Sunday, October 12, 2014

Hiking Mt Woodson

Mt Woodson is another local hike in San Diego that is easily accessible, yet hiking its trail feels like an escape from civilization.

It is littered by giant boulder outcrops, and from the summit, one can enjoy the ocean-to-mountain views. Near the summit is the now famous Potato Chip Rock, which is the result of exfoliation and weathering. There are many ways to reach Potato Chip rock or the summit of Mt Woodson. The three different trailheads for this hike is what I will be sharing in this post. source: Afoot and Afield: San Diego County: A Comprehensive Hiking Guide

Best Time to Hike:  During the cooler months, November to May. If hiking in the summer, start early of the day, or choose the cooler days of summer, because most part of the hike is on exposed trail.

Option 1: Mt. Woodson from Lake Poway

Lake Poway from Mt. Woodson Trail

Mileage: approximately 7.2 miles roundtrip
Change in Elevation: 2300 ft gain and loss
Parking: Lake Poway Recreation Area Parking, there is parking fee of $5.00 for non-Poway residents during the peak months April- October.

Rolling Foothills, Mt Woodson Trail

Option 2(shortest route): Mt Woodson from Highway 67

@ the trailhead, from Highway 67

Mileage: 3.6 miles round trip
Change in Elevation: approximately 1200 ft
Parking: free parking Along Highway 67, 3 miles North of Poway Road, near the Ramona Fire Station
This is the best trail for those who wanted a shorter hike and less climb. 
Because of more boulders littering in this side of Mt Woodson, this trail is more popular for rock climbers. 

Yucca Flower and Boulders ( can you find the little girl rock climbing?)

The boulders here in Mt Woodson are pretty stable, 
nature always find its way to rest on its center of gravity. The boulders are remnants of rocks that has cooled below the Earth's surface. The cooling process contracted these rocks and produced cracks. Uplifting brought the rocks above the Earth's surface.

Spheroidal Rock Cleaved in Two

The larger boulders have a tendency to cleave apart, leaving a vertical, almost seamless face in one side of the rock. These type of rocks have become the delight of rock climbers. Mt Woodson has become the local San Diegan's popular place to practice bouldering, and other forms of rock climbing. 

Natural Rock Garden in Mt Woodson

Option 3(longest route): Mt. Woodson From Blue Sky Ecological Reserve
Oak and Wildflowers @ Blue Sky Ecological Reserve

Mileage: approximately 10 miles round trip
Change in Elevation: approximately 2500 ft gain and loss
Parking: free parking on Blue Sky Ecological Reserve Parking, on Espola Rd 
This is the best trail for those who wanted a longer hike to Mt Woodson and would want to avoid the parking fee at Lake Poway during the peak months April- October.

Nature has so much to offer. A lot of times, we do not even have to travel far to seek its wonderful gifts and experience its power, we just take a closer look at what is around us. 
Come, let us move our feet, enjoy our trails, and discover the priceless joys of simple life.
Let me end by quoting John Muir,

“ Everyone needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where Nature may heal and cheer and give strength to body and soul alike.” –John Muir, 1838- 1914.
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  1. You are such an adventure, and such a great photographer! My favorite pics: you sitting on top of the world! :-)

  2. Nature has so much to offer .. you are fortunate to have the time and the talent to capture the beauty of nature and the greatness of heart to bring it forth here and share with all of us who may not have the gift of time to witness ll these beauty.

    Thank you so much you are very inspiring ... I've read so many of our friends are into taking pictures as well.



  3. Great view, excellent picture, and experience.
    Everyone is gifted in one way or another by the nature, the difference is that who would like to move their feet to receive that.

  4. Mt Woodson looks like a beautiful place to hike with interesting rock formations, wildflowers and great views. Thank you for the tour through your gorgeous photos!

  5. You always feature the most beautiful photos, although I think I would be afraid to sit on the ledge in the first one.

  6. Betchai, I love the photo of you on that potato chip rock! It does look like a potato chip... whoa, good thing you're not afraid of heights! I am! But I know, I'd still dare walk on that edge had I been there with you...hahaha! You and your camera can really work wonders!

  7. You do such extreme adventures Betchai. I have fear of heights...don't think I can sit by the edge of the cliff nor boulders.

    My husband said he went to San Diego when he was a kid. I mentioned your blog and San Diego. We're planning to go there in the future. Hope will get the chance to meet you too!

  8. You're very brave to be sitting at the edge of Potato Chip Rock! I won't dare do that :)

  9. I am fascinated by Potato Chip Rock. It's probably because I would not be brave enough to sit up there like that, although I would love to do it. I envy you.

  10. Who would not love a potato chip rock LOL. Great post, great pictures, as always betchai.

  11. wow Betchai, that's so daring of you to pose near the edge of a thin rock!

    I love that quote from John Muir... yes, we need nature's beauty to heal and inspire us, it is essential to our souls as work is to our pockets. :)

  12. I love all the pictures but the one of you up on the rock is amazing!!!!!

  13. It's brave of you to be sitting on that Potato Chip Rock! I love the photo of Mt. Poway, the colors are great!

  14. Wow, your pics are just awesome, beautiful. Thanks for sharing. What are you "nuts" sitting on that potato chip rock, never get me on that.

  15. Thanks a lot, everyone.

    @ Ayie, let me know when you get a chance to visit San Diego, would be glad to meet you.

  16. You really got a brave soul there! :) And great pics, especially the 'greens' in Mt Woodson from Highway 67. :)

  17. really amazing post.images are so nice.thanks for share these nice images..

  18. Full of fun, looks so great and peaceful up there. Do you see me next to you with a beer? Smiles.

  19. Thanks for breaking down the different trails and giving such helpful information. I also really like the pictures you took!

  20. Very beautiful pictures!

  21. This trail is getting more and more popular because of the Internet. I love this trail.

  22. The first picture made me googly eyed! :)

  23. here again and wishing I could sit at potato chip rock with you...missing you much here on TJOSL dear Betchai :)