Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Potato Chip Rock At Mt Woodson...... Then and Now

Then (2007): Cousin and I @ Potato Chip Rock, Mt Woodson, San Diego County, CA

Hiking Mt Woodson was one of our "little best kept secrets" before in San Diego.  Not that we are one of the early hikers there, since we only learned of the trail from Jerry Schad's "A Foot and A Field in San Diego". It was a very quiet hike then, and on a cooler day, the number of hikers probably equals the number of rock climbers. Our favorite spot then to have lunch was at Potato Chip Rock. We won't have lunch necessarily right on the chip, but on top of the boulder in front of the chip. We used to just look at the Potato Chip Rock then from the boulder where we would have lunch. Until one day, my cousin from Los Angeles joined hubby and I hiking at Mt Woodson. As usual, we would have our lunch break on the boulder in front of the Chip. However, my more adventurous cousin was feeling so motivated to pose at the chip, that she and hubby tried to problem solve how to go to the Chip Rock. 
Cousin @ The Chip Rock, 2007 

When we shared our pictures at Friendster, we had lots of comment saying, "that's so cool, please being me there!", or the other way around, "waaaaah, that is so scary!!!!!" After that first time we went to Potato Chip Rock, we would have our lunch break on the Chip instead of the big boulder in front. Some people who would see us, would tell us, "that's crazy up there!" None then would ask us if we are done with our lunch so they could have a picture. There were still not a lot of people hiking Mt Woodson for the Potato Chip Rock during those times, before Facebook, and Instagram.  
Now (November 2013): Long Line to Get To Potato Chip Rock

Now, 2013, San Diego's "little best kept secret" is not a secret anymore. I guess, from one's Facebook profile picture to another, from one's Instagram post to another, Potato Chip Rock in San Diego has become somewhat viral. We could no longer have lunch break at the boulder in front of the Chip because that is now where people get in line for a Potato Chip Rock photoshoot. If you would search google for potato chip rock pictures, you will see a lot of risky pictures, like group jump, bike jump, jump with a dog, ahhhhhh, I just hope that this rock would continue to be safe and not end up like some other rocks which would be "chained off" because of accidents. Potato Chip Rock is safe enough if you would just walk on it or sit on it for some nice photos since it is actually very wide. However, am not so sure about the safetiness of Potato Chip Rock with high jump, or somersaulting.

I have hiked Mt Woodson several times with visiting friends from different States, who would always request me: "Betch, bring me to the Chip!" The last time I hiked with visiting friends was during the thanksgiving day weekend of this year, 2013. I warned them though that there will be long line at the Chip Rock basing from my Potato Chip Rock experience with some friends and family 2011 and 2012, but never we would have thought that their wait would be about 1 hour to get to the chip! :( I believe their time was the longest wait I ever had experienced with some friends.
After About 1 hour of Wait, My Friends' Turn to Enjoy the Chip
( picture taken from the bottom left side facing the chip )

If only they did not come all the way from the East Coast, I would have told them, "can you skip the Chip? San Diego has so much more natural features to offer. " Hehe! But am glad my friends did not really mind the long line, despite some of their relatives were waiting for them at La Jolla Cove, haha! Was their wait worth it?
 Thumbs Up Sign :) So, Yes, the wait was all worth it! :)
( both photos, above and below, were taken from on top the boulder where people wait in line, thanks to Chris for this photo. He was one of the many hikers in line for the Chip. I could not take this photo because I was requested by Chris to take him and his group a photo from the bottom left of the Chip :), haha!! Thanks to Chris for the great idea of having me at the bottom, it allowed both groups to have pictures on the Chip at different angles and perspective )
Simple Happiness, Simple Joy, RIDING THE FLYING CHIP ROCK :)
( and more joy for me to share the gift of outdoors fun with special friends )

Mt. Woodson however is not just about the Potato Chip. It is littered with many giant boulders for rock climbing, bouldering, or just to have some fun scrambling. Early settlers called it “Mountain of the Moonlit Rocks” and/or “Cobbleback Peak”, both names appropriately describes the rugged, boulder strewn slopes of Woodson Mountain.
 Friends and I Having Fun at Mt. Woodson's Boulders (Thanksgiving Day Wekend 2013 )

The weekend after that Thanksgiving Day weekend, out of curiosity, I asked hubby if we could hike Mt. Woodson. I wanted to check if there would still be long line when it is no longer a holiday. Well, there was still a long line, but maybe just about 1/3 of the line during that Thanksgiving Day weekend.
Line At Potato Chip, December 8, 2013

Is the hike and wait worth it? For us, being a San Diego local, the hike at Mt. Woodson is not just about the Chip. In fact, I have never been "on" the Chip anymore for a long while, despite I have escorted friends here several times. Oftentimes, I take pictures of friends. If it is just hubby and I, we would look for rocks where we would feel that we have Mt. Woodson all to ourselves, 
One of the Many Boulders where we could enjoy Mt. Woodson all to ourselves

and where I could jump high, to reach for the sky.
Flying High Mt. Woodson, Then (white shirt) and Now (green jacket)

There are always a lot of rocks and boulders to feel the quietness of Mt. Woodson. Solitude may no longer be felt in Potato Chip Rock, but in the 4 miles hike one way ( 8 mile round trip) from Lake Poway (west approach) or in the 1.6 miles one way hike (3.2 miles round trip) from Hwy 67 ( east approach), there are so many quiet nooks with beautiful scenery one can find. Thankfully our quiet corners are not found, since most people who hike, would just aim for the "Potato Chip", which probably right now, is the "jewel" of Mt. Woodson hike. 
Hiking Mt. Woodson, Now (2013)
But comes spring, for those who know me enough, the jewel of Mt. Woodson hike would be the wildflowers. 
Mt. Woodson, Spring Hike

Dreaming of spring right now! :) Ahhhh, so thankful always for our beautiful world at the backroads!! Life is just so wonderful, like hiking, it has lots of ups and down, rugged and steep terrains, boulders to climb, and beautiful, oh yes!, beautiful scenic turns.

~ loving the wonderful life each day ~
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  1. Potato chip rock really a wonderful experienced for you.

  2. Some pictures on the Potato Chip rock is really crazy for sure, but look so much fun. Beautiful photos, Betchai!

  3. The English would call it Potato Crisp rock.

  4. Beth, thank you for thinking of us when you post your blog - i feel honored! Climnbing the 'Chip' was one of the many highlights of our West Coast trip! I am hoping that people stop jumping on it so that others can also safely experience and enjoy it in the coming days and years. Great photos as always - ;o). LL

  5. the hike is amazing the trail is wonderful to enjoy the scenery..i was quite interesting to see the potato crisp rock..must be very cool

  6. Wow! Your best kept secret is no longer just exclusive to you. Those were the days, but at least you've enjoyed the exclusivity while it lasted. Just bring me where the wild flowers are and I'll be perfectly happy :-)

  7. I love the field of flowers in this set...and you got so many jump shots, awesome! The one with the boulder though tops it all - "I'm on top of the world" and peg! Love this post sis, keep sharing!!!

  8. loving your wonderful life in SD, Beth.

    some things lose it's charm sometimes when it becomes too touristy. i love places where i can have it all by myself and take in it's beauty without having to rush because other people are waiting.

  9. OMG! Everything is simply picture perfect! I'd love to be in your world Te Betchai! Please let me in. Hahaha! I'd have my kicks ready for the get go! :-)

  10. Another wonderful work of Nature. Looks like a potato chip nga. I wonder, how many individuals could this rock formation hold at a given time? parang brittle ang formation.

  11. You are so brave AteB, I wouldn't dare set my foot near that potato rock lol. I am afraid of eights!

  12. Wow! That place looks fun and scary too! :)

  13. That Potato Chip Rock is super WOW!!! Knee-jerking but and breathtaking but I am sure it is so fun and wonderful to be stepping foot on that unbelievable creation overlooking the vast beauty of the nature. My sister-in-law will surely enjoy this trek. I will, too. But since she is in Las Vegas and she frequents San Diego, I will show her this post so she'll know about the place, if she hasn't yet. Thanks for sharing Ms. Betchai! I have felt the thrill and joy! :)

  14. That Potato Chip rocks looks pretty scary to me! Yikes!

  15. I want to try this if only to prove I am not that scared any more to try anything that life offers.

  16. My oh my that is so scary, I am really scared of height so I won't ever dare to try it. I am so proud of you to be able to have your picture taken there, you are such a brave woman.

  17. your jumps are getting higher and higher :-) Those action shots are fabulous!