Native Americans called it “Mountain of Moonlit Rocks,” an appropriate name for a landmark visible, even at night, over great distances. Early white settlers dubbed it “Cobbleback Peak,” a name descriptive of its rugged, boulder-strewn slopes. For more than 100 years, however, it has appeared on maps simply as “Woodson Mountain,” in honor of a Dr. Woodson who homesteaded some property nearby well over a century ago. The light-colored granitic bedrock of Woodson Mountain and several of its neighboring peaks in the Poway/Ramona area is a type geologists call Woodson Mountain granodiorite. When exposed at the surface, it weathers into huge, spherical or ellipsoidal boulders with smooth surfaces. The largest boulders have a tendency to cleave apart along remarkably flat planes, forming chimneys from several inches to several feet wide. Sometimes, one half of a split boulder will roll away, leaving a vertical and almost seamless face behind. It’s no wonder that Woodson Mountain (or Mount Woodson, as it is popularly called) is regarded as one of the finest places to practice the sport of bouldering in Southern California.
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