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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