The hike to Lost Palms Oasis departs from Cottonwood Spring on the east side of Joshua Tree. There is actually a smaller oasis, Cottonwood Springs Oasis, right at the trailhead. From there, the trail heads east on a 7.2-mile round trip track to Lost Palms Oasis.
The short trek to Mastodon Peak can be visited in combination with this hike as they share the same trail for half a mile. Follow the markers for Lost Palms and hike across the desert on coarse sand. In the spring, the wildflower bloom here can be spectacular. The trail leads in and out of various washes over fairly level terrain, before descending through a canyon to a bluff overlooking the oasis.
Nestled between mountains, Lost Palms Oasis is often rated as Joshua Tree’s nicest. From the overlook, a steep path descends to the oasis. Walk among the palms and relish in the shade before returning the way you came. Pack plenty of water and sunscreen (or consider Fortynine Palms Oasis for a shorter oasis hike in Joshua Tree National Park).
To get to the trailhead: From the 10 Freeway, take exit 168 and head north on Cottonwood Spring Road. After 7 miles, turn right before the at Cottonwood Visitor Center and continue 1 mile to the trailhead at road’s end. From within the park, Take Park Blvd to the junction with Pinto Basin Road. Take Pinto Basin Road thirty miles to the Cottonwood Visitor Center, turn east and continue one mile to the trailhead at road’s end.
Trailhead address: Unnamed road off Pinto Basin Road, Joshua Tree National Park, CA 92277
Trailhead coordinates: 33.736992, -115.810888 (33° 44′ 13.17″N 115° 48′ 39.19″W)
This 2.6-mile loop visits a 3,400-foot summit with panoramic views of southeastern Joshua Tree.
This level 0.3-mile nature trail loop explores the plants living on a desert bajada.
|Cholla Cactus Garden|
This quarter-mile loop allows visitors to stroll through an intense concentration of cholla cacti.
|Fortynine Palms Oasis|
The 3-mile round trip hike visits a cool desert oasis.
The 101-site campground is home to a 0.6-mile interpretive trail and endless bouldering and rock climbing opportunities.
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 round trip hike offers summit views from the center of Joshua Tree National Park.
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.
|Lucky Boy Vista|
This level 2.5-mile hike visits a modest overlook at the site of an old mine.
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 round trip trail 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.