- With elevations ranging from just above sea level to 1,782 feet, Mecca Hills has been recognized as a unique and colorful region for more than one hundred years. This area is known for its extensive "badlands" formation of highly eroded and deeply incised sedimentary materials. Crossed by the San Andreas Fault Zone, the repeated crustal movements of the earth in this region have created numerous geologic structures, colorful rock surfaces and vivid patterns that amaze and astound visitors.
The Mecca Hills area consists of 43,760 acres of undeveloped desert land that include many canyons, oases, and springs. Some areas that may be found in Mecca Hills include Painted Canyon, Box Canyon, Sheep Hole Oasis, Ladder Canyon, Grotto and Hidden Spring.
Early use of Mecca Hills included habitants of the Cahuilla Tribe. This tribe had a village at the mouth of Painted Canyon until it was washed away by a flood at the turn of the nineteenth century. Following the early use of this area by the Cahuilla Tribe, settlers and traders found Box Canyon to be a logical route from the Coachella Valley to lands east and northward.
Native California Fan Palm oases can be found in Sheep Hole Oasis and Hidden Spring. These palms are only found in areas with a high water table, or seeps. These same waters support seasonal populations of bighorn sheep that have been observed crossing into the Mecca Hills from the Orocopia Mountains. Prairie falcon, desert tortoise and the spotted bat have also been seen here.