Went hiking to the Devil’s Punchbowl today with my friends Victor, Jerry, and Aaron. I’ve never been to the Punchbowl, but its been on my list for quite awhile.
We started out from South Fork Campground around 11am or so. We were immediately greeted by a couple rip-roaring streams. I walked right through it but, after about 5 seconds, realized that I did NOT have my gore-tex shoes on 😦 Oh well – the temp was about 60-something and my feet dried out in minutes. We caught up with the trail and went for a few miles, meandering across mudslides (some VERY eroded parts right now) and occasionally steep switchbacks. After a couple of hours, we arrived at a spot just above Devil’s Chair and had lunch. Trail mix has never tasted better!
After a short break, we continued on, making it out to Devil’s Chair, which overlooks the punchbowl, and then up some steeper sections. We went through sections of sub-alpine vegetation (eg jeffrey pines), chaparral, manzanita, and high desert. The hike was relatively tame, never really moving outside of an elevation of between 4500 and 5300 feet. By about 4pm, our adventure was over and we set out to enjoy dinner at Charlie Brown’s Farms (which ruled! especially for vegetarians!).
Specs on the hike:
mileage: a bit over 8 miles
difficulty (1-10 scale): a couple difficult spots but overall probably a 4-5. Snow was not a problem today but it has been recently in the punchbowl.
views: I’d say a 7. The Bowl is beautiful and I love me some Jeffrey Pines.
Food and water consumed: about 1.5 liters of water + .5 liters of heed/crystal light mix. I ate about 5 oz. of trail mix and a few almonds. Pretty low consumption on the trail.
Clothes worn: Temps varied from mid 60’s to upper 40’s, depending on the part of the trail we were on. I had an REI lightweight longsleeve baselayer on, a cheap short sleeve wicking shirt, arc’teryx beta AR pants, and Keen Voyageurs for the whole hike. I also put on a North Face Windstopper jacket and a cheap Burton hat for parts of the trail that felt colder. That was more than enough.