Poway Potato Chip Rock Run (Option…do it on a full moon)
You begin this run from Blue Sky Ecological Reserve, which is located off Espola Rd. in Poway. There is a good size parking lot located here. The first 1¼ miles are relatively flat and actually quite shaded so even in the summer time the run starts out cool. Once you take the left hand turn onto Lake Poway Trail the trail becomes more exposed and gradually gets hillier. For the next one mile it is a gradual uphill, runnable for most runners on a pretty well maintained fireroad trail.
You will take another left onto the wider Mt. Woodson Trail where you are sure to encounter some crowds that want their selfie on Potato Chip Rock. It gets quite steep here in portions but the trail is wide with no turns. After about another mile it splits to the left once again and gets steeper, narrower and more technical. This continues for about 1 ¾ miles as you gain about 1100’. At the junction of the end of the trail and the asphalt road you will be greeted with Potato Chip Rock, where there are sure to be crowds of people wanting to take their picture on said rock. If you don’t want to wait around continue on to the summit on the asphalt road and sit on one of the rock outcroppings and watch the sunset.
The downhill back to the start is fast and gradual. Just be careful of rocks, switchbacks and crowds, especially in the technical portions.
TOTALS for this run are about 10mi and 2300’ gain.
This run is best designed to be planned around a full moon as you will have amazing views of the moon illuminating the sky.