Explore Palm Springs - 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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The reflection of the cliffs in the water is gorgeous. And the trees are nice towards the end.

Meh. Hard to follow and not much in there in terms of sightseeing.

Great trail. One of the most unique photography opportunities in the park.

hiking
7 hours ago

Amazing views from the top of this climb. Be prepared for some wind and plan on spending some time enjoying the summit. If you only have limited time in the park, make sure to get this trail in.

Really easy trail to follow; beautiful destination

If you are coming from Cottonwood visitor center, when you see the trailhead for Skull Rock, the Skull Rock can actually be seen from the road, without even doing the loop trail. As mentioned in the comments below, a good portion of the trail is just walking on a paved road through campsites, so keep that in mind. Other than that, it was a fairly easy trail.

Beautiful view.. I loved it <3

Beautiful view.. I loved it <3

Short hike with great payoff (on a clear day). Rainy and muddy when we went but still worth it. Lots of rocky stairs and patches of mud so boots would be helpful if the ground is wet.

left side switchbacks to the top rights side sweaping gradual incline

hiking
3 days ago

Hiked Painted Canyon and the Ladders Trail yesterday. The road signs say 4WD vehicles only, but we drove two 2WD vehicles (one small sedan and a mini van). The road was soft and sandy in a few spots, but we had no problem driving to the trail head. There were other 2WD cars parked at the trail head as well.

The ladders were all in excellent shape. Just one ladder had one broken rung. Thank you volunteer trails workers.

hiking
4 days ago

We were staying in Indian Wells and this trail was recommended and close to Uber to. I had low expectations and they were surpassed! It was a fun hike with lots of switchbacks. We started left to get a harder work out and I think going up a steep incline is easier than going down, especially with dry, loose rocks. It was crowded but the people were polite and nice. Lots of people of all ages.

the trail itself was mostly a wash basin. There we're some well maintained stairs for most of the climbs. There were plenty of places to do some bouldering, and side excursions. we ended up making it a 3-mile loop. Moderate is a very good description, nice for adults and still kid friendly.

We are planning on going on MLK day and would like to know the condition of canyon Rd. Especially with the rain fall we received for the past few days. We planning on taking a 2WD. Update 1/21/19- Road is accessible for any 2WD. I saw from small vechicles like versa to SUV and mini vans. As long you stay the main road you should be fine. all ladders were in good condition. great hike, highly recommend.

hiking
7 days ago

Cool area. Parking is weird. I would park at the campground.

Great view of Joshua Tree when you reach the top. Watch out for high winds!

Excellent rock formations at the base, a moderate hike with few trees and sweeping valley views. Great way to get some altitude in a short amount of time. Hiked on New Years Eve in blistering wind. The hiking experience on the way up overtops the payoff at the top, so enjoy the journey!

Short, a nice first stretch of the legs after a long drive to the park.

hiking
10 days ago

Crowded, nothing too special. View was mediocre not really a Joshua tree vibe.

hiking
11 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.

hiking
11 days ago

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!

hiking
14 days ago

Best part about this hike is climbing around on all of the different rock formations. We spent hours scrambling around and trying to get to the top of each pile of rocks. So much fun, and an experience very unique to Joshua Tree NP.

hiking
14 days ago

Very nice hike. Good views from the top, and challenging enough to make you work a little for it. We trail ran down which was super fun on all of rocks and “stairs”. Would definitely do again, but probably run the entire trail.

Perfect short hike that provides great views of the surrounding valley and mountains. Top of the mountain has a great stop and overlook for pictures. Challenging due to hiking uphill the whole way, but very worth it. If it’s summer, definitely pack water and sunscreen.

First time here, was impressed with the beauty of the hills/mountain the trail covers. Came on a Tuesday at 9 am and the street parking was almost all taken. Started off at the trailhead going left, definitely a moderate hike to the top! Rocky in some areas, packed dirt in others. Good times! Will return and add Hopalong Cassidy to the itenerary.

hiking
16 days ago

Great short hike with amazing views!

hiking
16 days ago

Been hiking this trail for years, very popular with lots of hikers. 10 to 15 minutes of strenuous hiking on left side which I call the grind portion. Rest is easy to moderate. Takes me about 1 and a half hours. Beautiful views. Have seen Big Horn sheep and chipmunks. Try to avoid weekends on account of crowds.

hiking
16 days ago

Went up early January 2018. Sunrise at around 6:50am, it took us about 35 minutes to get to the top, the hike is fairly easy as it’s not particularly rocky and the steps are wide and flat. Does get very windy and cold at the top (~20F) around that time. Great 360* view although not a lot of Joshua trees

I'm an idiot, I did not go clockwise but loved the trail all the same. highly recommend it.

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