Lost Palms Oasis Trail is one of the longest day-hiking trails in Joshua Tree National Park. It’s located in the Colorado (Sonoran) Desert of the park, which has a lower elevation than the Mojave Desert, so you won’t see any Joshua trees on this trail. However, don’t be mistaken. This is a beautiful hike, especially in spring.
It has been too windy in Desert Hot Springs Area to enjoy hiking for several days now. So we were itching to go for a long hike. Our friends and we have been wanting to do a hike in Joshua Tree National Park and the timing last week was right. The weather wasn’t too warm or too windy. There should still be plenty of wildflowers to see in Joshua Tree.
This was our second time hiking Lost Palms Oasis Trail. We did it first time in spring of 2012. So this time around I wasn’t as excited because I didn’t remember the hike to be that spectacular. Just a nice hike as I recalled. But I was pleasantly surprised. This time it was even better. There were more flowers blooming. Since the temperature was cooler, I found myself looking around and enjoying the scenery more.
Trailhead of Lost Palms Oasis Trail is at the Cottonwood Spring parking area. There is no toilet facility at the trailhead, but Cottonwood Visitor Center is nearby.
Joshua Tree National Park is full of fascinating boulders. Ever wonder how these iconic boulder formations were created? The park’s Geologic Formations page has an answer.
Lost Palms Oasis Trail is a 7.5-mile out-and-back trail. On the return we took Mastodon Mine Loop Trail back to the parking area, adding about 1.5 miles to the total distance. If you have energy, it’s well worth it.
One of the highlights of the hike this time was seeing Chuckwallas, herbivorous lizards. Our friends told us to look out for Chuckwallas on rocks. They were so good at spotting them. We had a lot of fun finding and photographing Chuckwallas during this hike.
- Date hiked: March 29, 2017
- Hiking time: 6h 37m
- Distance: 9.0 mi round-trip (out and back, return to the trailhead via Mastodon Mine Loop Trail)
- Elevation change: Approx. 1,300 ft gain
- Note: Do not underestimate the desert. This hike is not appropriate on a hot day. Even on a cool day, carry plenty of water and have sun protection.