49 Palms Oasis Trail – Joshua Tree National Park
The 49 Palms Oasis Trail is a back door to Joshua Tree National Park. It has a separate road from Highway 62 leading to it that does not connect to any other road in the park, and because of that, visitors to 49 Palms do not pay an entrance fee.
It’s a fairly unknown spur of the park with no camping and relatively few hikers. It’s a great half-day hike – not too long and moderate with a great palm oasis at the end.
North Lykken Trail
Not to be confused with the South Lykken, the trailhead of the North Lykken Trail begins at the end of Ramon Road in Palm Springs and meets up at the same picnic tables above the Desert Museum Trail.
With an approximate 900-foot elevation gain and absolutely zero shade, the North Lykken is on the tougher edge of being a moderate trail. A trip from Ramon Road to the picnic tables and back is about 3 miles, but there are other trails you can connect to from the picnic table area to lengthen your hike.
When starting out, keep a look out for the trail to veer left and take that instead of the wider jeep road that pushes ahead. Almost immediately, the trail goes into a series of switchbacks heading up the first ridge. Get used to that… it’s a common theme on this trail.
There are great views of downtown Palm Springs as the trail traverses ridges directly to the west of the town. You can easily pick out the Forever Marilyn statue, the convention center, Desert Regional Hospital and more.