Trails & Hiking
| UPDATE 3/24/2020: The Lake Poway Recreation Area, Blue Sky Ecological Reserve, Iron Mountain Wilderness Area, and trailhead to Rattlesnake Canyon are temporarily closed to reinforce county and state public health orders for social distancing and limiting non-essential gatherings, which are critical for slowing the spread of COVID-19 in our community. View all updates here.
View the new online Poway trails map. (Check back for updates on when the new print edition of the trails guide will be ready.)
Hiking Safety Tips & Rules
- Remember to hike with a buddy and carry water, a whistle, identification, and a cell phone. Avoid headphones.
- Please stay on marked trails, wear sturdy shoes, and leash your dogs.
- Protect yourself from the sun and don't hike during the hottest part of the day.
- Trails are open for public use from sunrise to sunset, 7 days a week.
- Use of tobacco products, including e-cigarette's is not allowed.
- All natural resources are protected. Please respect all plants, wildlife, and other natural features.
- Firearms, fires, and motorized vehicles/equipment are not permitted.
- Bicyclists, please remember to yield the right-of-way to hikers and horseback riders. Maximum trail speed is 10 miles per hour at Lake Poway and 15 miles per hour on all other trails. (Bicycles are not allowed at Blue Sky Ecological Reserve.)
Blue Sky Ecological Reserve Trails
These trails are designed to provide visitors a view of all habitat types. Blue Sky's primary trail occurs along the Green Valley Truck Trail (GVTT).
At 0.2 miles from the trail head, a sign is posted to the Oak Grove and Creekside Trail. The Creekside Trail is a narrow, maintained trail that runs parallel to the GVTT and winds through Blue Sky's riparian habitat for approximately 0.25 miles. Dogs and horses are not permitted on the Creekside Trail.
The GVTT stretches for approximately 1.2 level miles, but if you're looking for a great workout, turn left at the sign post to Ramona Dam and begin an uphill ascent to Lake Ramona. This tranquil setting above Blue Sky affords incredible views of Poway and beyond. Distance 2.4 miles from the trail head, round trip 4.8 miles.
The Mt. Woodson trailhead is located on the east side of Lake Poway. Beginning from the Lake Poway Staging area, the hike to the Mt. Woodson Summit is an extremely challenging 2,000 foot climb in elevation. This 8 mile round trip hike may take 3 to 4 hours on average and is only recommended for experienced hikers looking for a strenuous workout.
When Hiking Iron Mountain and Ellie Lane
The City has a long-term tradition of conserving large amounts of open space and preserving the rural character of the "City in the Country" and does so through a Habitat Conservation Plan. This plan, assists us with the effective protection, conservation, and management of our biological resources. It's important to protect raptor populations by staying on designated trails.