Potato Chip Rock
Option #1: Trailhead begins from Poway Lake// 33.004620, -117.006116
7.5 miles roundtrip
Elevation Gain: 2,232 ft.
Option #2: Trailhead begins in Ramona on highway 67// 33.008093, -116.955475
4.2 miles roundtrip
Elevation Gain: 1165 ft.
Personal Experience: Since this hike took the internet by storm years back, I have been adamantly against visiting it. Still, I longed to get some really neat night shots. Going at night seemed like the best way to avoid the hoards of people & long lines waiting to pose on top of the thin rock with a seeming drop below to your death.
I was surprised by how gorgeous this hike was! There are huge boulders everywhere which I was not expecting. The silhouettes of the trees were great too. I would imagine this would be a rock-climber or boulderer’s dream! The views are stunning almost the entire way up. Please know that the destination is shared with satellite towers which is as far from nature as you can get unfortunately. The road we hiked up is the service road actually.
There are two different ways to get to the top. We took the trail from highway 67 as it is a clean shot right to the top and Poway Lake closes at night so we would not have been able to park there. This is quite a climb but we didn’t find it too difficult. Obviously it’s nice and cool at night, but keep in mind this area is known for getting very hot in the day.
There were the coolest wind formations on this one rock we came across. It seemed fitting to put the lights inside:Please note: these are fake tea lights. Do not use flames in areas like this which could easily start a wildfire/disaster!Photo below is by my friend Josh Claros: