Hike the Ladder Canyon/Painted Canyon Loop

Details

Distance

4 miles

Elevation Gain

2215 ft

Route Type

Loop

Added by Kirby Roberts

Soft pastels cover the earth's surface where rock outcroppings and mudstone have been displaced hundreds of years ago by the San Andreas Fault. Pink, red, gray, brown and green colors wash the hills and canyon walls, creating a spectacular sight. This colorful canvas is Painted Canyon, a high-walled, narrow gorge tucked within the 41,300 acres of the Mecca Hills Recreation Area of California.

From Interstate 10, take State Highway 195 (Box Canyon Road) to Painted Canyon Road. This well-maintained, dirt road goes for about 4 miles and leads into the sandy wash which runs the length of the canyon for approximately 1.7 miles. There are a few narrow side canyons which can be explored on foot. Motor vehicles are not allowed past the wilderness boundary markers. Do not go if it is raining as it could cause flash floods in the area. Once on the trail you can turn around at any time. It is a unique, hidden trail that really shuts out its surrounding, engulfing you into nature.

If you are interested there are a number of Geocaches along the Ladder Canyon Hike. Visit the geochaching.com site for more details.

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Known for

Photography
Hiking
Easy Parking
Groups
Scenic
Wildlife

Nearby

Reviews

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Fun hike

These two canyons make for a fun hike. The ladders looked pretty safe when I went. I would recommend a hydration pack or small pack to carry water bottles as you will need both hands to climb. I posted a story with video - https://www.theoutbound.com/scott-sichler/ladder-and-painted-canyons

113 total saves

5.0/5

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

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