Sunday, January 27, 2013

The Palm Canyon Hike

The Day turned out to be sunny and after walking with Molly and hanging out chatting to our German friends, I had the idea to do a hike up Palm Canyon. We had been in the canyon a few years ago but would like to go back to this very beautiful spot. Reinhold and Jenny were also interested and joined us.
1-DSC_0284 1-DSC_0282
1-DSC_0286 1-DSC_0358
From milepost 99 it is about another 14 miles on Hwy95 towards Yuma. Coming from Q-site the gravel road to Palm Canyon turns left to the Kofa Mountain Range at about milepost 85. Watch out for the Palm Canyon sign besides the highway.
1-DSC_0290 1-DSC_0316 

The gravel road to the foot of the mountain is rough and washboard style. A few rigs are parked along the road.
1-DSC_0318 1-DSC_0315

The well signed hiking path takes off from the parking lot and climbs up on the southern side of the canyon. The rocky path is not excessively steep but we had to watch our steps as the ground appears to be of loose rocks and gravel.
Now why is this canyon named “Palm Canyon”?
The reason is that the canyon is one of very few places and maybe the only one in Arizona, where native Palm Trees can be found. They are tucked away in a steep narrow side canyon way up to your left as you climb the trail. These trees (Washingtonia filifera) are California fan palms. They do not carry dates. They are probably descendents of palms growing in this area during the last periods of North American glaciations.

We were lucky enough to reach the viewpoint towards the canyon at around noon. It is the only time when the sun is touching these trees. Even though sunshine is at a premium for these trees they have enough moisture to grow. The microclimate in this narrow canyon would also be beneficial for them.

In 1986 some 42 trees were counted in the main grove. Fronds which fall to the ground provide nutrients for more growth. That is the way these unique palm trees have survived up here.
From this upper elevation we enjoyed a marvelous view across the La Posa Plains.
It is a place of serene beauty.
  1-DSC_0354    1-DSC_0350

The hike up takes about 30-45 minutes, depending on how many stops one does to take in the scenery.

Thanks for following along on this beautiful day!


  1. We were discussing Palm Canyon today. I guess you made it there before we did.

  2. A great hike! Wonderful photos and information.

  3. Thanks for taking us back , it been a few years for us too.

  4. Great photos of a beautiful looking hike. I think we'd love to take that one some day.

  5. Well I expect that hike is not in my immediate future. Need to practise being able to walk longer first. But it's coming along.

  6. It has been ten years since I did that hike. Thanks for reminding me how lovely it was. Great pictures


We like to hear from you. You can add your comment here: