Potato Chip Rock is a nature attraction at the top of Mt. Woodson that is known for resembling the shape of the popular snack food. This beautiful site is located along the outskirts of San Diego in the town of Poway.

The 8-mile return hike that takes you to the summit is an adventure that will leave you breathless—literally and figuratively. The 4-hour hike is considered strenuous, but it offers spectacular views along the way. Be sure to bring your camera and get a picture of this unique rock for your Instagram.

Potato Chip Rock - one of the highlights of 10 Things to Do Off the Beaten Track in San Diego (Read all about San Diego here)

Potato Chip Rock highlights

Your hike to Potato Chip Rock will begin with about a 1-mile stretch that takes you around Lake Poway before you begin your 2,000-foot, 3-mile ascent. The well-cared-for trail offers rock steps in the steeper areas, and there are signs at trail junctions.

Along the way, you'll see various interesting rock formations, but there will be virtually no shade. Once you reach the summit, you'll be rewarded with panoramic views of the mountains, cities, and ocean in the distance. From the mountaintop, you'll still have about a half-mile walk to Potato Chip Rock, but you'll have a view of it on your way up.

Good to know when visiting Potato Chip Rock

If you plan to hike to the summit of Mt. Woodson, be prepared with plenty of water and sun cream and wear sturdy shoes, as there is little to no shade and the hike is challenging. Parking is free on weekdays, but non-Poway residents must pay a fee on weekends.

You can walk out onto Potato Chip Rock for photos, but be aware that on busy days, there may be a line. The tour is dog-friendly, and pets must be kept on a leash. The use of tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, is not permitted on trails.

Potato Chip Rock

Location: Mount Woodson Trail, Poway, CA 92064

Open: Daily from sunrise to sunset

Phone: +1 858-668-4772