Woodson Mountain (via Lake Hodges)

Commonly known as the Potato Chip, is another very popular hike in San Diego. The number of cars along Highway 67 always amazes me. The improper gear people are wearing even more so. That said, it does afford some nice views of north county.

Lake Poway

I did this summit back on October 16, 2011, from the Lake Poway side. This route is longer than the route starting on the 67, but not as steep. Unless you are a Poway resident, a small fee is required to park at the lake. Also, if you are wanting to summit before sunrise, this trailhead will not be officially open.

The trail is fairly straight-forward, fully exposed, so bring your water, hat and apply sunscreen.

Once at the top you can enjoy the Disneyland-like line to scramble over and stand atop the Potato Chip. I did this hike before the rise of social media, so there were only about 3 other hikers there when I summited.

The actual summit is a bit past the Potato Chip near the towers.

I would recommend tackling this peak during the week to avoid the crowds.


I am an avid peak bagger, sometimes backpacker, and former sea-kayaker living in San Diego. In 2019, I became the third person to complete the San Diego 100 Peak Challenge. Not stopping with that accomplishment, I set my sights on the harder San Diego Sierra Club 100 Peak list, which I completed in 2021. In addition, I have conquered several Six-Pack of Peaks challenges (SoCal, San Diego, and Arizona-Winter). Beyond attempting the San Diego Sierra Club 100 Peak list a second time, I am looking forward to exploring new summits and new adventures across the southwest. 

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