Summary: This is a nice hike that leads to a hidden and secluded palm oasis. It is similar to what you have seen in Bugs Bunny cartoons, but there wasn't much water when I visited.
I saw tracks and droppings of Desert Bighorn, but none of the elusive beasts.
The hike follows a well trodden path, which is clearly marked at every possible wrong turn. There are posts with arrows which guide you in the event of a wash crossing a wash, plus the footprints are just as useful of a guide.
Some of the hike is through sand. It is a little loose, but not enough to make this a strenuous hike. However, the distance combined with the wash walking (it is minimal) and the steep climb up and down into the canyon make this a moderate adventure.
Although there are nicer areas to hike in Joshua Tree, this destination is a grand one, and recommended at least once.
Trailhead: Take the 10 East from Los Angeles. Continue past Palm Springs and head towards Chiriaco Summit. The turn will be a few miles before you reach the town, and you will see a sign that says Joshua Tree National Park.
This is the South Entrance. Drive for about 7 miles until you come to a junction with Cottonwood Springs Road. You will see the ranger station ahead on your right. Turn right here and park in the parking lot. Here is where you begin your hike. Follow the signs. The trail is well marked.
You can also start at the campground which will add an additional 1.6 miles to your hike round trip.
Or, add the Mastodon Peak and mine side trip and make this a loop hike. (Lat:33.71108 Lon:-115.76191)
Trail Guides for Joshua Tree NP - Lost Palms Oasis and Overlook:
Day Hikers Guide to Southern California
by John McKinney (Olympus Press)
by Tom Sinestra and Ann Marie Brown (Avalon Travel)
On Foot in Joshua Tree National Park
by Patty A. Furbush (M.I. Adventure Publications)
Best Seasons: Fall, Spring, Winter,
User Groups: Hikers,
Ranger Contact: Joshua Tree National Park (760)367-5500
Localhikes Reporter: This hike was submitted by Allen Riedel, who has posted 123 other hikes on this site. To visit this reporters web site, click here.
Trail Reviews Page 1 of 2 Submit your own review
Reviewed by Senen on 3/14/2009
We did this hike yesterday and in spite of getting a bit of a late start, 10:30, the hike wasn't too difficult. I'm a bit out of shape and this hike can be done by anyone in average shape. The hike is exposed the entire way so bring plenty of water even with lower temps. Take your time and enjoy the entire hike, it's well worth it. In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks. John Muir
Reviewed by Cathy on 1/25/2009
I make a point of going on this trail every time I visit Palm Springs. I have done it as a trail run several times. It is my favorite hike/run in the entire Palm Springs/Joshua Treaa area, and I love showing it to friends for the first time, too. It is well marked, and the views are amazing. Spending time at the palm oasis at the end before heading back is a delight. Worth the quarter mile extra hike down into the canyon. Bring pleanty of water and start early, especailly if doing this hike/run in the summer.
Reviewed by Mrprk Meanderer on 1/4/2009
We hiked this yesterday. It was about 65 degrees, sunny, and windy toward the end of the day. Highly recommend giving yourselves 5-6 hours if you want to take your time and enjoy the vistas and plant life. Tack on another 30 minutes if you want to spend an enjoyable lunch in the cool of the oasis. Also recommend visiting the Cholla Cactus garden up the road from the campground if you're new to the area. We found it really enhanced our hike.
Reviewed by Sterling on 11/17/2007
Hiked this in November '07. The sun was brutal and I was glad it wasn't any hotter than about 80 degrees. There was a nice variety of plant life on this trail and amazing rock formations. Lost Palms oasis itself is not as shady and dramatic as the more easily-accessible 49 Palms oasis, but the hike in is much prettier. I would only take kids younger than 12 on this trail if they are physically fit and used to hiking. Wear shoes with good traction!
Reviewed by Stephen on 10/10/2007
Like some of the other reviewers, I was surprised, and relieved, as to how well the trail was marked. I would hike it again. Lots of palm trees out in the middle of the desert...well, it's like something you see in a movie. Pretty cool. We also saw a big horn sheep and some cactus I have not seen before: sort of like a red, rubber playground ball! And yes, shady and cool at the end of the trail. I just got back 2 days ago. The weather was probably about 65 degrees with a nice cool breeze. I would NOT hike this in the middle of the summer, as other reviewers did!
Reviewed by Dan on 3/29/2006
This is a nice hike, but not interesting enough that I'd rush to go again. It would make a nice day hike as long as you bring enough water. The trail itself is well marked, and meanders through rolling hills towards the beginning, transitioning to more rugged rocky spurs and draws as you near the Lost Palms Oasis. The Oasis offers some great shady spots in the bottom where you can have lunch.
Reviewed by Aaron on 3/28/2006
Took this trail on 3/25 and the weather was perfect. This is a very nice walk but a bit more crowded than what I was expecting. The trail is well marked but a few people got off track by not paying attention to the rocks placed across the trail indicating a turn.
Reviewed by Teri Ann on 4/18/2005
I hiked this trail in February 2005, with my son (who is a US Marine) and his friend, who is a beginner hiker. As stated below, I would not recommend this hike for children. However, it was a wonderful hike for us, with the weather in the upper 90's that day. The views were spectacular and we got some wonderful pictures. There were some rough spots, here and there, but I would definitely return to this trail.
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