Painted Canyon Drive

EASY 14 reviews
#4 of 13 trails in

Painted Canyon Drive is a 12.5 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Desert Center, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

12.5 miles
1,069 feet
Out & Back

kid friendly



nature trips

off road driving

scenic driving



wild flowers

no dogs

1 month ago

Basically a fire road. Really easy drive to hiking area. Was washed out pretty good when we went 9/27/17. But took it in 2 wheel drive the whole way. Plenty of cars made it through, even an E Class Mercedes sedan. Cars and lower trucks just be careful to drive around the bigger rocks. On the way out saw a large flat rock with a scrape across the top and transmission fluid dripping off of it, again was washed out from rain 2 days prior. Most if the time the road looks like it is graded and pretty smooth.

off road driving
8 months ago

Very easy drive to great hiking. There were also several little Jeep trails off of the main trail to add a little off road excitement. We had a great time.

9 months ago

Don’t be intimidated by the unpaved road leading to this trail. My Civic did it, no problem! As others have said, beware repeated car break-ins during the week :(
Watch for rocks forming arrows to the path and other clever helpful rock messages! Ladders are mostly safe and all very secure. I saw many families with children, but some struggled on the ladder parts.
Overall, lovely hike with somewhat tricky trail but beautiful and unique views!

10 months ago

This was a great hike and a nice surprise with the different terrain, slot canyons with ladders and open ridges with beautiful views of the Salton Sea. A relatively easy walk taking under 3 hours. The only drag was we had our rental car broken into when we returned. Nothing was taken as we left nothing in the car. We just had to contend with the broken glass and return it to the rental car agency to replace the vehicle. We were not the only ones. One other cars glass was broken too and there was an attempt on a Mercedes but they couldn’t get through the safety glass. Don’t go during the week when it it quiet as this is when the break in usually occur.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Got a little lost after making it to what looked like the end of a trail after starting on the left side of the trail. Climbed out of the canyon was in and was able to find my way back down to the ladder portion of the hike. Once down in the taller canyons the sound from the wind was so powerful- it made the visions of water rushing through them fill my soul. The energy was amazing

off road driving
Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Easy washboard road out to great hikes. Literally any car can make it out & back but if you have a rigid suspension is going to be a bumpy ride.

off road driving
Saturday, December 17, 2016

Very tame dirt road that leads to a few gorgeous canyon trails. Trvelled this road in a Grand Cherokee but could easily be done with any type of car.

off road driving
Tuesday, February 04, 2014

We love this place so much, we got married there November 2013!

7 months ago

Sunday, June 04, 2017

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Friday, November 11, 2016

Monday, March 02, 2015