I remember visiting “the Punchbowl” (The Devil’s Punchbowl) in the Antelope Valley when I was kid. On a lazy Sunday we headed out for a visit and a hike (plan on spending 2-3 hours exploring and hiking).
Neither William or Charlotte could comprehend the nature of “the Punchbowl” -what it is, why it was there, and let alone why the name. As we wound through the desolate desert highways and streets they both started to recognize the geologic features all around them. Not but 30 minutes before we has passed Vasquez Rocks heading northbound on the 14 and as we crested unto Pearblossom Highway they could see the snow packed Mountain High. They started to connect the dots between these sites.
As we entered the park we saw the up-tilted rock formations -much larger and in greater quantity than Vasquez Rock- set against the snow capped San Gabriel Mountains. We parked, entered the visitor center and then headed out for the 1 mile loop inside the Punchbowl itself and then completed the one-third nature trail.
The 1 Mile Loop inside the Punchbowl is well marked, however during winter (do to snow and water run-off) the path can be very muddy, washed-away or a little unstable. The loop takes you into (down) the Punchbowl and then returns yous (up) the other side -this is an easy to moderate hike. Our goal was to make it to the bottom, where we could enjoy the waterfall running between the rocks, and the creek. The nature trail is a very easy loop with fantastic vistas of the entire Antelope Valley and Tehachapi Mountains in the distance.
We bade farewell to The Devil’s Punchbowl and look forward to our return in the spring when the wildflowers are in full bloom.
The Devil’s Punchbowl is a unique 1,310 acre geological wonder where visitors can walk, hike or take a horseback ride on a 7.5 mile round-trip trail through a deep canyon formed by the runoff of large quantities of water from the higher San Gabriel Mountains. See spectacular up-tilted rock formations created by layers of sedimentary rocks, visit the Nature Center to learn about the native wildlife and park history, explore the landscape of Joshua trees, California Junipers, Pinyon Pine Woodland and Desert Chaparral shrubs while observing the variety of wildlife.