Located 46 miles east of a the mountain town of Austin in the isolated Monitor Valley of Central Nevada, Diana's Punchbowl is a volcanic crater filled with natural mineral water. The water has an abnormally high temperature that hits as high as 190 degrees Fahrenheit. Also known as the Devil's Cauldron, the opening is a big cavern, about 50-foot-wide, made up of vertical walls that span 30 feet down. The dark blue-green pond of the scalding water on the crater bottom is emanating steam, gases, and hot vapor.
This geothermal anomaly has become popular as geological phenomenon rather than the place to soak. Native Americans knew about this impressive natural gem for thousands of years.
Perhaps you're wondering why this site is called Devil’s. True to your speculations, Native Americans viewed Diana's Punchbowl as an abode for lost souls, mysterious creatures, and gigantic spirits. Early residents were reported to hang-out and picnic on the slopes of the travertine hill overlooking the mound and enjoy the fascinating views.
Soaking might be possible in smaller ponds along the hot creek which is formed by overflow from the Diana's Punch Bowl. Further from the cauldron, the hot water cools down to a temperature bearable for bathing. A few dams were built along the creek.
Cautions. Be careful near the crater edge. Keep your children a safe distance away. If you have dogs with you, keep them on a leash.
Driving onto the hill isn't advisable for safety reasons. The cavern opening might not be visible from the car especially during nights, rainy and foggy conditions. Leave your car near the cattle gate, open and close the gate behind you, and walk up 30 feet to the cauldron hole. Elevation gain is just 60 feet.
This odd geothermal spot is set in a small fault in a remote section of Monitor Valley. There are no freshwater, restrooms, or amenities. All services are in Austin, 46 miles away, and Eureka, 68 miles away from the cauldron. No posted restrictions for overnight camping. There are campgrounds operated by Forest Service such as Toquima Cave Campground, 17 miles away, and Pine Creek Campground, 21 miles away.
Please pack out all trash and leave no trace.
Diana's Punchbowl | Facts
Location: 46 miles southeast of Austin • Central Nevada • USA
Amenities: No services
Toquima Cave Campground - 17 miles northwest
5 single sites, 1 camping trailer, 1 group site, No reservations;
Pine Creek Campground - 22 miles south
10 single sites, No reservations
Distance from the parking: Short
Road Access: Any vehicle when the roads are dry
Day-use fees: Free
Elevation: 6,750 ft (2,057 m)
- Travel southeast on US-50 for about 12 miles to NV-376 S
- Turn right onto NV-376 S and after 0.3 miles turn left onto the first graded forest road NF-001
- Follow southeast on NF-001 for about 24 miles to Monitor Valley Road NV-82
- Turn right onto NV-82 and continue south 8.4 miles to a dirt road on the left
- Turn left (east) and travel 1.2 miles to the fence and cattle gate.