Hike The 49 Palms Oasis Trail

Hike the 49 Palms Oasis Trail

In This Guide
  • Video and Turn by Turn Directions to 49 Palms Oasis
  • Parking for the 49 Palms Oasis Trail
  • Everything You Need to Know to Prepare for the Hike
Distance3 miles (4.8 km)
Hike Time1.5-2.5 Hours (Total)
Difficulty (?)Moderate
Total Ascent (?)700 feet (213m)
Highest Elevation3,080 feet (939m)
Fees & PermitsPark Entry Fee
Dog FriendlyNo
Park Website (?)Joshua Tree National Park
Park Phone760-367-5500
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This hike on the 49 Palms Oasis Trail takes you to a pristine fan palm oasis, tucked into a hidden desert valley. The trail to 49 Palms Oasis is well-maintained and easy to follow, and along the way, you’ll enjoy some great views as you climb the ridge on the way to the oasis. After 1.5 miles, you reach the grove of towering fan palms, fed by a cool spring that is a favorite watering hole for  bighorn sheep. 49 Palms Oasis is a perfect place for a snack and rest as you take in the spectacular scenery.

Where is the 49 Palms Oasis Trail?

The 49 Palms Oasis Trail is one of the hikes that doesn’t require you to go through a park entrance gate, although it is still in the park. To get to the trailhead, you’ll drive through the neighborhoods of Twentynine Palms, just south of the main drag on CA-62. Use this trailhead address:
Fortynine Palms Oasis Trail, Fortynine Palms Canyon Rd, Twentynine Palms, CA 92277

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The parking lot is big, but it’s a popular hike, and the lot can fill up quickly.

You need to display your parks pass or entry receipt on your dashboard. This hike is within Joshua Tree National Park.

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There is a primitive toilet at the trailhead.

Gear for the Hike

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There’s a thermometer at the trailhead to warn you about high temperatures. Even though the trail is minutes from civilization, the hike is still in the desert and conditions can be extreme. Prepare accordingly.

Don’t let the short distance of this hike fool you. There’s a decent amount of climbing, both on the way to 49 Palms Oasis and then back. And there’s no shade or cover until you reach the palms. Bring at least 1L of water and prepare for the heat and sun. The best time to do this hike is sunrise. The temperature will be cool and you’ll beat the crowds.

Hiking boots with cuffs will help keep the sand and debris out of your feet. If you have trekking poles handy, they will help you during the climbs and descents.

There are a disproportionate amount of rescues on the 49 Palms Oasis Trail because people overestimate their physical condition and get in trouble. If you are not experienced in climbing 700 feet in the desert, try a different hike in Joshua Tree.

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La Sportiva Spire

The La Sportiva Spire boots feel like comfortable sneakers but offer the protection of hiking boots. They’re great on everything from short hikes to longer hikes of 10+ miles. You don’t want to skimp on your feet.
Reviews & Lowest Prices: WomenMen

Opsrey Stratos Blue

I test a lot of gear, and for short to medium day hikes, travel, and everyday use, the Osprey Stratos (men) and Osprey Sirrus (women) are consistently the best. They’re lightweight, hold a hydration bladder to make drinking water easy, have lots of pockets to organize gear, and most importantly, are incredibly comfortable. Check out the reviews; they are impressive.
Reviews & Colors Here: Osprey Stratos (men) and Osprey Sirrus (women) 

Garmin Inreach Mini Beacon

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.

49 Palms Oasis Trail Maps

Click To View Map

Hike the 49 Palms Oasis Trail Map Downloads

Download the Hike GPX File

View a Printable PDF Hike Map

Fenix 6 Pro

I’m a big fan of GPS watches to follow my GPX track (which I also use as a sleep, wellness, and fitness tracker) and my current watch is the Fenix 6 Pro Solar (full review here). I load my GPX tracks onto the watch to make sure I’m in the right place, and if not, the onboard topo maps allow me to navigate on the fly. It’s pricey but it has a great battery, accurate GPS, and tons of functionality. If you want something similar without the maps and big price tag, check out the Garmin Instinct which is a great buy (prices on REI and Amazon) and does a lot of the same things.

Elevation Profile

Hike The 49 Palms Oasis Trail Elevation
This is the elevation profile for the one-way trip to the oasis. You’ll have to climb the ridge, then descend to the oasis. On the way back, you have to do it in reverse. So there’s a climb every time.

3d Map

Hike The 49 Palms Oasis Trail 3d Map
You’ll climb about 300 feet from the parking lot, then make a gradual descent down to 49 Palms Oasis.

49 Palms Oasis Hike Directions

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Video Directions

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Turn by Turn Directions

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Look for the trail board and toilets at the end of the parking lot. That’s where the hike starts.
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A sign marks the beginning of the trail. Hike straight through.
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The beginning of the hike is a well-worn path that goes gradually uphill.
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And then the path starts to get steeper.
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And eventually you’ll be climbing switchbacks up the rocky hill, all the way up to the ridge.
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The trail mellows out as it approaches the top of the ridge. You’ll have nice views down to the left into Twentynine Palms.
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One last rocky stretch until you get to the top of the ridge.
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At the top, hike right and avoid the little use trail to the left.
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Just after this point you’ll be able to spot the fan palms at 49 Palms Oasis poking out of the valley.

The palm trees were actually planted by miners in the early 1900s to help them spot the location of the natural spring that is also found here.

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The trail starts to meander down the hill and is easy to follow.
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As you descend you’ll get even more views of 49 Palms Oasis in the distance.
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The descent is gradual, which is good news when you come back up.
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On this final stretch, you’ll be going down the valley and to the left.
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At this small split with a use trail, bear to the left.
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Soon you’ll see the oasis in front of you.
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Hike through the first area of palms.
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It’s important that you stay on the trails. The desert environment is a fragile one and life often takes years to recover from disruption.
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And here you are, 49 Palms Oasis! Please stay on the trail and boulders and don’t enter the palm tree area. People have gone in there and carved their names on the trees, which is really sad. Keep your eyes and ears open for the abundant wildlife that visit the oasis.

When you are done enjoying the oasis, head back the way you came to finish the hike!

Did something change on this hike? If so, please contact me and let me know. I'll update the guide.