Mountain Palm Springs Trail

Ocotillo, California

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The Mountain Palm Springs area boasts—with some room for disagreement, perhaps—the most charming palm oases in the Anza-Borrego Desert. The palms here are gregarious and grow in dense clusters, often with pools of water at their feet. Some have never been burned: They still hold full skirts of dead fronds around their trunks, the better to serve the local population of rodents and snakes. In late fall and early winter, the sticky, sweet fruit of the palms hangs in great swaying clusters, sought after by birds and the sleek coyotes that prowl up and down the washes. The palm groves are distributed along several small ravines and washes that drain roughly a square-mile area on the east side of the Tierra Blanca Mountains.

Mountain Palm Springs Trail Professional Review and Guide

"The Mountain Palm Springs area boasts—with some room for disagreement, perhaps—the most charming palm oases in the Anza-Borrego Desert. The palms here are gregarious and grow in dense clusters, often with pools of water at their feet. Some have never been burned: They still hold full skirts of dead fronds around their trunks, the better to serve the local population of rodents and snakes. In late fall and early winter, the sticky, sweet fruit of the palms hangs in great swaying clusters, sought after by birds and the sleek coyotes that prowl up and down the washes. The palm groves are distributed along several small ravines and washes that drain roughly a square-mile area on the east side of the Tierra Blanca Mountains."

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Ocotillo
Distance: 2.5
Elevation Gain: 350 feet
Trail Type: Loop/Lollipop
Skill Level: Moderate
Duration: 1.5 hours
Season: October through May
Accessibility: Kid-friendly
Local Contacts: Anza-Borrego Desert State Park
Local Maps: USGS Sweeney Pass
Driving Directions: Directions to Mountain Palm Springs Trail

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May 2018