Kelly and Leah invited Jeannie and me to join their Rock Church Hiking with SPF hiking ministry's hike to Potato Chip Rock after Kelly saw 'Visit Potato Chip Rock' was #83 on the The Green Girl's 100 Things in 2014 list.
Potato Chip Rock is located in the Lake Poway Recreation Area just below the summit of Mount Woodson Trail.
The Lake Poway Recreation Area is surrounded by 400 acres of Clyde E. Rexrode Wilderness Area. The City of Poway trails system extends over 55 miles.
There are two hiking routes that will take you to Potato Chip Rock: Mount Woodson Road (3.6 mostly paved, steeper miles roundtrip) or Mount Woodson Trail (7.6 dirt trail miles roundtrip).
From the east, the trailhead is near the Ramona Fire Station. Parking is available on the west shoulder of Highway 67.
Mount Woodson Trail (Lake Poway)
From the west, parking is available for a fee of $5 in the Lake Poway parking lot. The trailhead is east of the paved path along the boat dock. (Please note: there are well-maintained public restrooms in the parking lot - I highly recommend visiting them before hitting the trail.)
We met in the Lake Poway parking lot, walked down to the boat dock, followed the paved path counterclockwise around the lake, and headed east to the Mount Woodson Trail trailhead.
As we ascended, we were afforded a beautiful panoramic view of Lake Poway behind us.
The trail was well marked and the dirt was hard packed - not overly loose or sandy. Some sections consisted of large, irregularly shaped rock steps.
As we waited our turn, we came to the realization that we had to leap from a boulder to get to the Potato Chip Rock.
We nervously watched those ahead of us navigate the jump as we made an effort to mentally prepare ourselves.
As I stood in line, I realized the climb onto Potato Chip Rock was outside of my 'Safety First' comfort zone. After some internal dialogue, I convinced myself I could walk halfway out and get that picture I'd so earnestly wished for.
Jeannie offered to stay behind and be our photographer so we left her with all our cameras and phones.
Once on Potato Chip Rock, we cautiously crawled out as far as we dared and carefully posed so Jeannie could snap our respective pictures. We all silently hoped the rock wouldn't crack before we could shimmy back down to safety.
Glenn also assisted us with the descent. He instructed me to slide down until it was too steep and then to reach out with my hands and push against the other boulder. He explained I needed to push in opposite directions with my hands and feet to get myself down. When I struggled, he reached up and supported my feet.
From down there, we climbed easily back up to the trail and headed back down.
Thank you, Jeannie, Kelly, and Leah, for helping me cross #83 off my 100 Things in 2014.