Death Valley

DO NOT RELY ON ANY INFORMATION ON THIS PAGE.   This is a copy of the 2020 information. We hope to have a whole different scenario by the end of 2021.

Death Valley Encounter




A Multiday Ride in the Death Valley Historical Area
Check in on New Years Eve. There will be no party or activity in the clubhouse. Ride starts on January 1-2-3-4, 2021.

Basic Ride Info: The trails will be similar to last year. We will include the nice single track trail down the spine of the Slate Range where you will be able to see the Manley escape route from a birds eye view. The ride consists of desert type terrain that will range from excellent footing and soft sand to rocks and hard packed. Elevation gain will be moderate. All four days will be loop rides out of the same camp, including the LD trail for the first day. The ride is a WDRA event only.  We are unable to meet the AERC covid requirements that require county and state approval of an event.  We can meet the county requirements for a smaller event, therefore the ride is limited to 35 riders.


Use your discretion to pick the best way to get to the “quaint little town in the eastern Sierras”.  Go 6.45 miles after crossing the railroad tracks in Trona and turn right on Valley Wells Road. Camp is on the right side of the road just before the Country Club Parking Lot.  Do not camp with horses in the parking lot of the golf course. The correct location is to the right of the paved road before the club house. Don’t pull in there before noon on December 28th. If you are arriving in the area earlier than that you can find nice accommodations at the fairgrounds on the east side of Ridgecrest. There are thousands of miles of open BLM land available to camp as well. You are welcome to call us at 907 209 8881 when you get to town and we will help you with your needs..

There will be no meals or lunches provided.

WDRA rules apply. The XP management differentiates between an endurance ride and an endurance race. If you are into endurance riding you will probably enjoy this ride. If you are a real competitor and are looking for a race you are likely to find the lack of structure here to be an abomination. Back in the good old days we used to ride more and complain less. Those were better times. The WDRA rides are like those good old days, where both management and riders had more fun.  CA is expected to remain under strict Covid restrictions into 2021 and our family is in the extremely vulnerable class of potential victims. Therefore we will require a pre-ride check-in via email and will limit all social contact. There will be no hands on veterinary checks except in the rare cases where the veterinarian might feel it necessary. In most WDRA events the veterinarian never has to get out of his chair.   Living quarter trailers or campers are required, as we will not have portable toilets available. We will have horse water available as usual. We will prepare packets and maps before you arrive and will be sending GPS tracks a few days before the ride. When you arrive you will come to a self-service table, pick up your entry cards to put in the entry box and sign the release forms. There will be ride meetings outside with social distancing and masks required. As a WDRA club event all participants must be members of WDRA. Non-members can go to and join. The WDRA membership is for a calendar year from the time you join.

            You must agree to wear a mask when coming around any of the Nicholson Family or our volunteers. We also require everyone to maintain a ten-foot social distance.   Since the ride is held under the more liberal WDRA rules we will not be doing any unnecessary unpleasant loops to satisfy the mileage Nazis. We will offer 15, 25 and 50 point WDRA rides each day. We will use the most scenic trails available and will structure the event to maximize everyone’s enjoyment. There will be MINIMAL markings but turns will be well marked if no one takes them down. A GPS is the best investment you can make to insure you have a good time and never get lost. This is a good chance to prepare yourself for the future when all rides will be marked by GPS only.

The ride will be limited to 35 riders. We will need a minimum of 25 riders a day or the ride will have to be cancelled. If you commit to the ride we consider that a firm commitment. We will need to leave our home in Utah early on Kwanza to get the trails marked. If you want to make the ride happen you will need to make a financial commitment. When we receive enough entries to ensure the ride will happen we will notify everyone of that fact. If we do not have sufficient entries by December 19th we will cancel the ride and return everyone’s entry fee.

Entry Fees:

One Day          $120.00 check or $125.00 Paypal

Two Days       $230.00 check or $240.00 Paypal

Three Days     $ 320 check or $333.00 Paypal

Four Days       $420 check or $437.00 Paypal

Mail your checks to Ann Nicholson at 362 Fenway Drive, Kanab, UT 84741 or you can use Paypal and send to When you make the payment let us know by return email that you are coming and which days you are planning on riding. There may be people who enter at the last minute and that will be fine but if there are insufficient numbers of riders, the rides will have to be cancelled. These fees are non refundable after December 23rd as that will be the day we have to pack up and leave Utah. We hope this will come together and we can start the New Year on a positive note.

Destination information for health certificates:

Health certificates are required for horses coming into California from other states. They are not required for horses coming from within the state. The requirements for health papers vary depending on conditions both in California and other states. Your local veterinarian will be able to counsel you on current requirements. The destination address is Trona Golf and Social Club, Valley Wells Road, Trona, CA 93562.

Phone 907 209 8881 or e-mail

Phone 907 209 8881 or e-mail

Ride Photos by Steve Bradley Photography.























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