Pushawalla Palms is a natural palm oasis found at Thousand Palms Oasis in the Coachella Valley Preserve. It’s one of several oases that dot the hills along the San Andreas Fault in the northern part of Coachella Valley. Seismic activity along the fault line has pushed groundwater reserves upward, enabling palm oases to flourish in an otherwise barren desert.
The hike described in this post is a pleasant 5-mile loop that offers great views of Palm Springs and the surrounding area, including the San Jacinto and San Bernardino Mountains. It also passes through two groves of native California fan palms.
Note: The Preserve is closed to parking and hiking on Mondays and Tuesdays
- Distance: 5 mile loop
- Hike Time: 3 hours
- Elevation Gain/Loss: 500 feet
- Fee: Free
- Dogs: No
- Difficulty: Moderate
Hiking to Pushawalla Palms
The hike begins at Pushawalla Palms Trailhead on the east side of Thousand Palms Canyon Road. The trail to Pushawalla Palms is well-marked by signs, so you shouldn’t have any trouble navigating.
The first 0.2 miles are flat, but soon you begin to ascend a tan-colored bluff. At 0.3 miles, there is a signed junction for Pushawalla & Horseshoe and Hidden Palms. Bear left to continue toward Pushawalla Palms.
You’ll follow the ridge line another 1.7 miles before descending to the bottom of a wash. On your way down, take pause to see a nice view of Pushawalla Palms.
Most likely, there will be at least a trickle of flowing water in the drainage. Continue north and follow the oasis until you’re ready to turnaround. If you’d like, there are plenty of shady places to take a break and have a picnic.
On the way back, look for a trail heading west and follow it out of the drainage. There are several paths like this but don’t fret – they all lead back to the trailhead. The one I took was marked by a cairn.
Rather than go back the way you came, I suggest you bear left at the nearest junction and hike along the bottom of the ridge. This is the one you were on top of on the way to Pushawalla Palms.
On the way back, continue to bear right at both junctions and you should have no trouble finding your way back to the parking lot.
Pushawalla Palms Trailhead is a dirt parking lot located on the east side of Thousand Palms Canyon Road. It’s 20-30 minutes from downtown Palm Springs and 10 minutes from exit 131 on I-10.