If you’re looking for less trafficked hike with a little bit of a challenge to it, consider Painted Canyon (also known as Ladder Canyon). The canyon is located in the Mecca Hills, which were formed by the convergence of the North American Plate and the Pacific Plate along the San Andreas Fault. Hikers especially love Painted Canyon for its display of the geological history of the area. You can clearly see how the rock changed color and material over time.
Be aware that it may not be suitable for everyone because of the multiple ladders you need to climb along the trail. The trail is rated as easy; however, be prepared. Hikers have brought their young kids, so don’t be too discouraged.
At the top of the ladders during your Painted Canyon hike, you’ll be greeted with amazing views of the Mecca Hills. Be sure to bring plenty of sunscreen. Hikers recommend you don’t do this in the summer. Also, the road to the trailhead it rough. It’s a dirt road, so visitors warn against driving after rainfall.
How to Get to Painted Canyon
When you park your car and start the hike, look for the arrows made of small rocks to lead you into the narrow part of the rock to start. There is no water and no bathrooms, so be sure to bring plenty of water.
Depending on how far you want to go in Painted Canyon, this hike can be up to 6.5 miles long and is located near Cactus City, about 45 minutes away from our homes in Palm Springs.