This easy to reach, palm-covered oasis is the perfect destination for those short on time in Joshua Tree National Park. And, if you start early on this 3-mile out-and-back, you may witness endangered desert bighorn sheep enjoying the shade and water at the oasis.
At the parking lot, take in the expansive views of Morango Basin to the north, before heading south on the trail. The pebble-strewn path gradually ascends 0.7 mile through a boulder field to the top of a scrub-covered hill. After a few steps, look into the distance for views of the oasis, tucked in a small canyon less than a mile ahead. From here, a switchback descent past plump, red barrel cacti ends at Fortynine Palms Oasis. Drop your pack and relax under the welcoming canopy of massive California fan palms (these giants can weigh up to 3 tons) before heading back to the trailhead.
-Mapped by Amy Balfour