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“Rated 22 - Rubbish - it should be No 1”
Review of Painted Canyon

Painted Canyon
Ranked #15 of 118 things to do in Palm Springs
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: A variety of colors paint the rocks here, giving this unique location its name.
Level 5 Contributor
60 reviews
52 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 147 helpful votes
“Rated 22 - Rubbish - it should be No 1”
Reviewed 10 December 2013

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.

Visited December 2013
15 Thank Tessaanddennis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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141 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Ladysmith, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Break ins ruin the hike”
Reviewed 26 November 2013

A wonderful hike but several cars were broken into the day we went. Our hiking club is considering leaving a person behind in the parking lot to guard the cars!
One car had its glove compartment open to show that it was empty, this car was not broken into.

Visited November 2013
5 Thank blacklicorice
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kamloops, Canada
Level 6 Contributor
714 reviews
234 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 284 helpful votes
“WOW- is all I can say.”
Reviewed 23 April 2013

you know that feeling you get, when you have done something the first time, and you know, you will never do it again, and its just outside you're comfort zone, and its very sensory and you really can't describe in words how you feel or find words that could explain the experience.
Well, that is how I feel about the hike today. Take plenty of water. Make sure you have good, comfortable shoes. Wear a hat. Sunglasses. Camera. Take your time.
Its definitely a hikers paradise. We certainly enjoyed the time, and even though, it was around 100 F , we made it to the top !

Visited April 2013
4 Thank rocketman000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Irvine, California
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Very nice, but beware of car breakins”
Reviewed 14 April 2013

Our first time, very nice canyons with easy climbing.

When we got back to the parking lot, one of the other cars (big SUV) had its driver's side window shattered and all money, phone etc stolen from it - sad way to end such a beautiful hike.


Visited April 2013
7 Thank hudel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vancouver, Canada
Level 5 Contributor
84 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“Worth the effort”
Reviewed 8 April 2013

It's a great place to hike if you want to challenge yourself, the ladders aren't as scary as they sound, just make sure that you have a partner in case you need a little "boost" or lift. I am glad I did it, it gets hot there so early morning is the best.

Visited November 2012
2 Thank asha d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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