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Bear Springs Oasis

  • The Hype

    Full day canyon with big views and easy access from behind the City of La Quinta. Nice variety of challenging rappels and down climbs keep things interesting. This is the North Fork of Bear Creek Canyon. It may not be labeled on maps. (Beta for the main fork of Bear Creek canyon can be found here: http://canyoncollective.com/betabase/bear-creek.76/)

    Getting There

    The trailhead is located at the top of the La Quinta Cove in La Quinta, CA. From the 10 freeway take Washington St exit south towards La Quinta. Turn Right on Eisenhower Dr. and follow it all the way to top of the cove. At the top of Eisenhower Dr. turn right on Avenida Bermudas. The trailhead parking lot is 1/4 mile ahead on the left.

    The trailhead starts at the top of the La Quinta Cove. The map in the parking lot can be a little misleading: it states that the hike is 3.7 miles to the Oasis. My GPS logged about 4.5 mi to the Oasis from the parking lot. Follow the signs for the first segment of the trail, which will lead to a 1/2 mile hike up the wash. Note that when the trail starts heading up the hill this is just after the exit of the canyon, which ends at the wash in a 6 ft down climb and some graffiti and trash.

    Continue to follow the well marked trail up the ridge for a strenuous 2300ft gain. Proceed to the Oasis of 30 palm trees clustered closely in the canyon. From here the canyon can be entered by following the water course below the Oasis.

    The Canyon - Rating: 3AIII   Longest Rap: 125'   # of Raps: 6-8

    Gear: One 200 foot rope, One 200 foot pull cord, 45 feet, or more, of webbing, 6 rapides/quick-links, and a Smoother Operator or Fiddlestick (a retrievable anchor type device used for descending canyons with minimum impact and to minimize the need for anchor building). If you don't have a Fiddlestick/Smooth Operator or similar device you may need significantly more webbing to set all of the anchors with clean pulls since natural anchor materials tend to be about 10 or 15 feet back from the edge of many of the rappels

    Rappel 1: Proceed .3 miles down canyon from the Oasis, with a couple of minor down climbs, to the first rappel. The rappel drops 90 feet down a narrow dryfall. Use a Fiddlestick/Smooth Operator to anchor off exposed rock 15 feet back from the rappel.

    100 yards past the first rappel the canyon descends quickly into a boulder field, requiring extensive down climbing. Several palm trees grow in a narrow part of the canyon and have clogged the canyon with fallen palm fronds. The palm fronds are difficult to climb through. Proceed .3 miles to the 2nd rappel.

    Rappel 2: 30 foot wide ledge that may be able to be bypassed or down climbed by some. Use a Fiddlestick/Smooth Operator to rig off of a boulder at top of ledge. Proceed .4 miles down canyon with several down climbs to rap 3

    Rappel 3: Downclimb a steep dry waterfall to get to the top of the 45 foot rappel 3. Anchor off a large boulder partially buried in the sand 25 feet back from ledge. The rappel ends on rock ledge at the top of Rappel 4.

    Rappel 4: Drops 125 feet down a vertical wall. Anchor off a boulder 10 feet back from ledge.

    From bottom of Rappel 4 follow the canyon 100 feet to the top of a 30 foot drop. This is an optional rappel, or a tricky down climb on the right hand side looking down canyon (RDC).

    After .3 miles and some down climbs the canyon opens with another creek joining from the left. 200 yards past the joining creek stay to the left hand side looking down canyon (LDC) and follow the watercourse down series of smoothed rocks to the top of the bottom section of canyon. The canyon narrows again, with a steep down climb to the top of Rappel 5.

    Rappel 5: 30 feet with no obvious anchor point. One option may be to build a deadman anchor with webbing gift-wrapped around boulder then buried. There is also potential to build a knot chock / knot block anchor as well.

    100 yards past Rappel 5 is a 60 foot downclimb with 2 palm trees. Continue to follow the creek for .2 miles with several wide ledges and down climbs to Rappel 6.

    Rappel 6 (optional): Drops 20 feet down a dryfall. There is a small goat trail bypassing the waterfall to the right (RDC), which makes this an optional rappel. If you choose to rappel you can use a Fiddlestick/Smooth Operator to anchor off rock.

    Follow the canyon .2 miles to Rappel 7. The canyon narrows 200 feet before the top of Rappel 7.

    Rappel 7: Drops 45 feet vertical and has multiple anchor options. One option is to anchor with a Fiddlestick/Smooth Operator off a large boulder 25' back from ledge. The rappel could be longer 45 feet or could be free hanging, depending on anchor placement.

    Follow canyon .2 mi along the sandy wash to Rappel 8.

    Rappel 8 (optional): 25 feet down a narrow rappel. Could be bypassed by exiting the canyon to the right (RDC) at the top of the rappel onto the Bear Springs Trail. This is the only bolted rappel in the canyon. One bolt is 2 feet directly in front of the ledge. A second bolt is feet' to the left (LDC) and above the ledge.

    Follow the canyon 100 feet past a 6 foot downclimb, then exit onto Bear Springs Trail.

    The Exit

    The canyon exits onto the Bear Springs Oasis trail about 1 mile from the trailhead parking lot. Return the way you came.

    Red Tape

    No permits required. This canyon is within the San Bernardino National Forest. Hiking group size limits on National Forest land are usually 12 people. Click on the link to see the status of the Bear Creek Oasis trail.
  • The trailhead is located at the top of the La Quinta Cove in La Quinta, CA. From the 10 freeway take Washington St exit south towards La Quinta. Turn Right on Eisenhower Dr. and follow it all the way to top of the cove. At the top of Eisenhower Dr. turn right on Avenida Bermudas. The trailhead parking lot is 1/4 mile ahead on the left.

    The trailhead starts at the top of the La Quinta Cove. The map in the parking lot can be a little misleading: it states that the hike is 3.7 miles to the Oasis. My GPS logged about 4.5 mi to the Oasis from the parking lot. Follow the signs for the first segment of the trail, which will lead to a 1/2 mile hike up the wash. Note that when the trail starts heading up the hill this is just after the exit of the canyon, which ends at the wash in a 6 ft down climb and some graffiti and trash.

    Continue to follow the well marked trail up the ridge for a strenuous 2300ft gain. Proceed to the Oasis of 30 palm trees clustered closely in the canyon. From here the canyon can be entered by following the water course below the Oasis.
  • Gear: One 200 foot rope, One 200 foot pull cord, 45 feet, or more, of webbing, 6 rapides/quick-links, and a Smoother Operator or Fiddlestick (a retrievable anchor type device used for descending canyons with minimum impact and to minimize the need for anchor building). If you don't have a Fiddlestick/Smooth Operator or similar device you may need significantly more webbing to set all of the anchors with clean pulls since natural anchor materials tend to be about 10 or 15 feet back from the edge of many of the rappels

    Rappel 1: Proceed .3 miles down canyon from the Oasis, with a couple of minor down climbs, to the first rappel. The rappel drops 90 feet down a narrow dryfall. Use a Fiddlestick/Smooth Operator to anchor off exposed rock 15 feet back from the rappel.

    100 yards past the first rappel the canyon descends quickly into a boulder field, requiring extensive down climbing. Several palm trees grow in a narrow part of the canyon and have clogged the canyon with fallen palm fronds. The palm fronds are difficult to climb through. Proceed .3 miles to the 2nd rappel.

    Rappel 2: 30 foot wide ledge that may be able to be bypassed or down climbed by some. Use a Fiddlestick/Smooth Operator to rig off of a boulder at top of ledge. Proceed .4 miles down canyon with several down climbs to rap 3

    Rappel 3: Downclimb a steep dry waterfall to get to the top of the 45 foot rappel 3. Anchor off a large boulder partially buried in the sand 25 feet back from ledge. The rappel ends on rock ledge at the top of Rappel 4.

    Rappel 4: Drops 125 feet down a vertical wall. Anchor off a boulder 10 feet back from ledge.

    From bottom of Rappel 4 follow the canyon 100 feet to the top of a 30 foot drop. This is an optional rappel, or a tricky down climb on the right hand side looking down canyon (RDC).

    After .3 miles and some down climbs the canyon opens with another creek joining from the left. 200 yards past the joining creek stay to the left hand side looking down canyon (LDC) and follow the watercourse down series of smoothed rocks to the top of the bottom section of canyon. The canyon narrows again, with a steep down climb to the top of Rappel 5.

    Rappel 5: 30 feet with no obvious anchor point. One option may be to build a deadman anchor with webbing gift-wrapped around boulder then buried. There is also potential to build a knot chock / knot block anchor as well.

    100 yards past Rappel 5 is a 60 foot downclimb with 2 palm trees. Continue to follow the creek for .2 miles with several wide ledges and down climbs to Rappel 6.

    Rappel 6 (optional): Drops 20 feet down a dryfall. There is a small goat trail bypassing the waterfall to the right (RDC), which makes this an optional rappel. If you choose to rappel you can use a Fiddlestick/Smooth Operator to anchor off rock.

    Follow the canyon .2 miles to Rappel 7. The canyon narrows 200 feet before the top of Rappel 7.

    Rappel 7: Drops 45 feet vertical and has multiple anchor options. One option is to anchor with a Fiddlestick/Smooth Operator off a large boulder 25' back from ledge. The rappel could be longer 45 feet or could be free hanging, depending on anchor placement.

    Follow canyon .2 mi along the sandy wash to Rappel 8.

    Rappel 8 (optional): 25 feet down a narrow rappel. Could be bypassed by exiting the canyon to the right (RDC) at the top of the rappel onto the Bear Springs Trail. This is the only bolted rappel in the canyon. One bolt is 2 feet directly in front of the ledge. A second bolt is feet' to the left (LDC) and above the ledge.

    Follow the canyon 100 feet past a 6 foot downclimb, then exit onto Bear Springs Trail.
  • The canyon exits onto the Bear Springs Oasis trail about 1 mile from the trailhead parking lot. Return the way you came.
  • No permits required. This canyon is within the San Bernardino National Forest. Hiking group size limits on National Forest land are usually 12 people. Click on the link to see the status of the Bear Creek Oasis trail.

Condition Reports for Bear Springs Oasis

  1. Tirrus
    November 18, 2014
    Tirrus

    Difficulty:

    Moderate

    Skill Level:

    Beginner

    Water:

    Dry/avoidable

    Thermal:

    None

    Group Size:

    3 people

    Total Time:

    1 hour 8 hours


    Repeated this canyon to confirm the betas accuracy, and to introduce a beginner to the sport. Anchors in place on 3 out of 9 rappels, the rest were easily Smooth Operator/Fiddlesticked

    Posted Nov 19, 2014
The information provided here is intended for entertainment purposes only. The creator of this information and/or Canyon Collective are not liable for any harm or damage caused by this information. Conditions in the backcountry are constantly changing, only you are responsible for your safety and well being.