Potato Chip Rock

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Potato Chip Rock is a natural tourist attraction near San Diego, California.[1] It is located on the Mt. Woodson summit and is famous for resembling a potato chip. It is located in an unincorporated part of San Diego County between Poway and Ramona.

Potato Chip Rock

The rock is located at the top of the mountain,[2] at an elevation between 1800 and 2000 ft.[3] The hike to the rock takes approximately three to four hours. Potato Chip Rock sits 100 yards below the summit.[4] One popular way to reach the rock is through a 6.6-mile round trip hike.[5] There are two other popular routes to the top that start on the east side of Mount Woodson. A short route begins from free parking areas along Route 67 and takes Mt. Woodson Road up to the rock. This 3.75-mile round-trip hike is paved and steep.[6] The Fry-Kogel trail is the third route to the rock, and is about 4 miles each way.[7]

The rock is thin and more than 7 feet long,[8] and it looks as if it is about to fall.[2]

The rock was used as an April Fools' Day prank by Poway Mayor Steve Vaus in 2017.[9] In a tweet, he wrote that part of the rock had snapped off and added a picture for "proof".[10]

Also located on the trail from Lake Poway to Potato Chip Rock is Sandcrawler Rock, named for its resemblance to the Sandcrawler transport vehicle from the Star Wars Universe.


  1. ^ "Potato Chip Rock via Mt. Woodson Trail". AllTrails.com. Retrieved 2017-02-12.
  2. ^ a b "Potato Chip Rock Hiking Trail - Go Hike It". Go Hike It. 2013-07-11. Retrieved 2017-02-12.
  3. ^ "The Truth about the Potato Chip Rock Hike". Local Adventurer » Travel Adventures in Portland + World Wide. 2015-06-11. Retrieved 2017-02-12.
  4. ^ "Potato Chip Rock: Mt Woodson Summit in San Diego | California Through My Lens". California Through My Lens. 2012-06-19. Retrieved 2017-02-12.
  5. ^ "Potato Chip Rock Hike (Mount Woodson Trail) – The Earth is Full". Retrieved 2017-02-12.
  6. ^ "Potato Chip Rock Hike (San Diego)". Retrieved 2019-09-10.
  7. ^ "Many ways to the top at Woodson". sandiegoreader.com. 2014-07-09. Retrieved 2019-09-10.
  8. ^ "Potato Chip Rock snaps off! Poway's mayor pulls off April Fool's joke". fox5sandiego.com. 2017-04-02. Retrieved 2018-10-21.
  9. ^ Davis, Kristina. "Potato Chip Rock broken? Nah. Mayor's April Fools' gag goes viral". sandiegouniontribune.com. Retrieved 2018-10-21.
  10. ^ "April Fools Day Prank: Potato Chip Rock Breaks". McKinnon Broadcasting. 2017-04-01. Retrieved 2018-10-21.