The City of Poway trails system, consisting of over 55 miles, is one of the finest in Southern California. For a complete description and map of the trails check out our Trails Guide.
The Lake Poway Recreation Area is surrounded by the 400-acre Clyde E. Rexrode Wilderness Area. Named for Poway's first Mayor, the area has many miles of trails.
Trails vary in length and level of difficulty and provide scenic lake overlooks and treks through Southern California chaparral. Depending on the trail, it may connect to Poway's more than 55 mile trail system.
You may also enjoy immersing yourself in nature in Blue Sky Ecological Reserve's 700-acre canyon rich in animals and plants. Bicycles are not permitted in Blue Sky. Blue Sky docent-led guided hikes are a great way to excercise, meet fellow hikers and learn about a variety of topics.
Lake Poway Trails Information
All trails are multi-use and are utilized regularly by hikers, bicyclists, and horseback riders. Bicycles are not permitted in the Blue Sky Ecological Reserve. Bicyclists must yield the right-of-way to hikers and horseback riders.
Lake Poway Loop Trail – 2.75-mile trail around Lake Poway. Beautiful views of the Lake with some steep areas and some shaded areas. Portable restrooms at various locations.
Mount Woodson Trail – A difficult trail for beginners, this steep trail offers many beautiful views of the lake and other areas. Worth the challenge, but be sure to bring extra water, as summer temperatures can be extreme. Portable restrooms can be found at various locations around the lake, no facilities are available on the steep climb to the peak.
Sumac Trail – 1.5-mile trail loops from the Lake Poway Loop Trail to Oak Canyon Road in High Valley and back to the lake.
Lake Poway to Blue Sky Trail – 1.5-mile trail begins at the Lake Poway Concession and winds down into the Blue Sky Ecological Reserve, where hikers can either continue into the Reserve or back up to the Lake Loop Trail.
Hiking Safety Tips…
- Do not hike alone, use the buddy system.
- Carry a cell phone and a whistle, if possible.
- Stay alert and be aware of your surroundings. Avoid wearing headphones.
- Take adequate drinking water. Encourage children to drink plenty of water so they don't become dehydrated.
- Wear sturdy closed-toe shoes with suitable traction.
- Dogs must be leashed at all times and be kept at least 100 feet from the water's edge at all times; take extra drinking water for your dog.
- Stay on marked trails at all times.
- Be aware that this is natural habitat and many different animals live here; rattlesnakes and mountain lions are in the area.
- Protect yourself from the sun. Wear a high factor sunscreen. Cover as much of the body in lightweight clothing as possible. Wear a hat and sunglasses.
- Try not to hike during the hottest part of the day. Many of the Lake Poway trails have very little shade.
- Try to remember to carry ID. Keep it in your trail shoes. Include any relevant medical information.
- Trails are open for public use from sunrise to sunset, 7 days a week.
- All natural resources are fully protected. This includes plants, wildlife, and all natural features.
- Firearms, fires, and smoking are prohibited.
- Motorized vehicles and equipment are prohibited.
- Dogs must be leashed at all times and be kept at least 100 feet from the water's edge at all times. Please cleanup after your pet.
- Bicyclists must yield the right-of-way to hikers and horseback riders.
- Maximum trail speed permitted is 10 mph at Lake Poway, and 15 mph on all other trails.
- Off-trail travel is prohibited. Please do not shortcut trails.
- All federal, state, and local regulations are in force.
- Smoking is prohibited on the trails.
If you see anything suspicious, notify a park ranger at (858) 668-4772.