One of the features that Joshua Tree National Park is known for is their six California fan palm oases. The oasis in Fortynine Palms Canyon is considered by many to be one of the finest of the six. You don’t have to go through the park entrance to access the trail to this oasis. You drive to the end of Canyon Road, a quiet residential street that intersects with Highway 62 near the western edge of the city of Twentynine Palms, between the West and North entrances to the park. NOTE: You need to keep your eyes open because there is very little signage along this part of the highway, so it is very easy to miss Canyon Road. There is a parking area and vault toilet at the trailhead.
The trail itself is about three miles round trip and took my wife and me (both in our 50s) just over two hours to complete. It is important to BE PREPARED: This is a rocky, fully-exposed trail with significant elevation gain. Water, sunscreen and sturdy shoes are a must; sunglasses and a hat would also be a good idea. You don’t have a be a triathlete or mountain climber to take on this trail, but if you haven’t exercised in a long time you might be better served experiencing the many fine nature trails in Joshua Tree NP.
The trail itself ascends steadily across open, rocky slopes to a ridge overlooking Twentynine Palms. At this point you may think you’re pretty close to the summit, but the path is a little deceptive. You climb a little further and pass over two more ridges before you get your first glimpse of the oasis, still about a half mile away. You then descend across some arid terrain, wind through a group of boulders until you find yourself amid a grove of tall palm trees, and feeling grateful for the shade they provide. It actually looks like there may be 49 palm trees there, but I didn’t bother to count.
Take a break in the refreshing shade of the palms before returning, because you’ll be expending some energy hiking back out of the canyon. All in all, we found this to be a very rewarding hike.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.