Painted Canyon Road

Total Miles


180.82 ft


1.25 Hours

Technical Rating



Best Time

Spring, Fall, Summer

Trail Overview

Painted Canyon is a gorgeous landmark outside of Mecca, California. At the entrance to the road leading to the canyon, there is a warning sign that says "Passable for 4-Wheel Drive Vehicles Only". At the time of the visit, the road was in very good condition, as long as you stay directly on the graded road; it wouldn't be unusual to see passenger cars. If you stray off of the graded road, the conditions can be completely different, with soft, sandy soil and rocky terrain--then 4-wheel drive and recovery gear may be required. Approximately 3.5 miles into the route, there is a pit toilet. Along the canyon, off the side of the road, there is ample dispersed camping. At the end of the road is access to two hiking trails, Rope Canyon Trail and Ladder Canyon Trail. Before attempting either of these hiking trails, you should do research. Painted Canyon Road is a down-and-back route. As with all slot canyons, be extremely wary of rainy conditions and avoid the area. While accessible in the summer, it can get very hot, being in the desert. Be prepared with ample fluids.

Photos of Painted Canyon Road

Painted Canyon Road
Painted Canyon Road
Painted Canyon Road


You may encounter a washboard road, although depending on the timing, it may also be freshly graded. If you stray from the main road, you can encounter soft sand and rocky conditions.

Technical Rating


Status Reports

Brad Barton
Mar 07, 2024
2023 Jeep Wrangler

Access Description

From Mecca, California take 66th Avenue east until it turns into Box Canyon Road. Just after you cross the Coachella Canal, you turn left onto Painted Canyon Road.

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