Monday, November 23, 2009

The Ultimate Canyon


Ladder Canyon in the Mecca Hills is a classic desert hike and a great place to take kids. That's one reason I've taken them there. There are about a million other hikes in the Mecca Hills and there's one hike that I think is perfect for kids. It's interesting, beautiful and not too long.

Although the Ultimate Canyon hike starts at the Ladder Canyon parking area it is not very heavily traveled. There were at least 10 cars in the parking area but I was the only one in the canyon when I went there.

Instead of going to the Ladder Canyon or the main canyon to the NW, head to the smaller canyon about 285ยบ NW of the parking area.

The beginning looks like this.

As you get further in the canyon it narrows and the walls are probably 80-100 feet high in sections.

There are fun little passages for kids to run around although I stay in the main canyon. I'll have plenty of passages later.

You'll have this short 4-5 dry fall to climb and then you'll need to take an immediate left.

You'll then come upon this part where the canyon has collapsed upon itself leaving two small places to squeeze through, one low and one high. I choose high but wonder if it's a good idea.

Probably not.

It doesn't get any better from here.

OK, after one more tight squeeze I get to where I can actually see the sky again.

A bit further on is another tight squeeze but I can do this one standing up. Of course, I don't know if I'll be able to fit after dinner on Thanksgiving. It's really tight.

At the end of the canyon is a dry fall about ten feet tall. In another canyon nearby a ladder would be here but nobody's been able to squeeze a ladder back here. It is climbable but one should always remember that it is always much harder to come down something than to climb it. This is a good turnaround spot.

This is but one of tons of little canyons to explore in the Mecca Hills but it's a great one to bring the kids. To them, it will be the Ultimate.

No comments: