What to Expect Climbing the Potato Chip Rock in San Diego
Potato Rock Hike
Time: 3-4 hours
Level: Moderate – Difficult
Height: 1,800 – 2,000 ft.
Hiking has to be one of the best exercises we can all do — and the best part? It’s free! You get a chance to reconnect with nature, enjoy the beautiful views and be able to have a moment to yourself. It’s truly amazing and the best way to get in touch with nature and this earth. You get to appreciate it for what it is and see how magical it really is.
Hiking Potato Chip Rock in San Diego has to be one of my favorite hiking experiences. It had the most amazing views of San Diego and even the drive there was equally amazing. It was breath taking (literally!) and I would do it again if I could!
I’ll be honest, it wasn’t an easy hike, and surprisingly going down was harder than going up due to the fact that it is so steep. Before we went on the trail, we asked a few people how long it took them and they said about an hour and a half to two hours. I’m not sure if they were athletes or not, but it definitely will take you longer than that! Especially in the hot weather, where you need to take frequent water breaks. It’s definitely a good workout for sure. My butt and legs were hurting for days after. We did this our second day there, and I wish we waited for our last day to do it, so that we would be hurting when we were home and not in San Diego!
The combination of the rocks and the view of San Diego was such a cool experience. I wanted to take more breaks to just enjoy the views, but I also couldn’t wait to see the “Potato Chip.” I think that’s what makes this hike so fun is because you can’t wait to see if it actually looks like a potato chip! Also, the photo op for this is unreal. So many choices!
Another tip — go there early morning before the sun is so strong! We got a pretty bad sunburn after this. Mostly because it was our first time in the sun for the summer, but also because we weren’t good with sunblock. It was also pretty crowded, especially afternoon. We got there I think around 10:30 which wasn’t bad, but it started to get busier once we reached the top. If you go earlier, you get to miss the crowd and you won’t be under so much heat. It would be even cooler if you went and saw the sun rise there!
Expect a lot of panting and deep breathing because this hike is steeeeep. The plus side is that it has an easy path, so technically you’re not climbing — which is convenient and part of the reason why I really enjoyed this hike. Since it is steep, going down was so hard on our feet. I tried to run at some parts because it made it a little easier. This hike was also somewhat entertaining due to the fact that I am pretty scared of heights. Once you reach the top and get a chance to see the “chip”, you will realize that to get on top of it, you need to climb up pretty high and it’s definitely not an easy climb. It’s scary to see that you’re about 2,000 ft. above ground! I’m sure some people would love that, but for someone who is scared of heights it’s not the greatest feeling at first. It felt like such a great accomplishment once we were able to get on it — and I’m happy Ian was there to comfort me. I definitely couldn’t have climbed by myself. Below, you can see Ian trying to comfort me!
If I lived in San Diego, I would do this hike all the time. Or at least once or twice a month. I loved it. Like I said, doing it right around the sun rise would be so ideal. I would definitely recommend that! Hope you guys can go and experience San Diego sometime in the future!
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