Lost Palms Oasis Trail

Chiriaco Summit, California 92201

Lost Palms Oasis Trail

Lost Palms Oasis Trail Professional Review and Guide

"From the outset, the scenery is spectacular; the outcroppings of granite boulders are imposing and beautiful. There is an abundance of rocky washes, ridges, small canyons, and the looming rock formations that line the mesa. The trail stays on a high plateau that descends alongside the ravine and crosses several washes."

More Lost Palms Oasis Trail Professional Reviews and Guides

"Roll over hills dotted with spiky yuccas, ocotillos, and cactus before dropping into the lush Lost Palms Oasis. Home to the largest stand of fan palms in Joshua Tree National Park, the Lost Palms Oasis is a refreshing reward for hikers on this 7.4-mile desert trek. Starting near the southern border of the park at Cottonwood Spring Trailhead, the hike climbs to the
Hsoutheast through scrub-covered desert.

Watch for hummingbirds that dart around the surrounding yuccas, chollas, and ocotillos. (In early summer, red f;ower clusters adorn the tips of the ocotillo plants.) Massive boulder piles and rocky gullies become more common as the trail nears Lost Palms Oasis. At mile 2.3, turn right into a wash and follow the sandy trail through a mazelike wall of rocks. Next, descend into a small canyon lined with gullies and gorges and continue hiking southeast."

"This excellent, view-filled hike in the southeast reaches of the park leads you across the west slopes of the Eagle Mountains to an extensive grove of California fan palms in a rugged, granite-bound canyon. In a remote canyon in the southeast corner of Joshua Tree National Park is Lost Palms Oasis. With more than one hundred California fan palms crowding the canyon for 0.5 mile, this is the most extensive oasis in the park. The trail is well marked and easy to follow, but the only shade you will find is in Lost Palms Canyon beneath the palms."

"Lost Palms Oasis showcases Joshua Tree National Park at its best. The trail leads you across cactus-clad hills before plunging into a deep canyon studded with the park’s trademark quartz monzonite boulders that conceal the largest stand of California fan palms in the park. Lost Palms is in a day-use area; camping is prohibited."

"The Lost Palms Oasis hike showcases Joshua Tree National Park at its best. You will hike across cactus-covered hills on a clearly marked and well-kept trail. The oasis, hidden in a deep canyon studded with trademark Joshua Tree quartz monzonite, is home to the largest stand of California fan palms in the park. Lost Palms is in a day-use area; no camping is allowed."

"This is a dry, high hike with no protection from sun and wind. It is a heavily signed route, with arrows at every bend and every washcrossing, and even mileage posts. The trail follows the up-and-down topography of the ridge-and-wash terrain. At each ridge, one hopes to spot the oasis ahead, particularly if it is a hot and sunny day. Not until the final overlook will such hopes be realized. And after crossing numerous ridges, descending rocky paths to narrow canyons, and winding up to more ridges, it is a welcome sight! This is the largest group of California fan palms in Joshua Tree National Park, and they are majestic. The oasis is a day-use only area to protect bighorn sheep access to water; you may be lucky enough to spot one of the elusive animals on the rocky slopes above the oasis. A moderate out-and-back day hike to an oasis, or an extended trip to Victory Palms."

Lost Palms Oasis Trail Reviews

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Lost Palms Oasis is the longest listed day hike (7.1 miles) in Joshua Tree National Park, taking you from one palm oasis to another, only 9 miles from I-10. (Date hiked: February 16, 2013.) Read full write-up at: http://www.greeneadventures.com/2013/04/26/lost-palms-oasis-in-joshua-tree-national-park-the-longest-day-hike-in-the-park/
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This trail takes you through several different landscapes of the Colorado Desert. You cross through several sandy washes, rolling hills, pass through narrow canyons only 5-6 ft wide, and finally end in the deep oasis at the end. There are lots of different plant species and native Indian artifacts that dot the trail. I enjoyed it, but, like every other trail in the park, it was very busy.
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If you are not camping at Hermit Gulch the walk up to the trailhead from Avalon is about 1.5 miles. We got an early morning start to avoid the sun for the initial climb up the mountainside. It was foggy but very cool. We saw many deer on this hike both at a distance and close up. We surprised one on the trail, I don't think it expected anybody to be around at 7:30 A.M. The one mile walk to the Point from Divide Road is rollercoaster like and tiring. The sun came out and burned off the fog just as we arrived at Lone Tree Point. The view was fantastic, you can see both ends of the island and Mount Orizaba. On a clear day it would be spectacular. On the way back we were treated to some great views of Avalon Harbor. The hike terminated at the Wrigley Botannical Gardens where we caught a shuttle back to Avalon. We did not see another soul during our entire time on the well marked trails. I think this hike should have been rated three stars, it is not as easy as it sounds and it would be even more difficult if you start it after the sun comes up. But if you crave isolation and great panoramic vistas give this one a go.
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Being from the midwest, I thought this trail was spectacular. The scenery was great and the anticipation of finding the oasis is fun. Once you arive, you really appreciate a wonderful view. You can walk down into the cool valley/oasis for as long a hike as you want. The trail has a great variety ... walk on ledges, in canyons, in streambeds, etc. It is moderately strenuous and you need to bring water.
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It would have been helpful to know how many miles from the boat it was to the trail head. When you get off the boat at 10:45 and have to return at 4:00, it only gives you 5 hours to walk the 2+ miles to the trail head and then you need 3 hours for the trail. I would have loved to hike this trail; however, the group I was with insisted on eating lunch right away so there was not enough time for the hike. My recommendation is to go only with hiking buddies, and take your lunch with you. Also be prepared for hiking in a very humid climate and bring sun screen.

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Trail Information

Chiriaco Summit
Nearby City
900 feet
Elevation Gain
Trail Type
Moderate to Difficult
Skill Level
5 hours
Late fall to early spring
3,100 feet
Trailhead Elevation
3,475 feet
Top Elevation
Joshua Tree National Park
Local Contacts
USGS Cottonwood Spring
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Sep 2018