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From the Field — West — March 2013

Our trail scouts' top local hikes: ancient Oregon volcanoes, a Nevada slot canyon, a hidden California oasis, and more.

Lost Palms Oasis, Joshua Tree NP, CA

Journey through hills speckled with yucca and barrel cactus on this 7.4-mile out-and-back to a spring-fed desert refuge. In March, you’ll see yellow bladderpod, brittlebrush, and fiery red chuparosa blooms; look overhead for occasional flocks of pelicans, visitors from the inland Salton Sea (30 miles away). A cluster of more than 100 Washingtonia palms lends a tropical air to the lush, shady oasis at the base of the rocky ravine. Trip ID 338185

“You could see any of the park’s 40 species of reptiles, such as Mojave collared lizards and desert tortoises.”

Field scout: George Land, Twentynine Palms, CA

Devils Garden, Arches NP, UT

Peer through eight of the park’s 2,000-plus arches on this 6.1-mile lollipop loop undulating over fins of Entrada sandstone. At mile .8, spy Landscape Arch, the park’s longest at 306 feet. Follow two short spurs to glimpse sturdy Navajo Arch and keyhole-shaped Partition Arch en route to the twin gaps of Double O Arch at mile three. Acrophobes beware: The loop’s eastern side traverses increasingly steep, exposed sections of salmon-colored slickrock. Trip ID 18410

“At times, you’re almost swallowed between walls, then you scramble on top for views across miles of park.”

Field scout: Karen Henker, Moab, UT

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