Added by Matt Purciel
Hike to an oasis in the middle of the Anza Borrego desert. Discover six fan palm groves, the only native palm tree to California.
At first glance the Anza-Borrego desert appears lifeless, a wasteland of rocky plain peaks rising up from Carrizo Plains covered in Cholla cactus and Ocotillo. But one of the surprises is a mirage of California fan palm groves hidden in a series of canyons.
The Mountain Palm Springs oasis loop is really two separate hikes from the same trailhead that end at the extensive Palm Bowl Grove. The two legs can be combined into a loop. If you hike counterclockwise head north and then west up a sandy wash as you can easily spot the green mirage of palm trees coming first to Surprise Canyon Grove. Head to the largest oasis Palm Bowl Grove, then retrace the trail back. When you are half-way look for a trail at the Surprise Canyon Grove that goes south and up over the ridge dropping down to the Pygmy Grove. You can find the Southwest Grove at the end of this canyon. You can discover Mary’s Grove and North Grove off the first leg of the trail. Be aware but sometimes the trail appears and disappears occasionally inside the canyons when it blends into the washes. The stretch of trail connecting the two canyons can be very rocky and occasionally gets a bit confusing.
- Hiking boots
- Good topographical map
- Plenty of water
Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.
Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More
ReviewsLeave a Review
Have you done this adventure? Have something to add? You could be the first to leave a review!
More Adventures Nearby
Catch a Sunset at Fonts Point
San Diego / Fonts Point Trailhead
The best time to go to Fonts point is right before the sun sets. It is located in the desert, so be sure to dress warmly and bring a blanket or two.
Visit the Rice Shoe Fence
San Diego / Rice Shoe Fence
If you're traveling on CA-62, keep an eye out on the south side of the road for the enormous shrine of retired footwear from passers by.