Bear Creek Oasis Trail: Feb 2019

Updated: Mar 6

Hike Distance: 11.2 miles

Beer Creek Oasis Trail is considered one of the more rewarding day hikes in the La Quinta Cove area. Although it an uphill climb, the trail provides great views of the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains as well as peeks of the Salton Sea and Mount San Gorgonio.

The trail starts in the Cove Oasis Trails gateway in La Quinta. Follow the well-marked trails for Bear Creek Canyon.

Sign at entrance to Cove Oasis Trails in La Quinta

Greeted by the beautiful Santa Rosa mountains at the trailhead.

Beautiful Santa Rosa Mountains and foothills at the start of the Bear Creek Oasis Trail in La Quinta Cove

Despite being only yards away from residential neighborhoods, the views are immediate.

Beautiful Santa Rosa Mountains and foothills at the start of the Bear Creek Oasis Trail in La Quinta Cove

Initially, the trail follows a wash for the first mile or so.

Following a wash at the start of the Bear Creek Oasis Trail in La Quinta Cove

We were surrounded by the hills as we walked along the base on the Santa Rosa Mountains.

Foothills of the Santa Rosa Mountains at the start of the Bear Creek Oasis Trail in La Quinta Cove
Following a wash at the start of the Bear Creek Oasis Trail in La Quinta Cove

After leaving the wash, the trail began a steady climb. The trail is considered difficult/strenuous by many website because of the 2,319 foot elevation gain over the length of the trail. A beautiful palm oasis awaits those who can go the distance.

Steady climb into foothills of the Santa Rosa Mountains on the Bear Creek Oasis Trail

Amazing views of the surrounding hills and mountains.

Beautiful Santa Rosa Mountains and foothills at the start of the Bear Creek Oasis Trail

But with elevation gain came great views of the surrounding mountains and desert communities. In the picture below is the community of La Quinta and right of center is the wash where the trail began.

La Quinta Cove from the Bear Creek Oasis Trail

The surrounding Santa Rosa mountain range and its canyons were formed by igneous and metamorphic rock thrust up by the activity of the two major tectonic zones, the San Andreas and San Jacinto faults.

Foothills of the Santa Rosa Mountains at the start of the Bear Creek Oasis Trail in La Quinta Cove

What a contrast....the snow-covered San Jacinto Mountains and the arid hills on the trail.

Snow-covered San Jacinto Mountains from the Bear Creek Oasis Trail
Snow-covered San Jacinto Mountains from the Bear Creek Oasis Trail

Finally after all the uphill hiking, off in the distance we could see the trail leading down to the palm oasis.

Descending on trail to the palm oasis on the Bear Creek Oasis Trail in La Quinta Cove

The palm oasis off in the distance.

Palm Oasis on the Bear Creek Oasis trail

Data indicates the spring-fed streams running through the steep canyons that support the oasis are slowly drying up and the palm trees dying. However when we visited during this wet winter of 2019 the plants in the area looked healthy and thriving.

Bear Creek Palm Oasis supported by spring fed streams from the canyons and Santa Rosa Mountains

After reaching the oasis, we continued hiking until we reached a lunch spot along a stream that feeds the oasis.

Bear Creek Palm Oasis supported by spring fed streams from the canyons and Santa Rosa Mountains
Bear Creek Palm Oasis supported by spring fed streams from the canyons and Santa Rosa Mountains

After lunch we started our hike back to the parking lot. This ocotillo looked like it was lunging off the cliff.

La Quinta Cove and Little San Bernardino Mountains from the Bear Creek Oasis Trail

The views on the way back were just as stupendous.

Rock outcropping extending from foothills of the Santa Rosa Mountains along Bear Creek Oasis Trail

Mount Martinez dominated the skyline.

Mount Martinez dominated the skyline on the Bear Creek Oasis Trail.

Small patch of teddy bear cholla lined the trail.

Small patch of teddy bear cholla lined the Bear Creek Oasis trail
Rock outcropping extending from foothills of the Santa Rosa Mountains along Bear Creek Oasis Trail

Back in the wash at the start of the trail. It was a great day hike with amazing views in every direction.

Rock outcropping extending from foothills of the Santa Rosa Mountains along Bear Creek Oasis Trail

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