Fortynine Palms Oasis

Gradual uphill and down through sunny foothills, to reach a hidden oasis with clear water and shade.

Hiking Moderate

Distance
4.9 km
Ascent
203 m
Descent
203 m
Duration
1-2 hrs
Low Point
829 m
High Point
938 m
Gradient
VIEW ON MAP
Fortynine Palms Oasis Map

Description

This hike is outside the main park area, but is easy to reach from the town of Twentynine Palms, and doesn’t require paying the park entry fee, so it remains popular. The trail leads through hilly foothills to a remote canyon, containing an unexpected natural oasis with shady palm trees.

From the parking lot, the trail goes uphill at first, on a sandy and rocky path. It’s a bit rough in places, but well-kept and easy to follow. It crosses boulder-strewn hillsides, with nothing but low vegetation. There are no Joshua trees, but you’ll notice many plump barrel cacti, which are quite eye-catching when they bloom in spring.

After some time uphill, the trail turns a corner and traverses a hillside, with expansive views of the desert valley below. Soon it comes to a ridgeline and tips downward, and the green enclave of the oasis becomes visible ahead. A downhill stretch leads to it, and once there, you’ll finally find respite from the sun.

The oasis is a miraculous spot, with clear pools of water among angular boulders, sheltered by tall fan palms. The trees, many of which exceed 30 feet, do not grow there naturally, but were supposedly planted by miners to mark and shade the water source. The oasis makes an excellent spot for a lunchtime picnic. If you’re there on a quiet morning or evening, you have a chance at spotting wildlife like bighorn sheep that come to drink.

Sources: https://www.nps.gov/jotr/planyourvisit/upload/49sitemap.pdf https://www.justgotravelstudios.com/blogs/just-go-travel-blog/just-go-to-joshua-tree-national-park-hiking-the-fortynine-palms-oasis-trail

Difficulty

Moderate

Hiking along trails with some uneven terrain and small hills. Small rocks and roots may be present.

Medium Exposure

2 out of 4

The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.

Remoteness

2 out of 4

Away from help but easily accessed.

Best time to visit

January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December

Features

  • Wildlife
  • Historical
  • Picturesque
  • Wild flowers
  • Water features
  • Family friendly
  • Forestry or heavy vegetation

Guidebooks in this area