The pilot was flying a normal-to-him local tour for a passenger but deviated from that route to “do something a little different” and turned up a canyon that he normally did not fly into. He noticed the terrain was rising, and attempted to climb to clear it. Shortly thereafter, he noticed that the airplane was not going to clear the terrain. He landed straight ahead on the rising, vegetation-covered desert terrain. The passenger sustained minor injuries, while the pilot incurred a skull fracture. The the right wing was bent and crumpled. Estimated density altitude was about 7600 feet.