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FODM 2020 CNC Hike: Willis Palms Oasis Trail

Updated: Jan 9, 2021

Click here for information about 2020 City Nature Challenge.

For my second hike to capture nature observations for 2020 CNC, I chose the Wallis Palms Oasis Trail. Although, we've stopped a few times at this trailhead, we've never hiked here. Due to the oasis environment, I thought this trail would give me an opportunity to capture lots of observations in a short time frame. Since daytime temperatures were in excess of 95°, I waited until 4:00pm to start hiking. This meant that lighting conditions for the 35mm would be harsh but I had already decided to capture most 'close-up' observations using my iPhone anyway.

No sooner had I started walking the trail when 2 coyotes darted across the path, unfortunately, they were too fast to capture in a picture. I made a total of 66 observations during the hike but I've only included a few interesting one for this blog.

Sandy wash Willis Palm Trail Loop

Desert iguanas

It's hard to capture the beauty of Schott's Indigo bush with its small deep purple pea-sized flowers.

Wand Holdback, a rather boring twiggy shrub produces slender, wand-like stems up to 6 feet tall, takes on a new light when its yellow flowers begin to bloom.

Emory rock daisy and notch-leaf scorpion-weed

Pencil cholla cactus

Pencil cholla cactus on the Willis Palm Loop Trail

Bristly langoisia and ghost flower

Catclaw acacia


Smoke tree

Smoke tree in the wash on the Willis Palm Loop Trail

Desert tobacco and desert sand verbena

Desert dandelion

Flowering desert dandelion in sandy wash on the Willis Palm Loop Trail

California fan palm

Willis Palm grove.  California palm trees along Willis Palms Trail Loop

Silver cholla cactus

Western side-blotched lizard and desert cottontail

Swainson's hawk

Swainson's hawk flying above the Willis Palm Loop Trail

After 3 hours of making observations, it was time to head back to the car. I arrived just in time for a great sunset.

Lush plants along Willis Palm grove
Sunset over the San Gorgonio Pass and San Jacinto

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