Summary: This is a good short trail through some interesting geological and ecological features. You start at South Fork Camp right at the very edge of where the forest meets the desert, so you hike through a transitional zone and even cross a couple of streams.
As you begin you cross South Fork Creek then you gently climb a nice slope to a ridge, then descend some switchbacks, and climb up the steepest portion of the trail to the punchbowl.
This is a pretty easy hike for anyone in decent condition. Surely, everyone in your party can make this one. However, I would recommend they be sure of foot, there are some steep drop offs and trail erosion along the way. The feint of heart may want to tread lightly on this trail, very very narrow in spots.
I was tempted to continue on, but I wasn't sure what the weather would do, and I wasn't outfitted for rain. This one is worth going to at least once.
Trailhead: Take the Pearblossom Hwy (138) West from the 15 past the twon of Llano and just before Pearblossom. Turn Left onto Longview road. Make another left onto W Avenue (there's a sign for Valerymo Road) W will veer right and become Valerymo Road. Follow this road for a while until you see the sign for Big Rock Creek Road - turn right and follow it to the signed turoff for South Fork Campground - turn right and follow it to its end - park.
The trail is well marked as it crosses the stream. Follow it up as it climbs and down as it descends then climbs again to the Devil's Chair. (Lat:34.40216 Lon:-117.84575)
Trail Guides for Devils Chair from South Fork Campground:
Best Hikes With Dogs - Southern California
by Allen Riedel (Mountaineers books)
Day Hikers Guide to Southern California
by John McKinney (Olympus Press)
Trails of the Angeles - 100 Hikes in the San Gabriels
by John W. Robinson (Wilderness Press)
Best Seasons: Fall, Spring, Winter,
User Groups: Hikers, Dogs, Horses,
Ranger Contact: Angeles National Forest (661) 944-2743
Localhikes Reporter: This hike was submitted by Allen Riedel, who has posted 123 other hikes on this site. To visit this reporters web site, click here.
Trail Reviews Page 1 of 2 Submit your own review
Reviewed by Phoenix on 12/29/2012
Just hiked the trail from the punchbowl parking lot to south fork and back.(about 14 miles and 2000 plus gain). Trail as maintained as it gets. Light snow from SF back to the parking lot with 1-2 inches accumulation. Holcomb creek has water. My dog Kodi and I sufficiently wooped looking forward to some therapeutic wine.
Reviewed by KK on 6/4/2012
Just hiked this today. The trail was not well maintained and difficult to find. I must have missed the trail somewhere that went up and over the hillside because I found myself following another trail that went back and forth across the creek for about 3 miles. I got to a dead end and decided just to come back. On the way out I think I may have found the trail, but by this point the pups were exhausted and we decided to head back out. nice area, but not well maintained now. good small swimming holes, great water source for dogs, however bad on their paws due to changing terrain and rocks.
Reviewed by Indigoverse on 6/6/2011
Error: Reserved Word Found: update
Reviewed by JADE on 5/3/2011
Great views. Wish the very start of the trail was different. Straight up till hit the woods. But the rest is beautiful and very challenging. Hiked this trail on 5/2/2011 for the second time. Weather 68 was perfect. The first time ran into narrowing of path covered by snow had to turn back. February of 2007. Views from the Devils Chair as the birds soar the canyon are worth every step there.
Reviewed by AJ on 2/2/2010
We hiked the trail from the Visitor's Center down to the South Fork Campground as a thru hike. Lots of snow. More snow than trail. Couple of down trees. Nice cool weather, great views. Snow on path to chair is a little slippery buy totally do-able, just be careful and use the handrails. Washout after the switchbacks down to SF so be very carefull. SF Campground was closed so had to add an extra mile to our hike. 8 miles on the GPS.Check out the photos http://tinyurl.com/yzt5zbv.
Reviewed by Nikki on 12/21/2009
My group started at the Punchbowl parking lot and hiked to the Chair then on to the South Fork campgroud. We then turned around and hiked back to the Punchbowl (apx 14 miles). The weather was really nice, and there were a few patches of old snow along the trail in places as well as in the higher mountains. The trail between the Chair and campground is a little narrow in places, but we had no problems.
Reviewed by CharlesC on 10/8/2007
Did the hike from Southfork Perfect day about 70 degrees, trail well maintained. Steep climb to the chair but worth the views of the rock formations.
Reviewed by Ron on 5/25/2007
On 25 May 07 3 of us did a thru hike from South Fork to the Devils Punchbowl. W left one car at the Punchbowl parking lot and drove another around to South Fork Camp Ground. We started on the trail and it took 2 hours and 50 minutes to complete. It looks like someone has been working on the trail from South Fork to the Devils Chair Junction because it was in a lot better shape than last time we did it. Ran into a few others on the trail. One father and his two young boys told us they had come across a bear who high tailed it up the side of the mountain. All we saw were the usual lizards and squirrels. Getting hot so we are probably heading higher up in the mountains for the rest of the hikes this summer but it was a great hike today!
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