The Salton Sea really is a unique place to explore. From your first view, it is beautiful to see the water and the mountains, but as you get closer and see the dead fish and smell the water, it is not as beautiful as it was from afar. That being said, I still love going out there and finding pockets like this oasis to help me remember the beauty, even in the middle of the stark desert. I set out to see the Dos Palmas Oasis but the road to it was closed so I stumbled on the San Andreas Oasis and was glad I did. Here is all the information.
- 1 mile round trip, no real elevation
- A Dirt road to get there
- Restroom at the trailhead
- I did this in 2018
After visiting the International Banana Museum, I headed out to the San Andreas Oasis, which you can find by entering Dos Palmas Oasis into your Google Maps and driving until the road ends. The road it takes you down is about 2 miles of dirt, but I did it in my Toyota Matrix with no problems at all, so I would imagine most cars can get there. You can see the oasis and the parking lot from the above photo.
When I arrived at the trailhead (right where the road has a gate that stops you from going further), there were only a few other cars in the lot. It was the perfect time of day for this hike as the sun was starting to set, and the golden hour was beginning.
You can see the oasis only about half a mile from where you park, and the trail is easy to follow, so you can just set out. The trail is sand, which makes it a little slow going, but it is short, so it’s not a big deal.
As you approach the oasis, you will notice how big this oasis it really is. It is pretty amazing to see this collection of palm trees surrounded by a desert with almost no other plants.
The trail continues around to the north side of the oasis where it cuts back south, and you can enter into the oasis itself.
From here, this trail gets beautiful as you are surrounded by palm trees shading the entire trail.
As you are wandering through the oasis, there is even a small bridge that you must cross over a tiny little stream.
There were also a lot of downed palm trees in the center, which helped me to realize how massive these trees are. I felt like I was in a scene from Jurassic Park with how beautiful the area was. The above tree was the most unique as it seemed to grow parallel to the ground the shoot up at a 90-degree angle.
The trail continues through the trees for another .2 miles, and you can get a sense of scale in the below photo of my mom standing next to them.
After the short walk through the trees, the trail dumps you out of the oasis and back onto a dirt road that leads you to the original path, completing the loop.
It was a quick and stunning way to experience a desert oasis like this. I recommend this trail as it will show you that the Salton Sea is more than the desert and the saline water. I can’t wait to check out Dos Palmas Oasis next time I am out there. Make sure to let me know if you have been in the comments as well.