Visit to an oasis

Growing up in north central Idaho an oasis was something I only saw in cartoons and perhaps on some television show. I have driven across the deserts of central Washington, southeastern Oregon, and Nevada many times but never came across anything similar to an oasis I would recognize from the cartoons of my childhood. They remained somewhat of a mythical place.

That changed last January when Barb and I visited the Palm Springs California area. We visited several oases in the area but by far the most interesting and pleasant were the West Fork Falls and Palm Canyon trails.

Since it has essentially the same trail head as Palm Canyon Trail and is only 0.1 miles long if you go to the Palm Canyon Trail area you must check out the West Fork Falls Trail. Barb and I were wandering around and I noticed something odd. I then began taking a bunch of pictures of the trees. Barb thought I was acting a little more strange than usual with the sudden interest in taking so many pictures of the trees. I had to explain. Check out the pictures below:

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There was a flash flood a few years ago and there are subtle reminders of it. Carefully examine the pictures above. Here is a close up of one of the trees:

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That is mud embedded on one side of the tree going up several feet higher than my head!

Also of interest is the water fall. When it isn’t flooding it’s very small, but the rocks are very pretty and carved into interesting shapes:

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The main trail to hike is the Palm Canyon Trail. While I didn’t find anything of such extreme interest as I found on the West Fork Falls trail it was very pleasant and interesting on it’s own. Here are some pictures from our hike up the canyon:

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That isn’t concrete in the picture above. That is naturally formed sand.

A warning:

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There were interesting rock formations as well as the trees and stream bed:

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The trail was easy enough to walk on but you needed to pay attention or you could easily trip on the rocks:

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We made a loop by going up the side of the valley were able to view a number of cacti up close and see the trees from above:

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We were there in the middle of January. Although it wasn’t hot under the trees it was warm and very dry when you were unprotected from the sun. We needed lots of water.

1 thought on “Visit to an oasis

  1. Use to live just north of there in Desert hot springs as a youth. A bunch of hippies moved into that oasis and started all their culture wrecking bullshit. 150 cops showed up and hauled them all off. Pretty funny.
    The beauty of the desert is lost to most people. And the quiet you can find there is unnerving to many.
    I only wish I had used my time there better. So much fun to be had.

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