Joshua Tree Half Marathon: A Scenic and Challenging Race through the Desert 2024

Get ready for a unique and unforgettable running experience at the Joshua Tree Half Marathon! This night race in the stunning Joshua Tree National Park offers a challenging yet rewarding course, leaving you feeling accomplished and exhilarated. With breathtaking desert views and options for all levels of runners, lace up your shoes for a night of camaraderie and celebration.

Are you ready? Okay good. Go on!

Our Pick
Brooks Women's Adrenaline GTS 22 Supportive Running Shoe


  • ✅ Stability and support
  • ✅ Smoother ride
  • ✅ Easier flow


  • ❌ Runs a little smaller
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
05/15/2024 08:12 am GMT

Race Overview

We are excited to share with you all the details about the Joshua Tree Half Marathon, a one-of-a-kind night race that takes place in the beautiful desert under the stars. This year, the race will be held on November 4, 2023, at 6:00 pm PST.

Dennis Heinrich after Mallorca Marathon 10.2023 Bild1

Why runfitjourney? Look at us, we are two guys who love running ourselves and love to learn more and more about this sport.

Sebastian Gradl after Running a Charity Run 09.2023

📅 Race Date

The Joshua Tree Half Marathon is on November 4, 2023, and an experience of an unforgettable night race under the full moon in the open desert. The race starts at 6:00 pm PST, so be sure to arrive early to pick up your bib and explore the race expo.

📍 Location

The Joshua Tree Half Marathon will take place at Joshua Tree Lake RV & Campground located at 2601 Sunfair Rd, Joshua Tree, CA. The campground is situated in the west of the national park, providing stunning views of the surrounding desert landscape.

🏃 Race Type

The Joshua Tree Half Marathon is a half marathon race that takes place at night, under the stars, and the full moon. The course is set up in the open desert, making it a unique and challenging experience for runners of all levels. The race is a climb factor of 5% over 13.1 mi, which means that the energy expenditure for the run is equivalent to running a flat 13.7 mi.

Join us for an unforgettable night race in the beautiful desert under the stars. We can’t wait to see you there!

Registration and Results

Joshua Tree Half Marathon Woman and Man at finish
by Pinterest

At Joshua Tree Half Marathon, we strive to make the registration and results process as smooth and easy as possible for our runners. Here’s what you need to know about registering for our race and receiving your results.

📝 Registration Process

To register for the Joshua Tree Half Marathon, simply visit the RunSignup page and select the event you would like to participate in – Half Marathon, Charity Bib, or Pacer. From there, you will be asked to provide some basic information and complete the registration process.

We encourage all runners to register early. You can also stay up-to-date on registration information on Facebook.

🏅 Results Process

After you have completed the Joshua Tree Half Marathon, your chip time will be automatically recorded and you will receive your results in real-time. To access your results, simply visit RunSignup results page and enter your race-assigned bib number.

They also provide age group results and team results for those who participated with a group. If you have any questions or concerns about your results, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.

“Our running shoes have magic in them. The power to transform a bad day into a good day; frustration into speed; self-doubt into confidence; chocolate cake into muscle.”
– Mina Samuels

Race Day Details

Joshua Tree Half Marathon Group running at night
by Pinterest

On the day of the Joshua Tree Half Marathon, we want to make sure that you have all the information you need to have a successful race. Here are some important details you should know:

🚰 Aid Stations

There will be aid stations located throughout the course at approximately every two miles. These aid stations will provide water, sports drinks, and gels. Additionally, there will be first aid supplies available if needed.

🏞️ Course Conditions

The course is a rolling course with loose sand and rocks. Please be aware of your footing and take caution while running. The race is at night, so colorful lights will lead you to the finish line.

⏱️ Timing and Pacing

The race will start promptly at 6:00 p.m. Please arrive early to ensure you have enough time to park and get to the starting line. There is a time limit of 4 hours for the race. If you are unable to finish the race in this time, you may be asked to exit the course.

There are pacers for runners who are looking to finish the race at a specific time. If you are interested in running with a pacer, please look for them at the starting line.

RaceJoy is provided as part of the official race experience for the Joshua Tree Half Marathon. Download the RaceJoy mobile app in advance to ensure proper phone setup. Invite your friends and family to track you and send you cheers!

Spectator Information

Joshua Tree Half Marathon National Park View
by Pinterest

Here’s some important information for spectators:

  • ✅ The race takes place on November 4, 2023, at 6:00 pm (PST) at the Joshua Tree Lake RV & Campground.
  • ✅ Spectators are welcome to attend the Expo & Bib Pickup on November 4, 2023, from 11:00 am – 5:00 pm (PST).
  • ✅ Spectators are encouraged to bring chairs, blankets, and warm clothing as it can get chilly in the desert at night.
  • ✅ Spectators are not allowed on the course during the race for safety reasons. However, there will be designated spectator areas at the start and finish lines.
  • ✅ Spectators are encouraged to cheer on the runners and show their support with signs and noisemakers.
Mile MarkerLocationDescription
Mile 2Start/Finish LineCheer on runners as they begin and end the race
Mile 5Scenic OverlookEnjoy panoramic views of the desert landscape
Mile 8Joshua Tree National ParkExperience the unique rock formations and desert scenery
Mile 11Campground Viewing AreaGet a glimpse of runners navigating the final stretch

We hope to see you at the Joshua Tree Half Marathon!

Post-Race Celebrations

  • 🎉 Thrilling post-race celebrations with an electric atmosphere
  • 🎉 Brightly shining stars casting a magical glow over the event
  • 🎉 Warm welcome at the finish line with colorful lights and cheers
  • 🎉 Sense of camaraderie and support from the crowd
  • 🎉 Relaxing and unwinding with delicious food, refreshing drinks, and entertainment
  • 🎉 Connecting with other runners and sharing race experiences
  • 🎉 Energized, inspired, and proud of achievements after the unforgettable night

Additional Information

Joshua Tree Half Marathon Woman at finish
by Pinterest

We’re excited to share some additional information about the Joshua Tree Half Marathon that we think you’ll find helpful. Whether you’re a seasoned runner or a first-time participant, we hope this information will make your experience even better.

🏁 Race Day

The Joshua Tree Half Marathon takes place on a Saturday in November. The exact date varies from year to year, so be sure to check the official race website for the most up-to-date information.

🏃 Racing Season

The Joshua Tree Half Marathon is part of the Vacation Races series, which includes several other half marathons throughout the year in various scenic locations across the United States. If you’re looking for a new challenge and want to explore some beautiful landscapes, we highly recommend checking out the other races in the series.

🌵 California

The Joshua Tree Half Marathon takes place in Joshua Tree, California, a small town located near Joshua Tree National Park. The park is known for its stunning desert landscapes and unique rock formations, and we highly recommend taking some time to explore the park while you’re in the area.

🏜️ Running

The Joshua Tree Half Marathon is a unique night race that takes you through the desert and under the stars with colorful lights leading you to the finish. The course is challenging but rewarding, with stunning views of the desert landscape throughout the race.

📸 Photos

We know that capturing memories of your race is important, and there will be plenty of opportunities to take photos before, during, and after the race. We highly recommend bringing a camera or smartphone to capture some of the stunning scenery you’ll encounter along the way.

We hope this additional information has been helpful in preparing for the Joshua Tree Half Marathon. We can’t wait to see you on race day!

Our 4 Tips on the Joshua Tree Half Marathon

Altitude Preparation: Due to the higher altitude of Joshua Tree National Park, it’s essential to acclimate yourself to the elevation before the race. Incorporate altitude training into your preparation to adapt to the thinner air.”

Night Running Gear: As the race takes place at night under the stars, ensure you have appropriate gear such as a headlamp, reflective clothing, and comfortable running shoes with good traction for navigating the desert terrain in low light.”

Hydration and Nutrition: Stay well-hydrated and fuel your body with proper nutrition leading up to the race. Consider the unique challenges of running in the desert environment and plan your hydration and nutrition strategy accordingly.

Mental Preparation: Prepare yourself mentally for the unique experience of running a night race in the open desert. Visualize the course, set realistic goals, and stay focused on enjoying the unforgettable journey through the Joshua Tree landscape.”


When is the Joshua Tree Half Marathon?

The race is typically held in November.

What is the Joshua Tree Half Marathon course like?

The course is a mix of dirt roads and trails with some challenging hills. 

Are there aid stations on the course?

Yes, there are aid stations approximately every 2 miles providing water, sports drinks, and snacks.

What is your option on the Joshua Tree Half Marathon? I would love to hear it in the comments. I’m sure you also like reading about Half Marathon Calorie Burn or Do I Need to Fuel During a Half Marathon.

Sebastian Gradl 26.09.2023
Sebastian Gradl

Nice to meet you, I´m Sebastian Gradl!

I write the articles on

I hope I can awaken your passion for running too and would be happy to take you on the runfitjourney!

Articles: 681

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *