Ladder Canyon Trail

MODERATE 208 reviews
#1 of 12 trails in

Ladder Canyon Trail is a 4.5 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.

DISTANCE
4.5 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1437 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

views

waterfall

wild flowers

bugs

old growth

rocky

scramble

washed out

no dogs

Grapefruit Blvd (also Hwy 111), left on 66th Ave, which will transition to Box Canyon Rd., left on Painted Canyon Rd.

hiking
1 hour ago

Family of 4 (hubby, 12yo, 14yo and me). First canyon hike! Need to come back and do entire loop in more moderate temperature. Only got through ladder parts and turned around. Didn't finish because everyone was feeling too hot (97+ in shade at 9:30am) and decided to play it safe since we have several more days of vacation. Climbing ladders and boulders alot of fun for the boys and me. Hubby felt a bit claustrophobic...

24 days ago

hiking
25 days ago

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

Just made an account, but I enjoyed this hike on April 11 2017.

Dirt road, kinda bumpy but my car did fine at slower speeds.

Not much shade one out of the slots which is the 1st 1/3 of the hike.

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
2 months ago

This was an amazing hike. Loved hiking on the sandy trail The ladders didn't feel very stable but other than that super fun!!!!

hiking
2 months ago

3 months ago

3 months ago

3 months ago

Great hike, lots of fun, not too crowded. My girlfriend and I really enjoyed this one. We would label it as easy, but there are tricky parts to it. We found a secret path to the loop, so we ended up doing the hike twice, so we could see the main trail also. The secret path gets very narrow, so you have to be lean to make it through. I'm 5'11'' 170, so you don't have to be tiny:)

hiking
3 months ago

3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

Great trail, absolutely worth the 4 mile washboards road in! My little Honda Insight made it through okay and I saw lots of other sedans in the parking lot too! Don't be scared by the 4 wheel drive sign!
Make sure you use the map once your out of the canyons! Looks like there are a lot of intersecting trails that can make it easy to get lost!

3 months ago

4 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

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.