Dunn County has several great waterfalls and today we are visiting the amazing falls within the Devil’s Punchbowl Nature Preserve. This area is managed by the Landmark Conservancy (which the Western Wisconsin Land Trust was integrated into) and is open to the public.
A dedication plaque found at the parking area labeling this Devil’s Punchbowl Scientific Study Area.
Nearest the parking area is a small set of stairs leading down towards the top of the falls.
Here’s a view of that staircase after climbing down. Basically two flights of steps to reach this point and not very difficult.
Devil’s Punch Bowl Creek runs through this small tunnel which is covered in graffiti courtesy of the local kids. I have a healthy appreciation for art but this is the wrong place to do it. Be cool and respect the land so it can stay open for all of us!
Only a few steps away from the tunnel you can walk right up to the top edge of the falls. Not really much to see here other than a partial view of the gorge below.
Back up at the top parking area you can walk about 100 feet and find another set of stairs going down into the gorge itself. I’ve read there are 88 steps in total which is around 7 flights of stairs. Are you ready for your daily glute workout?
Nevermind the work to get there – views of the waterfall are totally worth any amount of effort. Here is a wide view showing the surrounding cliffsides. Pretty amazing how the glaciers millions of years ago carved out formations like this.
Here’s a closer view to shore more detail of the falls themselves. you can see as the water drops it bends left & right as it descends across the different layers of rock.
And here is my favorite view that is more vertical to show even more detail. Also note there is a man above the falls which gives some scale of how far this drops. I’d estimate these are 20-30 feet tall which is fairly large for Wisconsin.
Here’s a short video of the hike to see the falls. Enjoy! [UAV Info & Disclaimer]
Overall this is a very easy hike to see such an amazing waterfall. There are many stairs to go down & climb back up but if you take your time it’s not too bad. And the “hike” itself is very short and flat.Lat = 44.8504486 , Long = -91.9524384 -- Show at Google Maps