Santa Paula Canyon and Punch Bowls Trail

MODERATE 138 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.

DISTANCE
6.7 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1194 feet
ROUTE TYPE
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
3 days ago

3 days ago

Climatic end to a good hike in 85* sun. Nice variety of different landscapes on the way there. If you don't have their App, which has GPS so you can see where you are on the trail, there are helpful ribbons and small painted arrows along the way. The punchbowl is cold but refreshing. Enjoy!!

5 days ago

5 days ago

hiking
8 days ago

12 days ago

12 days ago

12 days ago

It's a long and somewhat difficult hike but, worth it if you make it to the punch bowls! Bring water shoes for swimming in the punch bowls!

hiking
13 days ago

Not a clear trail, but it's a nice hike and sweet outcome if you make it to the second punch bowl with the slide. Take water shoes if you don't want to walk back in wet shoes. Also take lunch and plenty of water since it's a long hike.

16 days ago

Incredible hike. Beautiful views. Highly recommended. Will definitely hike it again!

17 days ago

This is my first time doing this trail. The destination is pretty awesome. Getting there is the fun of maybe not so fun part. The trail is intermediate so there is not too much change in elevation. We heard of two different ways of getting there. If you find yourself along the creek bed, it is 10 degrees cooler and shaded. Just you will be doing multiple crossings along the creek as well as maneuvering around boulders and rocks the entire time. It moves slower. The high ground on the way back was better movement, but not as much shade on a bit day. Walking to the trail you go back behind the college on paved road, pass some houses and oil pumps. Graffiti everywhere, but useful for markers. 8 miles from round trip tbh since you still have to walk back to and from the 150.

17 days ago

Wouldnt suggest going thru the high trail, when the ribbons show you to cross just follow the stream up its way faster and easier

18 days ago

The trail was nice. But they fail to tell you that the trail is behind Thomas Aquinas College and you cannot park on campus. You have to park on the side of Route 150 (which is a pretty busy road). From there you have walk a paved road for about 1.5 miles before you even reach the trail, making the entire route 8+ miles and not the 6.5 that given in the description.

hiking
19 days ago

hiking
24 days ago

24 days ago

hiking
24 days ago

Great view!

1 month ago

This trail should take a maximum of 2 hours to get to the first bowl. if it takes longer, you went the wrong way. as soon as you pass small rock slide on your left, cross the river to the right and stay on that trail. there's switchbacks up the mountain leading to Big Cone Camp. after the first bowl, go up and around to for about 1 mile and half or two for a huge bowl with a natural slide and a rope swing. good luck

gorgeous hike. punch bowls are worth it. the slides above are super fun and hidden swim holes.

1 month ago