Explore Potential Hikes - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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There’s no marked parking area. You have to park on the highway and walk about 1.5 miles on a paved road before you even get to the trail. There is trash littered everywhere. Almost all the bigger rocks have been tagged-kids suck. The trails are marked with blue/green/red paint which is somewhat helpful if you ignore the colors and just follow the markings. I took my dogs with me and they played in the water a bit but they smelled like a sewer when we got home.

great trail but careful - I almost stepped on a rattlesnake (Southern Pacific Rattlesnake from doing some research) there today!! Was down by the river about 3 miles in. It was just under a fallen tree trunk about a foot off the ground that I was walking on - from the path to the river.

This could be really beautiful, but people ruined it by leaving trash everywhere and graffitiing the rocks. I don’t understand why people would want to trash something so beautiful!
Leave no trace!

This is a gorgeous hike but I was SO disappointed by how much trash was on the trail. Picked up 17 water/Gatorade bottles and three dog poop bags worth of garbage. I don’t understand how people can hike to enjoy nature and then trash it.

Great trail. You’ll come to an area where you think the trail ends, at this point follow the creek it will guide you back to the trail or just follow the creek to the waterfall. Nice area to hang out by the bottom of the upper falls.

Good cliffs to jump off

Great hike and do-able with kids. Watch for snakes!

hiking
22 days ago

The Thomas Fire burnt most of the foliage but there are some large oaks still alive and water was flowing lightly in the creek. We saw lizards, frogs, many types of birds and no snakes, ticks or mosquitos so it was all good in my book. We didn’t make it to the pine grove and are unsure if they still stand.

Pretty good hike. Not hard at all. The trail does disappear so be careful we met some people getting lost. There are distinct purple/green/red arrows on rocks so look down and follow them! Or else you will be lost through the forest/stream. If you get there early enough don’t park in the street, drive in and there is very LIMITED park by the main entrance. It’s 3 in and 3 out of you want to go to the first punch bowl. That one is very nice. Be early or else you deal with families/young people etc. I went to the second waterfall. Got started at 8 Am and was done by 12ish... keep in mind we jumped in and swam a little. Pack a light lunch if you want to hangout, swim suit, towel and water shoes it’s a fun spot.

This was a fantastic hike with great views. I hike up this trail and come down the Las Llajas trail, which makes a roughly 9.5 mile loop. Great for a good calorie burn. Bring water.

Close,Water, and beautiful

We went last week. Lots of vegetation, but the trail disappeared on us, and we didn't get to finish.

Go early to avoid the crowds and noisy party animals that like to hike to the punch bowls to swim, drink and play loud music. Winter is a much more pleasent time to do this hike. I prefer to take the marked trail up to the campground and drop into the bowl, rather the follow the trail shown on the map which turns into a lot of boulder hopping.

It is nice to see the changes occurring after the Thomas Fire, and to see southern California fire ecology at work. Some interesting wildflowers can be see right now (June 24, 2018).

hiking
1 month ago

Great SoCal hike! I started at 5 this morning and was surprised with a foggy path. The hike leads you up a ways and I was able to rise above the fog and see the other ridges peaking out from it. Drive there wasn't an issue at all, even in my little Mazda.

The first time we went on this hike we took the more common route (I think it’s the more common route?) and it started off nicely with plenty of shade but it eventually progressed to a more exposed route. The vegetation is charred from an obvious past fire—really sad. I imagine that before this fire, this route was probably shaded and pleasant. We made it to the first punch bowl after a pretty warm walk. The second time around we started our hike earlier in the AM and we took a different route which was shaded 90% of the way and required lots of scrambling/water crossing—waaaay more fun than our first trip~! But be very careful with slippery rocks and careless climbing. We were hoping that we would make it to a different punch bowl while on the second route but it only led us to the same/main punch bowl. Very fun/active hike if you take the right route but so So Very Sad to see lots of graffiti and trash left behind at the punch bowl(s)~!! Please clean up after yourselves and your pup~!
We will most likely return and try to find the other punch bowls soon~!

Beautiful hike. I’d recommend gators or long pants as there are lots of prickly plants that will stick to your socks and get in your shoes. There are a couple spots where the path is covered by rock slides. Not too hard to navigate.

Went two weeks ago. Started at 10:30 am and came back at 5:30. Of course there were lots of breaks taken a good amount of time spent at the first punch bowls. There isn’t an obvious trail but there are orange and blue markers on the trees and arrows on the rocks. As long as you hear the water you will be ok. It was a real fun time and we thought we brought a lot of food and water for two but we barely had enough lol. Every chance we got we splashed water on our legs to keep fresh the whole way through!

Beautiful trail but must start early and take plenty of water and walking stick or it helped me.. ..at end of trail it’s all well worth just for the amazing punch bowl..

hiking
2 months ago

The trail is overgrown in places, sometimes necessitating up close and personal contact with the bushes on either side, but most of it was a lovely walk zigzagging across the creek (which still has water in it). There’s a good bit of scrambling over rocks, but nothing my wobbly ankles couldn’t handle. Bring extra water—it was quite a bit hotter up there than down by the coast.

2 months ago

Amazing hike! It’s now open. Got to the first punch bowl at 10am with no one around and it later got crowded. Had a hard time finding the other punch bowls so just swam around the first one!

The trail is actually open. Mostly shaded. You crossed a couple streams. Pay attention to the trails. Like people said followed the arrows would be okay however, not really reliable since some faded away. Today we also found someone purposely blocked the arrow, which was really upsetting. Luckily we caught us on the wrong trail fairly quickly. When you go up there, the stream shall be "mostly" in your right hand side sometimes aren't. It is opposite on the way back, the stream shall your left side. I felt taking a dog can be hard on dog if the dog isn't trained. Some parts require you to climb on big rocks.

hiking
2 months ago

Great trail and the incline to the top is a great work out and challenge. Lots of hawks circling overhead. Hills are still green and beautiful. I went up another 1.5 miles on the Rocky Peak trail. Just an awesome hike and workout.

Great trail and the incline is great leg work out.

hiking
3 months ago

Great hike. The trail gets a little hard to follow at times.

Just hiked here yesterday. It’s starting to get HOT but it was still an awe inspiring experience to turn the corner and be at the base of these majestic rock formations! Definitely will be back, hope to backpack into Sespe.

on Potrero John Trail

hiking
3 months ago

Beautiful hike that was a moderate challenge. We ended up scrambling up the river to the waterfall which was slightly more challenging but beautiful. Met some friendly hikers along the way but most of the time was quiet and serene.

hiking
3 months ago

Great Hike! Little of everything!

Came back to see the Punch Bowls. We were unaware of a sign saying it was closed, but we were allowed in. Lots of groups and families were out on the trail. It was sad to see all the damages the Thomas Fire left on and in the surrounding areas of the Punch Bowls. Despite that the Punch Bowls was still there alive and beautiful as before. A lot of scrambling on the hike due to the fire. If you’re familiar with the trail then it shouldn’t be difficult to get to the falls. The green arrows on the rocks should lead you there. Otherwise, you can follow the creek.

Nice leisure walk

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