Ladder Canyon Trail

MODERATE 77 reviews
#1 of 3 trails in

Ladder Canyon Trail is a 5.3 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Desert Center, CA that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible from October until April. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

5.3 miles 1495 feet Loop

dogs on leash

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

views

waterfall

wild flowers

bugs

old growth

rocky

scramble

washed out

no dogs

Grapefruit Blvd (also Hwy 111), left on 66th Ave, which will transition to Box Canyon Rd., left on Painted Canyon Rd.

hiking
4 days ago

Fantastic hike.

4 days ago

4 days ago

6 days ago

Beautiful hike. I highly recommend it.

hiking
6 days ago

A geologists dream hike! Great rocks and an even better "great unconformity"! Completed this hike on 11/25/16. The trailhead is super easy to find because there are sooooo many other cars there. We did the ladder loop counter-clockwise, which ascends two waterfalls in the northeast canyon and descends four waterfalls in the southwest Canyon and saves the narrow slot canyon for the end. There are a bunch of unmarked trails at the top and we got a little lost but found our way into the main canyon by going down a steep cliff side. Really great hike! Would definitely do it again!

6 days ago

hiking
15 days ago

Regarding the description of this hike.
The location is on Painted Canyon Road just off Box Canyon Road located half way between Desert Center and the town of Mecca. There are a number of waterfalls on this hike all of them dry. That’s where the ladders are located. Dogs that can climb or be packed up ladders do well on the hike, other dogs should stay home. Additionally this is NOT a lightly traveled hike as evidenced by the hundred or so cars seen in the parking area on a good weekend.

17 days ago

hiking
22 days ago

First time hiking this trail last Saturday. It was confusing and wasn't sure if we were going the right way (from the parking lot and to the trail). I was skeptical on how to get to the trail, but thankfully a couple next to us has been to the ladders before and helped guided us to it.

Tons of fun and great photo ops on this trail! I'd say the beginning and end of the trail had all the fun ladders. The rest of the trail were open/canyon (very rocky/sandy; hah, I always seem to kick up sand into my shoes. I had to stop twice to remove them).

I somehow didn't see the ropes in this trail and missed it. I will be coming back to tackle the ropes!

1 month ago

love this trail been going for 3 weeends in a row. god hike

hiking
1 month ago

Favorite hike for both me and my husband and we do a lot of hikes!! She me scrambling and ladder climbing. Very unusual!! Gorgeous!!

hiking
1 month ago

Great Hike. Lots of ladders and climbing. Many Beautiful sights to see. Keeps your curiosity up. Keep wanting to see what's around the next corner.

hiking
1 month ago

It's a pretty easy trail, but it is very fulfilling due to all of the beautiful view. By far, my favorite hike in this area. AT the furthest end of the trail, where is loops back around, there's two trails, which confused us and we ended up having to backtrack. When it Ys off, you can take the trail downhill, or the trail to the right, which stays uphill. Take the trail that leads downhill. Once you get to the bottom, go right. It was a little confusing for us, at that, because there were arrows pointing the way that we just came.

Overall, I love this trail. It's beautiful.

hiking
3 months ago

hiking
5 months ago

So beautiful

hiking
7 months ago

If you only do one hike in the desert you must do this one. I had no clue that this was here. It is very family friendly and the view is amazing. Check out all the pictures my blog about the trail here.
https://lovz2hike.wordpress.com/2016/04/15/mecca-hills-painted-canyon-ladder-canyon-hike/

hiking
7 months ago

One gorgeous turn after another.

hiking
8 months ago

Amazing trail! You get to hiking through a canyon that is small enough to only fit one person at a time in some areas. The trail is true to its name in that you have to climb and descend ladders. You also hike to a small summit that overlooks the mountains in the area and its beautiful! Pretty easy hike but make sure to do it when its not scorching hot! ***A word of caution*** There is one ladder section that has a bees nest right next to it! Its about half way coming back if you do the loop clockwise, which means you will be descending the ladder. The bee hive is right next to the top of the ladder. Just take it slow and you should be fine.

hiking
8 months ago

Great scenic trail with fun slot canyons, ladders and rock formations. Spectacular views once above the rocks.

8 months ago

If you love the desert and canyons this is for you.