Saturday, May 7, 2022, 9 a.m. - 2 p.m.: Devil's Punchbowl:
Leaders: Gabi and Cliff McLean with Jonathan Numer and MIckey Long
The park and the area around it burned in the Bobcat fire in 2020. The area is now in full recovery mode. Even though the pinon pines burned and their skeletons dot the landscape throughout the area, the forest floor is coming back to life and amazes with colorful annuals and perennials.
After an introduction to the interesting geology of this area, we’ll take a hike down into the canyon, where we will encounter a small creek and then return on a loop trail. The total distance is 1.25 miles, with 300’ elevation loss and gain. The level area in the park offers more wildflowers and resprouting of some of the vegetation burned in the fire. After a picnic break, we expect to head back on the Devils Punchbowl Rd for a stop along the road — about 2 miles from the park — to survey a small area with more flowers, especially the Desert Mariposa Lily. In total, we estimate that four to five hours will give you plenty of opportunity to take in the special features of this interesting geological area, and the beauty of the recovering pinyon pine woodland and desert scrub. (This does not include the driving time from the San Gabriel Valley to the Devil’s Punchbowl which is about 1 ½ hours, one way).
IMPORTANT: There are no fast-food establishments, stores, gas stations, charging stations, or restaurants in the area. So, bring plenty of water and lunch and start with a full tank of gas or a full charge for EVs. We recommend sturdy shoes, wind-proof hat, camera and binocs. We also encourage carpooling.
We’ll meet in the parking lot. The nature center burned down, so there is no museum and there are no rescue animals on site. There are new clean restrooms available but no running water. The Devil’s Punchbowl Road ends at the entrance to the Natural Area parking lot.
Directions: The Devil’s Punchbowl Natural Area is located on the north side of the San Gabriel Mountains. From the San Gabriel Valley, the Punchbowl can be reached in three different ways:
(1) by either going through the mountains on Angeles Crest Hwy 2 and Angeles Forest Hwy, or
(2) passing the mountains on the east side (via I-15 and Hwy 138), or
(3) passing the mountains on the west side (via I-5 and Hwy 14).
These are not detailed directions. Please consult your map application for more information.
It depends on your location and traffic conditions which way is more advantageous to you. It is best to double-check on Saturday morning about the current road and traffic conditions.
Please note, Hwy 39 is closed past Crystal Lake and does not connect to Angeles Crest Hwy 2 as one map application might wrongly indicate.