Santa Paula Canyon and Punch Bowls Trail

MODERATE 100 reviews
#1 of 2 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.

backpacking
2 days ago

This is a well used trail located at the north end of Thomas Aquinas College. Once you're past the oil rigs look for green arrows painted on rocks as a guide. Streams are flush and full, the foliage is green and plentiful (beware the poison oak). Stream crossing was a little challenging for some in our group, but still achievable. We camped overnight at Big Cone which was empty when we arrived (about 12:30). Lot's of day hikers (and dogs), especially on Sunday. The "punch bowl" is of course glorious for viewing and swimming. Use caution hiking down to it.

hiking
6 days ago

8 days ago

9 days ago

Love this trail

11 days ago

A really fun trail with challenges such as bouldering and the reward for all of your hard work, getting to play in a waterfall. Be careful of ticks and wear bug spray! The trail isn't completely maintained, so you will have to go through a lot of brush.

hiking
12 days ago

1 month ago

It was great worth the hike

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

1 month ago

1 month ago

Lovely views and a gorgeous, swollen creek. However, the trails is poorly marked (I ended up in a canyon too narrow to cross) and full of graffiti

hiking
2 months ago

2 months ago

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

3 months ago

4 months 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
4 months ago

5 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
5 months ago

6 months ago

hiking
6 months ago

Loved it !!