Chutes and Ladders in the Mecca Hillsphotos

canyonDzrtgrl Niki, her mom, Jenny, and sister, Joyce, are headed to the Mecca Hills for a hiking adventure in Painted and Ladder Canyons. The incredibly colorful and geologically diverse Mecca Hills are probably one of the few positive by-products of the San Andreas Fault. Here, some forty miles southeast of Palm Springs along the east side of Salton Sea, faults associated with the San Andreas have uplifted and folded for your viewing pleasure a rare mix of sediments that date to over 600 million years old. In fact, you can see Precambrian, Tertiary and Quaternary rock formations all in one small area. And the colors of these eroded deposits are worthy of an artist's palette!

The two most popular hikes in this area, and the ones on today's slate, are Painted Canyon and Ladder Canyon. Both hikes involve finding one's way through a maze of small, narrow canyons and sandy washes. Painted canyon, as the name suggests, is the more colorful of the two hikes, but Ladder Canyon is unique in its own way, too. It has ladders! Without being possessed of mad ladderclimbing skills, you'll be glad that the ladders are here! Some are short and some long, some off camber, some stout and some rickety; but they all serve the purpose of getting you in and out of the labyrinth of slot canyons that abound here. It's a blast and you have to experience it to believe it!

Also, a stunning variety of Colorado Desert flora and fauna calls this area home. The wildflower displays are vivid and diverse and there's always a chance of seeing a bighorn sheep, desert tortoise, or any of the multitude of desert inhabitants that scurry, creep, crawl or fly.

If you'd like a preview of the sights and experiences that await you here, just click on the photo link below and join our trio for a day in the Mecca Hills. You'll soon be hooked...and laddered!!


Click here for photos.