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Did this one today. Road says closed because of recent rains but it didn’t seem to stop anyone. You will need AWD to make it back though all the sand to get to the parking. Lots of ladders, bouldering, and scrambles, beautiful views from the top. SLOT CANYON, so much fun, and beautiful.

This is a nice suburban trail with views of the Coachella Valley throughout. The three star rating is only relative to the many, many better trails you can find in this area. This trail is also appropriate for mountain biking. We started out at the trailhead on Painters Place behind the Target and walked 8 miles out and back. You never really lose touch with the urban valley or the hum of traffic, but it does have the advantage of easy access. Seems like a lot of people do this after work. There is a good long steady climb, nothing too steep or treacherous. About two thirds of the way to the turnaround you pass the illuminated cross up on the high point. Then the trail turns downhill towards the very exclusive Stone Eagle golf club. Looks like very challenging golfing if you like that kind of thing. There are rolling greens and mega mansions to look at. Almost at the end the trail drops down into a little canyon with a small natural oasis. Turn back around when you see the road. Voila!

Just don't take the first canyon trail unless young and in-shape. I mistakenly did. Wild and exciting but demands rope-climbing capacity and more. Rope pretty narrow so gloves required. Should have partner in case of trouble.

hiking
3 days ago

Nice trail. Good views. It’s too bad that the ‘trail heads’ don’t offer more info. On the trail head map we found no mention of the Cross trail. There was a sign about a 1/3 of the way up.

hiking
4 days ago

We've got a trip planned for Thanksgiving Weekend. I'd appreciate any updated road info for Painted Canyon Road.

So the first thing we encountered was a large road closed sign. People were turning around BUT DRIVE AROUND it. The road leading to the trail head is sandy but if you have a 4 wheel drive SUV you can make it. A two wheel drive car - you will make it most of the way then have to walk about 15-30 min depending how far you get.

Once you make the trail, stay to the right for the ladders and left for the ropes (it’s not marked).

Depending how you get down, you might have to descend a rope which is challenging. My wife who is in pretty good shape had a freak out. But overall it’s not too bad.

I have done this hike multiple times and highly recommend.

hiking
10 days ago

@BRUPac ;) I understand the road in is washed out from both ends, but which end did you start from with your 4x4? I have a tacoma 4x4 and wanted to attempt to reach the trailhead this weekend.

Go left for the best challenge!!!

went there yesterday 11/3/18. Left a review on the ladder canyon road review section. highly recommend 4x4, but will be honest, a Volvo awd SUV made it all of the way and a 2018 Toyota Camry made it over half way, before the real soft sand. I'm adding a few pictures of the road to judge for your self. go in groups or have recovery gear to get yourself out.

http://rctlma.org/trans/Road-Maintenance/Road-Closures

I’m going to head down there tonight. Website says it’s still closed. Hopefully not.

Update.
Road is definitely closed. No problem getting to the trail tho. Lifted 4x4 recommended only. 2 spots that would be tough to get around. Plus the ground is pretty loose.
Jeep Wrangler for reference. Saw some Tacoma’s also back in there amongst other wranglers

Can anyone say if the trail is back open..Thank you

on The Cross Trail

19 days ago

Great hike

19 days ago

Great hike!

Can not leave comment without rating. Can anyone verify the route to the trail is again open?

Amazing. So beautiful. Easy and breathtaking. I’d do over and over again

Tried to get to this hike this morning via the road from Mecca. The road is still closed at the Coachella Canal Road on 66 Ave/Box Canyon Road. ...I was not sure how to leave a comment without giving a star rating, so gave a 1 star but that is not a rating on the hike itself?

Nice views.

Box Canyon Road is closed. 10/7/18. There’s no way to get to trail. We went for a different hike in the area. My co-worker said a man went missing on the Ladders hike after the rain storms last week. Not sure when they will be opening the road.

Heads up! Box Canyon Road is blocked off due to being washed out.

trail running
1 month ago

Great trail. Great for trail running. Especially if you want to work on hills.

hiking
1 month ago

First time visit to Ladder Canyon/Painted Canyon. My wife and I were there on 9/29/18 and arrived about 09:30am. Hike was excellent! Good little work out and the ladders were a fun new twist. Trail was very easy to follow, just follow the arrows. Even though it’s becoming cooler, it was still a hot hike. About half way through you hike up and out of the canyon for a nice view of the area and small view of the Salton Sea. You will be exposed with no shade for about 1.5 miles so bring plenty of water and sunscreen. I ended up sharing my water with some young hikers that didn’t bring enough and were hurting for it. Walk back is in the canyon and had intermittent shade. Overall fun experience and great little workout.

hiking
2 months ago

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.

hiking
2 months ago

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!

I hike every morning..

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
3 months 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
3 months 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
3 months 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!!

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