EASTERN MOJAVE SCENIC
March 12-15, 2020
10 to 15 mile Duck Rides each day
WDRA 50’s as well as shorter distances each day
The XP Riders welcome you to the Eastern Mojave National Preserve and the 12th annual ride in the Eastern Mojave National Preserve. We hope that you will join us and enjoy the unique and varied scenery of the Eastern Mojave. Over fifty years ago, while working at Valley Wells Ranch, headquartered just north of the Cima Road Rest Area, I had the opportunity to see the desert in a different and more appreciative light. I hope that you will take the time to notice the great variation in animal and plant life that exists in this harsh but beautiful high desert. While travelers on the Interstate fly through this “barren desert” and miss what it has to offer, you will have the opportunity to see more varied forms of plant life than what you have probably experienced on other rides, as you and your horse pass through at a more leisurely rate.
On the first day our ride starts by visiting Tin Can Alley, an important culture site, where early California Rednecks, disposed of their unneeded cans. Dumping cans and trash in remote desert washes was an established practice of earlier desert dwellers and is one of those fast disappearing customs of the old west. Fortunately for us, previous Desert Rednecks thoughtfully left us something to remember them by and we hope you will take the time to look through the interesting old cans and bottles from yesteryear. As you head south, along the base of the Mescals, you will see abandoned mine sites that the miners hoped would lead to one of the tributaries of the River of Gold. You should pay attention to the trail as you pass through the Cactus Patch, making sure that your horse stays on the trail and out of the cacti. Some of you will undoubtedly discover why the southwestern cowboys always wore chaps and boots as you brush by some of the native plants. Wise desert travelers always carry a comb, pliers or Leatherman to remove the pesky spines from man and beast. The route around Cima Dome leads through unusual rock formations and a spectacular Joshua forest that has provided cover for some of the better grazing land in this part of the country. Views from the backside of Cima Dome reveal the New York Mountains, named for their skyscraper like silhouette, and the Mid Hills, through which, the Union Pacific RR and the famed Mojave Road passes. On the second day the trail goes past the Evening Star Mine on the way to lunch at the Valley View Ranch and the trail over the top of Cima Dome. From the top of the Dome, you can look to the SW and see the famous Kelso Dunes and the Devils Playground as well as the route of the Mojave Road. As you look in that direction you might imagine what it was like when Willy Boy was running from the law through that barren landscape. The third day stays in the lower country and will loop out towards the famous Mojave Phone Booth, where callers from all over the world tried to communicate with desert dwellers. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mojave_phone_booth It is reported that Sergeant Zeno, of the Pentagon, made calls to the famous booth, in the days before the NPS removed it. Those who have an interest in this unique desert attraction should do a search online for the Mojave Phone Booth. There is also a movie that can be found on Netflix. While marking trail a few years back, I ran into the nephew of the man who claims to have had the phone booth installed. After crossing the old phone line the trail comes back through Cow Cove and Charlie’s Place for lunch. After lunch, a loop past Keyhole Rock and Halloran summit takes you back to camp. The fourth day’s event used to be one of our family’s favorite trails. It wound through the Mescals via Lost Chinaman Canyon and past the Lost Chinaman Mine. We were forced to abandon the trail because the BLM “might” control a very small piece of the loop. We have salvaged part of that loop because the NPS has allowed us to use a burro trail leading over a low pass and into Burro Flats. We will ride along the base of Kokoweef Mountain, site of the famed River of Gold. The new lunch stop will be in the New Era mining area near a spectacular overlook of Ivanpah Valley and the lower desert. After lunch at the restored Riley’s Camp, we will head back past the Evening Star and Copper King mines.
We make a distinction between rides and races. This is definitely a ride, not a race. There are lots of other events that focus on racing and those looking for the thrill of victory will find them more to their liking. The focus of this ride is to visit the East Mojave and ride in harmony with your equine partner, not to rush through it so fast that you miss what desert has to offer. If your focus is racing, you will not have a good time. This is a place to train horses and relax as there is no glory in riding this trail as fast as possible. We expect you to slow down when encountering hikers or other park visitors. We expect you to ride in a manner that you can watch for and avoid tortoises and other desert life forms. By the time the sun sets on Sunday evening we hope you will have made new friends and found a new appreciation for this wild land. Our previous performances on this ride have left lasting and favorable impressions on the National Park Service. Lets make sure they stay positive.
If you are unfamiliar with our rides, please look over the veterinary information, the XP Rider oath, and the discussion on Riding vs. Racing. This will give you an opportunity to decide if this is really the kind of event and the kind of people that you want to be involved with.
Certified Weed Free Hay: Is required. If you need hay, contact firstname.lastname@example.org and let Crockett know. He will bring a limited amount of hay to those that have made reservations.
Directions: This is a very easy camp to find. It is located on the southwest corner of Interstate 15, also known as the Las Vegas/Los Angeles freeway and Cima Road. Everything at this intersection, including the ride camp belongs to the Kang family. You can and should get gas, diesel and snacks at the store. Its always good to support the nice people who make our sport possible.
Coming from the North: Continue on I 15 south of the California line. About 28 miles from the Nevada border you will be coming down a long straight hill. Take the Cima Road exit. Stop at the stop sign. Turn left and go over the top of the freeway. You can look to your right as you go across the bridge and see the camp on the south side of the freeway. Go just past the store and turn right on the first road. After a couple of hundred feet, turn right through the gate. You are now in the camp.
Coming from the South: Continue northbound, past Baker, CA on I 15. About 26 miles past Baker, you will pass a rest area in the bottom of a long straight hill. Two miles past the rest area, turn off on Cima Road. As you are slowing to turn off you can look to your right and see the ride camp. Turn right at the end of the off ramp and go just past the store and turn right on the first road. After a couple of hundred feet, turn right through the gate. You are now in the camp.
Ride Photographer: Steve Bradley will photograph this ride in 2020.