Fun trail. We saw a fox and a number of birds. Following the path was rather difficult-we took a much longer route in than we did out. Since we started in the afternoon, we didn't have time to get all the way to the punch bowls, which was disappointing. All together, we did about 14 miles in 4 hours.
There weren't many others on the trail-we saw two groups returning on our way in. The graffiti was reassuring for us first-timers because it is a long and confusing trail. We ended up bouldering at one point when we lost the main trail. All in all, we want to do it again and get all the way to the end.
Fantastic trail, if you don't like it... Wel you probably suck at hiking. Not for anyone who can't find an easy trail or dislike a little trash. Great swimming, there some cool dogs along the way. Don't listen to those complaining, amazing, coming of age hike
This is my least favorite hike so far. I could over look the limited parking and hike through oil wells, but not the graffiti-covered rocks, loud people, trash -- cigarette butts, water bottles, beer cans, used TP, dirty underwear hanging in trees (really! At least 3 pair along the way).
Could have been a nice one due to the shade, creek and falls.
You can have it; I won't be back.
This was my first hike in years unfortunately I didn't make it to the punch bowls and got lost, someone needs to mark the trail better there was red X marks and blue spray paint saying "go back" with an arrow but overall it is a good trail with lots to see
Damaris A. on Santa Paula Canyon and Punch Bowls ...
Great hike, lots of climbing and getting feet wet . Make sure to take lots of water and a snack. It was my 1st time there and let's just say we were there for quite a while because we kept adventuring off trail . Great views and fun to be able to get in the water.
Gorgeous journey, you follow the creek a lot of the way and there are lots of markings to keep you on track. There must be a shorter way to the "punchbowl" because we saw local families carrying big coolers down a hill less than a mile out. The waterfall would have been prettier with less graffiti.
Trail starts behind Thomas Aquinas College. Go through gate and take road up/around the right, through field past oil rigs. There will be signs. The trail itself is challenging in that there are many boulders to climb and bushes/trees to shuffle through. It adds more work but more adventure. It's totally worth the trek out to see the waterfall, which actually has water! would give it more stars except there is entirely too much graffiti. I'm sure the people spraying the rocks think their "art" is great, but it detracts from the natural beauty, which is why most of us like to hike.
TIP: being that the trail is less maintained, make sure to check for ticks when you are done!
I wonder if anyone else has had trouble with the two dogs just inside the open gate of the Avocado farm? they literally came out into the road with their fangs bared, hair standing up on their backs, chasing me down the road. It was frightening...
The most physical part of this hike was the walk in and out of the road to get to the trail. Trail itself wasn't strenuous, but was a lot of fun with plenty of opportunity to cross the creek, do some bouldering, cross some screes. Got to the water fall, then did some scrambling up to the right of it using roots as ropes to get to the trail above the falls (vertigo look down over) that leads up to the punch bowls. Left early so was mostly to myself. It's a shame how much graffiti is all the way up. Maybe one day, like petroglyphs, people will hike with wonder looking at how the ancients of the 20th and 21st centuries told the tales of their lives with spray paint... Nice hike otherwise.