No-Parking signs have been put up across the street from the Mt Woodson trailhead to ensure vehicles aren't parked too close to an intersection, creating an unsafe situation for residents trying to enter and exit their street from the highway. Please be mindful of the signs which face the highway and are hard to see from an angle when you pull off the highway to parallel park. - Allied Climbers of San Diego


Located in Poway, about forty minutes northeast of San Diego, Mount Woodson is a popular hiking and climbing area that offers spectacular 360 degree views. There are two trails that lead to the top of the mountain and Potato Chip Rock, a sharp chip-shaped boulder that is a popular destination for the hike.

Trail Type: Out-and-Back

Trail Length: 8 miles

Elevation Gain: 2000 feet

Trail Condition: Well Maintained

Dogs Allowed? Yes

Trail Activities: Hiking, Horseback Riding, Mountain Biking

Trail Description:

The most popular trail up the mountain starts at Lake Poway Recreational Area. This is an 8-mile round trip that climbs 2000 feet and takes 3-4 hours out and back. The trail details below are for this trail.

The other starts on the outskirts of Ramona and follows a steep service road 1.8 miles to the top of the mountain. The path, which allows trucks to service the communications towers on the top of the mountain, winds through a fantastical garden of car- and house-sized boulders. Near the top, when it’s not to hot outside, you’ll likely see rock climbers scaling the boulders, some of which perch right next to the road.

The map below shows both routes.


Hike Difficulty: Moderate

Hike Duration: 4 hours

Mountain Biking

Ride Difficulty: Moderate

Ride Duration: 2 hours


Forest Fire, Heat, Mountain Lions, Snakes

More Info

Official Website: Visit Website


Driving Directions

To Ramona trailhead: The service road trailhead for the Mount Woodson Trail is located on Route 67 as the road drops down the mountain into downtown Ramona. Park along Route 67, as parking is prohibited along the nearby side roads.

Trailhead Coordinates: 33.006513,-117.013443