Rope Canyon Trail is a 2.1 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Mecca, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 2.1 miles Elevation Gain: 370 feet Route Type: Loop

dog friendly

hiking

nature trips

walking

bird watching

running

cave

views

wild flowers

wildlife

recorded Rope Canyon Trail

hiking
8 days ago

This loop was a true gem!! Such a fun, adventurous trail with narrow areas, rock scrambling, ropes, ladders, and beautiful rock formations. It was very unique. Perfect for a family outing. Bonus was that there was plenty of shade and we had the trail to ourselves!

hiking
rocky
1 month ago

Fun trail with beautiful scenery there is some tight places you have to go through and a lot of climbing

hiking
rocky
2 months ago

Great trail! My and my partner went and we were the only people there. It was beautiful but it does get a little chilly in the canyon. The views are super cool and we had a great hike. The ropes are very sturdy but some are fraying a little bit because they’re rubbing up on the rocks but we had no issue using them. It gets dusty in the canyon so if you have asthma, it might not be very comfortable for a long period of time.

hiking
2 months ago

Painted Canyon is an incredibly beautiful and chaotic canyon from the geology of the nearby San Andreas and Painted Canyon faults. The hiking is fun and can be a bit adventuresome. I did both the Ladder and Roped slot canyons in early March 2020 and have a few comments. If just hiking the Canyon, expect lots of sand and gravelly surfaces. If you do the Ladder slot canyon, it is rated moderate by some group. The four ladders ( three up, one short five or so feet down) are in pretty good repair and easy to climb. The hike through the slot is fun, but carry water for the hike on the ridge and back down the Canyon. The start of the slot is a bit over a quarter mile up Canyon from the TH, and well marked with a maybe 20' stone arrow pointing to the trail up the rocks. Its about a five mile round trip, and many of the trail junctions encountered are marked with the stone arrows. On weekends, the Ladders can get crowded. Kids have done the ladders, but be safe. Dogs? Nope. The Roped slot canyon is also rated moderate, but I think it should be Strenuous. The start is a hundred yards or so up the Canyon from the TH, but not marked - I think for good reason. There are five roped sections - the first and the fourth are pretty short and easy. The second and third have a more complicated climb and will be an effort for many people. The fifth and last is maybe 20' vertical with some footholds to use. This section will definitely be strenuous for most people. I did not have problems with it, but I was a climber in younger days and some techniques made it easier. I doubt young children can do it safely. One of the issues I can see is people having some trouble on the lower ropes and getting to the last one and thinking "Yikes!". Changing your mind and getting back down the other ropes would not be easy. Also consider the pack will be taken off at least once in the narrow slots, and I think there are three chockstones that you have to crawl under/around to get through. The Roped slot can be a real adventure. Unfortunately the BLM does not provide trail maps at the TH to use - there is a map on the interpretive panel to take a photo of with your phone, but it is fairly complicated and not labeled. I met one group with the phone photo who went up the Ladders, but took the wrong turn and were going down the Rope canyon instead of back to the main Painted Canyon to get back to the TH. They would have figured it out at the 20' drop off, but it would have meant hiking back up the hill. My recommendation is get a map online and carry a copy, and definitely follow the stone arrows. Three other comments might help. Regular cars can get to the TH, despite the four wheel drive sign at the turnoff to Painted Canyon. In bad weather, that might change. I also would not get off the main road - I needed four wheel drive to get out of the loose sand just off the road. Finally, the only toilet in Painted Canyon is on the left as you are going up, and is not at the TH, but about a mile below the TH. Good luck!

hiking
3 months ago

Rope needs to be replaced. I opted not to use it as I didn’t want to risk falling. Graffiti on the walls make this beautiful canyon, not.

hiking
scramble
3 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

My recording starts after I exited rope canyon and came out on the top. I am a 58 year old woman a little under 5ft 1" tall. I was able to do all three ropes alone. The last one at the top was the most challenging, a fall here could result in an injury. It is not terribly hard if you have either good upper body strength, or some climbing or canyoneering skills and use the many little dimples in the rock to put your toes in. I did that with a combination of pulling myself up on the rope. I will be sharing this method on my YouTube channel A Nomad for Nature at some point. It may be easier to tie your pack to the rope and pull it up after climbing up. This is also called The Slot, and is a bit of a squeeze in places and requires some crawling under boulders. A fun introduction to canyoneering with aid ropes. I recommend doing going up Ropes Canyon and down Painted Canyon or one of the other canyons on your return. Walking up Painted Canyon is a bit of a slog.

hiking
rocky
4 months ago

4 months ago

Painted Canyon Rd (dirt road to trailhead) says "PASSABLE FOR 4-WHEEL DRIVE VEHICLES ONLY". Needed to know BEFORE driving all the way out here in my 25' RV.

hiking
rocky
4 months ago

Awesome trail and breathe taking scene and hike! This a a sure way to get some exercise. Went today Jan 8 and the weather is nice a cool. Take shorts or long pants and some water. It was not hot. Go to the top and your legs will get a workout! Totally worth the travel. Amazing scenery.

rocky
scramble
washed out
4 months ago

Lovely slot canyon. 1-hour father-son stroll in the washes, with some stuff that required hands; maybe one 4th class 12' climb up a wall with lots of holds. There were some ropes and ladders in the way; to each their own, I guess. I didn't use them; that would spoil the fun!

hiking
4 months ago

highly recommended! not your typical hike. it was quite challenging, but my families really enjoyed it. our families found It's easier to climb up on ropea instead of down. so better to start off from the left, where a 'danger' sprayed on rock marks the beginning of the trail on left.

hiking
4 months ago

Access: the 4 mile rd in says 4-wheel drive needed. It is not needed. The rd is rough, but we had no issue with our rental car. When the rd gets super sandy, most people park about .5 miles from the trailhead. If you have 4-wheel drive, you should have no trouble getting to the trailhead. The Hike: these are slot canyons with many spots using well maintained ladders. The hike outlined here has some VERY narrow sections. If you are at all claustrophobic, pick a different route. Also, be aware that there is hiking on the ridges along the tops, and hiking up the sandy riverbeds. It's not always easy to figure out which will lead you where - don't be afraid to ask others (don't just follow the heard). Also on the suggested route, it was very busy and backed up due to the ladders and people turning back who were scared. Just be aware. Overall: the hiking hear is beautiful and we had a great time. We also hiked longer than intended due to items mentioned above. We would definitely recommend this spot, and certainly would for camp/hike trips as well.

hiking
5 months ago

4-wheel car “required” to go to the trail head but we made it slowly with our Toyota Corolla. Once you get to the fork at the beginning I would go to the right and go counter-clockward so you will be going up the ladder and down the rope instead of the other way around. Beautiful canyon, some tight space, lots of rope climbing.

10 months ago

Excelente lugar

hiking
Tue Mar 19 2019

I made it over a boulder, under a boulder, up a ladder, and climbed three sheer rock faces using ropes with knots in them. Then I came to a ledge that was taller than me (maybe 6 ft, I'm short), only one small possible foothold, no rocks to stack at the bottom, and the top of the ledge actually inclined back towards me somewhat. I tried to get up, but on my own, and without the requisite upper body strength, I only managed to scrape myself up. Alas, I had to turn back. Maybe I could have gone around and come down the route, but I did the Ladder Canyon and Painted Canyon hike instead.

hiking
Sun Mar 10 2019

This little trail is quite the gem! We had a blast exploring the area as a family. The trailhead was pretty congested on a weekend, but once we got out on the trail, we are all alone for most of the hike.

hiking
Sun Feb 24 2019

went today, trail was in good condition. some spots still had some water that made some climbs a little more difficult, but with enough patience you can do it safely. be careful on the drive in. it's washed out on the left side and you're avoiding the washboard road by driving on the opposite side, you can potentially damage vehicle if you're not careful.

hiking
Sun Feb 24 2019

Awesome!

hiking
Sat Feb 16 2019

Fantastic day trip with many options. Personally I enjoyed the combination of the ladder canyon back to the rope canyon route that Deidre (another reviewer) summarized in a February 2019 review. My other main feedback is that the AllTrails map information is the best set of trail maps I have seen to show all options for hiking this region otherwise you can end up asking for directions and not getting to the section you hoped to see. I visited in Feb- March 2018 and am returning in Feb-March 2019

hiking
Sat Feb 16 2019

After climbing main trail up to the top plateau went down and to the North where you ind up in lower canyon and have to use existing anchor ropes to repel down some 15 to 20 ft drops . Not for the faint of heart , quite a few people turn around and go back but worth the effort if you can handle it . Amazing tight canyons and trail .

Sun Jan 27 2019

Mecca Wilderness is a must. We went up Painted Canyon down part of Ladder Canyon crossed over to the Ridgeline partway down the Ridgeline crossed over again down into Rope Canyon so we went down instead of up it. A super cool slot canyon. Climbed down 6 ropes, 1 ladder, underneath 2 boulders, over several boulders, you have to jump about 5 foot down one of them. Flew the drone through the super tight canyon.

hiking
Sun Oct 21 2018

This is definitely an exciting, interesting slot canyon and relatively unknown since everyone does ladder canyon. For fun, excitement, beauty, uniqueness, and low traffic, I'd give it 5 stars. It's a great slot canyon. But it's extremely DANGEROUS. The ropes are frayed and poorly maintained. You have to be very athletic (and trusting of the ropes) and have lots of upper body strength. And there are many ropes to climb. One slip and you can be seriously injured. If you broke a leg, it would take hours for help to arrive and hours to get you out of the canyon. Think about it - it would take an hour for your friends to climb to a place where they can call for help, hours for rescue personnel to climb the ropes, and even longer to get your stretcher out (no helicopter rescues here) It's simply not worth the risk for me.

Tue Aug 14 2018

Loved this hike, bring lots of water.

hiking
Sat Jun 30 2018

6/27 95+ degrees. Started at 12pm. 3kids/3adults. Super hot but cool in the shade and inside the canyon. Came to the crawl or climb area into the climb up a rope section. Climbed all and out into the open canyon. Too hot to explore further, not enough water, climbed back down and made it back into 110degree heat. Washroad is a long if u go slow, but patience is better than a broken car part. Bring lots of water and muscles. My 5, 9, 11yr old made it

Wed Apr 04 2018

I absolutely loved this hike. I found the entrance impossible to find. the entrance to rope canyon is about 100 ft from the parking lot on the left behind the group of trees. you follow the wash and then you have to scramble down into a tiny slot canyon. keep going up and under and around until you see the first rope. when you are done with the last rope. It is the longest one. you can turn around or keep going through the was to the top. We were confused as to what way to go in the wash. we just kept to the main wash and it ended and the trail went up loose rocks to the right and put you out on top. then we followed the trail that took you to the main Ladder trail to the radio towers. This hike was so much fun! Check the weather it can be very hot in the desert. These slots are very small compared to the Ladder slots. we had small packs on and had to take them off to fit through some areas.

hiking
Sun Apr 01 2018

This probably my favorite desert hike. We visited early February 2018. We had done the Ladders Canyon and Painted Canyon loop last year. This year we went up Ropes and back down Ladders Canyon. Shorter loop but more challenging. 4 of our group averaged 66 years old. We also had one teenager who kept telling us we could not make it. www.mrturbodoc.com for more info and photographs and descriptions.

hiking
Sat Mar 10 2018

Great trail, definitely take the route up the hill with the rope climbing, well worth it and fun. Then descend using the ladders. Narrow canyon walkways and rope climbs allow for Great pictures.

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