This route circles the southern edge of Devil's Punchbowl, a canyon with sandstone geologic formations on the northern edge of the San Gabriel Mountains, before descending to a narrow promontory that extends out into the canyon. All but the first (and last) mile of the route are reasonably shaded. Be prepared for a very steep climb out of the canyon on an otherwise moderate journey.
The trailhead is located in the southeastern corner of the parking lot for Devil's Punchbowl Natural Area. Follow the trail as it heads southwest, through a manzanita forest, until it comes to a fire road. The route follows the Burkhart Trail for about 1/2 mile, passing the split where the Burkhart Trail moves on to the west, while the (Devil's) Punchbowl Trail moves to the southeast. Don't worry, there are signs.
By the time that you transition to the (Devil's) Punchbowl Trail, most of the climbing is done, and the trail meanders eastward, through mixed forest, along the lower flanks of the mountains. Enjoy views of the canyon to the north, but watch your footing as some sections of the trail are narrow and/or washed out. At the 3-mile mark, the trail begins a sharp, switchbacked, descent into the canyon. At the bottom of the descent, take the trail to the left and head west to Devil's Chair.
Soon, as the trail skirts the canyon wall, there will be railings to keep hikers from falling. These continue out to the tip of the promontory, which is completely fenced. Enjoy the views, and take a breather, before climbing back out of the canyon to return the way you came.
Shared By: Jason Ethridge