WILDERNESS RETREAT PUNCHBOWL AN EXPANSE OF RUGGED LAND.
PEARBLOSSOM - With an elevation ranging from 4,200 feet to 6,500 feet above sea level, the 1,310-acre Devil's Punchbowl is home to rugged wilderness and some of the most unusual rock formations in California.
Also in the park is the Nature Center, where visitors can view animals native to the Antelope Valley.
``We have several birds of prey - a red-tailed hawk, a great horned owl, a screech owl and an American kestrel, which is a type of falcon - and a variety of snakes - rattlesnakes, gopher and king snakes and a desert hairy scorpion,'' said Joe Lennox, a recreational services leader.
Roughly 30,000 people visit the park every year, Lennox said, and more than 2,000 nature enthusiasts and hikers have come in the past month.
People also can hike with rangers or ride a horse on one of the picturesque trails. There are geology walks, live reptile programs and a natural history museum.
Other activities include rock climbing, campfire programs, bird- watching, picnicking and a junior ranger program. School and group tours are available by reservation.
The park, at 28000 Devil's Punchbowl Road, is open daily from sunrise to sunset. The Nature Center is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Parking is free.
(1 -- color) John Divins of Palmdale points out features of the Devil's Punchbowl to his son, Braydon, 7; daughter, Baylee, 3; and his mother, Marina Divins.
(2 -- color) Tacia Sallvin of the Los Angeles County Parks and Recreation Department explains insects to the Divinses as Braydon looks through a microscope at a horned beetle.
Jeff Goldwater/Staff Photographer