Mecca, California

The best Trails and Outdoor Activities in Mecca, California, include the must-visit Ladder Canyon Trail. This 4.5-mile loop trail is known for its unique ladder system that helps hikers traverse the rocky terrain. It's a moderately challenging trail, so be prepared for a bit of a workout. Along the way, you'll be treated to scenic views of the Salton Sea, Painted Canyon, and numerous unique rock formations. For a more relaxed outdoor adventure, check out the Coachella Valley Preserve, located near Mecca. This area is famous for its palm oases and natural springs. It offers a variety of trails, ranging from easy to difficult, making it ideal for all levels of hikers. Whether you're a seasoned hiker or new to the trails, these top outdoor activities in Mecca are sure to please.

Top Spots in and near Mecca

  • Riverside County, California

    Night Hike Painted Canyon

    Take Box Canyon Rd to Painted Canyon Road. Painted Canyon Road is a dirt road, so exercise caution. The road dead ends at the Painted Canyon Trailhead parking lot.Once on the trail, look out for markers and arrow rock piles pointing to the slot canyons and other trails. Some climbing is necessary...
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  • Mecca, California

    Hike the Ladder Canyon/Painted Canyon Loop

    5.0
    4 mi / 2215 ft gain
    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 f...
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  • Mecca, California

    Big Painted Canyon

    3.61 mi / 541 ft gain
    Big Painted Canyon is an out-and-back trail that takes you past scenic surroundings located near Mecca, California.
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  • Mecca, California

    Hike Ladder Canyon in Mecca Hills

    5.0
    4.5 mi / 990 ft gain
    From Box Canyon Road turn on to Painted Canyon Road a dirt road that will lead you to the trailhead. From the trailhead start into the canyon. After a few hundred feet there will be rocks forming an arrow pointing you towards a ladder. Go up the ladder and follow the trail from here. There will b...
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  • Mecca, California

    Camp at the Salton Sea

    4.0
    The Salton Sea State Recreation Area is a good place to camp. It has bathrooms with running water and showers. There are 3 options for camping RV camping with hookups is $30 per night. Tent camping at New Camp (on the map to the right) or Mecca Beach is $20 per night. One can also camp at a more ...
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  • La Quinta, California

    Boo Hoff Trail

    12.7 mi / 2323 ft gain
    Boo Hoff Trail is a loop trail where you may see wildflowers located near La Quinta, California.
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  • La Quinta, California

    Hike to Lake Cahuilla

    4.5
    5.41 mi / 183 ft gain
    From Hwy. 111 take Washington (South) 3 miles to Avenue 52 (Turn Right). Take Avenue 52 a 1/2 mile to Avenida Bermudas (Turn Left). Follow Avenida Bermudas for 2 miles (becomes Calle Tecate). Cove Trailhead & Parking Lot located on the left across from Avenida Ramirez. You'll start heading ou...
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  • Twentynine Palms, California

    Explore Cottonwood Spring

    Just east of the Cottonwood Visitor Center. This scenic spot provides access to cottonwood spring. The spring is a short walk down from the parking lot, and was formed from earthquakes! It was a popular spot for natives and settlers to gather water back in the day. As you approach the springs you...
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  • Twentynine Palms, California

    Camp at Cottonwood Campground in Joshua Tree NP

    The Cottonwood Campground is roughly 40 minutes south of the main attractions in Joshua Tree on Pinyon Canyon Rd and is located right next to the visitor center The biggest advantage of this site is that it is less popular than many of the other sites in Joshua Tree. It also has potable water and...
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  • Twentynine Palms, California

    Hike the Mastadon Peak Loop

    5.0
    2.3 mi / 331 ft gain
    The trail is typically used for hiking, nature trips, and trail running. There are lots of opportunities to see desert plants and flowers. On clear days, you can see the Salton Sea. There is an old mine to explore from the outside, as the entrance has been sealed.  If you plan on going to the top...
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  • Borrego Springs, California

    Hike the Calcite Mine Trail in the Anza-Borrego Desert

    4 mi / 830 ft gain
    Open from March until October - but I would not particularly recommend this hike in the summer months, unless you started in the wee almost dark hours. This is the desert and it gets hot early and quickly.This is a former calcite mine with slot canyons, great rock formations and some shady areas ...
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  • Mountain Center, California

    Dunn Road

    15.55 mi / 994 ft gain
    Dunn Road is an out-and-back trail where you may see beautiful wildflowers located near Palm Springs, California.
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  • Borrego Springs, California

    Catch a Sunset at Fonts Point

    4.0
    4 mi
    The best time to go to Fonts point is right before the sun sets. It is located in the desert, so be sure to dress warmly and bring a blanket or two.In order to get to Fonts Point, you'll have to drive through roughly 4 miles of sand and rocks. 4x4 is strongly recommended, but keep an eye on road ...
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  • Mountain Center, California

    Cactus Spring Trail

    31.73 mi / 6407 ft gain
    Cactus Spring Trail is an out-and-back trail where you may see wildflowers located near Mountain Center, California.
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  • Desert Hot Springs, California

    Pushwalla Palms Loop

    4.33 mi / 741 ft gain
    Pushwalla Palms Loop is a loop trail where you may see wildflowers located near Thousand Palms, California.
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  • Niland, California

    Exploring the Salton Sea

    4.0
    The Salton Sea is the largest lake in California, created when irrigation canals from the Colorado River broke. In the 50's and 60's the area saw a boom in resorts and recreation as new "beach front" property was available and attracted hordes of people. Those days are long gone and although the ...
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Camping and Lodging in Mecca

Sheep Pass Group
Unnamed Road

Sheep Pass Group

From $40 / night

Ribbonwood Equestrian Cg
Mountain Center, California

Ribbonwood Equestrian Cg

Palm Springs / Joshua Tree KOA Holiday
Riverside County, California

Palm Springs / Joshua Tree KOA Holiday

Guides, Insights and Stories from Mecca

Two Native-owned and -operated organizations to support in CA

Two Native-owned and -operated organizations to support in CA

The Outbound Collective

California's Skeleton in the Closet: The Salton Sea

California's Skeleton in the Closet: The Salton Sea

Josiah Roe

24 Hours in Joshua Tree National Park

24 Hours in Joshua Tree National Park

Holly Mandarich

My First Trip Down to Joshua Tree National Park

My First Trip Down to Joshua Tree National Park

Benjamin Canevari

Southern California's Off-Season Gems: Mojave, Death Valley, Alabama Hills, and Joshua Tree

Southern California's Off-Season Gems: Mojave, Death Valley, Alabama Hills, and Joshua Tree

Tyler McKay

A Beginner's Climbing Guide to Joshua Tree

A Beginner's Climbing Guide to Joshua Tree

Sarah Horn