Ladder Canyon Trail is a 5.3 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Desert Center, California that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from October until April. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
Grapefruit Blvd (also Hwy 111), left on 66th Ave, which will transition to Box Canyon Rd., left on Painted Canyon Rd.
Hiked Ladder Canyon on a recent trip to Palm Springs. The last 4 miles of the drive were slow going. Although there is a sign recommending 4 wheel drive, it wasn't necessary, but don't expect to get over 10 mph. The gravel road had heavy washboard and some rocks on the road.
We started our hike around 9AM with 8 people of various hiking ability. The narrow Ladder Canyon portion was great. It required some minimal climbing around some of the ladders. We really enjoyed this portion. Once we got out of the narrow canyon portion along the top of the ridge you need to walk towards the "cell phone" towers. There were a few groups (including ours) trying to determine the right path. There were great views from the top ridge but hot with full sun. After a while you work your way back down into the canyons again. There were areas of shade and various rock formations and colors. After about a mile of walking in soft soil/sand we were ready to be done. By the last mile we felt like we had seen it all already. We would do the hike again, but would have been good skipping the last mile (which you can't). It's worth the trip. I recommend starting early and bring a lot of water.
As a sedan，to be honest， it's little hard to access when you see the sign of 4-wheel only but we still made it driving at 5-10mph. Heard from yelp there's car break-in but we were good thanks to someone camping there kept watching. Bring enough water if really want to finish the loop once getting to the top it's 2miles exposure in the sun. And a mask will be better as dirt and sand everywhere. Becareful of rattlesnakes when rest in shade cuz we encountered one (oh boy! luckily it made warning shaking its tail)
This is a great hike! Unique. Diverse and dramatic scenery throughout, Despite the steep start, most of it is relatively flat. However, if you have young ones or the elderly they may find the ladders a bit challenging.
Only a few ladders, still pretty cool.
Pretty disappointed overall, but we did have some good family time.
The posted photos are representative, but only a short section of the trail looks like that. The hiking is pretty easy, mostly just casual walking.
We left Joshua Tree National Park several hours earlier than we otherwise would have to do this hike. As it turns out that was a mistake; we should have stayed in the park longer and played more in the awesome boulder fields.
If you have hiked slot canyons in southern Utah, especially Zebra Canyon, you will be sorely disappointed. I wouldn't bother hiking this trail again unless I was desperate. The dirt biking trails on the drive into this canyon looked like they could be fun to play on however.
Pretty easy and fun, you just gotta watch out for rattlesnakes and Scorpions. From many times i have done this trail, i have not seen any snakes but i have seen scorpions.
Also, take a good amount of water, specially during summer.