Lake Poway Trail

Lake Poway Park, California

Distance1.9mi
Elevation Gain900ft
Trailhead Elevation946ft
Top1,099ft
Elevation Min/Max752/1099ft
Elevation Start/End946/946ft

Lake Poway Trail

Lake Poway Trail is a hiking trail in Poway, California. It is within Lake Poway Park. It is 1.9 miles long and begins at 946 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 3.8 miles with a total elevation gain of 900 feet. Along the trail there are a bench and restrooms. This trail connects with the following: Mount Woodson Trail and Sumac Trail.

Lake Poway Trail Professional Reviews and Guides

"The Lake Poway Recreation Area offers boat rentals and fishing, a walk-in campground, and a grassy picnic area. For day hikers, even busy weekends in this spacious area let you feel close to nature and far from the city."

"Heart-pumping exercise while circumnavigating a scenic reservoir."

"This looping trail around Lake Poway serves two purposes. It’s an excellent exercise trail for runners and walkers, with a good mixture of flats, gentle hills, and a few fairly steep switchbacks. It is also an interpretive trail, with a leaflet (available at the lake entrance or park office) keyed to numbered posts along way. On the trail, you’ll pass through four distinct plant communities: sage scrub, chaparral, oak woodland, and riparian woodland."

"Poway Lake is located in beautiful Lake Poway Recreation Area at the western foot of Mount Woodson. Sycamore trees and large rock outcroppings ring the lake. Chaparral and dense shrubs cover the surrounding hills. Anglers patiently fish from the shore and from small boats. The trail begins at the parking lot and you pass by the bottom of the dam as the trail follows the circumference of the lake on a 2.7-mile loop. Rolling hills lay to the north. For longer runs, there are trails leading to Lake Ramona or the top of Mount Woodson. Lake Poway is a great place for a family outing. The area includes picnic areas, a snack bar and bait shop, and restrooms. You can fish from shore or from boats rented at the lake. Swimming is not allowed."

"This fine lake (man-made, of course) and its surrounding wilderness area are good news for walkers, part of the city of Poway’s system of hiking and equestrian trails that connect residential neighborhoods with parks and open spaces. Daily fishing permits and state licenses may be purchased at the lake concession. You can rent a boat here or launch your own. There’s a walk-in campground near the lake’s northwest corner, and a dock and equestrian staging area to the south. There are also playgrounds, volleyball courts, horseshoe pits, a softball field, and nice grassy areas for picnicking. It can get hot out here in summer, and cold in winter. If you plan on walking, dress accordingly. In summer, carry drinking water."

Lake Poway Trail Reviews

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6/14/2010
My husband and I are in pretty good shape and this was a very challenging, but extremely enjoyable hike. We are here on vacation from Indiana and wanted to see a bit of nature (do something other than wine tasting!) and thought we'd start with this. It took approximately an hour and 15 minutes to get to the top---this included several breaks for taking pictures, enjoying the scenery and various views, drinking water, and sitting to enjoy a banana once at the top. The views changed dramatically depending on what elevation you were and which curve of the mountains you were on---very beautiful. From ground, it doesn't do the height justice as several smaller hills are blocking your view from how high you will actually hike. Coming down was of course quicker, but we had to be extra cautious because of the steep decline and loose rocks, etc. but still great exercise! In total it took us 2 hours and 10 minutes to get to the top and back to our car; however, it could take much less for those who aren't as interested in sight-seeing and are more focused on the physical benefits of the hike---we did burn approximately 1000 calories (~900+ for me and ~1100+ for my husband). We went in the morning hours to beat the heat of the day--there is no shade at all. I would highly recommend this hike to any teenager or adult who considers him/herself physically fit. This hike requires good stamina as well as balance and stability. One thing I will add is that it is a bit difficult to find. Once on Stewart Canyon Road, after crossing under the freeway, immediately turn right on Pankey Road and park on the right. The trail entrance is on the opposite side of the road (you will see a small 'conservatory' sign). On Pankey, if you've reached the cul-de-sac, you've gone too far. Turn around and park on the side of the road just before Stewart Canyon Road. I will post pictures later. Very rewarding once you reach the top! Do it, you won't regret it!
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10/17/2009
Started off with this hike around 1pm today and it took me about about an hour and a half to get to the very top. Steep climb almost the whole way up and lots of big loose rocks that you have to navigate around. But towards the top it is rewarded with a panoramic view of the entire area including the ocean miles away and San Jancinto mountian to the North East. Great hike but make sure your in shape. If your not in shape this is not a good one for you but i highly recommend it to anyone who likes to hike
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5/6/2006
We're a middle age group of Moms that just love this hike. It's a challenging and great workout. It's well marked and you can go to the summit or loop all the way around to the water tower. Tough but you get better every time you do it. It takes us about 1-1/2 hours or less to do it all the way around-4.2 miles.Well marked trails but uneven footing. You can see the ocean on a clear day. Watch your footing but don't forget to look at the view. :)
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5/15/2003
I had a meeting at the City of Poway, happened to have the dog in the truck and thought what better way to hide for an hour than to take this walk for the first time. It's a winner. Beautiful day, the sun's glimmering off the lake, people out fishing in their hire boats, young lads fishing off the rocks trying to catch that elusive trout et al. I recommend the northerly route to start - head left to pick up the trail either to the left of the concession store or from behind the City's workshop (they join up). This drops you down behind the dam and close to the camp leading into Blue Sky Ecological Preserve (no bikes in the Preserve, but allowed around this trail). Once you rise up to the level of the lake, it's right there beside you. I also recommend forgoing the last half of the hike that leads you up over and around (following the main trail), but take the right hand split to Pine Corner, rest for a bit on the seat under the shelter there, and then drop straight down the rocks from your seat to the lake level to pick up the singletrack that follows the edge of the lake, right back around to your starting point and the carpark. Enjoy. PS: Be wary of the numerous ticks and snakes on this trip once the weather starts warming up.
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10/27/2000
I've never ridden this whole trail during the day, but it is an excellent night ride. Start near I-15 and ride west on fireroad, singletrack and a short paved section There are tons of little spur trails to explore on the first part of the ride. The best way to keep this trail interesting is to go full speed at night with only a light on your handlebars. That way the "tunnel vision" of your light beam limits your sight and keeps things interesting. The singletrack section close to the dam is the best part of this ride.
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Trail Information

Lake Poway Park
Nearby City
Lake Poway Park
Parks
Dog-friendly, Kid-friendly
Accessibility
Moderate
Skill Level
Lake Poway Recreation Area
Local Contacts
USGS Escondido
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Oct 2018