Where the devil have you been?

I’ve just gotten back from an awesome trip to Death Valley. I haven’t been there since I was a kid. It is really stunning and anyone who has a chance should go and visit. The winds can get to ridiculous speeds and blew out my tent poles.

In any case, there are at least two things named for the devil there. There’s the Devil’s Golf Course, which is an awesome salt lake bed of treacherous lumps and the Devil’s Cornfield which is drought tolerant bunches of weeds in a sandy plain.

I’ve also been to Devil’s Postpile in Mammoth Lakes, a spectacular formation of basalt columns.

I’ve been to the Devil’s Punchbowl on the Oregon coast. I may or may not have been to the Devil’s Punchbowl north of LA when I was a kid.

I’ve been to Mt. Diablo and the boundary of Diablo Canyon where the nuclear plant is (from Montana de Oro State Park).

So, have you ever been to some place named after the devil?

I’ve been to:

Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina

Spuyten Duyvil - a section of the Bronx, NYC. There is a popular misconception that the name derives from the Dutch meaning “in spite of the devil” but more likely translates as “spinning devil” or “the devil’s whirlpool.”

Devil’s Den - a nature preserve in Connecticut. Random fact: Keith Richards property abuts the preserve and he often takes walls there through his own private gate.

There’s another Devil’s Punch Bowl near Hindhead, Surrey, England. I used to drive through it twice weekly for a couple of years in the 1990s. Hindhead is now bypassed by a tunnel so the A3 doesn’t go through the DPB any more.

I’ve been to the Devil’s Playground in Colorado Springs and the Devil’s Garden in Arches National Park. On the same trip, no less.

Hell’s Canyon on the Snake River.

Hells Canyon on the Rogue River.

Devil’s Tower in Wyoming.

Devil’s Punch Bowl, Oregon.

Devil’s Lake, North Dakota.

Helena, Montana. :stuck_out_tongue:

A couple of weeks ago I visited “Hellhole Canyon,” a hiking trail that goes up into the mountains near Borrego, California. (There’s a lovely waterfall, about three miles up the trail. Warning, it’s a very rough trail!)

I also like to hike up the Eagle Peak Road, to gaze upon John Dye Falls, which plunges off of “The Devil’s Jump Off.”

Just for equal time, I recently climbed Calavera Hill, in Carlsbad, California (on Easter weekend, no less) and, alas, found it to be a bit of a via dolorosa…

Devil’s Den at Gettysburg
Devils Den Road in Altona, NY
Spuyten Duyvil in NYC

That would be so awesome and so appropriate to bump into Keith Richards taking a stroll through the Devil’s Den!

I’ve been to Hell.


Aut Caesar aut Diaboli, wrote Sir Richard Burton, probably quoting someobody famous, or a famous anonymous quotation. “Either Caesar or the Devil”, meaning that weird geological formations seem to be named for either Caesar or the Devil.

It’;s not really true, because I can give plenty of counterexamples, but the Devil certainly gets his due. I’ve probably seen others, but the Devil’s Slide is the one that stands out in my head. I saw it marked on a road map and drove by it while I was living in Salt Lake City:



In Craters of the Moon National Monument in Idaho, the Devil has an entire Orchard.

Well, he does have a lot of sympathy for him.

A couple of “Devil’s Punchbowl” waterfalls: San Diego County(nickname for Cedar Creek Falls in the east county) and Arthur’s Pass in New Zealand.

Devil’s Playground (Kelso Dunes) in the Mojave Preserve.

Hey, I’ve been there! And you’re right: what a surreal landscape.

Astoria Park under the Hell’s Gate bridge.

The Hell Hole–a ride so dangerous it severs limbs and puts people in comas in Coney Island.

I have also been to Spuyten Duyvil in The Bronx AND a bar in Brooklyn.

I’ve walked on the Devil’s Backbone a number of times, and have reflected wryly on the implications of having been born in the city at its lower end.

I haven’t been there, but the door to hell deserves a mention

In addition to his other holdings in Death Valley, the devil has a Hole which houses a rare pupfish. It’s quite remote and I haven’t been there.

So what do we know about the Devil? He seems to be quite the land baron. He has a golf course, an orchard, a corn field, a garden, several dens, a hole, a playground with a slide, a tower, and a lake. And, he seems inordinately fond of punch bowls. His wedding guests clearly blew off the register, because so far as I know there is not a single Devil’s Blender.

I’ve driven over Hell’s Backbone on Utah highway 12.