A day with the dogs at Devil’s Punch Bowl

“Wake me up, before you go go, we’re gonna head up to Devil’s Punch Bowl!”

Devil’s Punch Bowl- Angeles National Forest- San Gabriel Mountains, Los Angeles County, California.

If you’re looking for something to do this spring, chances are you came across Devil’s Punch Bowl as a choice. Located in the desert mountains East of Palmdale, California, it’s a tourist attraction that is a unique sight! Since it’s only a 40-minute drive from my house it’s an easy go-to for a day trip.

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As you drive into the parking lot on any given day it could be packed, yet I have gone a couple times when there was barely any cars there. This is mostly in the cooler months but every once in a while you get lucky. There is an information center there but it’s usually closed or crowded when I go, and across from that is a park area where you can sit in the shade and eat lunch or celebrate a successful hike. I save that for the end of my hike, so I skip on over to the entrance of the trail.

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Now I don’t know about you, but I am no mountaineer rock climber, not to say you have to be to pursue these trails, but I am majorly out of shape. Coming off depression and seasonal weight gain, not to mention working in an office all the time my activity level is low. Being a beginner I still managed to take the shortest trail and made it all the way to the end!

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There are lots of areas that get your heart rate going and I had to take a couple of stops to catch my breath and ask myself why I put myself through this! I do this for my dogs so I will do whatever it takes so they can get out and have a great day. I have long leads for them but there were lots of areas that I could trust them to go off leash but, do this with caution! There are lots of areas where if a dog is too close to the ledge they can slip and down the mountain, they go! My dog’s recall is pretty solid at this point, and so I gave it a try, not to mention 2 dogs pulling me DOWN the steep slopes is not ideal for someone who has weak ankles (thanks grandma) so in order not break my neck 5 minutes into the hike I let them go.

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I can’t say how long it took me to complete the trail, I stopped for water for all 3 of us and stopped for pictures but I would say it would take the average person 45-minutes to 1-hour.

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Here are some things you should know:

  • Environment- You’re in the middle of rocks, a mountain of them, so it’s very dry with no shade. It’s also usually hot and be careful where you step for layers of dirt that can slide out from under you. Bring sunscreen!
  • Roads– Mostly paved the entire way up, traffic is not bad at all either depending on the day and time of day.
  • Gear– Wear a hat and layers and bring sunglasses if you like them. I took my camelback and wore some comfortable light clothes. The dogs didn’t need anything special, I may take hiking boots but to be honest, the trails can be slippery and I want them to have as much of their grip as possible in the event they were to slip and fall. (Call me paranoid).
  • Stay Hydrated– Keep water with you for you and your dogs. Heat stroke in the middle of the trail is not ideal and very dangerous.
  • Pet Policy– Dogs allowed! Of course, on a leash and obviously behaved.

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Fun Facts:

  • This is the home to an Endangered Species the Mountain yellow-legged frog.
  • It is actually a giant naturally formed amphitheater, try yelling out and listen to it echo off the mountains.
  • Devil’s Punch Bowl is home to a lot of animals, such as coyotes, foxes, deer, and even mountain goats (rare).

It was a long day but we made it together, we rested at the picnic area in the shade and took in some water. Back at the car I had snacks and always bring dog food, so we put a little something into our growling stomachs and loaded. The trip home was easy breezy, the dogs exhausted and happy in the back as we all hungrily make our way home.

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Hey, guys hope you enjoyed seeing our little trip together! Check out the rest of the photos and feel free to leave me a comment, your feedback is important to me!

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