Summary: This is a strenuous day hike via Lake Poway. Trail is very steep and narrow in some places. Well marked and maintained most of the way until the last 1/2 hour to the top. The views from the peak are worth the effort. We hiked 1st of August, be sure to take enough water, it was extremely hot and dry! The views are to the ocean and to Palomar Mountain to the East. There is an easier way to the top, via highway 67. The alternate route is paved and well maintained. We decided to take this less traveled route as it is more difficult and challenging.
Upon our return we had a picnic at Lake Poway, all and all, it was a wonderful day.
Trailhead: From Espola Road go to the Lake Poway entrance. The fee is $4.00 for all day. The lake and park are very clean and a well maintained. We had a picnic with our kids and had an enjoyable day at the park after our hike.
Take the lake trail to the east side where the trailhead is clearly marked about .5 mile from the dock going counter clockwise around the lake. (Lat:33 Lon:-117.01)
Trail Guides for Mt Woodson via Lake Poway:
Afoot & Afield in San Diego County
by Jerry Schad (Wilderness Press)
Best Seasons: Fall, Spring, Winter,
User Groups: Hikers, Dogs, Bikes, Horses,
Ranger Contact: Lake Poway Rangers
Localhikes Reporter: This hike was submitted by Kevin Vasquez, who has posted 7 other hikes on this site
Trail Reviews Page 2 of 11 Submit your own review
Reviewed by kd on 3/2/2011
To Chris who complained it shouldn't be listed as strenuous...run it and then decide.
Reviewed by TR on 3/1/2011
I FOUND NO PARKING FEE BEFORE APRIL!
Reviewed by TR on 3/1/2011
I Hiked this trail twice in the past two weeks, both times on a saturday and in the rain. The hike from the parking lot, around the lake, and then up the first incline very nice, and not to difficult. After this point, the trail is at its most difficult point for about a mile to mile and one half, but then its a beautiful walk to the top. I couldn't see much in terms of a view from the top as I was in the middle of clouds. However, the walk down is the best part, especially when you hit a clearing in the clouds and can see all those nice rolling hills covered in greenery. The first hike took me a total of 4:24 minutes, but the second time I finished in 3:15 minutes. Parking Lot to the top and back is about 7-7.4 miles as recorded on GPS.
Reviewed by KD on 2/27/2011
Love this hike! I have seen many mileage descriptions of this hike, but based on my time (I hike a LOT!!!! AND FAST!!!) the mileage signs on the trail are correct. They list it as 3.9 miles one way from the junction with the Lake Poway Lake trail to the summit, plus .4 miles from the parking lot to the trail junction. This makes it 8.6 miles round trip. I'm not sure where the 6.4 mile round trip listing comes from. I've seen it in books but I think the trail signs are right. That said, it's an awesome hike-good uphills, scenic vistas of the ocean to one side, the majestic Gorgonio and Jacinto peaks on the other.
Reviewed by JL on 10/16/2010
A great hike for a cool fall day. Moderate hike with a decent elevation gain of 2,000 ft. Nice vistas on the way to the summit. Low clouds on the way down provided a cool descent. Not a recommended hike for small children with many rocks on the trail. Give yourself 4-5 hrs. at a comfortable pace for the round trip.
Reviewed by chris on 7/19/2010
this trail should not be rated "strenuous" - moderate would be more appropriate. It has some decent elevation gain but is far too short to be strenuous. Still, overall, a good hike but not a butt kicker.
Reviewed by Inflight510 on 6/20/2010
A great variety of vistas,m rugged terrain, and its steep-just what I like. From the lake parking lot, its a somewhat flat run to warm you up for the steepness to come.
Reviewed by Tim on 6/2/2010
I hiked it today 6-02-2010 and started a little after 7a.m. To start earlier (0630) you have to park at Blue Sky Preserve. The hike was a challenge for a 50+ guy getting ready for Mt. Whitney. I overdid the water 200 oz. Could of used a little less weight in the backpack. Starting out in the cool morning was meet with many nats near the lake area, but once away for the lake the bugs disappear. It was overcast going up and coming down I got to meet Mr. Rattlesnake on the trail. Thank God I had just meet a couple of women who were coming up the hill and told me about the snake. It was right in the middle of the trail around the 1.3 mile summit marker. It was a great hike and will try again from Blue Sky Preserve to add more mileage.
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