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Really fun hike and hot! Went on Saturday and temps reached 104° I froze my water bottles the night before and had cold water the entire hike as the ice was melting. theres an arrow at the beginning of the trail that veers you left. avoid that trail unless you want to climb ropes so I headed back and started over this time going straight until I saw the second arrow pointing sharp left that's where the ladders are at after you climb some boulders. Thank you Jennifer Murphy your review was really helpful. I ignored the white arrow with the (?)
and ignored the ladder to my right. went straight ahead and stayed on track.

Overall this was a beautiful hike, and extra fun with the ladder element. Amazing views of the mountains, sky, and you can also see the Salton Sea. We started around 9 am which was later than planned, but made it out around 12:15 so wasn’t too bad. I would definitely recommend a hat and long sleeves for when you’re exposed on the upper ridge in the summer. On the first half mile and intermittently throughout the last two miles there is shade. There are white painted arrows on the canyon walls and rock-shaped arrows on the ground to help guide you. There’s one difficult part where you see “Up (?)” in white paint. We took the path first, but it looked like we were off of the trail so we walked back and went up the ladder disregarding the question mark. The gravel was quite loose, but we made it to the top. However, then it said we were on the ridge and also not on the trail. Once we were up there was no going back down that way. We took a left based on the map’s guidance and eventually it converged back into the correct trail so we were fine, just in the open sun much longer. Bring plenty of water!

Beautiful and easy hike. Divers vegetations.

First time using this app - first review! A solid hike with lots of bird life and a great view midway. I read the reviews so I was looking out for signs and trail markings, not too bad. Also, right turn to take the loop counterclockwise seems like a good idea. About three hours with a break at the top, saw zero people - I’d do it again!

1 month ago

it was a lot of fun, but not a year round trail. I'd definitely avoid this place in the summer. the description saying it's shaded and cool is inaccurate; most of the trail,even inside the canyon, is in the full brunt of the sun.

The trail starts out on sandstone hills, then declines gradually into the slot canyon. once inside, the trail is extremely narrow. I could barely fit through with my day pack on. my husband wouldn't be able to fit through most of the trail as he's a big guy, and I was scraping my legs and arms on the walls as I passed.

Fortunately, the views inside the canyon make it totally worth it. It was even worth the heat! Would be a beautiful hike in the winter or spring, when the sun isn't so hot.

Had a lot of fun here! Went towards the end of the day to catch the evening light for pictures, stayed until after dark to catch the stars. Family friendly with a lot of rocks to climb on. We did walk up on a good size rattle snake, we gave it its space and each party went their separate ways.

Beautiful easy hike in a valley full of rocks to be climbed!

Such a unique place. Challenging but fun hike, we went late morning. It was about 101 when we set out and before we hit the half way point we turned around because of the temps. Back at the car it was 107 and even though we had plenty of water, there were parts of the trail without any shade and we were starting to overheat. Aside from that we really enjoyed this spot and will make a return trip very soon and head out early for sunrise. The mountains and rock formations are amazing here and you’ll have plenty of photo ops in the canyons. Pack out what you pack in... dirt road is a bear coming down Painted Canyon Rd. Be ready for some major vibrations for about 5 miles of unpaved road. Best done in a truck, your pretty luxury car will cry coming here.

A rock scrambler's dream! So many rocks to climb along the entire loop...a ton of fun! The loop itself is not that amazing...pretty, but you follow a short path. Get off the trail and enjoy this wonderland.

Nice to get off the trail and explore the rock formations. Not crowded at all since it was over 100°F!

hiking
1 month ago

Go early in the morning if you can to avoid the high heat. It is a fairly easy hike. The areas through the slot are not very big. Bring lots of water and sunscreen. 4WD is not required to get to the trailhead parking lot, but not sure I would recommend going with a low ground clearance car.

Was a great hike yesterday here. Definitely a hidden treasure to admire close to the Imperial Valley. Take plenty of water, gloves, hiking light shoes with good traction, sun block, snacks and a beer or two to enjoy up on the canyon. I guess i learned yesterday that the north trail is called The Ropes, and the east trail is ladder Canyon trail. I recommend to go east trail and follow rock arrow into hidden canyon. You can go the other way also, half way there is a hill that will be safer to go down than up for some. I'm going back for sure; Enjoy and stay safe!!

This is a great hike, but as others have said, it isn't marked at all. We relied on information from other hikers and Alltrails to figure out where to go. The ladder and ropes are fun and the hike is mostly pretty. The upper loop to the top of the big canyon is completely exposed. We got an incredibly late start, so this part baked me, but the canyon was worth it. As a bonus, we saw a little gray fox. The road in was rough, but ok for a regular car.

Definitely coming back to this hike, lots of trails to explore.

I would recommend coming early to avoid high temperatures (it reached 112 when we went last week) and bring plenty of water.

If you like bouldering and lots of people around check out this tail. The rock formations are beautiful, but challenging and abrasive to navigate. We didn't hike the whole loop, but spent about 30 minutes here before venturing on to Lost Horse Mine and Ryan Mtn trails.

Loved this trail!! Saw a bunny and some Bighorn sheep while on this trail!

off road driving
3 months ago

Some moderately rough spots but my stock 2002 Land Cruiser didn’t have any issue with any of it. Recommend for some fun wheelin.

This is truly a gorgeous area. We came here for sunset over Memorial Day weekend, not planning to walk this trail, but we hiked it in the dark and it was still awesome. This is a great spot to see the moon rise. I’ll have to come back in the daytime. :)

This was a beautiful hike, saw lots of lizards, road runners, jack rabbits and almost stepped on a beautiful snake (no, I’m not scared of snakes and God’s creations are all beautiful in their own way) so that got the morning started off well. Jeff had read on another review to hike the loop going counter clockwise....it wasn’t until our hike DOWN that I understood why. If we would have hiked going clockwise we may have still been out there trying to finish. It would have been uphill most of the way. Don’t go left...go right...go counter clockwise. Plus take plenty of water and start early in the morning. The reason it’s not getting 5 stars is because the trail wasn’t marked very well. For as popular as it claims to be, there needs to be good, straightforward signs letting the hikers know if they are going the correct way. Also, there wasn’t any warning about the little chat/gravel you have to walk in. May sound picky on my part but still, a little heads up would have been welcomed. Would I recommend this hike? YES...but remember go counter clockwise and have fun. Oh and don’t forget to watch where you are stepping

3 months ago

Great trail. We did this in June and the weather was very hot. Just make sure to bring a hat and lots of water with you. Sunscreen and sunglasses are also necessary since there's hardly any shade. It's all well worth the beautiful view at the top! Also make sure to not get lost, we went on the wrong turn on our way back and added an extra mile to it lol grab a map from the camping services center or just keep an eye out on your phone for directions!

Love this app

3 months ago

Beautiful hike! Can’t wait to bring my kids on this one!

We did this hike on Memorial Day. Needed to get out of the cold weather we’ve been having in San Diego so didn’t mind the 100 degree heat at noon when we hit the trail. There was actually a nice breeze blowing most of the time so the heat wasn’t oppressive. Brought plenty of water and some calories with us and just went at a steady pace. Boulders a bit hot but still manageable and plenty of shade in the palm grove the closer you get to the top. Nearly impossible to get lost since all trail derivations go in the same direction. Saw a couple of bighorn sheep near the top. You definitely want to be mindful of the cactus that jut out onto the trail but otherwise it is an easy and well marked and maintained trail. Cold beer at Carlee’s afterward was a must. I would do it again for sure when there is water flowing.

hiking
3 months ago

Loved this hike! I did it twice it was so much fun and full of little trails to explore. A must do when you visit the area!

3 months ago

Great hike! Rock climbing, long hike and great views. :)

This was a very fun, scenic trail. Many great views, rock climbing, and very active during the weekend.

Nice variation in terrain from start to finish. Gradual uphill incline that gets progressively more interesting as you get closer and closer to the falls. Definitely easy to moderate in cool to warm conditions. It was 79° and breezy on the day we did it. I could see this being a difficult trek on a 100+° day, pack your water and dress accordingly. Some good traction boots and a sense of navigation helps on this one, as you negotiate your way through the various palm groves. Trailhead is easily accessed, no dirt or gravel roads to deal with. Highly recommend if you’re in the area and looking for something scenic, lengthy, not super difficult, and memorable.

Trickle of water at The falls. Had a beautiful cooler weekend in late May to be able to hike this. If you like boulder hopping this was moderate opportunity for you at the high end.

3 months ago

Great trail ... amazing views ... looking forward to walking it again ...

hiking
4 months ago

Great hike took my 3 boys 7yr old 10yr old and 11 yr old and they all loved it we went at about 6pm when it was not as hot and it was great

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