Written by Park Volunteer Shirley Cate
Cool, peaceful, Mid-May early morning walk up Palm Canyon Trail. The sun is just coming up and all is quiet. There is only one car in the parking lot, so I know that my hike will be quiet and relaxing. Birds are just beginning to chirp and there is slight breeze. Very little rain has fallen this early Spring, so the vegetation is dry and resting. A Dove flies out from around a rock and now an additional Dove flies off; I regret disturbed their morning activities. I am always in "awe" of the rock formations, realizing that they have stood unchanged for so many spring May mornings. I stop to look and listen for Big Horn Sheep; but no sheep in sight.
As I approach marker 11, I can hear the water but I am still unable to see any flow. I cross the palm bridge and enter a bushed area where the path is surrounded with greenery. Walking thru a green tunnel of cooling shrubbery and it feel so refreshing. I can now see , hear and smell the running stream of water and see the Palm oasis which is my cool reward for this hike.
I have decided to take the "alternative" trail as I hike back to my car, this trail is easy to follow. You gain elevation and climb over many rocks, the trail is a little more strenuous but the adventuresome air of this task is rewarding. As you look down on the main more traveled Palm Canyon trail you know you made the correct decision to take the Alternative trail. Still no Big Horn Sheep are in view. Many lizards, birds and ants. There is very little greenery but the surrounding rocks, boulders and cactus have their own admired beauty. The view of Borrego Valley is clear and impressive. You can hear the soft voices of other hikers, but they are far away. To some extent you can feel the rumbling of the earth and have great respect for the beauty of this land.
The trail exits onto the Southwestern end of the trailhead paved parking lot. My only thought is that I must return and investigate some of the short less traveled trails at Palm Canyon.
Be sure to always bring lots of water and follow all Park rules and regulations when you hike!
The Palm Canyon Trail is 1½ miles to the first Palm Oasis, 3 miles round-trip.
This trail is located at The Palm Canyon Campground - 200 Palm Canyon Dr. in Borrego Springs