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Lost Palm Oasis, CA

Guide 10 Triplogs  0 Topics
  4.3 of 5 
124 10 0
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Difficulty 2 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance Round Trip 7.6 miles
Trailhead Elevation 3,006 feet
Elevation Gain 500 feet
Accumulated Gain 1,150 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 5-6 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 13.35
Interest Seasonal Creek
Backpack No
Dogs not allowed
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Photos Viewed All Mine Following
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10  2017-03-15 Jim_H
26  2016-02-07
Joshua Tree NP
8  2015-04-08 rvcarter
44  2012-05-04
Mastadon Peak
14  2012-04-25 gummo
22  2011-05-21 gummo
Author Jim_H
author avatar Guides 61
Routes 57
Photos 8,538
Trips 1,871 map ( 11,215 miles )
Age 42 Male Gender
Location Marana, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Mar, Nov, Feb, Apr → 9 AM
Seasons   Early Autumn to Late Spring
Sun  5:31am - 5:42pm
Official Route
0 Alternative

Lost Palm Oasis: Found!
by Jim_H

HAZ Patch
I'm of the opinion that Palm Oasis are one of the most interesting natural features of inland southern California. Some are hard to get to, like Mortero Palms. Some are very easy to get to, like Mountain Palm Springs, or Borrego Palm Canyon. This one is moderate, as access is paved, but there is a 7 and 1/2 mile round trip hike. However, in an often crowded national park, that hike distance thins the heard and lends itself to some solitude at times of year with the nicest of weather, when in the oasis.

Leaving from Cottonwood Springs, pass through the lovely oasis vegetation of tall palms and cottonwoods. Pass the intersection for the loop to Mastodon Peak, and continue on this lovely trail all the way to the Oasis. Along the way, you'll enjoy fantastic upper Colorado (Sonoran) Desert scenery, views of boulder fields in the Eagle Mountains, and distant desert vistas. You might look back and catch a glimpse of San Gorgonio, but probably not San Jacinto, above some of Joshua Tree National Park's Little San Bernardino Mountains. If in winter or spring of a good year, San Gorgonio will be snow covered. A small portion of this hike follows a sandy wash, but most is on the uplands.

Nearing the end of the trail, a sign indicates your destination below, just before your final descent to the Lost Palm Oasis. Explore the oasis, stay on rock as much as possible to avoid vegetation and soil compaction, and do your best to protect the oasis ecosystem by not damaging plants, water sources, or other features. The trail is marked with mileage signs, and at the end of the oasis, just past the last of the palms, mile marker "4" is on the south slope. Return the way you came, and enjoy!

At the time of this writing, near the lower end of the oasis, a different kind of palm has been seeded in, most likely by human (not me) sources. A true date palm of about 3 or 4 years of age, is currently growing. In time, this may get larger and become an addition to the oasis, or the NPS may correctly choose to remove it as an exotic species. Date palms are dioecious, and are either male or female. This is probably a seed from one of the local Medjol Dater Palm orchards, brought in during someone's lunch, and growing after being left behind. A single date palm, being male or female, will be unable to reproduce in this isolated location. However, it can create a small colony by pupping, or growing side stems from near the ground.

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2017-03-17 Jim_H
    WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

    Permit $$

    Joshua Tree National Park
    7-Day Vehicle Permit: $25 View Fees

    Map Drive
    Paved - Car Okay

    To hike
    From Palm Springs, CA, take I-10 east to exit 168. From Phoenix, AZ, take I-10 west to exit 168 in California. This is the signed exit for Joshua Tree National Park, and is the Box Canyon Rd, or Cottonwood Springs Rd. Drive north on Cottonwood Springs Road towards the Cottonwood Visitor Center. Just before the visitor center, turn east (right) on to Cottonwood Oasis Road. Follow this to it's end, parking and the obvious signed trailhead.
    page created by HAZ_Hikebot on Mar 17 2017 11:54 am
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