There is a secluded palm tree oasis on the north end of Joshua Tree National Park. The trail to Fortynine Palms Oasis is located off Park Boulevard, which reduces the number of hikers this trail receives. The trail has its own access road into the park with no ranger station, which is an added bonus for anyone passing through the high desert and wanting to go on a great hike without paying an entrance fee. From the trailhead to the oasis is 3 miles round trip with 350 feet of elevation gain, and a variety of desert scenery.
The trail heads uphill from the start on a well maintained single track. Each step increases the view of the surrounding desert. Red Barrel cacti line the trail. At the half way point, the trail begins descending toward the oasis. Palm trees appear in the distance, looking bizarrely out of place. They were planted by miners to mark the spring that now irrigates the trees.
Sit beside the pools, in the shadow of the palms and ponder what it must have been like back then, wandering through the desert with an empty canteen. Bring a picnic lunch and listen to the birds chirp at this out-of-place oasis. This three mile venture is a great desert hike (even if there are no actual Joshua trees to be seen).
To get to the trailhead: From inside the park, exit the north entrance and make a left on Route 62. Drive 5 miles through the city of Twentynine Palms (They love counting palm trees in the desert) and turn south on Canyon Road. Drive 1.7 miles to the parking lot at road’s end.
Trailhead address: Fortynine Palms Canyon Road, Joshua Tree National Park, Twentynine Palms, CA 92277
Trailhead coordinates: 34.119319, -116.111982 (34° 07′ 09.54″N 116° 06′ 43.13″W)
You may also view a regional map of surrounding California Desert trails and campgrounds.
The 101-site campground is home to a 0.6-mile interpretive trail and endless bouldering and rock climbing opportunities.
This 5.5-mile hike summits a peak with impressive views over the west side of Joshua Tree.
|High View Nature Trail|
This 1 1/3-mile loop climbs a ridge on the west side of the park that offers views of San Gorgonio Mountain and Yucca Valley, along with an introduction to desert plants.
This 3.9-mile hike ascends 700 feet up a wash, a canyon, and an old road to a mountainside mine site that offers a glimpse into the mining history of Joshua Tree.
|Lucky Boy Vista|
This level 2.5-mile hike visits a modest overlook at the site of an old mine.
|Desert Queen Mine|
This 1.6-mile hike follows a level trail to an overlook before crossing a canyon to visits the ruins of one the most profitable gold mines in the California desert.
|Wall Street Mill|
This level 1.55 to 2.15-mile hike visits a well-reserved gold mill, exploring the mining history of Joshua Tree National Park.
This level 1.5-mile loop visits a small foreign-looking reservoir within the Wonderland of Rocks.
|Lost Palms Oasis|
This 7.2-mile hike visits a desert oasis nestled between mountains in the southeast corner of the park.
This 2.6-mile loop visits a 3,400-foot summit with panoramic views of southeastern Joshua Tree.
|Cholla Cactus Garden|
This quarter-mile loop allows visitors to stroll through an intense concentration of cholla cacti.
This one mile loop circles the interior of a small valley surrounded by tall rocks that serves as an excellent bouldering arena.
This 3-mile hike offers summit views from the center of Joshua Tree National Park.
This 1.2-mile hike leaves the crowds at Keys View for even grander views at a 5,550-foot summit that looks out on the Coachella Valley, the Salton Sea, Mount San Jacinto, and much of Joshua Tree National Park.
|Lost Horse Mine|
This 4-mile hike visits a well-preserved mine and mill.
|Hikes in the California Desert|
Explore more trails in Death Valley National Park, Joshua Tree National Park, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, and Mojave National Preserve.
|Joshua Tree Campgrounds|
There are nine campgrounds with 500 total sites spread throughout the park to facilitate your visit.
|Joshua Tree Wildflowers|
The desert in bloom is something any outdoor enthusiast in California should see.