Potato Chip Rock is close to finally getting a parking lot

SAN DIEGO -- One of San Diego's most iconic hiking trails -- and photo ops -- is close to finally getting a parking lot.

Potato Chip Rock, at the summit of Mount Woodson, just off Highway 67 between Poway and Ramona, has long been a popular destination in need of better parking options. While hiking up from the Poway side allows flocks of hikers and tourists to use the ample spaces provided near Lake Poway, visitors taking the Ramona route usually just park along the highway, creating a long-standing safety issue.

That may soon change after the San Diego County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Wednesday to approve a hearing on purchasing an 84-acre lot near the Ramona trail head and turning it into parking spaces for hikers. The land would be purchased from a private owner at a price tag of $1.7 million.

"I know like a lot of kids come here, it will really help them animals too, they're not going to run into the highway it will be pretty beneficial," said hiker Josh Balchin,

The lot could provide "safer access and potential parking for the popular route to Potato Chip Rock," a county document reads. Because of its large size, much of the property would not be needed for the lot, but could be conserved as open space. About 75 acres of the habitat qualifies for a county conservation program's guidelines, according to officials.

After this first step in the process, the issue will return to the Board for a public hearing on March 27 before any final vote.

You can read the full proposal and background information here.

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