Punchbowl Creek in late afternoon.
The South Area of the Devils Punchbowl consists of several long sandstone slabs arranged on a hillside, facing north. This area sits in a valley to the south of and about 300 below the parking lot. A creek graces this area in the winter and spring, flowing down out of the San Gabriel Mountains, along the base of the climbing walls. The preeminent wall in this area is Very Direct (VD) wall. It features by far the most routes and sits in front of the other walls. The sandstone in the South Area tends to be more homogenous than what is found in the North Area, lending well to fine smearing and not a lot of aggregate rock. It is also in this southern part of the park where most of the moderate climbing is found. Since the walls are predominantly north-facing, the South Area is best for climbing on warm days. It can get very hot in summer.
From the parking lot, take the trail at the south side (to the left of the Burkhart Horse Trail sign). Follow this trail a short distance to a fork. Take the left fork over to a nice lookout of the southern valley. From here, follow the trail down on the right, into the valley. The trail will switch back to the left and continue east to the bottom of the valley, with several small turns and switchbacks. Once you encounter the creek, head right. Continue upstream, making a few crossings along the way, until you reach the base of a large sandstone slab. This is Very Direct (VD) wall. Allow about 10 minutes hiking from the parking lot.
Weather station 2.7 miles from here
28 Total Climbing Routes
['4 Stars',1],['3 Stars',15],['2 Stars',8],['1 Star',3],['Bomb',0]
Classic Climbing Routes in South Area
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in South Area
Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for South Area:
Featured Route For South Area
No Philosophy 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b CA
: High Desert
: ... : Purgatory Wall
P1. Slabby and a tad gravelly and there's a 5.10c traverse left about halfway with a nasty runout.P2. Head up then traverse to get above the overhanging wall to the right. The second pitch is about 5.8 and is totally classic involving exposed steep face climbing on those ubiquitous knobs. This pitch more than makes up for the nervy and less than perfect first pitch....[more] Browse More Classics in CA
Climbers above the cave on VD wall.
The climbing slabs of the South area.
BETA PHOTO: This is the trailhead for the South area.
Cooling off in the creek.