Hike Lost Palms Oasis Trail
|In This Guide|
|Distance||7.4 miles (11.9 km)|
|Hike Time||3-4 Hours (Total)|
|Total Ascent (?)||700 feet (213m)|
|Highest Elevation||3,460 feet (1055m)|
|Fees & Permits||Park Entry Fee|
|Park Website (?)||Joshua Tree National Park|
|Stay In Touch||Newsletter - Instagram - YouTube - Facebook|
Hiking the Lost Palms Oasis Trail in Joshua Tree National Park is a unique experience. The trail is in the southern part of the park, which has more of a Sonoran Desert feel than the majority of hikes in the northern part of the park. You won’t see any Joshua Trees on the Lost Palms Oasis Trail, but you will see the park’s largest grove of California fan palm trees, tucked into a hidden canyon. There are no big climbs as you make your way over the ridges and washes through the desert. It’s a fun desert hike that’s worth your time.
Where Is The Lost Palms Oasis Trail?
The Lost Palms Oaisis Trail is in the southern part of Joshua Tree National Park and uses the Cottonwood Spring parking area as the trailhead. Parking can get crowded quickly. Arrive at sunrise for the best hike (and parking!) experience.
Use this trailhead address:
Cottonwood Spring, Lost Palms Oasis Trail, Twentynine Palms, CA 92277
Instead of paying the park entry fee, just get a National Parks Pass.
There is no backcountry camping in this section of the park because it’s a protected area for bighorn sheep. If you want to camp, you can stay at Cottonwood Campground.
Gear for the Hike
The hike to Lost Palms Oasis takes a few hours through the desert, so prepare accordingly. I wear regular hiking gear, carry 3L of water, and have hiking boots. I also recommend a GPS unit with this hike’s GPX file loaded (available below) in case you get confused or lost. Don’t do this hike in the hot summer months. There is no shade or protection from the sun.
I try a lot of hiking boots and shoes, and there are some great options out there, but the La Sportiva Spire is the best combination of comfort, protection, low-weight, and durability. They are waterproof, and the high cuff keeps debris out without the need for a gaiter. Time tested over thousands of miles. Use them with a two-layer sock system to end blisters for good.
Reviews & Lowest Prices: Women – Men
On a medium or longer hike I recommend a pack like the Osprey Talon 33 (men) or Osprey Sirrus 36 (women) which is a little bit larger. These packs are on the upper end of the (35L) daypack range, but they only weigh a small fraction more than a pack with less capacity. Having the extra space gives you more flexibility and means you don’t have to jam things in there. I use the space for things like extra layers in the winter, extra water on desert hikes, and even a tent & sleeping bag on overnights.
If you’re not familiar with the Garmin InReach technology, it allows you to send and receive text messages where you don’t have cell phone signals. You can also get weather reports and trigger an SOS to emergency responders. Even if you don’t have an emergency, sending a quick message telling a loved one that you’re okay or are running late is well worth the cost. The Mini fits in your palm and weighs next to nothing. Read my review and see the lowest prices and reviews at REI (or Amazon).
Here’s my complete gear list that I personally use, have tested, and recommend, updated March 2020.See All of My Best Gear Picks Here
No company pays me to promote or push a product, all the gear you see here is gear I use and recommend. If you click an a link and buy gear, I get a small commission that helps offset website expenses. There is no cost to you.
Lost Palm Oasis Trail Maps
The trail to Lost Palm Oasis is marked and maintained by the Parks Service. There are signs along the route, and there are also stones that block off side trails. Make sure you pay attention to the route. When you hike back, you’ll have to do it in reverse, and it’s easy to take an incorrect trail mistakingly. And again, having a GPS will be helpful as you make your way across the desert.
Hike Lost Palms Oasis Trail Map Downloads
Download the Hike GPX File
View a Printable PDF Hike Map
Lost Palms Oasis Trail Hike Directions
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Turn By Turn Directions
From here, just hike back the way you came.
Did something change on this hike? If so, please contact me and let me know. I'll update the guide.