Explore Desert - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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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.

hiking
17 days ago

The views were just fine - a couple spots that offered decent views of the mountains, but mostly looking down at the city. Not objectively bad but not what I look for in a hike. Relatively easy

Great little trail and views

trail running
26 days ago

This trail is extremely crowded in peak times such as the morning, weekends, and especially on holidays. The trail brings you up to the famous St. Margaret's cross which is both a local favorite and a bit of a tourist attraction. The view a top the trail is decent but if you want a better view of Palm Desert then try the bump n grind. Good running trail if done twice in succession.

trail running
26 days ago

Pretty simple and short trail, easily accessible and extremely crowded in the mornings. the hike is easier when done counterclockwise though, normally you follow it clockwise for the quick elevation gain and the cardio. This is a great running route. the view from the top of the trail gives you a great view of Palm Desert and Indian Wells as well.

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!!

hiking
28 days ago

It's definitely an easier trail but I wouldn't call it easy, especially if you start at the typical base. It does connect to a couple easy routes that are good for beginners and kids to do. It's shorter too than many of the trails unless you do the loops but still an excellent workout! I do it every morning.

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.

Great to get your heart pumping. City views, and pretty busy but still lots of space to yourself. No shade.

My favorite trail in the desert for a good/quick workout. From the trailhead, if you’re wanting better views, go right & loop around. If you’re wanting a killer workout, go left & loop around.

hiking
1 month ago

Crowded, partly an old road. Not pretty. There are many other better trails in the desert.

Love this app

2 months ago

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

hiking
2 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!

hiking
2 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

hiking
3 months ago

Amazing area! My only complaint: this is the most poorly marked trail that I have ever been on. Do your research so you know where to go. There are several trails at the top and a lot of them are dead ends. Otherwise, great day of hiking and exploring with my husband and 7 year old. Bring more water than you think you need!!!

hiking
3 months ago

This is a great hike! Very easy to navigate. 35-45 minutes to complete. This is a great option to incorporate to your fitness routine. Friendly people as well. Give it a try.

This trail is right off the main road and very popular with people. It is a good challenge up to the top and great views .

I was visiting Palm Desert and wanted to gain some elevation for a view. This was a fun hike with terrific views, glad I chose it.

In answer to Charlie Nunez’s question: yes you can get to the trailhead in a regular car. It is a bumpy five miles and you could drive faster in a truck or 4x4, but my Honda sedan made it and there were several similar cars on the road or in the lot, including a Mini. Take it slow and it is fine.

hiking
3 months ago

I have a question for anyone who has been here. Can I make it down the dirt road to the trailhead in a car? I've camped in Mecca before in the slots but parked close to the road behind a bush. Just curious if I could make it to the trailhead in a normal car.

Hit the trail today with some friends. Really good time, beautiful colors.

hiking
3 months ago

My son & I did the loop this morning in about an hour starting about 8:30. Definitely ascend clockwise as the trail is quite craggy. There are many switchbacks to the top but none are too vertical. Completing the loop on the descent the trail is generally wider with fewer rocky steps so it's an easy run to the end. I'm 72 and he is 35. We both agree that on a scale of 1-10 this hike is a 6 for difficulty and a 9 for fun.

Easy trail with great views.

hiking
4 months ago

Very fun trail up a slot canyon, lots of ladders or optional scrambling.

hiking
4 months ago

Great hike! Part slot canyon, part wide canyon, part open hike with views of the Salton Sea. Felt like I was in Zion. Here's an easy way NOT to get lost... prior to arriving (because you may not get service there) go to google maps and you'll be able to see the actual route. You may even want to download the area to your "offline maps". Follow the trail via google maps on your hike. I didn't lose GPS at all during the hike and you can tell if you missed a turn within about 30 feet.

Super awesome trail! Make sure you follow the arrows. About 1/4 mile from the start is the first arrow pointing you up to the left up some rocks. Take this instead of going straight!

Just when you think how easy this is it takes you on a roller coaster ride around and around. Lots of fun and good workout. Ended up on wrong trail going down and disembarked two miles from my car.

hiking
4 months ago

This trail should be rated moderate to strenuous if hiked in a clock-wise direction. The "Grind" portion is quite steep, however it's better to hike up the Grind than down. Good work out hike. Very popular and crowded.

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