Almost every November finds me in the desert, wandering along ancient trails among ocotillos to remote oases. There is much to see while experiencing the warm enervation of hiking. I'm always searching the distant cliffs and washes for bighorn sheep or Cooper's hawks or Wiley Coyote; but I'm seemingly alone.
One of my favorite places is Painted Canyon, near Mecca, California. It is a popular place for its beautiful slot canyons, washes, and broad vistas - you will find someone there any day of the week. You begin walking up a wash with rock wave walls in red and brown, then ascend a series of ladders through tight slot canyons, ultimately arriving on canyon shoulders overlooking the Salton Sea. Return from the top of the wash back through their serpentine route to the start.