Santa Paula Canyon and Punch Bowls Trail

MODERATE 89 reviews
#1 of 3 trails in

Santa Paula Canyon and Punch Bowls Trail is a 6.7 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Santa Paula, California that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

6.7 miles 1194 feet Out & Back

dogs on leash

birding

camping

hiking

mountain biking

nature trips

trail running

walking

horseback riding

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

washed out

Although there are several trails in Santa Paula Canyon, the most popular is the Punch Bowls hike. Beginning at St. Thomas Aquinas college, one may travel along creekbeds and across streams surrounded by inspiring forested mountain facades to several waterfalls, rock slides, and swimming holes. Santa Paula Canyon is one of the best hikes in Ventura County. The trail takes you through picturesque St. Thomas Aquinas College, then along the shady banks of Santa Paula creek with plentiful swimming holes, capped by a spectacular 25 foot waterfall just past Big Cone Camp.

hiking
4 days ago

14 days ago

It was beautiful until you get toward the end...I couldn't believe all the graffiti..

1 month ago

1 month ago

can be a little sketchy in some places, but lots of little guidance arrows to help you along the way. gets increasingly more challenging towards the end, you'll need all fours at a few points.

hiking
2 months ago

3 months ago

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.

hiking
3 months ago

3 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

Loved it !!

hiking
4 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

It was beautiful!!

5 months ago

Soooo much graffiti and trash

5 months ago

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

hiking
5 months ago

hiking
5 months ago

Yuck!

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.

hiking
5 months ago

Was a good hike. It is actually about 13 miles in and out if you go to the very top to the last punch bowl. Bring water and comfortable shoes. It's a long hike if you're a first timer and especially if you stay and swim for a while.

hiking
5 months ago

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

hiking
6 months ago

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.

hiking
6 months ago

7 months ago