This is a very popular brief hike in the Twentynine Palms area on the north side of Joshua Tree National Park. During the three mile round trip one is rewarded with a beautiful and stunning oasis of palm trees amidst an arid desert landscape.
From the trailhead (2,680’) at the end of the Fortynine Palms Canyon Road a well-marked, rocky trail leads up Pioneer Canyon to a high point on the ridge. From that elevation you can see Twentynine Palms to the north. After that point the trail curves to the right and you have a first glimpse at the oasis, that lies less than mile ahead down in a rocky gorge. The sight of the green fan palm grove in that harsh, arid, and rocky environment is simply amazing. On the way to the oasis barrel cacti dot the slopes. The lush oasis itself (2,760’) is a habitat for numerous birds and one can rest next to puddles and small ponds under a canopy of shade. From the oasis one can explore the Fourtynine Palms Canyon further to the south, where sometimes bighorn sheep can be seen. The hike to the oasis and back is about 3 miles with an elevation gain of about 500 feet. Hikers should stay on the trail to protect the extremely fragile vegetation in the desert. The area is open only for day-hikes to further protect fauna and flora.
From Twentynine Palms drive about 5 miles west on Twentynine Palms Highway to the Fortynine Palms Canyon Road exit. Go about 2 miles south on Fortynine Palms Canyon Road to the parking area and trailhead.
Water, water, and water again.