Potato Chip Rock

After a hellish week of sleepless nights, precious hours of daylight wasted away in a concrete imprisonment with thousands of pages of information, and forced to endure riddles that teachers give to see your understanding of the 10 weeks of material they try so hard to force into your mind, I felt it was time for a break. Ruth, Becca, and I decided to hike the famed Potato chip rock of Poway to start off our spring breaks.

Potato chip rock is at the end of the Mount Woodson trail, 4.1 miles uphill, situated amongst radio towers and barbed wire fences. The Mount Woodson trail is located in the heart of Poway, not too far from Iron Mountain, where my last hiking trip was located. The hike itself starts at Lake Poway, seemingly is a great place to fish as we had observed, with great disdain, a small child leaving his fishing spot with a hefty 2 foot rainbow trout. Anyways, the hike takes you around Lake Poway and up a steep hill that goes up the rest of the hike and as you climb higher and higher, the rocks get larger and larger. We had loads of fun comparing the rocks to certain objects that we had seen, similar to cloud gazing, except some of these giant boulders looked like giant peaches, some looked like a 4-cell embryo having just gone through cellular cleavage, while others just looked like butts.

The journey itself is quite relaxing, with many places to stop and rest, but is quite challenging to those who are unfamiliar with hiking but the view and the scenery is well worth the effort. The potato chip rock itself is quite amazing, the fact that it is still in place even though it appears to defy physics when you are standing on it. Once we reached the famed rock, other hikers gave us advice on how to climb up it, saying that if you’re really adventurous, you’ll jump from one rock onto potato chip rock, which was honestly far easier than trying to scale the granite surface. Originally, I planned to hang off potato chip rock, thinking that the ground was only 6 feet below, so if the Big One (the giant earthquake that will separate California from the rest of the United States, finally allowing us to become our own country) were to occur, I would only fall a few feet riding a giant slab of granite. Alas, this was not the case, as I looked down I realized the ground was a staggering 30+ feet below me, making the surfing down the mountain side a lot more frightening although still not entirely a terrible way to go.

This hike was another way for me to conquer my fear of heights, just like the somewhat spontaneous sky-diving trip that I had done with my freshman suite mates, Saul and Kevin, this past winter break. But that’s another story for a later time. The day we went, it was supposed to rain, but thank God it didn’t, although it got quite cold up at the top. During the summer months, Poway reaches scorching temperatures, so if you do decide to go, bring lots of water and snacks, because it’ll be a much harder hike than it is during cloudy days. Also, don’t forget to take your time, as you might miss some cool animals. We found a newly hatched ringnecked snake on the trail. Also, some of you may have noticed, but Saturday was the day of the ‘Supermoon‘ which is when the moon is the closest to the earth, sadly it was raining, but I did manage to get a picture on Friday night.

When you have a free weekend, or just need a morning or afternoon to kill, definitely check out this hike. Anyways, here’s some pictures we took.

Safety first! Don't touch animals if you are unsure of the species and what potential hazards they might have.

Size compared to my finger

Tang Sisters

Adventurous people jump

B. Tang

R. Tang

J. Wu

Thanks for looking!

3 Responses to “Potato Chip Rock”
  1. Natalie says:

    Nice!! I love your photos! I’ve never heard of Potato chip rock – would love to hike up there someday. =)

  2. stephanie says:

    that looks both fun and terrifying. i wanna go! 😀

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