Dos Palmas Oasis

Bombay Beach Travel Blog

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Dry, alkaline desert floor, not even cactus grows, this is where you go to find the oasis
Deep in the California desert, behind the Salton Sea, in the driest, most desolate habitat is a palm oasis. The desert basin was once an inland sea, Lake Cahuilla, surrounded by a fringe of palms. The lake survived until relatively recent times, as evidenced by ancient fish traps you can see in the now dry desert. The only evidence left are these little palm oasis remnants that have survived around an isolated spring here, a low spot in a creek there.

This was actually a visit or work, I went out to map the vegetation of the oasis and surrounding marsh lands. I'd suggest visiting in the winter, in the summer the heat can be unbearable- one of the hottest spots in Southern California. Even in December it was over 90F.

The oasis is now a park, run by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). You can drive out to a parking lot and walk in. I don't believe you can camp there, because the area is so sensitive to disturbance, but a series of trails runs through the largest oasis, and it's easy to traverse the open desert landscape to access the rest.
cneoridium says:
Dos Palmas is more of a wildlife refuge with shallow water and a muddy bottom, but I think there is a hot spring a little farther down the road with pools set up...
Posted on: May 08, 2007
ocwarren says:
can you enter the water of this desert oasis?
Posted on: May 05, 2007
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Dry, alkaline desert floor, not ev…
Dry, alkaline desert floor, not e…
The soil is so salty that puffs of…
The soil is so salty that puffs o…
This is part of the famous San And…
This is part of the famous San An…
Hydrologist checking the... hydrol…
Hydrologist checking the... hydro…
You know how marshes usually form …
You know how marshes usually form…
This little creek suddenly started…
This little creek suddenly starte…
Artesian well.  Warm water shoots …
Artesian well. Warm water shoots…
Desert pupfish!  You can barely se…
Desert pupfish! You can barely s…
Big, clear pond in the desert
Big, clear pond in the desert
A turquoise thermal pool, banks ch…
A turquoise thermal pool, banks c…
Another thermal pond in the oasis
Another thermal pond in the oasis
The water really is this color...
The water really is this color...
Desert ironwood trees in bloom, al…
Desert ironwood trees in bloom, a…
Close-up of the ironwood flowers. …
Close-up of the ironwood flowers.…
Bombay Beach
photo by: cneoridium