Summary: Take a gentle stroll around the beautiful Lake Poway. With plenty of fishing spots and rest areas along the way, you're sure to find a "favorite" spot. From the scenic dam overlook the trail descends several switchbacks before reaching a wilderness hike-in campground area. You'll have a great view from the bottom of the dam from here. Then it's back up more switchbacks until you reach the parking area and boat dock. The concessions store sells an assortment of fishing bait and tackle, and plenty of refreshments to recharge you after the hike.
Trailhead: From I-15 take the Rancho Bernardo Road Exit. Follow for approx. 4 miles to Lake Poway Road, turn left and follow to park entrance (Lat:33.0038 Lon:-117.0013)
Trail Guides for Lake Poway:
Best Seasons: Year-Round
User Groups: Hikers, Dogs, Bikes, Horses,
Ranger Contact: 858-679-5466
Localhikes Reporter: This hike was submitted by Joe Cross, who has posted 56 other hikes on this site
Trail Reviews Page 1 of 4 Submit your own review
Reviewed by Robert on 3/15/2014
My wife and I hiked there about three weeks ago.Wonderful trail, moderately difficult for two people nearing 60.We did not encounter any rattle snakes,but when we crested the hill past the dam we encountered a very large mountain lion.We slowly backed off and went back the way we came.The signs say to throw rocks but I thought that would just make it mad. On the way back we encountered a woman with two small children and two poodles. Better to throw poodles than rocks I guess.Beautiful walk, but we are too old to deal with mountain lions and/or rattle snakes.We will not be back.
Reviewed by edw on 2/9/2014
This is actually marked now as a 3 mile trail. Nice variety of up, down and level spots. Nice scenery. Rather busy on weekends. Takes an hour at a relaxed pace.
Reviewed by jjjdl30 on 4/9/2012
Just went here over the Easter weekend. My husband and I took our 11 yr. old and disabled 16 yr. old. kids. Had a nice time on the hike, and later on the paddle boats. Had a little scare with a snake going pass the trail , but it wasnt a rattler ( not dangerous), it just went on its way to a shadey bush. I do plan to go again and bring a picnic, the park had a nice picnic area.
Reviewed by KTA on 5/31/2010
We just did this hike yesterday and liked the portion we were able to complete. We started from the store and went to the right, then chose the trail that went up. We brought our pit/mastiff mix and after the initial climb (about 45 degree angle for 10 minutes) he was too tuckered out to continue. We spent what would have been the time to hike the lake cooling the dog down and trying to get him to the lake so he wouldn't overheat. It was beautiful though, and we will be returning sans the dog until he is in better shape to tackle a steep climb on a warm day.
Reviewed by Athena on 4/16/2010
I do this one at least once a week. It is a nice, moderate hike and it is beautiful! Do the hike up to Ramona Lake if you can!
Reviewed by Patrick on 3/13/2010
Went on this trail with a city girl and a 3 year old boy. From the concession stand facing the lake, we started to the left. The first hill up was a bit much, but not a bad start at all. The switchbacks down were easy going and on the way back up, had to carry the 3 year old on my back up hill. The route was full of life with squirrels, lizards, birds, fish in the lake on the areas that came close to it and other critters to keep the kid busy. The track was wide enough so two way traffic was not a problem even those that had pets or riding bikes had enough room to pass going either direction. City girl has a new past time now and the hike has enough variants to keep you athletic, but not over stressed in the joints at the knees and ankles.
Reviewed by Heather on 3/7/2010
Beautiful and serene hike around Lake Poway. The sign said the hike was 2.93 miles. The switchbacks can be rough for the beginning hiker but definitely do able and only a small part of the whole journey.
Reviewed by Ricardo on 8/8/2009
Nice but some part have no signage and no restrooms, while in other there are two and four toilets next to each other. Family night camp out, great idea, too expensive.
Notice: Traveling in the backcountry can be hazardous. You are responsible for informing yourself about these hazards and taking necessary precautions. Information on this web site comes from volunteer reporters and may contain errors or omissions. A current guidebook and proper equipment are essential for safe enjoyment of the hikes posted on this site.
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