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Best Trails

Potato Chip Rock - Mt. Woodson Trail

Poway, CA

Mt Woodson via Lake Poway is a 7.5 mile out and back trail that offers breathtaking vistas. Trails are well maintained. Dogs are allowed. This hike is rated as moderately strenuous, though it may be the easiest "difficult" hike to access due to its convenient location.

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Recent Reviews

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El Cajon Mountain Trail
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5 Completed 3 Reviews

Wow. This is as tough a hike as I have ever done. The way up is challenging with lots of steep ups and steep downs and the final ascent to the top of El Cajon Mtn is a narrow barely cleared steep boulder strewn climb. And unlike other hikes in the area there is very little break on the way back as you again encounter a number of steep up and down switchbacks. Only very accomplished hikers in really good shape should attempt this. Bring at least 4 litres of water (my buddy brought only two and ran out for the way down). It is hot and sunny and exposed the whole way. Bring snacks - you will burn 2000 or so calories on the hike. Bring hiking poles - you really need them on this hike for stability particularly on the way down. That said the hike has fabulous views and is sparsely used. We saw a total of 10 people the whole day. Start early and be prepared and you will have a great memorable experience with a great feeling of accomplishment when you get back.

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Oak Oasis Open Space Preserve
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1 Completed 1 Reviews

Really liked this trail! Probably best trail for this level. Especially since everything has grown back since the fires. Problem is the map on this site said to basically park on Wildcat Canyon Rd. by Muth Valley Rd. this would be a bad idea and is wrong. The trail is on Shenma Rd. Turn left if going north on Wildcat Canyon and drive to the parking lot, you can't miss it.

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Silverwood Wildlife Sanctuary Trail
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15 Completed 5 Reviews

Clarification: DON'T GO DOWN OLD BARONA RD. continue on Wildcat Canyon. Visit www.sandiegoaudubon.org/our-work/sanctuaries/Silverwood-wildlife-sanctuary and enjoy!

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Silverwood Wildlife Sanctuary Trail
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15 Completed 5 Reviews

First, I'd like you to look at my name. :) that's right: Silverwood! They say the name comes from either the color of the bark or the silver sheen of the light playing on the leaves. It's one of my new favorites. I didn't find much shade, although there is some. NOTE: the address is 13003 Wildcat Canyon Rd in Lakeside. New signage is in the works. Don't follow directions on an iPhone--you'll end up down Old Barona Rd wondering where the meth lab is ;) Just keep going past the (incorrect) left turn down Old Barona Rd and you'll see a sign that says "Silverwood 500 ft." I always wondered about that sign, and I'm a little saddened that I've been missing out this whole time. Then there's a sign that says "Silverwood entrance." It's almost to Barona, just before the boundary of the res. Owned and maintained by the San Diego Audubon, this is not to be missed. It's worth the trek. **It's open Sundays 9am to 4pm, with guided hikes available. The resident manager, Paul, is really knowledgeable and friendly. Please feed the donation box while you are there, and bring a camera and water (gets warm out there). Some of the trails are uphill, great views, lots of options, wild flowers, wildlife, amazing smells (think sage), highly recommended! Of course, I'm partial. Plan to ride out with my dad on the motorbike when he returns to the States. :D

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El Cajon Mountain Trail
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25 Completed 6 Reviews

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El Capitan Preserve
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25 Completed 6 Reviews

Most challenging hike in SD County I've done so far and I think it'll keep that title - NOT as difficult as all of the reviews I read which intimidated me for months. A LOT of inclines and declines but nothing more severe than anywhere else. You do need to sort of wing getting up to the very top after you see the 2nd 5 mile sign, I just followed other peoples foot imprints. I completed it roundtrip in 4 hrs.

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El Capitan Preserve
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9 Completed 4 Reviews

Great views at the top of each peak. Bring lots of water. I brought 100 oz and two 32oz gatoraids and ended up giving some water to a guy who ran out, i ended with zero at the bottom. It was warm out there. Took me 2:08 to get up, and just less to get down. Its tough! Its a great workout. The reviews said toughest mt in SD, i was expecting a little harder, with that being said, dont underestimate it.

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Oak Oasis Open Space Preserve
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2 Completed 2 Reviews

Great hike

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El Capitan Preserve
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10 Completed 4 Reviews

This is one of the hardest trails in San Diego area. Simply because of the length and there being almost no shade. I've done it now three times. Bring plenty of water! I've seen too many people run out of water out there.

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El Cajon Mountain Trail
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2 Completed 2 Reviews

Took hike to summit on 3/30/2014. Was cool that day; this hike would be very difficult on a hot day. There is virtually no shade the entire hike. 12 miles round trip; extended to 13 miles by going up El Capitan as well. You climb over 3 mountains/hills on way to summit of El Cajon Mountain so there is almost as much climbing on the way back as on the way there. Bring plenty of water. The trail has very few switch backs so you take many inclines straight up or down, depending on which way you are heading. Some of the down hill hiking is fairly treacherous. Great views throughout hike; at summit you get an outstanding 360 degree view of San Diego County. There is a good parking lot on Wildcat Canyon Road.

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