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

Interior SoCal Map
VIEW FULL MAP

Very nice hike enjoyed the water pools didn’t get to see any waterfalls but well worth the hike.

The new bottom half trail is much easier to follow and it really helps preserve the habitat on the bottom part of the falls. The new trail takes you directly to the second of the 3 falls. There is plenty of water running from the top of the falls. The weather was perfect for this great hike.

I took the Eagle Peak Trail with my 11 yr old son this weekend. Great hike, views on the peak were more than worth the hike out. planning on falls trail after coming rains. Well worth the drive out.

One of my favorite protected areas in the park. Not only the pictographs but if you look you can find other signs of the tribes that visited this area years ago. Going past the pictographs to smugglers cove is worth it for the view.

hiking
4 days ago

This hike was incredible. We had 4 wheel drive and had no problem getting down painted canyon road. All of the ladders we encountered were metal and pretty sturdy, except for the occasional broken rung. Definitely worth the climb for the amazing views.

Was on the trail yesterday and the road is in excellent condition. If you stay on the main road and don't go off onto the sandy off shoots on the road you will not need a 4 wheel drive. The trail is in excellent condition however none of the ladders are bolted down any longer so you may want to have fellow hikers hold the ladder steady as you ascend or descend. The ladder at mile 2 which is the last one before you emerge up from the lower canyon is in bad shape. One of the middle rungs has broken through and ladder is swaying sideways from metal fatigue. I suspect this will need to be replaced very soon other wise you will have to turn back as there is no way to circumnavigate this area. Once you emerge out of the canyon and descend into the lower wider canyon there are lots of flowers and great views of the massive canyon walls. On the last 2 down climb ladders the last ladder is in poor condition. The last 2 rungs are blown out and most of the other rungs look like they could go anytime. Proceed with caution on that one! other than that the trail is amazing and in good condition. Highly recommend!

Unas vistas hermosas el sendero súper bien. Agua corriendo de las cascadas ,solo si es recomendable llevar zapatos de montaña.
El camino para llegar mucha curva pero vale la pena súper recomendable el lugar.
Fuimos el 1/10/2019

Hike was great but the road getting there was nerve-wracking! One lane, blind turns on steep cliffs with no guard rails, gravel roads for the last couple miles, through water. Wasn't sure we were going the right way but google maps worked. Bring a four wheel if you have one and get ready for white knuckles on the Russian Roulette road but maybe I"m the only one who felt that way. So glad we made it back. Hike had amazing scenic views!

Went here Sunday 1/6/2019 for the first time. Pretty easy getting to the falls and a bit winded coming back due to incline. Not hard though. It was so gorgeous and zero people until coming back. Waterfalls were running, I'm curious to see them during Springtime. I was able to see where the other trail was and it definitely would have made for a more difficult trek, this 'new' path was nice. Great views and lovely weather once the sun came out.
One thing that I must add that was a bummer was the amount of trash at the trailhead. There's plenty of trashcans but the wind probably blows it out or animals rummaging. Cans could probably use lids.

hiking
8 days ago

I just did this hike. it's much easier on the new trail. I jogged part if the way down and it only took 28 mins. the way back up took me about 38 mins. the falls were flowing pretty good.
Note - you no longer have to buy the Cleveland forest adventure pass to go to this hike.

Beautiful and unique hike. We are a four person family with two college age kids and it was fun for all. Slightly challenging in some parts but worth it for the views. Makes you feel like you are an explorer!

Well defined trail.

Hike was very nice !!!

hey john, box canyon is still closed and you will definitely need 4WD for painted canyon road (some parts are soft sand)

Winter/spring is definitely the time to check this one off your list. Beautiful hike, falls were running, not many people out, perfect weather. You are completely exposed during the whole hike, so make sure you are prepared.

We did see a rescue helicopter fly through the canyon, but it didn’t stop here :).

Nice hike. Go in the spring when the falls are running

John, we will be there in two weeks with a rental car. Like you, hoping to hear of road conditions on Painted Canyon Road. Please update if you decide to go. Thanks!

Pretty straight forward, high traffic hike. Start at the top, hike down to the water fall, turn around and hike up. Short scramble through a creek bed, nothing serious. Waterfall was very but there was a large pool at the bottom that was full. Very picturesque, and other routes to get to other vantage points of the waterfall are around. We clocked more like 6.2 miles on this hike. As I said, it’s all down hill to the waterfall then all uphill back.

Beautiful hike.

very cool for a San diego waterfall when they are running good

Can anyone please provide road conditions??? I plan to visit the area Saturday, January 5th. Thanks much

Nice adventurous hike without being too difficult. Loved the slot canyon and variety of rocks.

Great moderate 6 mile out and back hike. Very peaceful finish at the end as we were able to have the resovoir to ourselves for a few minutes although there is no active waterfall.

A great hike! BUY your permit ahead of time online and print out your permit. Bring lots of water and keep in mind you just ascend heavily on the return. Conserve your energy for the back half!

This is a very unique hike and one of the best. The view of the Salton Sea once you are up top is spectacular. The slot canyon, diversity of rock types and formations and views from the top made this hike a must do for us. We will do it again for sure.

We missed the stone arrow showing the way to do the loop clockwise so did it in reverse. The bolder scramble and entrance to the trail is relatively early on the trail. The arrow is very close to the left side - there is a small aluminum ladder to look for. The trail is very wide, so we didn’t see the arrow but going counterclockwise wasn’t bad at all. The main difference as far as I can tell is that you walk half the time at a slight incline in the sand. If you were to go clockwise, you would do most of the ladders and rocky ascent going up.

I would also like to thank the volunteers for their time and effort making sure the ladders are there so this hike is possible. All were in fine working condition. I didn’t see any wood ladders.

It was a good hike, I had 3 little ones and the dog with me. Can be a bit challenging for smaller children. All in all it was a good hike with great views.

hiking
21 days ago

We hiked the Ladder Canyon today, the ladders are all good. Then on to the cellphone towers at the top and down via Big Painted Canyon. Never have figured an easy route from the towers into the top of the Canyon. The two short ladders in the main Canyon are fine. Painted Canyon Road is fine. I wish I knew who put the ladders in so I could thank them but in this crazy age they probably will never come forward in case someone falls off and tried to sue ... that's America today. One of my favorite hikes anywhere.

This was an awesome experience. This was pretty damn tiring and the terrain was steep to say the least. Not a long hike, but certainly strenuous. Went right after it rained on President’s Day , 2017. The 13 miles of dirt road were muddy, and went through three waterways on the road. Ropes used on the teal to get you down there and back up. The falls were pumping big time. Tried to go up the left side, but was very wet and slippery. Suggest going up the right side. It’s really a picturesque view. Highly recommend, but start early in the day.

I wish I could take old climbing trail!! But new trail was good!

Load More