Painted Canyon is located approximately 15 miles southeast of Indio in Mecca Hills. Painted Canyon is named after the colorful canyon walls that cover the rock formations. Visitors, hikers and other guests will see rocks walls covered in green, brown, pink, red and gray.
The canyon is a favorite place for nature enthusiasts, photographers and scientists. The narrow canyon is actually a part of the 41,000 acre Mecca Hills Recreation Area in California. Painted Canyon was formed due to shifts in the San Andreas Fault.
Besides vegetation such as Palo Verde and Smoke Trees, Painted Canyon is also home to big horn sheep, spotted bats, and desert tortoise. The canyon is easy to reach via automobile as there is a well-groomed road leading right up to the entrance. Once to the entrance guests must walk into a sandy wash that leads to the canyon.
From highway 11 turn right on 66th avenue when at Mecca. The road curves to the left and becomes Box Canyon Road, which turns into a dirt road for approximately three miles until reaching the entrance of the canyon. There are several side roads within the canyon that can be explored on foot.