Hike the Santa Paula Punch Bowls

Los Angeles Santa Paula Punch Bowls Trailhead

Added by Sassy Resuello

One of the best hikes in the Ventura County, which features a waterfall, swimming holes, and some water slides.

This is an 8.5 mile trail, out and back. Parking is available along Ojai St, and the trail starts at the entrance of Thomas Aquinas College. Follow the paved road which goes around the school, until you reach a fork on the road, then stay right. The trail will take you through Ferndale Ranch, just keep going straight and the trail will end once you see a fenced gate, with several oil pumps inside. Make your way to the left, and follow the edge of the fence, until you reach the Santa Paula Creek. At this point, you can just follow the creek upstream, until you see the trail on the opposite side of the stream. Cross the stream with caution, to follow the trail (be aware that the stream could be really strong on days with heavy rains, so be careful!).

Continue to follow the creek upstream, and you will find another place to cross it. If you see a lot of graffiti covered rocks, you're on the right path. You will then pass by a camp called Big Cone Camp, just pass through it and you will eventually find a fork on the trail. Left leads to the Punchbowl, right leads to the Slides.

To get to the Punchbowl, just scramble over the big rocks to your right side. Soon enough you will see the swimming hole with the waterfall.

To get to the Slides, go back and continue upstream, and about a quarter mile you will reach a spot directly above the Punchbowls. Keep following the trail parallel to the creek, at the 4 mile mark you will find Cross Camp, and the trail ends when you hit a narrow slot canyon. The Slides are about a quarter mile up the canyon.

Be safe at all times! Rocks may be very slippery.

Go back the same way you came in.

Pack List

  • Daypack
  • Water
  • Packed Lunch
  • Trail Snacks
  • Swimsuit
  • Watershoes/Slippers
  • Change of clothes
  • Quick-dry Towel
  • First Aid Kit
  • Flashlight
  • Extra Batteries
Read More

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

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

Share

Activities:

Chillin, Hiking, Photography, Swimming

Skill Level:

Intermediate

Season:

Year Round

Trail Type:

Out-and-Back

Distance:

8.5 Miles

Elev. Gain:

700 Feet

Rating:

Features:

Bathrooms
Cliff Jumping
Easy Parking
Groups
Swimming Hole
Waterfall

Are we missing something?

Suggest an edit

How to Get There

3 months ago

Excellent

Thanks for the write up, very descriptive. I've always loved this hike, and the fun waterholes!

3 months ago

4 months ago

Great Hike

Decided to go up while it was sprinkling and was able to make it all the way to the punch bowls with little to no wetness. The hike is amazing with great views and amazing solitude(I'm sure the rain helped with that). The graffiti is easy to follow and the trail is pretty mellow for the most part. Definitely a great hike.

4 months ago

Added by Sassy Resuello

Spending time outdoors and seeing the beauty of nature is my way of fueling my passion for life. Taking photos is my way of sharing the inspiration with the rest of the world.

More Adventures Nearby

Hike East Anacapa Island of the Channel Islands

Los Angeles / Island Packers Cruises

Leaving from either Ventura or Oxnard via Island Packers, this full-day hike is in the middle of the Santa Barbara Channel on a small island, about one hour from Los Angeles by car and one additional.

Leigh Maneri
10 Saves

Hike to Big Tujunga Canyon Lookouts

Los Angeles / Condor Peak Trailhead

Park at the Condor Peak Trailhead, please note that this trail head is unmarked so keep your eyes peeled on the right side of the turnout for a small single track trail.

Isaac Orloff
7 Saves

Photograph Wildflowers at Carrizo Plain National Monument

Los Angeles / Carrizo Plain National Monument

Driving in from Hwy 58 East, you will be passing through a grapevine, and through some hills.

Sassy Resuello
22 Saves