Green Stone Side Trail at Painted Canyon Road
This is a moderate loop trail in Mecca Hills Wilderness.
This is not the main "Ladder Canyon" but a nice side trail that gets a little less love because it's a side trail that loops around and adds 5 miles by the time you get back to the main canyon and parking lot. It's amazing because the first two miles have a nice tall ladder and green granite that is just breathtaking. After that it climbs up and out of the canyons, treating the hiker to a panoramic view of the Salton Sea. After that it winds steeply back down through some sketchy trails to the canyon floor, passing a cool cave before reaching the road about 1/4 mile from the parking lot where trail sign is located. My measurement of 5 miles is from my track and not the shortened versioin shown on the Gaia Map here.
As with all desert hikes, bring sun protection, good footwear, and plenty of water. Make sure you've downloaded the route and maps in advance. The trails can be a bit sketchy on the ladder half until you are back into the canyon.
This can be a hike all by itself or an add-on to the ladder canyon hike. Either way, the trail is on the right roughly 1-1/2 miles up the main canyon. A short ladder on the rights leads up some grey granite into the canyon, and you are off!
Painted canyon is a great hike for kids in general with all the climbing and exploring and this one is not different, if it is a bit longer. Doing the main canyon and taking this side trail gave me a total distance of about 8.6 miles. As the trail finishes, dropping back down into the canyons, the route is steep an care should be taken.
As with all desert hikes, good footwear, sun protection and water are key to keeping everyone smiling!
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There are no published trips for this hike. There are 4 private trips.
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