You have read this far so you must be interested in hiking/visiting this site. Don't think further, just get on and do it ASAP. It is well worth while. Speaking as a 70 year old pensioner (in good shape, but not fit in the true sense of the word), & taking my 65 y/o wife on this trek (not quite as agile, and needing a slight hand occasionally), we would say this was an average difficulty hike. But let me give you some more (truely honest) tips to convince you.
1. The Canyon is nowhere near Palm Springs - it is 40m south, near Mecca! The dirt road in (Painted Canyon rd) is not difficult to find.
2. The road in should be no problem for a 2w/d, or it was on the day we went. But take it sensibly of course - keeping away from sandy areas
3. Go all the way in on Painted Canyon Rd (4/5miles?), until you hit the obvious 'dead end'/car park. Leave nothing visible in the car/open glove compartment etc - there have been thefts!
4. Get a map off the internet (they are not that good, but do give you a rough guide of terrain, and distances - do NOT go without one. VERY broadly the main hike route of 2/3 hours involves (using VERY rough measurements) .3m up the main canyon, to take a left into the slot canyon. (As other readers say, there are big stone built arrows to give you directions at crucial points mostly - and this is the first one). Then .2m you come to 2 or 3 ladders. Then some .5m of great deep slot walking, to another ladder (I think?). Then another .5m to a fork. I think you should take the right (we took the left and went a bit too far West I believe - but not a major problem - with a basic map - and some confidence!). Then about .5 after the right fork I believe you would see an obvious route to climb out of the top end of the slot canyon onto a v/g 360 degree view point of the surrounds - and particularly the main deep canyon you started in - to your right. In front of you are radio masts - follow the clear path towards them for about 1m. then there is a clear path off to the right, down into the main canyon. This is the painted canyon - called this because it has different colour bands of sedimentary sandstone rock, and black and white striped gneiss metamorphic rock. These are best seen wet - but that is rare here of course! The 'painted' effect is not the same, or as good, as that at the Painted Hills, John Day in Oregon, but there is no 'slot' in Oregon! From here it is a 2m walk on the canyon riverbed back to the car park.
5. You can do this 'loop' the other way - but I suggest not. The 2m walk on the river bed is on sand/gravel, and hard work - much harder if you go uphill!
6. You only need trainers, though hiking boots are much better.
7. We saw a family of 7 , including a girl of 6 & boy of 7 completing the trek.
So if you are in reasonable shape, adventurous, up for it - you have no excuse - get on with it.
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