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Sporty climbing with a mix of desert and mountain views on the infamous San Andreas Fault
Relevant Guidebooks & Maps
Guide to Sport Crags in Southern California, Climber's Guide to Southern California.
Take I-10 East to I-15 North. Exit on 138 West at the top of the pass. Continue on 138 as it travels past the junction with 2. Don't follow the guidebooks' directions that have you turn on 2 (unless you want a beautiful detour). Follow 138 along the desert just North of the San Gabriels until you reach the outskirts of Pearblossom. Turn left on Longview Dr. (Look for the signs for Devil's Punchbowl). Take Longview South until it dead ends at Fort Tejon Rd.. Turn left and then, after about 100 yards, right back onto Longview. Follow Longview for a couple of miles until the left turn to Devil's Punchbowl. Park at the end of this road. Parking costs $3. Great pizza is at the junction of 2 and 138 - about half-way home. A cheap but filling breakfast place is on I-10 and Archibald. From I-10 East get off and turn left and left again to Homestyle Cafe. The drive takes about 1:15.
Devil's Punchbowl offers a wide variety of climbs, from overhanging pumpers to gentle slabs. For high degrees of difficulty follow the directions to the climbs in Guide to Sport Crags in Southern California. For easier slabs and some multi-pitch routes head to V.D. Wall (described in Climber's Guide to Southern California). Take the trail to the right from the parking lot. It will drop into the deep canyon. Near the bottom leave the trail and cross the stream to the wall. The left side of VD Wall has some great intermediate climbs. Try "Velcro" and "Rurp Rip-Off" (5.9's). These are right next to each other and between 2 5.8's and a 5.10. This is an ideal spot for intermediate trips. Around behind VD Wall's right side is another good slab called Wallbanger Wall. The bolted climb not in the guidebook to the left of the mentioned climbs is 5.10c (5.11b direct finish) and has been coined "Mantle the Beetle." For Hiking, several short, well marked trails tour the rocks and stream. Longer trails also head up into the San Gabriels.
Watch for loose rock - the backsides of many of the walls are crumbly. It can be snow covered and icy in winter and very hot in the summer - spring and fall are best.
Edited by (in order): OTL Staff
Last updated: 05/22/2009