Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Devil's Punch Bowl

My mixed doubles tennis partner told me about a recent hike she went on with her family and this inspired me to check out one of San Diego County’s best-kept secrets, the Devil's Punch Bowl. The hike begins by the water tower at the far-east end of the San Diego Country Estates. Although it is only 2.5 miles to the waterfall, there is a challenging one-mile descent at the beginning of the hike. You have to cross the creek three times; make sure to avoid taking the path that leads to Julian if you want to see this incredible 90-foot waterfall. There are lots of hikers on the trail, so be sure to ask directions.

I was really happy to go on this hike for the first time with my youngest son and plan to return often with the rest of my family and our dog, Lucky. If you live near San Diego and like to hike, make sure to check out this awesome place located in the Cleveland National Forest. I could not resist a swim in the water just below the waterfall and my son promises to swim with me on our next adventure. The water is cold but exhilarating.

If you decide to go on this hike, make sure to bring plenty of water and allow about an hour to hike to the waterfall and another hour to return. It is a great place to have a picnic. Don’t forget to bring your camera. If you are visiting the waterfall after heavy rains, make sure to wear shorts or a swim suit.  You need to cross the creek three times and it can get knee deep.  Water shoes are great so you can keep your hiking boots dry.

In today's hectic world, it is important to take a break. Even the Creator of the universe took a day off. Why not spend today in nature?

Directions to the Devil's Punch Bowl from Interstate 15 at the Scripps Poway Parkway Exit:

1: Take the Scripps Poway Parkway Exit East From I15 ~ 8-10 miles
2: Turn LEFT onto CA-67. 6.1 miles (9.9 km)
3: Turn RIGHT onto DYE RD. 1.8 miles (2.9 km) -  first traffic light entering Ramona
4: Turn LEFT onto RAMONA ST. 0.4 miles (0.7 km)...street changes names as you go left
5: Turn RIGHT onto WARNOCK DR. 0.8 miles (1.2 km)...street changes names again as you go right
6: Turn RIGHT onto SAN VICENTE RD. 4.8 miles (7.8 km) - turn at traffic light
7: Turn LEFT onto RAMONA OAKS RD. 2.8 miles (4.5 km)
8: Turn RIGHT onto CATHEDRAL WAY. 0.2 miles (0.3 km)
9: Turn RIGHT onto THORNBUSH RD. Park near the water tower and take your valuables with you.  Please show respect for the neighbors who live at the entrance to the hike and avoid littering.  Let's keep this area clean and be sure to stay on the trails so that the environment is not damaged.  Thanks.


Anonymous said...

It would be sweet if people would stop posting directions on how to get there. Me being a local who lives right by the punchbowl am discusted at how many people show up and block my street every day to hike down there, and while they are down there they act exactly as tourists would in a cool spot, dumb and irresponsible.

Michael Mulligan said...

Thank you for your comment. You are fortunate to border the Cleveland National Forest and I'm about five minutes from you.

The new trail, the recent rains and the newspaper stories about this little gem all contribute to the increased traffic.

Out of respect for you and those on your street, I'm revising my message to please ask hikers to be respectful. Thanks for taking the time to voice your opinion.

Michael Mulligan said...

Here's an update on the Devil's Punch Bowl. Copy and past the link to read the story...