49 Palms Canyon Trail

49 Palms Canyon Trail, Joshua Tree National Park: Address, Phone Number, 49 Palms Canyon Trail Reviews: 4.5/5

49 Palms Canyon Trail

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135 reviews
Very good

San Jose, CA1,591 contributions
Hike to an oasis
Feb 2021
This trail is rated as strenuous by the National Park Service, but it’s really more of an easy to moderate trail, as long as it’s not extremely hot out. It’s a wide, flat, easy to climb trail with stone staircases to make the climb even easier, but there’s no shade at all until you reach the oasis. The oasis at the end is rather small, especially in comparison to the ones at Indian Canyons, and there are signs to keep hikers out of it. The trail ends at some rocks, and it was hard to turn around here while still social distancing.

I especially enjoyed the climb up because of the views looking down on the towns of Joshua Tree and Twentynine Palms. Mask usage on the trail was good- about 95%, and hikers often stopped off trail to let other hikers pass safely.
Written 23 February 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Ryan & Katy Smilko
San Jose, CA240 contributions
Literally a secluded oasis in the desert!
Aug 2020 • Couples
Nestled out on the eastern side of the park, is an oasis in the middle of the mountains. From what we were told, there is a small spring that runs through these mountains as a result of a number of fault lines that collided with one another right where this oasis is. And in the early 1900s, miners planted palm trees here to mark where the spring was located. There is a point about 2 miles in when you finally round a corner of the trail and see the palm trees off in the distance, and it literally is an oasis. Beautiful palm trees in the middle of the desert.

The hike is roughly 3 miles round trip and requires some moderate hiking. But it is WELL worth it!
Written 27 December 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Los Angeles, CA1,005 contributions
Best hike in JT
Jun 2020 • Family
Nice easy hike with great views. The palms at the end is amazing. The hike is about 2-2:30 hrs (plus time under the palms). Remember to bring water - it gets hot there.
Written 7 June 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

San Carlos, CA742 contributions
Quintessential Desert Trail
Jan 2020
Thoroughly enjoyed this hike which exemplifies the beauty of the desert ~ dry, rocky, and rugged. It's technically not inside Joshua Tree National Park which is why the ranger recommended it. It wasn't crowded at all and has grand views of the valley. The hillsides are dotted with cacti and desert plants blooming through cracks in rocks. It's startling to see tall palm trees rise up in the distance as you hike through dry desert hills. We packed sandwiches and sat on huge boulders for a picnic lunch at the end of the trail. It's worth the strenuous hike to reach the secluded palm tree oasis by the spring!

I'd rate this hike as moderately difficult due to the meandering dirt trail that becomes very rocky at times and there is hardly any shade. Wear hiking shoes, hats and bring adequate water. There are some steep parts that are not suited to the very young/old. Trails aren't marked very clearly and visitors can go off trail easily. Highly recommend hiking poles.
Written 3 May 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Alberta, Canada307 contributions
Popular trail - crowded at the oasis
Feb 2020
A nice trail with a beautiful payoff at the end. However, the oasis itself is relatively small with few viewing areas; it's a popular hike (even on a Wednesday morning in mid-February) and we found it to be crowded at the oasis, so we didn't stay long. Saw a lot of unprepared hikers, despite the warning signs at the start of the hike. Be sure to wear proper footwear and carry plenty of water.
Written 9 March 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Connie M
Fort Wayne99 contributions
One of the most spectacular hikes!
Feb 2020 • Couples
This was a challenging hike, with significant climbs both out and back as you climb over a ridge. But the payoff is simply spectacular and mind-blowing... a verdant oasis in a desert canyon. Truly one of the most spectacular hikes of my life!
Written 15 February 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Mikey Imaginary
Encinitas, CA60 contributions
Amazing for Picnic
Jan 2020
I was only in town for the day, so this was the hike's basket I put all my proverbial eggs into. It exceeded my expectations!

I took a sandwich and some drawing materials at the end of January, when the sun was shining on a 70ish degree day. Perfect weather. I had my shirt off the entire time, and didn't get sunburned and barely broke a sweat. But here I am on the following day with some soreness throughout my body. It was definitely a tough workout, just not too hot. Had it been any hotter, it would not have been nearly as fun.

At a couple points during the hike, the trail was unclear to me. I believe I veered left at one point when I should have veered to the right. This created a much more challenging and dangerous trail that I don't recommend for most people, but I believe this accidentally shaped my experience to be so amazing. I wound up coming around the oasis area from the left and behind it.
I didn't realize that I may have deviated from the normal trail until I was very close to the palm trees and saw other people about 50 yards away from me. (with millions of boulders between us)
I believe I was in a much more interesting area, but I am unsure if I was in an area that we are supposed to avoid. There were signs in a few areas that asked hikers to stay on the path due to biologically sensitive areas. I believe in respecting the rules of the designated areas, but I am still unclear if I was in any areas that I should not have been in. There were human footprints in all of the areas I went to, so I don't know. In any case, it was confusing to me. If you want to do the normal route, I suggest staying to the right in the spots that seem confusing.

-Cooper's Hawk sighting
-Beautiful butterfly sighting
-Hummingbird sighting
-Paw print of some large animal, maybe a puma, mountain lion, coyote. Also let this be a reminder to be careful. When I saw this print I immediately looked around to realize that I was basically in an enclosed area of gargantuan boulders and wild thorn bushes. If anything wanted to attack me, I would have been a major underdog.
-I was amazed by the amount of water and sand. It was like a little beach in a couple spots.
-Sounds: Close to the water, there were so many amazing sounds. Running water, many different animals chirping, hummingbird wings

-I wore light gloves because the rocks are quite jagged and sharp. The gloves allowed me to jump onto them and climb them without cutting my hands. This was a clutch move.
-Almost the entire trail is full of uneven surfaces, with rocks protruding from the ground. Normal walking shoes are not ideal. Hiking shoes or boots will help you avoid rolling your ankle. (which I still almost did a couple times)
-Cellular service is available for a lot of this hike, which may be a nice perk for people who are nervous about potential emergencies
-This area is not part of Joshua Tree National Park, so it is free to visit.
-There is a restroom in the parking lot
-This is a great hike if you only have a half-day or one day in the area because the landscape is dynamic and the climax is very unique.
Written 1 February 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Yellowstone National Park, WY142 contributions
Just beautiful
Nov 2019 • Friends
A must do hike. This trail is outside the main park in 29 palms. The park paper has it as moderate but for the novice or vacationer hiker it could be strenuous. You are climbing up a mountain.There’s a lot of steps to go up and down. Don’t go in the heat of the day. It’s a sunny trail. Difficult to take photos of the oasis and palms in the morning because of the sun. Make sure you take at least 2-3 bottles of water.
Written 15 November 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Dublin, Ireland25 contributions
Not recommended by the visitors centre...
Jul 2019 • Couples
Only afterwards did we find out this trail was classed as ‘not recommended’ by the rangers at the visitors centre. Can see why. It’s only 3 miles round trip but it is hard and hot. It is very beautiful but we ended up just falling short of the oasis. We started at 8:45 end of July and the sun was already too high. We each brought a litre of water and fully consumed it.

We put it down to us not been fit and healthy enough, but on the way up we met a young early twenties couple who couldn’t manage it also.

So, if you are up for doing it, get there early, take plenty of water and be prepared that it can be a bit of effort.
Written 29 July 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Richmond, Canada8,969 contributions
Short interesting hike – 3.75 out of 5 rating
Apr 2019 • Friends
The 49 Palms Oasis trail is located in Joshua Tree National Park. We drove about 15 miles (25 kilometers) past the main information centre to get to the 29 Palms Highway intersection. Make a right turn when you see the vet hospital sign off the highway. The sign is very close to the highway exit. After a very short drive off the exit is the trail head.

We were there on a mid-April weekday and the weather was sunny and warm even in the morning. We started the hike around 10:45 when the temperature was about 21 Celsius (68 Fahrenheit) and by the time we finished our hike around 1:00 the temperature was 25 Celsius (78 Fahrenheit) At times there were warm winds blowing. Keep in mind these temperatures were in April and we are in a desert. So, if you’re going to do the hike during the peak of summer (including the time of day) be prepared!

In fact, there is a warning sign at the trail head that states that people have died on this trail.

Some of the tips and warnings posted on the sign include;
• drink lots of water; 1 litre per hour (more if hiking) and turn around once half your water is used. There are NO water facilities or other services at this trail
• eat salty snacks (because you will perspire and this will lead to the loss of electrolytes)
• be wary of the symptoms of sunstroke including headache, dizziness and confusion
• don’t hike between 10:00 and 4:00 (especially during the summer season). So if you’re reading this review now and planning to do the hike within the next month or so, I would recommend going early at daybreak.
• wear sunscreen and a wide brimmed hat
• cell phone reception is unreliable

The round trip hike is about 3 miles (5 kilometres) with an elevation gain of about 350 feet (107 meters). The start of the trail is a slight uphill on mostly undulating compact gravel. Once we were at the top, we were rewarded with an oasis of palm trees. At the top we relaxed for about 15 – 30 minutes and took in the views of the surrounding area. If so inclined, you can also have your own prepared lunch up here. After a short respite, we started our hike down.

It was an easy enjoyable hike for the time of the year we were there (April). Even then, the weather was sunny and warm. I don’t recall seeing any shade on the trail.

I would rate this attraction as good – 3.75 out of 5.

Notes &Tips:
• Trail is for day use only
• No pets are allowed
• There are about 24 parking spots including some rv spots. When we got there around 10:15 most of the parking spots were gone. However, by 1:30 there were many more spots available
• There are no other facilities or services here other than an outhouse.
• The washroom facilities consist of 1 outhouse
• After our hike, we had lunch in the parking lot. Alternatively, you could have lunch at the top. We purchased food at the Von’s supermarket on the highway and made sandwiches. The store is about 6 miles (10 kilometers) from the national park information center.
• In hindsight, it was a good idea to do the 49 Palms Oasis hike and not go directly through the main entrance.
• When the main entrance to park was about to open, a short drive from the information center, we were told there was a 15 to 30 minute wait at the toll booth to get into the park.
• Take a pamphlet and map from the main information center.
• To be more efficient, do your research before you get to the park
• If you perspire heavily (who doesn’t except women who “glow”!), a sweatband and a wet face towel is a great asset
• Bring water and/or snacks but please take your garbage with you!
• I would not recommend wearing sandals; hiking, trail and running shoes are preferable
• See my Joshua Tree National Park review
• Other than the main information center, we also stopped at the Oasis information center
• See Joshua Tree National Park website for additional information
• Our Air Bnb was located inside Joshua Tree National Park information center less than a couple of mile from the information center
Written 24 July 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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