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March 12-15, 2020 

4 days & 200 miles + 4 days of 25 or 30’s each day!

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. 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  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.

You can pay at the ride after determining how many days you end up riding. Entry fees for the AERC events are $120.00 per day. Entry fees for WDRA events are $100.00 per day.  The fees were increased due to a 60% increase in California drug fees as well as a 20% increase in BLM fees. Sorry about that.

Phone 907 209 8881 or e-mail


Phone 907 209 8881 or e-mail



There are several pertinent web sites for information on this ride. for general information on XP Rides for information on Riding vs Racing for veterinary information

Convention News for 2020

XP Rides will no longer have a booth at the AERC Convention.  We have decided to support those who support us and have decided to have our booth at the MRER convention in Denver, Colorado. We will present the 2019 XP Awards at that time.  

The articles:




have been moved to the the General Ride Info Page

Results are now posted up thru 2019 Laurel Mountain

New for 2020

WDRA and the XP Rides: The Future is Now

Last year, I watched the AERC struggle with the issues that have plagued the organization for years – how to measure ride distance, rules, protests over rules, additional rules, a large and cumbersome management structure, and how to balance the interests of both racers and riders. I wrote an article on the XP webpage entitled A Look to the Future. In that editorial I laid out what XP Rides would do in the coming season. Early this year, as I started moving toward creating a new organization, I spoke with other ride managers to assess others feelings about the future of the sport. To my surprise, there were many with similar fears and concerns for our sport. Instead of branching out on my own I found others who were interested in proceeding with a new organization that expands the offerings aligning the interests of riders and ride managers.

Instead of the WERA that I talked about, the group decided upon forming the Western Distance Riders Alliance. WDRA deals specifically with the issues we have in the western part of the country. I am proud to be affiliated with this group and, while I am not an officer, I am a member of the board. 

Going forward XP rides will continue to offer the same AERC venues that we have in the past. The difference being that we will make sure all the rides meet AERC standards to the best of our ability. With so many rules and rule interpretations coming out of that organization it may be impossible to comply with every requirement, but we will do our best to try. The main take home point is that the AERC rides are going to be a full fifty statute miles, or longer, as there will no attempt to adjust the ride mileage for time or difficulty of terrain, as we have done in the past. We will also abide by the strict interpretation of the AERC completion requirements.

The XP will now offer an additional ride format to complement the AERC rides. Riders wishing to participate in an AERC sanctioned event will continue to have that opportunity but we will also offer the WDRA option so riders will have the opportunity to continue to experience all that we offered in the past.

The WDRA option is for riders who don’t care to subject themselves and their horses to the strict interpretation of the rules on AERC endurance rides. The WDRA offers us the opportunity to offer rides that fall out of the range of AERC sanctions. To be clear, AERC only offers the opportunity to enter a fun ride of less than 15 miles, an LD ride between 25 and 35 miles, or an “endurance ride” that is over 50 miles. The AERC definition leaves holes between 15 to 25 miles and 35 to 50 miles.

WDRA is a direct outgrowth of the AERC. All members of the WDRA board are AERC members and many of the WDRA board members are also AERC board members or past AERC board members. WDRA is not encumbered by some of the early mistakes of AERC that have never been rectified. I have yet to find an AERC director who does not believe 26 Board Members is unmanageable. WDRA has an upper limit of nine board members.

One of the most divisive issues facing the sport today is the issue of mileage. AERC has defined an Endurance Ride as 50 miles, no less. The 50-mile definition was done at a time when the Tevis Cup was thought to be an accurate 100 miles. WDRA has simply defined an endurance ride as “An equine event over natural terrain that demonstrates a horse and rider’s ability to perform.” WDRA also recognizes the inaccuracy of the AERC mileage database. Realistically, the AERC database has never been anything more than an indication of a rider’s participation in AERC events with an estimation of the distance traveled. WDRA has addressed the mileage issue by shifting the definition from statute miles to Mileage Points.   Mileage Points allow ride managers to continue doing what many, if not most, western ride managers have been doing since the beginning of the modern sport. Ride managers have always used time and difficulty of terrain along with distance to determine the ride mileage. All across the country this has never been a problem till GPS devices became mainstream and individual riders considered GPS measurements precise mileage recording devices. Besides the innate inaccuracy measuring miles with inexpensive devices, it is not realistic to compare rides on flat terrain with good footing to challenging trails across mountainous terrain with rocky footing. XP Rides have always favored historic, scenic, interesting and challenging trails over a flat and fast racecourses. Ann and I are excited to add the WDRA format to our XP rides and now other ride managers have the opportunity to offer rides on trails where an AERC completion may not be practical.

The bottom line is that I can now offer riders both an opportunity to compete in the AERC as well as the opportunity to enjoy the laid-back way Ann and I have fairly treated the riders and their horses. Instead of having to bend the AERC rules towards leniency and bending the XP philosophy towards more rigid standards, we can now offer both. We welcome you to XP rides, whether you choose to ride with the AERC or WDRA option.  More information on WDRA can be found at

Carol McLeod has volunteered to build a data base for XP Results.  At some time in the future we will offer an option to include all your lifetime XP mileage in that database. Many thanks to Carol for taking on this task

Entry Fees in General: 

Ride information will be sent to those who have entered online usually within a week of the event. If you have not received a response with the information you are looking for you should call or email us. 


We do not require pre payment for most of our rides, so its easiest to just bring cash or check to the ride and pay when you decide how many days you have ridden.  Its the old time way of doing business based on trust.  


Entry fees are a composite of ride entry fees along with other charges that must be passed on to the riders. These hidden charges include fees to the various government entities such as the BLM, USFS and NPS as well as camping fees to state, country and private entities. They also include drug testing taxes levied upon the riders from the State of California and/or the AERC. In addition there are AERC rider fees which vary depending upon membership status. XP Rides and the XP Riders host a number of events, all of which have different financial conditions.  Not only do fees vary from ride to ride, they also vary within most rides. Our policy of not publishing fees comes from accusations of government officials going to the ride site, extrapolating information and applying it as they wish.  There will be a slight increase in fees on rides in the Peoples Republic of California due to increases in the charges for drug testing.  Cuyama is the only XP Ride that requires prepayment.  Most riders pay at the end of the ride on all the other rides.


Photos for Mt Carmel, Strawberry, Grand Canyon and Virgin Outlaw available at:
 You can learn more about each of our rides by going to XP Rides and Dates on the menu bar and scrolling down to the one you are interested in. 

XP Rides for 2020 Ride Season

(Subject to AERC & Landowner approval) 

We have been forced to move rides from our traditional dates in the PS region which has eliminated the Lost Padres ride.

Due to the elimination of Lost Padres we have turned Coso and Laurel Mt into 3 day events. 

Coso Junction ~ December 6-7-8, 2019

Death Valley Encounter ~ December 28-31, 2019

Laurel Mountain ~ January 31 ~ February 1-2, 2020

Annual Awards at MRER Convention ~ February 21-22, 2020

Eastern Mojave ~ March 12-13-14-15, 2020

 Cuyama Oaks ~ March 27-28-29, 2020

Cuyama Rain Date ~ April 3-4-5, 2020

Mt Carmel ~ April 26-27-28 Rest Day April 30-May 1-2, 2020

Lonesome Duck Distance Ride ~ June 2 – July 25, 2020

This is a WDRA sanctioned event.  Entries are by invitation only and ride is filled.

Strawberry Fields ~ July 31-August 2, 2020 *Special date this year only.

Grand Canyon ~ August 30-31 September 1 Rest Day September 3-4-5, 2020

Virgin Outlaw ~ September 20-21-22  Rest Day  24-25-26, 2020

Color Country ~ October 31-November 1, 2020 Tentative Date

This is a resurrection of one of the oldest AERC rides. Located in southern Utah and Northern Arizona.  

Sesenta Años ~ November 13-14-15, 2020 



EasyCare, Inc. is proud to provide year-end awards to XP riders. EasyCare, Inc. has a full line of hoof boots and natural hoof care products that protect the hoof, allow horses to cover rough terrain, act as a spare tire in case of a lost shoe, and aid in the treatment of laminitis and other hoof problems. EasyCare’s hoof boot brands include the Easyboot, Boa Horse Boot, Old Mac’s and EasySoaker.  While the main focus at EasyCare is horse boot design, we proudly make other top quality products for trail riders and recreational horse owners such as Stowaway Saddle Packs, EZ Ride Stirrups, Comfort Pads, hoof boot accessories and natural hoof care products.





Please don’t be offended if the Duck doesn’t add you as a friend or associate on Facebook,  LinkedIn,  or  any other type of social media.  He just simply does not participate in those things!



Over the years our family has made a lot of great friends along the trail. We always look forward to the new ride year to renew those friendships and to make new ones. We hope you will be able to join us on the endurance trails this year. Come ride with us, you will be glad you did.