Friday, October 11, 2013

Palm Springs, Death Valley National Park

One of the burros that hang at the spring.
Oasis. n. pl. 1. A fertile or green spot in a desert or wasteland, made so by the presence of water.

2. A situation or place preserved from surrounding unpleasantness; a refuge: an oasis of serenity amid chaos.

Oasis, a word that we seldom use in it's literal context. Somewhere in northeast Nevada on an Indian reservation is a most beautiful turquoise blue pool with a white clay bottom. The pool is acres wide, ringed with reeds, up to 8 feet deep, and it's average temperature is about 103F. It is the most visually pleasing hot spring I have ever visited. I was led there by others and cannot now remember it's name, a problem I am trying to solve. Until I do, Palm Springs in Death Valley is my new favorite hot spring.  

Hot and cold water flow up from the ground at the lower, main springs. Here is where Lizard Lee and his Lady Friend reside, and here much energy and labor has resulted in a remarkable quartet of righteous pools. Each pool has an intrinsic uniqueness, from the one person washtub of cool spring water perched on a deck over a small stream, to a nicely mosaic'd tub for two, to a shaded grotto with crystals for company, this place has a tub for every taste. I got to take my time in each, basking in the fact that I and only one other traveler were even there (and the other guy was napping on the grass some distance from the pools). I really blissed out in the warm waters of the crystal pool, spent most of an hour floating there without any interruption.

There are two more tubs about a half mile away, these being considered the Upper Palm Spring. These large and luxurious pools are piping hot, and the view from each is spectacular, particularly at sunset. The hexagonal pool (below) can easily fit eight people though fortunately the most I shared it with was two others. This is also an excellent place to poach while watching stars fall. I loved Palm Spring, really. It's funky and weird and remarkable, a totally enjoyable place. I will most definitely be back. 

Upper Palm Spring

Upper Palm Spring
An art project at the main Palm Springs
Crystals at the "grotto" pool seen below
Tub for two
Books: borrow/donate
One person tub, and tucked in the shade below

The sun pool

One very happy burro, not many apples out here.


  1. Hi this is unbelievably beautiful! But I am confused as to where the location is? When I search Palm Springs, Death Valley I am not finding anything similar to this, as I would like to find directions. Please help! :)

  2. Anon, I'm not surprised you couldn't locate Palm Springs. Here's a hint, concentrate your search on Saline Valley. It's a fun puzzle I'll let you solve. The info is out there.