Ladder Canyon – Palm Springs

During our vacation to Palm Springs, my mom offered to watch the kids for us so we could go out to dinner together. Instead of dinner out, we opted to go hiking together!


Ladder Canyon is just a short drive from where we were staying in Indio, Ca. The road to the canyon is quite rough and sandy, so make sure you take a decent car. There is quite a bit of theft in the parking area (as indicated by the piles of broken glass on the ground) so be sure to leave your valuables at home.


The canyons are absolutely amazing to look at and so huge, I couldn’t even fit the entire wall in the picture!

They call it “Ladder Canyon” for a very good reason. There were several sets of ladders that you had to climb up and down during the hike. I was not excited about climbing the tallest ladder (I’m guessing it was about 20 feet high?) but I made it!

The ladders were all in great condition and some looked like they had just recently been replaced. The amazing thing is, I believe this area is maintained solely by volunteers! There actually aren’t a lot of websites with information on this hike, but the Hiking in Palm Springs site seems to give some pretty good updates on the road into the hike and the trail conditions.


In between climbing up ladders, you find yourself weaving through tight crevices of rock. It’s easy to stay on the trail here!

After climbing up out of the canyon, helpful hikers placed rock arrows along the trail to help make sure you don’t get lost. And a smiley face just to brighten your day.


This is the view you are rewarded with at the very top. If only pictures could do it justice.


The trail is a 4.64 mile loop, and on the way back you hike through the Painted Canyon. Also very appropriately named as there are giant granite rocks in beautiful colors all throughout the canyon.


It took us 2.5 hours to complete the hike, The weather was perfect (mid-November) for a desert hike and I would highly recommend you visit in the winter months if possible. Even when hiking in the winter, make sure you bring plenty of water!


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