This trail is a favorite of the locals and visitors.
It can be an easy hike or a hard hike depending on your route.
The most popular is to take the ladders up and over boulders until you get to the top of the hill. This is about a five mile loop and the sights are spectacular.
The ladders in the canyon are actual hardware store ladders - sometimes they are sturdy and sometimes not. Be carefull, you will be climbing on large rocks and boulders and there will most likely have a coating of sand so be carefull of your footing - it can get slippery. This is one of those trails that should not be tackled alone - bring a friend.
Follow the wash into the canyon from the parking area eastwardly. About a quarter mile into your hike, you should see a signpost to the right of the canyon that points across the way to the left. When you look to the left at the signpost, you will probably not believe there is a trail there, as it has been hidden by countless rockslides. Enter to the right of the rockslide and you will quickly find yourself in a magnificent slot canyon - bring a camera and take lots of photos.
Now the tough part begins because you will have to climb several sets of ladders to reach the top of the canyon. If you are not comfortable on any of the ladders, please do not try to climb them. Instead return the way you came and hike either the Big Painted Canyon (the one you took to find the Ladder Canyon…), or the Little Painted Canyon that leads to the left of the parking area. Both of these hikes are also worth the effort.
It is not unusual to hear that someone had to be rescued while on this hike - know your limitations.
Follow Highway 111 east to Mecca. Turn left at 66th Avenue and follow it as it curves through Mecca. The street then takes the name Box Canyon Road. After driving about 4 1/2 miles through many grape and citrus ranches you will cross the Coachella Canal and about 1/4 of a mile later you will see a sign for Painted Canyon Road on the left. Make a left turn and follow this dirt road for about 4 miles where it will dead-end at the parking area. Most any vehicle is OK but stay on the road if you pull off to the side you most likely get stuck.
Copyright ©2008 CEES Inc dba HikingAcrossAmerica.Com