August 18, 2013. I set out to hike the 7.4 mile out and back round trip of “The Devil’s Chair” in the San Gabriel Mountains Angeles National Forest. I have heard about this hike ever since I hiked the “Devil’s Punch Bowl” last week, and since then I could hardly wait to make the trek.
I truly love this area because it is very lush with vegetation, pine trees, wild flowers, unusual rock formations and wildlife, which are all surrounded by walls of 8,000 plus foot high mountains.
The Devil’s Chair is located in the San Gabriel Mountains in the Angeles National Forest and is considered one of the better day hikes.
The breathtaking views and well-maintained trails makes this a hike to put at the top of your list.
Hours of operation / address and contact info
The trail head is located in The Devil’s Punch Bowl Park. The park is a very well-maintained Los Angeles County Park with restrooms, picnic tables, view sites and a nature center including a large parking lot to park your car in.
The park is opened from sunrise to sunset, and you do not need a National Forest “Adventure pass” to park there.
The Nature center is closed on Mondays and is opened 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sundays.
The Nature Center offers free programs, including guided tours and other school programs.
The address to the park is 28000 Devil’s Punchbowl Rd. Pearblossom, CA 93553, and the phone number is (661) 944-2743.
All of the trails here in The Devil’s Punch Bowl Park are well-marked and maintained with maps for you to look at.
I took the Burkhart Trail located on the southeast side of the parking lot which has a marked sign.
This trail has a gentle incline and you will hook onto a service road, which you will hike along until it ends and turns back into a single track trail the rest of the way to the chair. I like this trail because it is shaded a lot of the way by tall pines and winds along the base of the mountains with some fairly steep drop offs, which make for spectacular views.
The trail does get very narrow in places, so watch your step. Make sure that as you are hiking that you stop for a moment and take a look back at the Devil’s Punch Bowl area and notice the unusual and angled rocks that have been pushed upward due to being on the fault line and make sure to hope that there isn’t an earthquake.
Arriving at the Devil’s Chair
As you wind your way down the narrow path to the Chair, there are safety rails that have been placed there. Thank goodness too, because the drop offs on either side are pretty far down. Having these safety rails really gives you time to safely take in the breathtaking views of the whole area and take some spectacular snap shots.
The best time of year
You will experience snow on the ground and in the surrounding area during winter months, but it is my understanding that there is a shovel right at the Devil’s Chair to keep the pathway clear if needed.
I think that anytime of the year that you decide to hike the Devil’s Chair or this area, whether it be spring, summer, fall or winter, that you will witness some of the most awe inspiring sights that Mother Nature has to offer.