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3 days ago

The oasis is NOT anticlimactic. It’s absolutely beautiful seeing and (surprisingly) smelling a hidden grove of giant palms in the middle of the montane desert. Fed by an underground spring, the trees have an incredibly sweet, woody smell.

Nice hike for getting a feel for the environment of Joshua Tree - spiky plants, rolling desert hills and rocky features, maybe a few critters. The oasis itself is neat but not spectacular, fun to climb down to. The climb into the oasis is really the only tricky part terrain-wise, all the rest is slightly hilly trail but not too steep.
Did in Feb. 2018 and the weather was in the high 70's the whole morning. Took 3-4 hours, a feasible way to spend a morning or an afternoon.

On March 10, hiked up Ski Hut / Baldy Bowl and down Devil’s Backbone to the Notch, about 7.5 miles total. Took the chairlift down the rest of the way. The hike itself took 4 hours and 3min, but I set a very aggressive pace for myself due to time constraints. The first three miles up to just beyond the ski hut took 1h20min, the next 1.5 miles up to the summit took 1h20min (this segment abolutely kicked my butt) and the summit down to the Notch took 1h25min. I set out from Manker Flats at 5:22am (with a headlamp as it was not yet twilight) and got to the Notch at 9:26am. The trail was mostly clear of snow and ice for the first three miles. Microspikes were necessary for most of the upper section to the summit due to ice and snow particularly in the steep section beginning about 1/2 mile after the hut. I had downloaded a route into my Garmin watch, which was very helpful (read: necessary) because there are sections between the hut and the summit where it would be very easy to lose the trail. Hiking down Devil’s Backbone was a little scary in parts due to ice and snow along the precipitous drop-offs, however there was enough ground exposed so that I could easily identify and avoid the snow cornices. It is a little hairy right at the western entrance to the Backbone section as there is a lot of snow wedged in the corner next to a fairly steep dropoff. Overall it is a very fun and pretty challenging hike, with amazing views and spectacular scenery along the whole route. Well worth it, but this time of year use caution and tread carefully along precipitous sections of the Devil’s Backbone trail; and be prepared - I would recommend microspikes and trekking poles for the hairy parts, and also bring some layers because there can be very significant changes in temperature at the different elevations and much wind chill at the summit.

Great time. Snow on the ground made it that much more enjoyable. Did the whole loop and Needed crampons for sure to help with the sliding around.

I went yesterday March 06, 2018. I was the only person in the whole trail all day which is fully covered in snow. (A few dry patches here and there) First 2/3’s of the hike, the trail is easy to figure out, just follow all the footprints from previous hikers. There was snow recently, so the last third was difficult. No trail to be found, sometimes I followed footprints that randomly stopped somewhere. Had to take shortcuts, deep snow in some areas, I fell quite a lot. Wearing crampons for 16 miles takes its toll, eventually I made it right before sunset due to a late start, at 9:30 am thanks to horrible traffic since I drove from San Diego. Cold at the top, took pics, went down immediately, my fingers were getting numb and darkness was coming in fast. Back to my car right after midnight. The first and last thirds have switchbacks, sometimes steep. It was a tough day.

15 days ago

This was a moderate hike for me, we took the mastodon rock loop to start so it ended up over 8 miles total. Was nice and scenic though the oasis at the end a little anticlimactic.

19 days ago

Lots and lots of water is recommended and sun screen

19 days ago

Nice hike through a part of the desert with very diverse Fauna. There is always something to see. The Oasis is not spectacular but worth seeing. I fully recommend this trail.

Did this on Presidents’ Day 2018. There was snow at the trail head and it snowed on us when we first started. We didn’t need the crampons until about 8000. We didn’t make it to the top because of the storm that rolled in. The hike was beautiful, especially in the snow.

22 days ago

Amazing hike with lots to see in the middle of a dessert!!! The hike was more beautiful than the destination (the lost palm oasis). Bring lots of water and snacks

Good section of trail with great views, bring proper gear in the late season, ice is present and can really ruin a good day.

Awesome. The trail is very well marked and easy to find. It starts with about 2 miles of easy, rolling, sand-like paths. The final part of the trail is great- amazing views and fun passages through canyons, etc. Make sure to bring water and sun protection!!!

24 days ago

Hiked on Sunday, 2/18/18. Great hike in and out. Trail down to the palms was a little sketchy. Fantastic weather. Sunny but cool. Well worth the hike.

Solid hike! Good elevation over a relatively short distance. If you love switchbacks, this hike is for you! Gorgeous views at the top, and loved all the gnarly pines along the way. It is a good ways out on the Angeles Crest - maybe 40 mins past buckhorn- so give yourself plenty of time to get to the trailhead. As of early February, spikes were absolutely necessary. There have been three separate rescues off the same icy patch on this trail just this month- don’t risk your life with snow and ice!

This is another of the premiere hikes to be done in these mountains. Starting out around 7 am, there was a biting cold wind that was avoided after getting past the falls. We kept a good pace along the service road to the lodge. I was glad to get some hot coffee there before moving on. The climb got a little tough initially, from getting used to the elevation, and then I found most of Devil's Backbone to be a steady climb. I diverted over to the summit of Mt. Harwood and then came back down to the main trail. My favorite part of this stretch was seeing into the Mojave to Victorville and other areas to the east, The wind was cold a fierce along the Harwood part of the trail, and finally it was blocked on the last stretch to the summit. A break there was nice, and so was the geocache. We came down the Ski Hut trail and it was fairly easy going most of the way. We hit the service road at sunset, and it was a short time back to the parking lot.

beautiful winter hike

Not as good as Mt. Baldy but a real calf killer with all those switchbacks. The views from the top are not to be missed. Please carry microspikes (=Kahtoola) and trekking poles.

had to do this by myself cuz I was late to meet up with my group but it didn't stop me I made it and I didn't die!

Conditions as of Feb 4, 2018: Snow above 8,200 with microspikes necessary above 8,500. Perfect for glissading between switchbacks!

Up, up and up! If you are looking for a relaxing hike look elsewhere. This is strenuous. Really enjoyed the views. Gorgeous! A bunch of hikers on a Saturday but it was still a whole lot of fun. On our way down we stopped at the ski lodge and had a celebratory beer. I recommend bringing a small lunch. This hike takes it out of you and you will be starving! Slept like a baby after this summit!

1 month ago

This trail had all the feels. Wildflowers, views, birds...Somewhat strenuous due to the length and rolling hills. But absolutely worth it to go the extra distance down to the Palms. The sandy wash passes are beautiful and contain so many colorful rocks.

1 month ago

My hiking friends and I broke this up in 5 sections, going east to west. Section 1: Will Rogers to Deadhorse Trail,
Section 2: Deadhorse Trail to Malibu Canyon, Section 3:Malibu Canyon to Newton Canyon, Section 4: Newton Canyon to Mishe Mokwa Trailhead, Section 5: Mishe Mokwa to Ray Miller Trailhead. This is a beautiful hike with views of the Pacific on each section. We took a few side trips that shouldn't be missed, Hondo Canyon being one of them. The rock formations at Casto Crest was another favorite spot filled with caves and lots of exploring opportunities. We had multiple people in our group so we were able to shuttle back and forth with all the cars we had. I've heard that you can also arrange an Uber or Lyft car to get you back to your car. But I'd make sure you have cell phone service before you depend on this. This was one of the best times I've had on the trail. The last 16 miles (which turned into 17 due to a missed trail sign) was by far the most difficult. That could always be turned into 2 sections though. However you do this trail, just make sure you do it in Winter. There's many exposed trails, and with the warm Jan/Feb weather we had, it gave us a glimpse of what truly hot weather would be like. This is definitely a cool to mild weather hike. I also suggest an east to west direction so you are always looking at the Pacific, and if you time it right, you're last hike on The Ray Miller Trail will give you gorgeous sunset opportunities.

One of my favorite hikes in the area. Icy conditions towards the top. Bring microspikes and warm clothes.

Went sat feb 3, started trail at 0945, 3 hrs to the top beautiful, 2 hrs down. need ur spikes and poles, of course there were people who didn’t have either and were slipping and sliding, not worth risking injuries!

Come prepared and take no risk ( spend a little money on your gear). Beautiful trail and view

Did this trail on 2/2/2018 and it was a gorgeous day to be up in the mountains. I only saw one other hiker the whole day and had the summit to myself. A couple of things to note as in one of the previous reviews there is still snow on the trail above 8,000 ft. After passing Limber Pines I used my micro spikes the rest of the way up. The views are definitely worth it from the top!

This is a gorgeous trail that has steady, not very steep incline for 7.7 miles (there are few patches of steep ones). The hike would have been easier and more enjoyable if there was no snow on the trail. Mid section was covered in ice and the higher elevation was covered in powder snow, which made the hike extra tiring ... Do not attempt this hike during winter without microspikes /crampons and hiking polls ! Follow the footsteps of previous hikers if you don’t want to submerge in snow. The powder, which by the time we were heading back became slush, was not fun at all and was pretty dangerous!
The view at the top ? Sooo worth it - you can see Mt Gorgonio in front of you, Big Bear etc... Sense of accomplishment was pretty big :)! We couldn’t stay at the top for too long though because we wanted to make it back before it got dark! Total hike was 15.5 miles with 9 hrs moving time (10 total)... all and all this was a great hike!

1.27.18 Great hike. Highly recommend proper gear. Micro spikes is a must and and ice axe Incase of any accident.
There are ranger doing checks to make sure everyone is properly gear. Be safe!

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