There are many miles of trails for hiking in Joshua Tree National Park. Many tend to be challenging — rocky or sandy, and hilly — and are only for experienced trail runners. Also note that all of the trails in the park are very exposed — please take the right precautions, especially in the summer heat! Hiking Trail Information
Here are our recommendations some of the best trails for running in Joshua Tree National Park that are easy/moderate.
Short Walks and Nature Trails. On the hiking trails page, most of these trails are too short for a decent length run, and also can be quite crowded. A couple can be stitched together for a 3-4 mile run, and best done early or off-peak. INFORMATION
Pine City Trail. 4 miles out and back. Fairly flat trail passing a dense stand of junipers and pinyon, and an old mining site. Accessible from Pine City trailhead at end of Desert Queen Mine Road.
Lost Horse Mine. Options for 4 miles out and back, or 6.5 mile loop. 550 foot elevation gain. Explore around one of the most successful gold mines in Joshua Tree NP. Access from Lost Horse Mine trailhead off Keys View Road. Longer, more challenging option is the
Split Rock Loop. 2.5 mile loop. Distance includes safe trip to Face Rock. Access from Split Rock picnic area.
Lost Palms Oasis. Up to 7.5 miles out and back, 500 foot gain. Enjoy sandy washes and rolling terrain, then hike down into a canyon to explore a remote fan palm oasis. The full out and back involves a challenging hike back out of the canyon, so for an easier option, run the section until you get to the canyon.
Willow Hole. Up to 7.2 miles out and back. Mostly flat trail along the edge of the Wonderland of Rocks, featuring Joshua tree forests, boulder landscape, and sandy washes. Trail ends at willow trees. Access from Boy Scout Trailhead – south end inside the park.
Long Canyon Trail. Up to 9.1 miles one-way. This relatively new trail connects Joshua Tree National Park Wilderness with Desert Springs in the Coachella Valley, following the main drainage of Long Canyon. Most of the trail starting in Desert Springs is gently sloping desert landscape, with the first 1.5 miles quite easy and flat. The last sections are steeper and more challenging.
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