As seen in the Nobody Hikes in L.A. Guidebook!
Text and photography copyright 2010 by David W. Lockeretz, all rights reserved. Information and opinions provided are kept current to the best of the author’s ability. All readers hike at their own risk, and should be aware of the possible dangers of hiking, walking and other outdoor activities. The author does not take any responsibility for injuries sustained during hikes or walks on the routes described here. Check the informational links provided for up to date trail condition information.
Devil’s Chair from the South Fork Campground
The Devil’s Chair can be reached from the west, via the Burkhardt Trail, or from the east, starting at the South Fork Campground. This approach is slightly more challenging, and doesn’t get quite as close to the crazy geology of the Punchbowl, but its isolated location sees fewer crowds.
From the campground, follow the signed trail heading toward the hills and begin a steep switchbacking ascent. After about a mile, you arrive at a saddle and begin a descent into Holcomb Canyon. Almost immediately, the trail climbs steeply out of the canyon, eventually reaching the signed spur to the Devil’s Chair. Beyond the spur, the trail continues, eventually meeting up with the Burkhardt Trail.
The descent to the Devil’s Chair can be a little nerve-wracking, but the final approach–where the slopes fall on both sides–is fenced in. From the Chair, you get great aerial views of the Devil’s Punchbowl.
In addition to the hike from the Burkhardt Trail and the Devil’s Punchbowl Natural Area parking lot, the Punchbowl can also be reached by a point-to-point hike (as outlined in “Afoot & Afield Los Angeles County.”)