Devils Punchbowl

There are five hikes I’ve been wanting to do since moving to San Diego. Three Sisters Falls, Potato Chip, Torrey Pines, Iron Mountain Trail, and Devils Punchbowl! So far on this list I’ve hiked Torrey Pines, and yesterday checked Devils Punchbowl off the list.

Torrey Pines is much closer to where I live in San Diego, Punchbowl is a little bit of a drive (about an hour north of SD). Since this hike is also 6 miles I needed a whole day off to make this hike. Erika (my hiking buddy) had the day off yesterday too, so we decided to check this place out.

Getting there wasn’t difficult at all and there was a very nice trailhead including parking spots, a outhouse, and a checkin area. The checkin allows them to track the people going on the trail, which I thought was pretty smart considering cellular service on the trail was limited and if something happened on the trail, at least they would know who was out there.

Crossing the creeks let us know we were close to the waterfall. Our excitement was definitely building. A little further on we found a tree where people had carved their initials in or little saying. Next time I’m out there definitely carving something into it!

After the tree we could finally see the top of the waterfall!! We quickly climbed over some rocks to find an opening and the beautiful waterfall. I had to pinch myself to make sure I was really seeing this place (so beautiful).

Processed with VSCO with f2 preset

We had planned for this and had worn our swim suits under our hiking gear. We decided we needed to jump off the cliff to the left. This cliff looks much closer to the water than it felt like. It’s no secret that I am afraid of heights and this was definitely pushing those fears. Both Erika and I were scared, but we both said we needed to conquer this fear and just jump. So after about 20 or so minutes, we mustered up the courage to jump.

The water was freezing and we touched the bottom when jumping in (it was soft and a little murky). After jumping in we found two tubes in the water that someone had left and so we decided to float around for a bit and get closer to the actual waterfall.

The water by the waterfall was much warmer and was quite relaxing (since I was kinda freaking out about the murky water). Even with the water being a little murky it still was very refreshing.

This was also the first time I was able to put my Lifeproof case to use with water photography!  Definitely worth having a bulky photo for those photos!  We spent about an hour at the waterfall (we kinda lost track of time, which I was ok with). We still had to hike back the three miles, but luckily we brought extra clothes so we wouldn’t have to hike wet. The hike back went much quicker than the hike down (not sure how, since it was all uphill), but we made it back. This hike was so beautiful that it gave me a little bit of an addiction. I feel like I need to go back to get more. It was so invigorating and fun that it only left me wanting more. I will definitely be back to this trail soon and I definitely recommend others to check it out!!


The trailhead is at the end of the road with a sign that says “Saddleback Trail”.

15531 Thornbush Road
Ramona, CA 92065

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