Archive for the ‘Mt. Woodson’ Category

So in October I have a four day hut to hut trip in the White Mountains of New Hampshire which I booked through REI.  I have never been to that part of the U.S. and I’ve always wanted to go, especially in the fall.  I’ve read that the White Mountains are notorious for extreme weather changes.  Furthermore, the trails to the summits are rocky, and very steep.  To train for this trip I decided to hike on steep, rocky southern California trails.  A popular training hike with San Diegans is Mt. Woodson.  I usually start from Lake Poway, but I decided to start from Blue Sky Ecological Reserve to avoid paying the non-Poway resident fee and to add more miles and elevation gain.  It’s been really hot and humid in San Diego County so I left my home really early.  I started the hike around 6:45am.

Early morning start at Blue Sky

Let me tell you, the hike is a lot of going up.   But it’s a great conditioning hike.  I passed a few hikers on the way up and I also passed a lot of hikers who were coming back down.  They must have started at 5:30 or 6:00 in the morning!  As always, the views are spectacular when nearing the summit.  I decided not to go to the towers as I had been there too many times already.  At Potato Chip Rock I turned around and went back down the mountain.

Potato Chip Rock

Mt. Woodson has become a highly populated hike so if you want to avoid the rush go really early or during the week.  Starting from Blue Sky I covered 10 miles with 2,238 ft. gain.  Hmm, I think next time I’ll have to do Mt. Woodson twice in one day because on one day during the trip we cover 4,500 ft. in seven miles.  Ouch.


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We had friends visiting from London early this month.  With just a week on our hands it was difficult deciding where to take them and what to see.  Fortunately, we managed to explore the trails of Torrey Pines State Park, we scrambled over boulders in Joshua Tree National Park, we had amazing views while in the San Jacinto mountains, and we hiked up to Mt. Woodson.  Oh, and I took them to their first baseball game!  Overall, it was a great trip with wonderful friends.

Torrey Pines State Park

On the Maze Trail at Joshua Tree National Park

Near Split Rock Trail

Looking south towards Lilly Rock in the San Jacinto Mountains

Taking pictures of pretty flowers on Mt. Woodson

At Petco Park for Padres vs. Dodgers game!

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Mt. Woodson

I woke up this morning itching for a short, close-to-home, strenuous hike and so I decided on the trail from Lake Poway to Mt. Woodson.  The last time I was there was in June.  Nothing had changed much, but I did notice new trail markers.  The trail is about 6.2 miles round trip with an elevation gain of over 2,000 ft.  It’s mainly an open-to-above trail with huge boulders near the summit and spectacular views.  I recommend this hike for anyone interested in giving their legs a good workout. 

Lake Poway at the base of Mt. Woodson

Lake Poway at the base of Mt. Woodson


Facing west

Facing west

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