Grottos #1

HARD 6 reviews

Grottos #1 is a 8.7 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Desert Center, CA that offers scenic views and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail is primarily used for hiking and walking and is accessible from October until April.

8.7 miles 1584 feet Loop





old growth

over grown


washed out

One of the trails at Mecca Hills, open all year to all skill level. This is reference HIke #6 "Grottos #1" which you can find inside 140 Great Hikes in and near Palm Springs. This trail is nowhere near Palm Springs. In fact it's in Thermal, CA.

4 months ago

I finally know what it feels like to go to he'll and back. a word of advice to others, bring a GPS your phone won't get reception, bring more than a gallon of water I ran out 3/4s of the way through the trail because I got lost, bring repelling gear for decent down steep side mountains; the terrain was hard to keep footing. Also last but not least don't trust the topo maps they aren't accurate. Have fun and please plan for the worst but enjoy the hike.

4 months ago

This trail is very difficult to follow, there are a few poles with rocks on them to help guide you as well as some rock arrows out. Went on a Saturday morning with not a single person around. The trailhead sign is gone but 2 poles are still there, be careful to park on the hard dirt so you don't come back to being stuck in sand. Make sure you use the mapped trail and follow it through if you start the loop to the right the grottos are caved in. You can either crawl through the hole to the left or climb over it to the right you will need to climb a few other places as well. The trail is extremely washed out and at many times will break down as you walk on it. Be careful out there!

6 months ago

6 months ago

Great place to get lost. Only saw one other couple on a Monday morning hike. Trails are not well marked and bring lots of water. The grottos were fun to climb through.... Descending by rope into one and having to squeeze through on all fours to get through some of the passages. It is difficult and for those who are up for a little bit of everything.... Great hilltop views, dry canyons beds, and of course the grottos..... Have fun.

Btw. Make sure you check your map or gps regularly to ensure you don't miss the trail or get lost.... Be safe.

7 months ago

Had a great time took the trek to the right the cave in the back is caved in so I had to find an alternate route but I found one and went through the other side cave and had a great time views are spectacular

8 months ago

This is one of the best trails in Mecca Hills. You can not compare this trail to Ladder Canyon, it's a totally different experience, because there's three caves there compared to none at Ladder Canyon. Bringing a flashlight is a must have or your adventure ends at the entrance to the first cave. There's two ways to hike this trail, either from west to east or east to west. The best way of course is east to west (clockwise loop), by going through Hidden Spring loop trail. If you have a choice to hike a loop trail, always go for the loop, don't deprive yourself of the total experience by doing this out and back style which many people tend to do because of the distance or because they don't know about Hidden Spring Trail. What you'll discover the loop is equal to out and back, both comes out to approx. 2 miles. Start early no later than 10 am is important, because it takes 3 to 4 hours to complete this hike.