Hiking In Painted Canyon

Painted Canyon
Today we accompanied, Bob, Julie & Oland for a a hike of Painted Canyon near Mecca, down the road  towards Salton Sea.  We found the trail head easy enough and were the third vehicle to arrive for a hike today.  The hike is about 5 miles round trip.  We walked the loop in a counter clockwise direction.  This meant we started with about 2 miles of flat sandy trails leading us through some pretty steep canyon walls.  Once we reached the radio tower, we climbed a dirt trail to the top of the canyon which gave us stunning views of Salton Sea in the distance.  Several of the cacti species were beginning to flower but I think most are at least another 2-3 weeks away from peak colors.  We followed the trail along the top of the canyon and eventually turned back down into a very narrow slot canyon on our way back to the trail head.  Some of the drops were steep enough that we had to use the wooden or metal ladders already set in place.  I even had to stow my camera in my backpack once or twice so I had two hands free to climb up or down the ladders.
Flowering Cactus
It was a great day for a hike…..sunny but still cool enough.  We both carried sweaters but they were removed after an hour on the trail.  A couple of bottles of water and some snacks were readily consumed during our breaks.  Julie had a hiking book detailing this hike and many others.  Our hike was rated easy to medium with the option of adding on a harder loop if we wanted.  We were the only hikers we saw doing the loop counter clockwise.  We must have seen another 20 people going around clockwise though.
Octillo Cactus and Painted Canyon
Painted Canyon
Personally, I think our direction was the prettier route to follow as we had Salton Sea and the canyons laid in front of us while we walked along the top of the canyon walls.  Great vistas!  Walking clockwise means you have to always stop and look over your shoulder.  We left home at 8 am and were back before 2 pm.  What a great day!
Hiking in Painted Canyon
One little problem with Phaeton Place last night.  I awoke at 3 am and heard water running outside.  Turns out the crimp fitting on the hot water line to the shower let go, so we had water everywhere in the wet bay and also into one of our storage bays.  I shut the water off right away to prevent further damage and called  Sundance Custom RV.  They are a mobile repair service often seen in RV parks in and around Palm Springs.  They called me on our way to painted canyon and could fit us in later this afternoon.  As it happens, we got home around 2 pm and Sundance arrived before 3 pm.  Kevin’s work was fast and efficient.  Things were back to normal in less than an hour. It will take a few days to dry our the storage bay though.

3 Comments

  1. Chuck and Anneke's RV travels March 2, 2011 at 8:03 pm #

    Great hike. Pictures of the cactus are great!

  2. Brits On Tour March 2, 2011 at 5:46 pm #

    What a great morning hike you all had. Made me quite envious.

  3. Sue and Doug March 1, 2011 at 3:33 am #

    what a great hike and nice views!