2: Lost Palms Oasis (Joshua Tree National Park)

In January Eric and I took a short trip to San Diego. We ate a ton of amazing food, enjoyed the coastal scenery, and visited Balboa Park and Old Town. But one of my favorite parts was taking a day trip to Joshua Tree National Park for a hike.

We got a late start, but decided to hike the trail to Lost Palms Oasis on the south side of the park. It was a pretty great trail, starting at a stand of palms and winding through cactus-covered outcroppings and dry creek beds before clambering over rocky hills to views of an oasis.

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I really love deserts. The plant life is incredible, the geology is always phenomenal. Distance and scale are deceptive, and there’s always so much sky.

Most of our shorter trips over the last few years have been to deserts. New Mexico two years ago, Eastern Washington long weekends, and now to San Diego. I can’t get enough of the landscapes, despite the fact that they make me slightly uneasy. Something about the sky, the scale, the colorful rock. It makes me anxious after awhile. I’m always glad to leave, to get home to the tree-filled Pacific Northwest, with it’s mild summers and winters filled with chilly rain.

But without fail over the last several years, I always seem to return to the desert. I want that sky, that sunlight, those incredible plants. Something about it draws me back, even as it unnerves me.

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This hike also counts as my first out-of-state hike for the year. Follow along with that goal here. Happy hiking!

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