Many visitors to Joshua Tree National Park stay in two clusters of accommodations that are located just outside the park: in the Yucca Valley, just north of Highway 62 (Twentynine Palms Highway); or in Desert Hot Springs, about 1/2 hour southwest of the park. There aren’t particularly obvious running options in these areas, in the form of trails and parks. The best bet is to find some of the quieter residential streets off the main road. Notes: All the roads are exposed, please use precautions in the heat. And the shoulders on some of the main roads can be sandy.
Yucca Valley Running Options. Just south of the National Park Visitor Center off Twentynine Palms Highway, there’s a cluster of paved residential streets, mostly west of Park Blvd. Another area is in Yucca Valley, where there’s a number of quiet residential streets south of Highway 62. Not especially scenic, bit a decent option if you need to get some miles in.
Desert Hot Springs Running Options. This is sort of a gateway town to Joshua Tree National Park, with hotels, restaurants, shopping, & supplies. The main north-south streets such as Palm Dr. and West Dr. run for nearly 5 miles and feature sidewalks. The grid of east-west streets between Little Morongo Rd. and Verbena are ~2 miles. Some have sidewalks and most are quiet and runnable. Acoma Blvd. is a good option. Note the streets in the area are wide and might feature fast-moving cars.
Long Canyon Trail. This new trail runs between Desert Hot Springs and Joshua Tree National Park. The northern end of the 9.1 mile trail toward the Park is a more challenging hike/trail run, but the first 1.5 miles from the trailhead in Desert Hot Springs are flat and easy.