Seventeen Palms Oasis

—In the Borrego Badlands, California

By H. E. W. WILSON

THIS is a picture of one of the better known water holes in the Colorado

Desert in San Diego county, California—”Seventeen Palms.” It is located

twelve miles from U. S. highway 99, and is reached by way of Salada

Creek. It is just west of Imperial county, the line passing close by. Elevation by

government survey is 410 feet above sea level. There is an old wagon road, now

impassable, leading from Fish Springs round Clay Point, which crosses Salada

Creek, and is laid out over the wide mesa between Salada and Tule Wash; it passes Zacaton

Spring heading for the spring by the Three Palms, and thence by circuitous dry washes to

Seventeen Palms. Originally this road continued to Borego Springs, and the part from the

edge of Borego mountain to the springs is still used, the other part is practically

nonexistent and visible only in spots. Quite a few people visit Seventeen

Palms reaching it by auto either from U. S. highway 99, if it hasn’t rained recently,

or from Borego valley by way of the “Doc Beatty” road, as it is called

locally. It is a really beautiful spot, as the photograph shows and there is open

water, which is only fit for drinking after the spring has been thoroughly cleaned out.

The  oasis gets its name from the seventeen palms that originally stood

there, but some have been destroyed and new ones have grown up in the present century,

so the visitor today, after a careful count wonders how it got its name.

There are several Indian trails leading to this water. One trail from the spring ends about

half a mile away on a high ridge. Evidently this was a lookout, showing that Indians

 

desert, Desert Magazine, borrego, california, seventeen palms oasis, san diego, colorado desert, desert magazine May 1938

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