Monday, February 1, 2016

Palm Springs Day 3 Lost Palms Oasis

The Lost Palms Oasis Trail in Joshua Tree National Park was on my to-do list of hikes during my previous visit here to Palm Springs but it was closed due to damage from flooding.  With it now being on my "to-do this time" list, this was the day to see what all the hype is about here.  My only concern was keeping control of the car on the highway during the high wind gusts which were part of that "desert storm" continuing into today.  It was an hours worth of a straight forward drive, white knuckle at times, to the Cottonwood Visitor Center.  I paid my dues, got my passport stamped and then drove to the trail head.

The forecast called for a little more than shorts and short sleeve shirt so I came prepared.  They say it is always cooler in this Park and it was, but the sun was out with a few scattered fluffy white clouds, and that made for perfect for me.  This cluster of palms at the start of the hike were a welcoming sight.
After a little bit of hiking through the beginning palms and then down stone stairs, the views opened up and they were nonstop from here on in.  The sand felt nice beneath my boots, the sun warmed me up and I was getting lost, not physically, on the Lost Palms Oasis Trail.
                     happy once again being right smack dab in the middle of the desert
    lots of geology facts for this area being right on the Andreas Fault, I just like looking at it
                                         perched on some of that geology
                                          the ocotillo plant and its' shadow
Near the far end of the Lost Palms Oasis Trail before descending into the oasis, there was a splendid view of the Salton Sea backdropped by the San Jacinto Mountains.  
                   It was a rough, scrabbly & scrambly at times descent into the Oasis.  
                                        the sun sits perfectly behind the palm leaves
                                       I picked this spot to capture my destination shot.  
                                                These trees are humongous!  
I stayed a little while down in the Oasis and worked my way along the floor of it.  I could have gone further but there was no one else there, some sections were a little sketchy so thought I would play it safe.  I ascended that rough route and arrived back up on top and took time to admire yet another far off sight.
I have come to thoroughly enjoy hiking through washes.  A part of the wash here was rocky but I like this section that was colourful and weedy and bushy and sandy and winding.
                                             colourful cactus along the trail
                                                         a fine desert view
               The end is now near so I lingered a little longer enjoying the sand & shadows.
This hike deserves all that hype I heard.  As I was on the return portion of the hike lots of folks were heading in.  By now the winds had picked up considerably and it was much cooler.  I was happy to have hiked earlier avoiding the winds and having full ownership.  Distance, elevation and time were all perfect for me today making this hike a fulfilling and rewarding adventure.


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