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Devil's Punchbowl

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Devil's Punchbowl  

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Elevation: 4,740'
Location: 34.4139, -117.8587 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 46,726
Administrators: M.Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer, Justin Johnsen, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Bill Olszewski on Apr 16, 2009
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BETA PHOTO: This hand inked guide I made in 1990 by tracing ph...


The Devilís Punchbowl is the hidden gem of Los Angeles County. Nestled into the northern foothills of the San Gabriel mountain range, this county park is blessed with white sandstone strata, pushed skyward by the geologic activity of the San Andreas Fault and other nearby fault lines. These soft slabs are beautiful to see and great to climb. While many do not care for slab climbing, or feel uncomfortable on sandstone, the climbing here presents a variety of style in a beautiful setting where the high desert meets the mountains. Although not a replacement for the sport climbing of the now closed Williamson area, anyone looking for a change from the routine, or needing to work on their slab technique, should give DPB a try. And soft sandstone is very easy on the fingertips! Just remember to always pull down on flakes, never outward. ;-)

The park is open from sunrise to sunset and there are no fees associated. This is a very popular spot for day hikers and nature classes. The County of Los Angeles Parks and Recreation department offers many guided hikes and other activities for visitors. Please go to devils-punchbowl.com for more information. Be sure also to check out the live snake collection in the welcome center and say hello to Ruth

Some years ago there was a move to ban climbing in the Punch Bowl. Luckily, cooler heads prevailed. But for the purpose of keeping this wonderful area open to climbing, please be very respectful of the area, obey park rules, use only proper trails, pack out everything that you bring in, and note that no new route development is allowed, and no bolting. If you find bolts in need of replacement, please contact the ASCA, and they can work with the Parks and Rec department of Los Angeles County on our behalf.

Amenities: There are several small markets in Pearblossom for basic supplies, near and on the corner of CA-138 and Longview. There are a couple restaurants nearby these markets, as well as a wider selection in the towns of Little Rock and Palmdale, not far to the west, along the CA-138.

Camping: There are two campgrounds nearby with sites for tents as well as RVís. Both have toilets and fire pits, one has running water. Both require an Adventure Pass and according to the first link (scroll down to find the campgrounds, listed in alphabetical order), both are free. But according to the second link, South Fork charges $8/night.

Sycamore Flat Campground

South Fork Campground

Getting There 

From the I-15: take the Palmdale/Silverwood Lake exit and drive west on CA-138, (or west on CA-18 if coming from the north Ė the CA-18 will eventually merge with the CA-138), 30.1 miles to the town of Pearblossom.

From the I-5: take the Palmdale/Lancaster exit and drive north on the CA-14 for 29.7 miles. Take exit #30 (Angeles Forest Hwy/Pearblossom Hwy) and drive 0.3 miles to Sierra Hwy. Turn left on Sierra Hwy and drive 1.2 miles to Pearblossom Hwy. Turn right and continue east for 13.2 miles to the town of Pearblossom.

From Pearblossom: turn south on Longview Rd. At the T intersection (2.2 mi) turn left onto Ft. Tejon Rd. After 0.3 miles, turn right onto Longview Rd. Continue 2.3 miles and turn left onto Tumbleweed Rd. (which turns into Devilís Punchbowl Rd.) Drive 2.9 miles to the end of the road/parking lot. 28000 Devil's Punchbowl Rd., Pearblossom Ca. 93553

Climbing Season

Weather station 2.5 miles from here

33 Total Routes

['4 Stars',2],['3 Stars',12],['2 Stars',9],['1 Star',9],['Bomb',0]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Devil's Punchbowl:
Slot Machine   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   South area : VD (Very Direct) Wall
Tree Corner   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, Sport, 2 pitches, 160'   South area : VD (Very Direct) Wall
Rurp Rip-off   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   South area : VD (Very Direct) Wall
Velcro   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   South area : VD (Very Direct) Wall
Overhanger   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 90'   South area : VD (Very Direct) Wall
Joke Book   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Sport, 60'   North area : Attitude Wall
Taboo   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad, 1 pitch, 120'   South area : Behind the Scenes
Spike the Punch   5.10c/d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 50'   South area : VD (Very Direct) Wall
Lower Bolt Route   5.10c/d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   South area : VD (Very Direct) Wall
Rough Draft   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch   North area : Attitude Wall
Blacklisted   5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 35'   North area : Little Attitude Wall
Browse More Classics in Devil's Punchbowl

Featured Route For Devil's Punchbowl
Rocket Man working the crux.

Overhanger 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a  CA : High Desert : ... : VD (Very Direct) Wall
Start just left of the big cave in the center of VD wall. Climb the arÍte past three bolts to an overlap. The crux is passing the 4th bolt, as you surmount the overlap to continue up the aggregate face; a nice transition move from arÍte to headwall but the aggregate yields fairly sustained climbing for the grade. Take the seam up and right to the ledge, then move left and up the final headwall on easier slab to chain anchors. Rappel to descend or move right and climb Upper Bolt Rou...[more]   Browse More Classics in CA

Photos of Devil's Punchbowl Slideshow Add Photo
Owen and Savage, and the levitating nut - Punchbowl Parking Lot mid-80's <br />(c) Mark Goss
Owen and Savage, and the levitating nut - Punchbow...
Arch Demon 5.12R Devils Punchbowl Ca
Arch Demon 5.12R Devils Punchbowl Ca
More stuff
BETA PHOTO: More stuff
Ruth the Barn Owl.
Ruth the Barn Owl.
Looking back down the aggregate on a beautiful Sunday afternoon.
Looking back down the aggregate on a beautiful Sun...
The Point 5.11 Just SW of the Attitude Wall FA J Constine
The Point 5.11 Just SW of the Attitude Wall FA J C...
Looking north from the top of the Corral.
Looking north from the top of the Corral.
The Punchbowl proper.
The Punchbowl proper.
Punchbowl Creek in April.
Punchbowl Creek in April.
Diminishing Returns 5.12 At the crux.. <br />
Diminishing Returns 5.12 At the crux..
The Corral and the San Gabriel Mountains.
The Corral and the San Gabriel Mountains.
BETA PHOTO: Formations
The original Guide reportedly drawn by Dennis Clark of Palmdale. Photo from 1987. This was up in a display at the ranger station when I arrived in 1983 and was taken down in 1988.
The original Guide reportedly drawn by Dennis Clar...
Warren Davis, Punchbowl slabbin'.
Warren Davis, Punchbowl slabbin'.
Southern California Winter in the Punchbowl
Southern California Winter in the Punchbowl
Best Seller 5.12a Attitude Wall
Best Seller 5.12a Attitude Wall
Snow at the base - Behind The Scenes Wall
Snow at the base - Behind The Scenes Wall

Comments on Devil's Punchbowl Add Comment
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By Spider Savage
Oct 2, 2014
Just visited last weekend after many years. Many of the old classic routes are still protected by pre-1980 Leeper & SMC bolt hangers on 1/4 inch bolts. These are not safe for repeated falls. If you need to work a problem, don't do it with these as protection. Further, these were routes created bottom-up on lead so they are not protected like sport or gym routes. You gotta climb well and the leader should not fall.

There are also a good number of rebolted routes in the 5.10 range on the main formation in the canyon. Those look like they were done right. (Jeff?)

This area is very beautiful and seems to be pretty rarely visited by climbers compared to the old days. Lots of hikers.
By Jeff constine
May 18, 2013
Who ever replaced the second bolt on Followers Folly 5.9, why did you just leave the old bolt? WHY DID YOU TRY, and smash it into the rock with the nut still on it.. Looks like total Noob work. Bad paint job to, it all flaked off.
If you don't know how to pull the old bolts W/out damaging the rock. You have no business Bolting at the punchbowl Period!!!! Stop scaring the rock.. The Ranger is going to get upset..
By Jeff constine
Jul 28, 2013
Hey MaryK, I do Fund all rebolting at the Punchbowl, and other places. outta my pocket, thanks, your comment, seams like you're Ignorant.
By Ally McBeal
Aug 17, 2013
Jeff C, it seems (not seams) this is a case of the kettle calling the pot black. It is often said that it is better to be thought of as ignorant than to open your mouth and remove all doubt. You have removed all doubt about your ignorance. Time to call the ASCA.