The Lost Palms Oasis in Joshua Tree National Park, California.
A rare natural oasis, it is hidden in a steep desert canyon reached
by a four mile trail which winds through a very scenic
desert foothills region.
Although the upper palms (top right in picture) may be glimpsed before this
point, you cannot see the canyon itself until you reach this overlook. It is
indeed a pleasant surprise after walking across the desert.
The main palm grove is a short distance down the trail from the overlook
and continues down the canyon for about 1/4 mile.
The Lost Palms truly lives up to one's imagination of
a desert oasis: running water, lots of shade, soft sandy spots to
rest on under the trees, and breezes wafting through the palm leaves.
The sky is almost always a deep clear blue. A great place for lunch!
(Left), A small group of palms highlighted against the steep
walls of the canyon.
(Right), A group of palms with their "dresses" intact. The trees retain their decor until
a lightning-induced fire burns them off.
The trail from the Cottonwood Springs parking lot crosses a rugged desert
foothill region consisting of hills, cliffs, canyons, and many scenic views.
Joshua Tree National Park contains a transition zone from the Sonoran
Desert in the south to the Mojave Desert in the north. Driving along the
main park road, you will see a startling change in desert landscapes.
The trail is in the southern end of the park and crosses what is known
as the Colorado Branch of the Sonoran Desert. The Colorado Branch is the
area west of the Colorado River. It differs from the main Sonoran Desert
in Arizona in that having very little summer rains, there are no large cacti
such as the Saguaro.