Ladder Canyon Trail

MODERATE 198 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.

9 days ago

13 days ago

16 days 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
19 days ago

27 days ago

hiking
28 days ago

1 month ago

hiking
1 month 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!

1 month ago

1 month ago

hiking
1 month 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.

1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

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)

1 month ago

1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

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.

1 month ago

Only a few ladders, still pretty cool.

1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

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.

1 month ago