Devil’s Hall Trail
We enjoyed our hike along the Devil’s Hall Trail, but found it to be more challenging than the “Easy” rating in our guide book.
After leaving the RV campground, the trail is a well-maintained gravel and dirt path through yucca and grass sheltered by oak, maple, juniper, and madrone. After about a mile, the trail descends into Pine Springs Canyon and the fun begins. The rest of the walk to Hell’s Gate was in the boulder filled canyon bed. One had to pick a path between and over the large limestone rocks. Not hard, but slow going.
Hell’s gate is a rock wall with steps created naturally by erosion and fracturing. It’s only about 10 feet high, but Janet with her ankle brace found it too difficult with its tiny footholds and angled, slippery surfaces. This is the first time her brace has kept her from going somewhere, or doing something, that she wanted.
David went ahead the 1/4 mile to the Devil’s Hall, a narrow passageway between high rock pillars. When he returned, we had lunch at the gate, chatted with some other hikers, and watched a pair of deer watching us from high above the canyon.
The return trip was a bit longer as negotiating the boulders going down took more care than climbing up them.
The 4-mile trail (elevation change 700 feet) took us nearly 5 hours. An exceptionally long time for a trail this length, but the bouldering part added the extra time.