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.

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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.

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Meredith on Peak 1546
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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

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Heading down
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Trail down Peak 1546
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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.

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Just a trickle

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

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

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

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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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Tarantula!
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