Lake Poway is one of San Diego County’s most versatile parks all year round, but during the summer months it can’t be beat for its range of entertainment and adventures. No matter your age or interest, we’ve got a few “can’t miss” opportunities for your summer bucket list:
- Family camp outs. Enjoy outdoor fun in a family-friendly environment. Activities include a guided evening hike, campfire with s'mores and a magic/comedy show. Bring your own camping equipment, dinner supplies to barbeque, and grill/charcoal. There’s also an optional pancake breakfast and opportunity to go fishing. Register early because these summer camp outs sell out!
- Photo-tastic hikes. Have you struck your pose on Potato Chip rock? It’s not an easy stroll from the lake to the top of Mt. Woodson to get the ultimate social media profile picture, so bring plenty of water, wear appropriate hiking gear and make sure everyone in your party (including any pets) are up for the challenge. See the note below about trail closure during heat waves. But this isn’t the only hike offered at the lake (and photo opps abound!). Ask one of the park rangers what’s the best hike for your group.
- Night fishing. During July and August, the City stocks 6,500 pounds of catfish and offers night fishing Fridays and Saturdays until 11:30 p.m. For fishing hours and permit information, visit the Lake Poway Fishing page on the city’s website.
- Summer concerts. This year’s concert season kicks off Sunday, June 24 with Pop Vinyl, a Southern California dance band, and keeps rocking all summer. The lake hosts four Sunday concerts through August and while the music starts at 5:30 p.m., arrive early to picnic with friends or catch a bite to eat at a food truck. The parking lot often fills up by 4 p.m., but free shuttles are available. Learn more here.
Know before you go:
- Hours. The entry station opens at 6 a.m. every day and closes 30 minutes before sunset. The park closes at sunset (there’s a sign at the entrance with the time for that day).
- Parking. Poway residents are always free, but on the weekends and holidays the charge for nonresidents is $10 to park. There is no parking fee on weekdays and the City provides a free shuttle service for the summer concert series.
- Trail closures. For the safety of both hikers and rescue personnel, the City of Poway closes the trail to Mt. Woodson when the National Weather Service (NWS) issues a heat advisory with temperatures predicted to reach or exceed 100 degrees OR when the NWS issues an excessive heat warning. In the event of trail closures, signs are posted at the trailhead and information is posted on Poway’s social media accounts and its website (www.poway.org).
- Concessions. The store at the lake is a one-stop shop for apparel, barbeque supplies, beverages, duck feed, fishing bait and poles, hiking supplies, hot food, ice cream, snacks, and more. Stop by Wednesday through Sunday to rent a boat, purchase your fishing permit, or obtain your annual Lake Poway archery card. (View hours.)
- Other amenities. The lake also has two playgrounds and ample picnic areas, plus a volleyball court, horseshoe pit, softball field and archery range. (View map.)