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Hidden gem in the backroads of BLM land. This trail is full of caverns, ladder bridges and at the same time, wide open spaces, washes and amazing views. One of my favorite hikes in or out of Joshua tree.

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.

Good hike that can choose a varying distances.

Love everything about this hike.

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
5 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.

Beautiful hike. Difficult but worth it! Start early park closes gates strictly 5pm

Perfect to test our skills

hiking
11 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.

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

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

That’s good one for biking and rent boat at the end of the hiking for $75 all day.

Really well-maintained trail, nice variety in pathways, and beautiful views. Go AS EARLY as you can get there to enjoy some sense of solitude and beautiful light along the way.

For runners, a great place to practice decision-making for when to walk up steeps and when to run- and as a bonus, BOMBING downhill fun all the way.

Easy flat trail for walking/biking. There is just one tiny part of crossing about a few inches of water on the bike or stepping stones. Gradual small incline and the view was very peaceful. We ran into more bikers than hikers on midday Sunday. Minimal shade during the hot day so bring lots of water.
-we parked near the farmers market (1030am-330pm) and trail head was down the end of the road. There’s other trails from here.
-it is along the highway for a bit but it gets more quiet along the trail the further you go.

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?

Did this hike in October with fall temperatures. The rating of hard I believe depends on what time of year you go and what the temperature outside is. For us we started at around 9 am and the weather was perfect. On our way back around noon it was definitely hotter and more strenuous. Bring lots of water and snacks. Very well maintained hike! The rock requires you to make a somewhat questionable jump from one rock to another. Once you do it it’s not so bad. You have to lower yourself with your arms and get your footing on the potato chip rock. To get down I slid down the side of the rock. Overall great hike!

This was a great hike.
Only advice is....be in good cardio shape for this hike, or it will kick your butt!

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.

first hike of our season. It's a burner. I'm way out of shape and this trail prove it. It's great in the am hours.

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.

Excellent choice for beginners, be prepared with a lot of water, crowded in the morning

hiking
1 month ago

Loved it. Brought my three children and we had an amazing family time, very nice view of the lake. Not crowded at all on Wednesday morning. My 7 year old boy was running and jumping on the way back. A little harder for my 9 year old daughter but still loved it.

Easy. Pretty. Dog friendly.

Great avenue for trail runners and hikers itching for a workout with a sip of Lactic Acid (moderate trail not Hard). In the summer of course it will feel hard (little to no shade). I loved the inclines, the switch backs are fun as they have cleverly constructed steps from surrounding rocks (beautifully done), a trail that keeps you guessing what’s next, and the routs are easy to navigate.
Nice rest areas, great scenic views, and surprisingly they have conveniently set out several bathroom areas. No matter if a beginner or avid hardcore runner you can find it here. If only looking for a relaxing picnic with friends and family they have a nice lake, fishing, boats, lots of grass and trees. While they “rest and eat” come with me and we will run up to eat some potato chips @2100ft. (Start from the Lake don’t cheat, take plenty of water, and enjoy Poway!)

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