Fortynine Palms Oasis Trail
ElevationAscent: 628' 192 m
Descent: -629' -192 m
High: 3,070' 936 m
Low: 2,725' 831 m
GradeAvg Grade: 8% (4°)
Max Grade: 27% (15°)
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“A trail providing nice views of the surrounding area before descending to an oasis of palm trees.”— David Hitchcock
Leaving from the parking area, the trail immediately begins climbing up the mountain. While sometimes the trail is composed of packed sand and gravel, there are a series of stairs that help climb areas of the mountain. There are large rock formations on either side of the trail at the bottom of the trail that provide opportunities for exploring. In the spring, wildflowers and blooming cactus line the trail. There are plenty of opportunities to stop and see how the desert plants have adapted to the exposed and harsh conditions. As the trail climbs up the mountain, views of the surrounding area, most of which lies beyond the National Park, spread out before you. The trail cuts back on itself before climbing to its highest point at roughly .8 miles. Off in the distance, the first views of the palm trees at the Oasis come into view at the base of the mountain, which is the trail's terminus.
The trail begins to descend at a gentle pace before descending more steeply. You can see the trail stretch out before you as the palm trees peek out from behind a small hill. It is completely exposed as the trail gets rockier as it descends through Forty-nine Palms Canyon. The trail flattens out before it finally arrives at the first set of palm trees, and welcome shade from the sun overhead. You can explore a little bit beyond the palm trees, and there are plenty of opportunities for photos. The National Park Service asks that you not explore underneath the second set of palm trees as it is fragile habitat that provides pools of water, shade, and possibly food for the various wildlife in the park. The shade of the palm trees provides you a great opportunity to drink some water and grab a snack.
Since no trails intersect with this one, the only option at the end of the trail is to return to you car by working your way back along the trail. The same amount of elevation gain is required on the way out, so make sure you have enough water and energy to make the return journey.
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Land Manager: NPS - Joshua Tree National Park