The cache is located about one mile from the parking area, up Ladder Trail, which is off Painted Canyon. Ladder Trail is a narrow (3' in places!) canyon with 100 to 200 ' high canyon walls. There are 3 to 5 ladders to climb. I have seen 10 year old children take this trail. Take water.
Painted Canyon is in the Mecca Hills of the Orocopia Mountains, about 40 miles South of Palm Springs, CA. To get there from Palm Springs, take I-10 East to HWY 86s to Mecca. Turn left on 4th, cross the RR tracks, turn right on Hammond Rd, left on 66th that turns into Box Canyon Rd. Cross the canal, and turn left on Painted Canyon Rd. This is a dirt road suitable for 2wd cars. Go 5 miles to the end of the road and park.
Box Canyon Rd. goes from Mecca to I-10, then continues on to Joshua Tree National Park. You can also get to Painted Canyon Rd. by taking the Box Canyon Rd. exit from I-10, and drive Southwest to Painted Canyon Rd.
Park at the end of the road and start up Painted Canyon. About 1/2 mile up the canyon, you will see a Ladder Trail sign-stick on the RIGHT side of the Canyon at N33,37.442 W115,59.783. It points across the canyon to the Ladder Trail on the LEFT side. Things gets fun right away ;-)
Your GPS will most likely stop receiving satellite data when in the narrow (!) canyon. Just keep walking up the canyon. Amazing canyon walls here. You will come to a 'Y' in the canyon. Currently there is an arrow made of rocks pointing Left, but we went right at the 'Y'(Shorter walk to the cache this way).
If you go Left, you will encounter 2 more ladders, then come to a ridgetop at a huge rock cairn. Go up the hill to the next cairn and turn right (South) on the intersecting trail,then about 1/4 mile to the cache).
On the way up, my GPS just started working again right about the 'Y'.
After you find the cache, you can return the way you came, or walk North on the trail, then right and down into Painted Canyon, a somewhat longer way back to your car this way. (More caches here and then down another ladder).
Watch your friends up on the trail, there are big drops down to Painted Canyon which is the large canyon to the East.
Have Fun - This is a fun hike!
- N33.61904 W115.99915 = N33,37.142 W115,59.949 Parking
- N33.62406 W115.99646 = N33,37.442 W115,59.783 Ladder Trail
- N33.62586 W115.99656 = N33,37.551 W115,59.794 3rd Ladder
- N33.62742 W115.99429 = N33,37.645 W115,59.658 The Y
- N33.63073 W115.99264 = N33,37.844 W115,59.558 Ridge Top
- N33.63029 W115.99239 = N33,37.818 W115,59.544 The Cache