We like to encourage our runners to get out and enjoy the area where we hold our races, so we designate certain challenging and iconic activities in the park to be a part of our official club hikes and trifecta. We have 3 club hikes plus a less-intense, three-part trifecta!
We have three club hikes for the Joshua Tree Half Marathon: The Oasis Club, Boy Scout Club, and Keys Club!
The trailhead is located at Cottonwood Spring. After the palms at the springs, the trail climbs toward the southeast through scrub desert. The boulder piles and rocky gullies become more common as the trail continues toward Lost Palms Oasis. At 3.3 miles, there is a spur trail that leads to the right to an overlook with birds-eye views of the green palms. Climbing back out the canyon is strenuous. Plan on 5-6 hours to complete this hike.
Listed as a National Historic Site, Keys Ranch is located in a remote, rocky canyon in the park. To preserve its historic character, admission to the ranch is restricted to guided walking tours. The tours are a half-mile in length and last 90 minutes. Group size is limited to 25 people. Tickets are required and must be purchased in person on the day of the tour. Buy tickets at the Oasis Visitor Center in Twentynine Palms starting at 8:30 am. Keys Ranch tours cost $10 per person aged 12 and over and $5 for children 6 to 11. Children under six are admitted free. Senior and Access Pass holders pay $5.
BOY SCOUT CLUB
The Boy Scout Trail is a mostly flat trail along the edge of the Wonderland of Rocks. This is a very popular trail in the park because there are diverse things to see. The geological formations all around take your breath away. Travel through Joshua tree forests, boulder landscape, and sandy washes. After being on Boy Scout Trail for 1.25 miles there is a well marked sign verging off to the right for Willow Hole. Depending on what time of day to hike, many enjoy the sunset on their way back to the trailhead.
PRIZE & REQUIREMENTS » Any runners that take the challenge and complete one of the designated hikes within 72 hours of running the race will officially join the club, get their pictures published on our website, plus receive a commemorative medallion! All you have to do is take a picture of yourself at the designated location which includes:
For those looking for something less strenuous, we have the Zion Trifecta! The Trifecta is comprised of 3 different activities. You must complete all 3 in order to complete the Trifecta. The Trifecta is meant to be challenging, but less strenuous. These are iconic activities inside the park that should be experienced, but are doable with children. The 3 activities that makeup the Trifecta are:
Take the path from the parking lot between rock walls into Hidden Valley. After climbing over and through a small gap in the rocks enclosing hidden valley, you’ll reach the sandy desert floor and come to a T-junction. Pick a direction and start your journey through the hidden valley. Discover a rock-enclosed valley that was once rumored to have been used by cattle rustlers. Signs along the nature trail help visitors identify the park’s fauna and flora. The trail is mostly level, crossing through hard-packed sand, but it does venture through some interesting rock formations. There’s no wrong way to explore Hidden Valley.
Barker Dam was constructed in 1900 for cattle and mining purposes. Today, it holds rainwater and runoff for the local wild animals and if you’re lucky you might get to see wildlife such as birds, rabbits, squirrels, or even bighorn sheep or a rattlesnake (always keep your distance around wildlife). This area causes one to wonder how people managed to exist in this barren environment until some sort of water capture was made. Water may or may not be present. The trail is an easy hike, though closed toed shoes are recommended due to cactus. From the parking lot, follow the rope fencing to get to the trailhead.
Keys View is a lookout point located a couple of thousand feet above Joshua Tree National Park that provides an incredible vantage point. This is a short, paved loop path that offers breathtaking views of the San Andreas Fault, Mount San Jacinto, Mount San Gorgonio, and the Salton Sea. On a clear day, the prominence of the mountains from this point is stunning as you can see Palm Springs(~500 ft above sea level), and Mt. San Jacinto (10,834 ft above sea level).
*We require that you combine all three trifecta photos into one image file before submitting your entry to the Trifecta. You can download this app to make a collage of your photos on your iPhone or Android.
PRIZE & REQUIREMENTS » You must complete all 3 in order to complete the Trifecta. Same rules apply: take your picture at each of the 3 with your bib and finisher medal and send them to us* 72 hours after finishing the race. Those who complete the Trifecta will get their pictures published on our website, plus receive a commemorative pin!
Registration is Open!