There’s no doubt that hiking the American Southwest, attracts amblers from all over the world. Painted Canyon, is located forty miles southeast of Palm Springs, away from all that “Form Follow Function” retro, those swimming pools, the butterfly roofs. This trail offers hikers a serene and peaceful escape.
Flanked by the Mecca Hills and Coachella Valley, Painted Canyon is a tucked-away, less-known hikers paradise that reinforces the ant-like qualities of being human. This is where the San Andreas Fault and other faults once came together to lift the land and create a tortured morphed, and twisted landscape that rivals the surface of the moon. With the Home Depot ladders strategically placed for hikers to climb to various elevated areas, Painted Canyon is a relatively easy hike. The five-mile loop trail takes you from dark narrow gorges to expansive views of the Coachella Valley and the Salton Sea. Vegetation is minimal here. This hike is a geologist’s dream. Rock formation at its best. Start the hike early and take a break from the tangerine orange. Bring lots of water. It’s a dry heat.