The Devil’s Punchbowl

Saddleback Trailhead to Cedar Creek Falls
(5 miles, +1,000/-1,000 feet).

Today I did a short hike with some folks from the Human Nature Group, a research group I belong to.  We carpooled to the Saddleback Trailhead, where we headed down Eagle Peak Road, an abandoned jeep trail.

Eric, Dan, and Will pause to enjoy the view

It’s pretty easy downhill, but there is a junction after about 1.5 miles where there are many choices.  We decided to head uphill to Peak 1546 to check out the view.

Meredith on Peak 1546
Looks pretty good up here

We eventually headed back down to the junction, though it took some time because it was pretty steep and slippery

Heading down
Trail down Peak 1546
Sacred Datura

Soon we reached the upper lip of Cedar Creek Falls, which was only barely trickling because of the extreme drought we’ve been having in Southern California.

Just a trickle

Below we could see what they call the “Devil’s Punchbowl.”  It looked suitably murky.

Cedar Creek Falls from above
View down canyon from Cedar Creek Falls

It was pretty busy down below, so we decided to stay up top and then head back.

Heading back to the car

Near the trailhead I saw something I had never seen before—a tarantula in the wild!


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