Devil's Punchbowl Trail is a 10 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. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length10.0 miElevation gain2,191 ftRoute typeOut & back
Dogs on leashHikingForestLakeViewsWildflowersWildlifeRocky
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Hikers typically use this road to reach the trailhead. You can still access the Doe Flat Trailhead if you drive through Ship Mountain from Big Flat. This is approximately a 2 hour drive from 199. From 199, take South Fork Road, continue on 16N02. You'll be on this dirt road approximately 28 miles, eventually reaching Bear Basin Lookout, and then Doe Flat Trailhead. The gate before Ship Mountain Lookout is generally closed during winter conditions and reopens around June. Be sure to check with the park before attempting this trail. Contact the Gasquet Ranger District for details: (707) 457-3131

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Reviews (60)
Photos (81)
Activities (29)
Completed (120)
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Axel Bethke
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 26, 2020
Hiking
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Yushi Fong
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarAugust 23, 2020
Hiking
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Yushi Fong
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 22, 2020
Hiking
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Jon Erler
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 12, 2020
HikingGreat!Scramble

Currently as of August 2020 the Little Jones creek road is closed due to construction. You can still access the doe flat trail head if you drive through ship mountain from big flat. It is approximately a 2 hour long drive from the 199. From 199 take south fork road all the way to big flat. From there continue on 16N02 approximately 28 miles off road to the bear basin lookout and on to the doe flat trail head. Currently the trail and road are well maintained. When I was out there 2 weeks ago there were upwards of 40 people attempting to camp at the lake, far too crowded for my taste. I would still recommend the hike as the punch bowl is truly a gem of Del Norte/ Siskiyou county. Keep in mind that there are many other places to stay in the immediate area including island lake (harder but less traveled) buck lake (short and sweet) trout camp, and wilderness falls. I would recommend traveling to this area with a secondary destination in mind in case the trail head is full. There are probably 4-5 solid camp sites along the lake but often not enough to fit everyone trying to stay.

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Phillip Ford
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 8, 2020
Hiking

I loved this hike. Well worth the effort the get the the lakes. I had now idea we would be scrambling for sections of the trail. It would have been nice to know ahead of time.

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elii Ramsey
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 7, 2020
Hiking
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Gregg Reidelbach
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 13, 2020
Hiking

Road is still under construction so need to travel the south fork way. This hike is fairly easy the first 3.5 miles. From there you start your climb on a exposed ridgeline. so be ready for some sun while you work. lake is beautiful and worth the drive and hike

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Jacob Schnepper
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 28, 2020
HikingClosedRocky
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Meredith Lopez
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJune 24, 2020
WalkingBlowdownBugsRockyWashed out

6/23 Unfortunately the trailhead for this is past a washed out area if going via Forest Road 17 NO5. Google maps says it's open and the kind construction guys working on the road will let you through, but you will have to hike an extra 10 miles to the trailhead then back to your car as you need to park at least 5 mi away. We parked near mile marker 8 and the paved road to the trailhead is actually gorgeous. While we enjoyed it, this hike goes from a nine-miles to at least a 20mile hike with the walk to the trailhead. Oh and we had to climb down a 20 foot hole (one of soon to be 4) as they remove material to add dirt and concrete again. The construction worker said they would be there at least a month and a half. I would suggest coming from the direction of crescent city, as there is a way to reach the trailhead from that side. The trail itself was lovely with lots of very thin single file areas that were beautiful. The trail however is not very well maintained despite being open. We had to climb over at least 10 fallen trees in the thin trail, which might not have been so bad if we hadn't walked so many extra miles. Most of the trail is also delineated through rocks (not pebbles) so definitely a slow going trail or one risks a twisted ankle. I rolled my ankle a number of times on the large rocks (two walking sticks really helped). It's also not very well marked. We followed doe flat trail which leads into devil's punchbowl apparently, and we did see signs for the punchbowl when we reached a river but I'm not sure we would have found it even if we had time to follow the sign that made no sense. We made it to the final turn where a river leads to the punchbowl and had to turn around due to time. It was very interesting to see all of the burn damage from a previous wildfire but it was definitely had to keep our eyes on our feet for more of the hike than I hoped for. I enjoyed crossing the many streams and tiny waterfalls, and at this time of the year many flowers were still blooming. All in all this may have been a better trail if we had come from the correct direction as a slow 9-mile hike would not have been as difficult as a fast 17 mile rush to the end (which btw we did not make it to, as it was going to get dark before we finished). I'm not in the best of shape maybe, but the switchbacks and elevation made this a difficult 9 hour hike.

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Negated Cannaday
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 18, 2020
RunningBlowdownBugsRockyScramble

The road to the Trailhead wasn’t bad at all. It was clear. A couple of rocks and small branches. Got out to move a couple, but easily manageable in a 2WD vehicle. Took about 1hr. 20min from Hwy 199. Stopped up at Ship MTN Lookout and talked with the Forest Service Worker. Beautiful views up there! He gave us a little info on the area; you can see Crescent City, where the Devil’s Punchbowl is, Mt Shasta, when it’s absolutely clear, and the other Lookout on another peak. Been wanting to run this for a while. THIS IS NOT REALLY A RUNNING TRAIL! A few fallen trees over parts of the Trail. There was a lot of rocks on different sections of the Trail. Kinda like it followed the water run off. Make sure you got sure footing if you’re gunna run. It’s easy to break a ankle or knee. Then there’s the switch backs, that kicked my ass. Even got a little winded. Stopped for a minute to rest. Thanks to the person(s) who stacked the ‘ducks’ it helped with following the Trail. PEACEFUL and BEAUTIFUL. Make sure you leave yourself enough time to explore. Would like to come back and camp and explore more... 9.6mi total on my GPS. *I don’t think this a Trail for people with knee, hip, or back issues. * No parking fee. * GPS doesn’t work. * Vault evaporation toilet at Trailhead. (Also vault evaporation toilet at Ship MTN Lookout, ~10miles back)

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Genevieve Trimarco
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 15, 2020
Hiking

The road is closed because it is washed out and construction is being done. You can park about 7 miles before the trailhead and the construction workers will let you hike through. We got a late start and weren’t really up to an 11 plus mile hike so we went home. 6/19/20

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Negated Cannaday
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 22, 2020
Running

Tried to run this today (Headed up around 9:30am). A lot of blowdown on the road leading up. Some snow. Turned around just before Ship MTN Lookout. (Rangers said they locked the gate anyway) Road closed before Ship MTN Lookout. Rangers said to try (phone them first) around June. They don’t open the gate until everything dries up... bummer. Gave it 5 stars cause just getting up there was a small adventure.

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Madeline Rose
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 15, 2019
HikingRockyScramble

The best trail I've been on so far

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Michael S
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 20, 2019
HikingRockyScramble

Know before you go! This was a bucket list hike for me. Last year I had prepped for it but the forest was closed due to fire. Important! Plan the drive. This was a day hike but there was no margin for error. The normal route to the trail head has been out for a few years. The standard map is not adequate. Get the map at the Gasquet Ranger station. We picked up ours the night before after hours out in front of the station. We called ahead to make sure the trail was open and check on directions. If you go to the station when they open on the day of the hike you are behind/late. This hike easy, if you are a mountain goat. (Not really), but it really helps if you are ready for a long steep up and a long steep down. Use your AllTrails gps. It really helps let you know when the punchbowl trail splits off. It is not marked on the trail at all. Bring enough water, but leave some at the beginning of the punchbowl off shoot. Hike details: we drove a rental Jeep We left the Hiouchi Inn at 7:45 (closest lodging, quite adequate.). I drove aggressively but went slowly around each blind curve. 4 wheel drive not used but good suspension really helped. We arrived at 9:15 am. Started hike at 9:30 Really easy walk to the punchbowl take off. Not marked, easy to miss. A real steep take off to the right near 2 bark stripped logs. Then “goat trail it up” is the description someone used which I agree with. After a bit my wife became short of breath and light headed. We rested and drank water and then i cajoled her into starting again. We finally got to the top of the steep incline and then had a pleasant walk to the rock section. This seemed to be about 3/4 of a mile over hard loose rock and rocky slopes. No real trail but numerous cairns guide you. Don’t fall for the decoy lake. Keep going past it. You go about 60% around the lake and then have to climb. Very hard to tell where but you make it anyway. The punchbowl is awesome and worth it. Brought water shoes so I could frolic. After 25 min we left. The return trail was easy to follow. My wife was able to glide down, however, my knees suffered as I hobbled down. Once reaching the main trail it was a nice hike back though the downhill parts were killing me. It ends on a steep upslope that no one remembers going down. I saw a huge black bear that would have terrified me but by the time I was aware of it it was hurtling down the steep hill at breakneck speed. Awesome!!! The drive back was uneventful but slower. My conditioning level is: 56 yrs old Good cardiac shape. Was hiking 4 miles 3 times a week to get ready, though no hills as steep as this one. Hiked an 11 mile trip to fern canyon the day before. Will post a pic of the map and directions if I figure it out. Also, know your Brewers Spruce which you probably won’t see anywhere else. We saw no hikers on this Tuesday though saw 2 pleasant hunters near trailhead. I brought headlamps and water purifier just in case. A twisted ankle would be easy to get and difficult to deal with, and there is no one else there and no cell signal. Download that trail map in advance.

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Johnny S
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 10, 2019
RockyWashed out

Coming from the grants pass direction, there was a wash out on the road to the trailhead at about mile 8. So we parked there and had to walk an extra 5 miles or so to the trailhead. Lots of fallen rocks and parts of the road had fallen off and there was a second washout but we made it to the trailhead and ultimately to the Punchbowl. It decided to rain on us quite a bit but the views were worth it.

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Mike Lee
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 14, 2019
Hiking

I would say that this hike is more moderate than hard. There is a steep uphill section that can be taxing but it is short and offers some very awesome views. Closer to the punchbowl, the trail can get rocky and you have to climb up and down it but I think that it made the hike a bit more fun, just don't fall off. The rocky section can also make it easy to get of the trail a bit but the trail markers (stacked rocks) are easy to find. Once you get to the punchbowl, there are a few campsites and that's about it. I didn't find any other trails so there's not much more hiking to be done. There were other people there who were fishing both lakes so bring a pole and catch some fish and jump in the water and go swimming. I took South Fork Rd to get to the trail because the other road was closed. I also stayed just one night and it was a good time.

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AJ Gniewosz
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 11, 2019
HikingBlowdownRockyScramble
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