Hike Devil's Punchbowl and Devil's Chair

Devil's Punchbowl Natural Area, CA

Catch amazing views of rock formations caused by seismic activity on one of the multiple trails for different experience levels. There's also the possibility of longer backpacking trips through the high country. The park is dog friendly and has no parking or use fees.

What a hidden gem! A martian landscape full of faultline desert rock formations and joshua trees against a mountainous backdrop of the San Gabriels. Devil's Punchbowl Natural Area features a 1 mile well-marked, well-maintained single track loop trail inside the Punchbowl (great for kids) and a 7 mile trail to the Devil's Chair, a fin rock formation that offers panoramic vistas of the valley floor and the jutting sandstone formations. The second trail also features connections to trails that lead to the high country. Be sure to drop by the visitor's center for some great information on the wildlife, flora and fauna, and geological history of the area. Ask for a map, too!

Free entry, no parking fees or passes required. This hike is suitable year-round but just be careful of the high temperatures during the summer and early fall months. Winter and spring are spectacular if and when it snows.

The trail is easy to follow and is about 8 miles out and back. The trailhead is right behind the porta potty in the parking lot. Keep left at the greenish water shed and continue for about 3 miles where you will start a series of switchbacks. You'll begin to see the chair as you traverse the ridge; be careful not to pass it, just keep following the trail coming up behind it. You will eventually reach a narrow ledge that overlooks the canyon with metal railing on either side – be careful and watch your step! Once you've reached the plateau, you can rest, eat a snack, and take in the gorgeous colorful view below and around. Yeah!

If you are into rock climbing, bring your gear! So many fun rock faces and shears to explore.

Pack List

  • 2 liters of water (more on hotter days)
  • Snacks
  • Comfortable hiking shoes with lugs
  • Layered clothing and a hat
  • Climbing gear
Show More
RT Distance 8 Miles
Elevation Gain 1000 Feet
Activities Chillin, Photography, Hiking, Fitness, Rock Climbing
Skill Level Beginner
Season Year Round
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Bathrooms
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
Groups
Picnic Area
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife

Reviews

Leave a Review

Overall rating: 

A Desert Classic Right Below The Tree Line

4 stars cause I've been tramping throughout it since a kid. Awesome rock formations and faces. The Devils chair day hike is a go to morning jaunt, be advised is in the desert and has extremes. Was there in February on a 80 degree day and last weekend (March) had snow on trail and ice. They have cool visitor center with animals, insects and used to have a bee hive in a cross section of an old tree (haven't been to center in a bit, usually break south and hit Devils Chair or the High Desert trail to burkhardt saddle or east to south fork camp ground

Great Hike

Cool hike, and a very nice scenery for being where it is. If you go at the right time there's a stream that you can walk along.

The chair is awesome for a day hike. Easy to get to.


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Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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