Escaping the City: Hiking Mt. Woodson

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Did I tell you how I used to hate hiking when I was younger? Now I am a huge fan. Boy, things can change. 

It’s been a few months ago that I actually went on this particular hike, here in beautiful San Diego County, I have to admit. However, it’s one of the more popular ones, about 30-40 minutes drive from San Diego. 

Why?

Because on Mt. Woodson itself is Potato Chip Rock, which has gained popularity throughout the years. It’s because the rock is so “thin” it looks like a…go figure…potato chip rock. So I have been told. And so I naturally wanted to see it myself. 

Once you see it in real life, however, it is less spectacular, but the hike is definitely a good calorie burner, a quad challenge, basically, and views over Poway and Ramona are stunning. Should you ever end up in North America’s southernmost city, this is a hike I personally recommend. 

When my friend C. was still in town, we decided it was time to tick this one item off the list. And so we did. 

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We headed outside of town, to Poway, located in San Diego County further inland, and parked right where we saw this sign. Backpack on, and off we were. 

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The trail starts off very easy…

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…before it, slowly but surely, gets steeper. 

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We were lucky: clear blue skies and a great view. Plus, we were ascending in the shade, which certainly helped. 

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Obviously, the higher we got, the better the view. 

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I can only emphasize this once more: I love how diverse California is, how quickly you have reached the mountains. Wasn’t I just at the beach? - is what I ask myself all too often. The landscape changes so quickly. 

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We were starting our hike relatively late in the afternoon, so the sun was starting to set.

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And there it was. Yes, that’s Potato Chip Rock. 

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Well, I warned you, not very spectacular. The views are what make the hike worth it, but this rock? Maybe it’s one of the things that you have to see. Of course, I didn’t get my picture taken standing, sitting or fooling around on it. Even though it doesn’t look like it, there were a lot of people up there. 

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I might just have another reason to do this hike again. 

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What I thought remarkable, was that all of a sudden, thick fog rolled in. 

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It was hard to even see the trail. 

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This was when we decided to hike down, which took us roughly 45-50 minutes if I recall correctly. 

So, the bottom line is, I guess: You find great hiking trails in San Diego County, for every ability and fitness level. But don’t be fooled by this ‘famous’ Potato Chip Rock. The hike itself is worth it, nonetheless. So do it for the sake of hiking - and take a fun photo on the potato chip rock along the way. ;-)