Joshua Tree Double

March 09 2024
Twentynine Palms, California, USA
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Distances: 200 miles, 9,000 feet
Difficulty: Difficult terrain with longer, steeper hills
Limited to: 500 or less Participants



Starting in Twentynine Palms, CA, just east of Joshua Tree City, from Motel 6. Joshua Tree Double Century, and Century Riders will be going through Joshua Tree National Park which our permit allows.

This California Triple Crown approved Double Century is 193.5 miles, with 9,100 feet of elevation gain. It shows the most spectacular, mesmorizing desert in the U.S.A.   Double Century riders ride through the entire length of Joshua Tree National Park, entering the Joshua Tree entrance and exiting Cottonwood, on the south, and continuing on from there.

2020 now has a Century ride, 112.8 miles, elev. 5,500 ft. This ride covers the loop in JT Nat'l Park, entering the Park from from the town of Joshua Tree, and exiting in the town of 29 Palms via Utah Trail. It then heads east on Twentynine Palms Blvd., aka Hwy.62 at mile 60, turning around at mile 85, where you'll be heading back with the double century riders to the finish, at Roadway Inn in the town of 29 Palms.        

Starting at Motel 6 in the town of 29 Palms, there are no turns the first 14 miles, until Park Blvd, which heads south into Joshua Tree National Park.  After this left  turn at the signal light, Park Blvd. (mile 14) there are no more signals, until 2 miles before the Finish.  Also, re: Stop signs, there are four total in 193.5 miles. The pavement around the entire DC is good, with no expansion cracks, chip seal, or potholes!  

Joshua Tree National Park has three rider requirements: 1) helmet, 2)  reflective vest, an ANSI class 1 vest,( which is the lowest quality).  If you are wearing a higher quality vest, such as a class 2, that's fine. These are about 6.50 from Walmart, Home Depot,Harbor Freight  or on-line. 3) ride single file.  Rangers will be out there.

  Hydration is extremely important in the dry desert air!

      Ideally you should have two full water bottles  and a small 40 oz. Camelbak at least half full, or three full waterbottles for this desert adventure. Please fill your water bottles with our good water designed for optimal hydration and alkalinity, available at Rider Check-in the night before and morning of Ride Start, when you sign the waiver. Highly recommended: start with liquid electrolytes in your water that we provide, or use your own.


     Since the desert air is very dry, therefore it's recommended you start drinking lots of water the day before, along with electrolytes, and ionic minerals.  Electrolytes are five of the 72 minerals your body needs everyday of your life for optimal health and longevity in this sport.  Ionic minerals liquid are from plants angstrom size, which is what your body is 100% capable of digesting and absorbing. The body needs about a teaspoon a day, but you sweat them out along with your water, so you'll need more on the day of a challenging ride in the desert.  These help prevent symptoms of dehydration, which includes cramping, nausea, hot foot, slowing down, brain fade, negativity, irritability, and denial that you are, in fact, dehydrated. Under-estimating your need for water in the desert is the number one mistake you want to avoid, and seems to be the number one reason why riders have problems during this double.   This is why ionic liquid minerals are served at every Rest Stop, on every Double Century Mountain High puts on.  

   Park Blvd.,your first turn,a left, at the signal,heading south, five gentle climbing  miles, lead to the entrance of JT National Park.  The Park's length is 60 miles.  There are two Rest Stops in the Park: 1) Keys View for both Double Century and Century Riders,at mile 29, and 2) Turkey flats at mile 66, from the ride start.

  The first turn in the JTNP is after 14 miles, up to Keys View.  This road begins a long, very gradual five mile climb to a deadend, where your First Rest Stop will be with a View that you'll want to have your camera for!  It does get steep near the very end for about a mile or so, but heck, that's the steepest climb in the entire Double!  This is an awesome descent with more spectacular views, to the main road and turn right at the T.  Traveling along here is flat and winds back and forth, eventually curving to the right and descending to the double riders next second turn (of three you'll make in the Park), marked by a sign "To Cottonwood", Right, which you do not want to miss after coming off a descent.  The Century riders do not turn south, but continue straight ahead where the road bends north heading on Utah Trail towards the Park's exit in 29 Palms. (The National Park has three entrance/exits).  All through Joshua Tree there are huge mountains made up of boulders of rocks, along with a forest of Joshua Trees, bent on doing their own thing, which shows us amazing unique design. The desert flowers will be in full bloom too! Surrounding the entire desert out there is tranquility, amazing tranquility that you can feel!

After the right turn south, towards Cottonwood is a gentle 1-2% climb for two miles then a long descent, with spectacular views, and then flat across the desert floor.   Before starting the climb out, there will be Rest Stop 2 at Turkey Flats. The long five miles or so of climbing, can set one up for dehydration later in the afternoon if you are not drinking enough now. Finally you'll see a long flat road ahead of you to the Cottonwood Ranger station on your left with restrooms and water fountain.  I would prefer you drink the water we give you, as it just tastes better. Just past the the Cottonwood Visitor's Center is a left turn leading up one mile to a dead end, which helps get you the needed two miles needed to make the minimal mileage requirement for a CTC double century, so please, don't miss it.  The last half mile climb out of the Park leads to an 8 mile whopping descent and over the freeway, where you will head east for five miles to Lunch.   The Park exit at Cottonwood is not a designated Rest Stop, but does have restrooms and water as aforementioned.

Chiraco Summit, spells LUNCH.  Please look at the pictures on the website, at the bottom of the home page, so you will know ahead of time where to look for Lunch.   Chiriaco Summit, is an exit off the I-10 freeway, the only civilization out here. Volunteers will be making delicious sandwiches for each rider and volunteer, plus there will be potato salad, chips, Hammer products, electrolytes, and fresh fruit.  This RS is over to your left, through a gravel parking lot, in front of the museum, and NOT straight ahead where the gas station and store are. (However, restrooms are at the store.)

All the rest stops will serve excellent water designed for endurance athletes.  Supplements include liquid ionic minerals, Tailwind, Scratch, liquid electrolytes, Perpetuem, Heed, liquid tumeric (curcumin), liquid cal-mag, whey and vegan protein powders,  molecular hydrogen tablets, liquid vitamins.  This year I'm introducing the awesome stem cell and energy patches  by LIFEWAVE.

Ok, back to the Double description!

Hopping back on the bike after lunch you will spend a few more miles on the wide shoulder freeway to reach the Eagle Mountain Road exit, leading you to the historic ghost town of Desert Center which is your Strawberry-banana smoothie stop! 

Leaving Desert Center ghost town Rest Stop, expect desert temperatures to rise up into the mid 90's, after you turn north onto Rice Road which has no turns, signs, stop lights and very little traffic, for the next 25 miles. Rice Road is a road that stair-steps up with hidden pockets of short dips, making the ride along here more interesting.  There is usually no traffic, great smooth pavement, and vast open desert vistas with mountain ranges on both sides. Leave this R.S. with a group of riders, as you'll want to stay together and take trades up front, fending off a usual light headwind.  This is when you'll be glad you brought music.  The next Rest Stop is only 15 miles, which almost every rider appreciates. Remember to look at all the pictures showing what you can expect on this Double.  I highly recommend music and riding in a paceline to help you get through this seemingly long 25 mile stretch Generally the tiny lavender desert flowers flourish in this area, just to the right of your smooth paved road!  

After the water, ice, watermellon & mental pick-up stop, on Rice Rd., the road will begin to curve slightly to the right where you'll alas see the high radio tower in the distance at the summit marking your next rest stop    (Again, it will help you to look at the pictures of your route on web or Joshua Tree Facebook page.)  That summit on Rice Road is your last turn of J.T. , 51 miles from the finish. The Oasis Rest Stop is here, RS# 6. The pavement is smooth and new.  This is where I personally would recommend you send your drop bags, and put your lights on here, as the sun will go down fast for a lot of you, before the next rest stop, in 15 miles. From the Oasis Rest Stop (RS 6) you'll be heading west with no turns, signals, stops signs or traffic. Along here is where Twentynine Palms Hwy introduces you to another type of open, vast, desert scenery.  These hills are slopping about a mile long, and stair-step up, in a zig-zag design, with mountain ranges in the distance on both sides.  The hills are not steep, but the 4% grades have false summits, dipping down, then stair-stepping up again, for approx.15 miles.  At the summit is your RS 7, for Campbell's chicken noodle soup and caffeine. Get ready for an awesome long, pay-back downhill!  

Your last stop Rest Stop, #8, is just 12.6 miles from the Finish. You can make it in from here!  It's mostly flat.  There could be a slight headwind.  Somewhere in here is a 3.5 bowl shaped 3-4% climb, a then a down hill into town and flat.

Your first welcome sign will be a blinking orange light about a mile out of town. Now you can smile, and start to hum that Chariots of Fire tune as you head for the barn.   From that orange light, you have another two miles to your Finish.  Next is a signal light, which I hope is green for all of you. Then just past Rancho Delores motel, you'll have one last short climb about 1/2 mile long.  A downhill and flat to the Finish! At rider check in (Roadway Inn), you'll get your picture taken, and this year, for the first time, a post-ride meal will be served where you can be with friends outdoors or indoors.

                             JOSHUA  TREE DOUBLE CENTURY, for California Triple Crown Credit,

                                      or  JOSHUA TREE CENTURY 113


Joshua Tree Double


Start Located At: Motel 29 Palms 73842 29 Palms Hwy/S 62 Twentynine Palms, CA.
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There are 5 Rest Stops and one water stop.

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