Hiking Mount Woodson

Monday was a gloomy day in Ramona but we didn’t let that keep us down! In fact, it made us decide to go up instead (cheesy line, I know). We knew that it was going to rain so we woke up early to do a morning hike on Mount Woodson.

I had recently hiked Woodson with Piper and a friend and was excited to show Andy the amazing views. I warned him that it was quite the workout — the elevation is over 2,800 feet, making it around a 1,500-foot climb and totaling about 4 miles round-trip.

He was undeterred!

The first mile of the hike was pretty darn intense, but we were rewarded with some awesome views of the town.

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I kept telling myself that getting to the top would make it all worth it but that didn’t stop me from being quite winded, to put it delicately.

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As we climbed, the clouds closed in around us. It wasn’t exactly raining but things were moist. The first time I did this hike, I did not go out to the famous Potato Chip Rock, so I knew we needed to do that this time.

Hundreds of people come from all over San Diego County to climb Woodson on the weekends and there can actually be a wait of over an hour just to climb out onto this particular rock. I don’t like hiking in crowds, which is partially why it took us so long to actually do this hike. It always seems busy. Google Mount Woodson sometime and you will see a wide variety of posed photos of people on Potato Chip Rock.

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The foggy trail set a somewhat haunting tone, but we liked it.

The top of Mount Woodson is covered in satellite towers and is not very pretty. The views, however, are astounding. We were not sure how to get to the rock and almost gave up after reaching the top of the mountain. On our way down, we ran into a couple of other hikers who had done the hike before and they told us we just didn’t go quite far enough. We had been maybe thirty feet away when we gave up!

We followed them to the spot and, you know what, Potato Chip Rock was worth it.

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I thought that maybe there was too much hype around it but it is pretty neat. I was more than a little nervous to climb out onto it. Andy just jumped across the gap in the rocks and ran out to the edge but I opted for what I thought was a slower and safer route.

I climbed up the side of the rock.

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My climb prompted a reaction from the crowd of people who had slowly been gathering. Apparently, most people climb over the gap with the help of others, they don’t climb up the side. I didn’t get that memo and one nice gentleman told me he was impressed.

I inched my way out towards the edge. Even though we were in the clouds, they were wispy and I could catch glimpses of the ground far, far below. Not going to lie, I was pretty shaky up there.

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You can’t tell from the photos but you’re basically hanging over the side of the mountain. Had it been less cloudy, I would have taken better photos I’m sure.

Instead of climbing back down, a couple of friendly hikers helped me cross the gap. I cannot remember the last time I blindly trusted a stranger not to drop me off the side of a mountain. But they didn’t let me fall!

The walk back down was much easier – though our knees did not love it. The rain had started, making the paved trail a little slippery.

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By the time we reached the bottom, we were fairly wet and my glasses had fogged over. But it was worth it!

Next time, we will bring the dogs with and hopefully go on a day when we can enjoy the views a bit more!


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