Devil's Punchbowl Trail

HARD 12 reviews
#1 of 14 trails in

Devil's Punchbowl Trail is a 10.4 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Happy Camp, California that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking and trail running and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

10.4 miles
3530 feet
Out & Back

dogs on leash


trail running




14 days ago

Road up to the trail head is washed out around mile marker 9.

2 months ago

Great hike. Had my gps tracking me and it came out to over 6 1/2 miles one way. Total trip one way with stops for taking in the sights was just a little over 6 hours. Out of that 3.25 hours was actual moving hiking time. Took treking/hiking poles which were extremely helpful. Very nice hke. A lot of hikers talk about the switch backs...i found them not to be to hard. the part I thought was hard was nearing the lake going over rocky terrain for about a mile that a mountain goat would like.

5 months ago

8 months ago

Did this hike mid September,well worth the pain suffered over the last couple of miles. Had the lake to ourselves.

9 months ago

9 months ago

Hiked this trail several years ago wasn't ready for it but the end was very worth it

11 months ago

Finished this trail last year. Extremely hard trail. Best bet is to not hike here during extreme heat. Had to carry my wife on back about quarter of the way back. If you like hard hikes, this is for you! Had a blast on the trail though. Definitely tough!

11 months ago

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Monday, August 11, 2014

Just over 5 miles in. Sounds easy, right? Think again. Very rewarding hike with some devilish switchbacks and some scary shale scaling over cliffs, with in officially stacked rock trail markers. Refreshing and beautifully cool deep blue lake at the end of this trail. Slept under the stars for 2 nights before heading home. Great experience. Would definitely do again and again.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Amazing trail! The tough switchbacks at the end make the prize worthwhile when you get to give yourself a well earned dunk in the punchbowl on a hot day.

Careful and pay attention to the signs, as the trail has changed since the maps were made.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Possibly the best backpacking trail in del norte county. The trail head is not open during the winter but mid spring to late fall is usually clear of snow. The hike itself is 5 miles of moderate hiking with a strenuous switchback section about 3 miles in. After leaving the wooded area look for stacked rocks to locate the trail at about mile 4. The lake features 3-5 camp sites and usually has a few parties camping during the summer months.