RR: Devils Punchbowl

Discussion in 'Ride Reports' started by Mikie, Mar 24, 2018.

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  1. Mikie

    Mikie Admin/iMTB Hooligan

    Lebec, California
    Mikie Watson
    Current Bike:
    Santa Cruz Hightower/Yeti 5C
    It's been 3 weeks + since i have ridden my bike. I almost did not want to ride with anyone, but @Voodoo Tom stated he would ride with me even if it's on flat pavement...

    So we did a late Friday night hem and haw on what to ride. Golden Eagle? Nah, too cold!, Tapia? Naw, too wet! Rosamond? P12? What? Then I thought about Devils Punch Bowl. Some minor punchy climbs and it should be around 5k in elevation so not too cold and it's all DG. Should be hero dirt, and, it would be new dirt for Voodoo!

    Punch Bowl it is...
    (with some extra credit)


    Admittedly not a big ride, but a ride I could sink my teeth in to get some legs back under me. It don't take long for me to lose what I have gained. Fortunately the miles of walking I do on the F35 Shop floor has kept me in a stable condition as oppose to sitting at a desk for 10 straight hours.

    Parking lot was full of day hikers at the trailhead. Most would go down into the bowl as oppose to ride the rim as we were planning to do. It was slightly cool when we started but ended up picture perfect the whole day!


    You immediately start with a steady climb towards Burkhart Trail for a nice warm up. The Santa Cruz is real good for making that easy. At the Burkhart Trail turn-off we went straight and dropped down on the Punch Bowl Trail heading to the Devils Chair only about 3 1/2 miles out. The trail is in excellent condition, in fact a lot of work has evidently been done on it as I remembered it much narrower and edgy and with a lot more exposure (I was a little disappointed at the over sanitation of the trail). We dropped then made a hearty stream crossing from all the snow melt off. Then floated along on the XC type trail. Our Hightower's a bit overkill for the most part on such a smooth and flowy singletrack. A lot more hikers then I am used to but everyone was overly fun and nice. We rallied several groups to whooping it up. The drop to the chair turnoff is fun and steep. We rode what we could out to the chair and hiked it in with the bikes the rest of the way.

    Took some pics and headed back the way we came. The climb out of the chair was brutal and the Hightowers cleaned it with typical Hightower amazement!

    The Devils Chair


    Stairway to the Devils Chair


    One of the views from Devils Chair looking East is the remainder of the Punch Bowl Trail, but that's and earlier adventure! DSCF2073.jpg

    The Chair


    The REAL Ultimate Driving Machine!

    Heading back out from Devils Chair

    A group we passed on the way out and then let by as we were leaving. All very friendly folks!

    Cruised back to the Burkhart Trail turnoff and took it heading West. It's one of the few PCT sections that allows bikes on it as it is the Burkhart Trail at the same time. Only place we ran in to a Grumpy old cuss and his wife who would not acknowledge our existence in spite of my magnetic charm... wtf!?!

    The drop down to the Windmill is fun with some good sandy switchbacks. Sat and admired the amazing views and scenery then headed back up the way we came. Tried again to get Mr. Grump to smile during a brutal climb section but to no avail!

    Burkhart Trail Life behind Bars Shot. Looking out over the Antelope Valley and the Mojave Desert.


    The Voodoo...



    LBB's of Devils Punch Bowl

    After taking the pic above, Voodoo points out there is someone climbing that rock edifice. See if you can find them in this pic...

    Back at the Burkhart / Devils Chair intersection we headed left and downhill to the trailhead and a bustle of folks hanging out and enjoying the awesome weather. Loaded up and headed to In & Out on Sand Canyon off the 14 Freeway.

    A short ride but a quality ride. I needed that Dirt Therapy as I was about to explode from being caged the last 8 days straight on the F35 Shop floor building jets.

    Thanks Voodoo Tom for getting out with my slow azz and letting me figure out what daylight and sunshine and hero dirt looks and feels like!

  2. rossage

    rossage iMTB Hooligan

    East Sacramento
    Ross Lawson
    Current Bike:
    Nice old school style ride report.
    Way to get back out there...
  3. doublewide

    doublewide iMTB Rockstah

    Current Bike:
    Ride Life Ride Giant
    That place looks neat!
  4. Voodoo Tom

    Voodoo Tom MTB Addict

    Tom Kokkinakis
    Current Bike:
    Mango one, blue one, black one
    I'll take quality over quantity any day of the week and today was that day. Three weeks of not riding with my best bud seemed like an eternity. Apparently both of us had "workplace issues" but it seems we got our priorities straight now.

    Major score in the weather department today. Also major score in the scenery/diversity department. Trails had some of everything and you cross from cactuses to pine trees within a short distance.

    For someone who hasn't ridden their bike in weeks @Mikie gets the big ballz award of the week for throwing this ride out there. Some of this stuff was straight up & down and had we not been on Hightowers we probably never would've made it. I'm still amazed by some of the sh!t we pedaled up today. I'm not too proud to say that I used that 50t cog many times today.

    Mikie is a people person and it showed today with the 12,000 hikers we passed/got passed by. Seriously 11,998 of them were were totally friendly and entertained by our stupidity. Father time just had issues and I think it was just that he was married to some old hag. I saw the guy crack a sorry half assed smile on our return trip when Mikie killed him with kindness yet again on our return trip but he couldn't let his wife see it. Maybe on his return hike he realized that it was a couple hoodlem mountain bikers that did their best to clear a downed tree by hand and were successful in creating a line with some @hill^billy headroom.

    Little trail traffic today but it was all good cause we were in no hurry.

    These bikes play so well together.


    Voodoo's bike had a date with the devils chair today

    Views were just ok.
  5. Faust29

    Faust29 iMTB Hooligan

    Rancho Santa Margarita
    Current Bike:
    3 SC is now 2 SC.
    That's pretty amazing...
  6. Grego

    Grego iMTB Rockstah

    Current Bike:
  7. Old Skool

    Old Skool Member

    Hacienda Hgts. (Turnbull Cyn. is My Backyard!)
    Current Bike:
    Pivot Mach 5.7 C (w/ 650b's)
    Mikie, I looked on your Strava loop and looked at the satellite image and on your way up the trail-head, you passed by within a qtr. mile or so of my grandparents cabin that they built and I grew up playing at! Looks like that trail will get me there to see the place, I have not seen it since around 1973'sh.....we got to his it again in a couple of weeks yeah?
  8. H2oChick

    H2oChick Well-Known Member

    Nice ride and excellent photos - even the photos gave me the heeebeeegeeebeeez on Devil's Chair. A little too much exposure for moi!
    No sheet metal and rivets out there eh, Mikie?
  9. Mikie

    Mikie Admin/iMTB Hooligan

    Lebec, California
    Mikie Watson
    Current Bike:
    Santa Cruz Hightower/Yeti 5C
    Naturally............ I'm in. :)
    Voodoo Tom and Faust29 like this.
  10. jimbowho

    jimbowho Member

    james jim jimmy
    Current Bike:
    GT sensor 29r
    My daughter and I were half way to the windmill when an old grumpy codger and his wife were coming up. We pull over and lean against the hillside to let them pass. My kid with her big smile & charm, and me with silly wit. Like the time I was robbing a bank and talked Harry Callahan into putting his 44 away and buying me a beer. Anyway we tried and failed to get the look of death off their faces with our charm. Could be the same two??? They may live near there???
    Great RR gentleman. I live vicariously thru some of these RR's.
    Mikie, UPSed and Voodoo Tom like this.
  11. Mikie

    Mikie Admin/iMTB Hooligan

    Lebec, California
    Mikie Watson
    Current Bike:
    Santa Cruz Hightower/Yeti 5C
    Picture Slot Machine!
    I like the Picture Slot Machine, it drums up old ride reports and great memories... most of the time, ha hah!
    Voodoo Tom, DangerDirtyD and Faust29 like this.
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