail

The Trail

The trail begins with grooved and easy clean pathways lined with shrubs and trees. Then you will start to gradually incline with a few steep areas as it reminds me of my stair stepper at the gym. I definitely was breathing heavy, but that’s my kind of workout. 


Views from the Mount Woodson hiking trail.


Radio antennas near the summit of Mount Woodson.


Potato Chip Rock

Once you reach the summit, you will see radio antenna equipment and towers. Just slightly beyond the antennas, depending upon which direction you come from, you have reached the infamous Potato Chip Rock.

Potato Chip Rock
Hiking to Potato Chip Rock

Be aware, that if you hike during the weekend you may encounter a waiting line to step onto the thin but steady rock piece that looks like a potato chip. 


San Diego has such a vast array of things to do including the beaches, nightlife, amusement parks, and more. But if you just want to take a few hours and explore the outdoors and keep it simple, I recommend hiking to Potato Chip Rock.

Beginning of trail from the backside path, (parking off of Highway 67). Beautiful views from Mt. Woodson.


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  1. […] you will see radio antenna equipment and towers. Just slightly past that area is the infamous Potato Chip Rock, and if you hike during the weekend you may encounter a waiting line to step onto the thin appearing […]

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