Death Valley

Western Mojave @ Death Valley




A Multiday Ride in the Death Valley Historical Area

A Brief History of the Death Valley/Western Mojave XP Rides: Prior to the 2020 Covid Pandemic the XP Ride schedule was much different than today’s events.  We would start the season with a Death Valley Warm Up at Coso Junction in early December.  Then we would do the Death Valley Encounter that used to be a point to point event between Christmas and New Years.  That event changed from a point to point to a series of loop rides around the Trona Golf Course Clubhouse and ended with a New Year’s Eve party in the clubhouse.  Then in the spring we would do an Eastern Mojave XP at Cima Road in the Mojave National Preserve.  Our last ride at Cima Road was in 2020 and we never went back because the National Park Service chose not to fight a major fire in the Preserve.  That fire burned all the ranch houses and vegetation on Cima Dome, the most beautiful part of the ride.  At first we changed the venue for the Eastern Mojave XP to Coso Junction and called it the Western Mojave XP.  We would still be using that location had the station not been torn down and rebuilt.  Now (winter of 2023)  it is almost rebuilt and should be up and running in the near future. Hopefully we will be able to return there in the future. 

When the Coso Store closed we moved the Western Mojave XP to the Valley Wells location at the Trona Golf Club for the 2022 ride.  We were pleasantly surprised by the difference a few months made.  Being in the spring instead of the dead of winter we found the desert to be a warmer and more hospitable place.  We took the three best trails of the old DVE event and used them.  We will do the same again this year. 

Basic Ride Info: The ride takes place over the same trails the pioneers used on their escape from Death Valley back in the 1800’s. Some of our trails follow these routes and the trails we don’t use will be visible from the trail along the top of the Slate Range.  There is a good chance the riders will enjoy the start of another California Super Bloom due to the significant winter rains. The riders will also see the many herds of wild burros that have survived in this area since the days of the gold rush.  Our trail routes 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 three days will be loop rides out of the same camp, including the LD trail for the first day.


Use your discretion to pick the best way to get to Trona, 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 March first. 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 or 970 880 0150 when you get to town and we will help you with your needs..

There will be no meals or lunches provided.

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 XP rides are like those good old days, where both management and riders had more fun.   We will have horse water available as usual. We 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.

           We will offer 15, 25 and 50 mile 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.

Entry Fees:

AERC One Day      $150.00 check or $155.00 Paypal

XP One Day            $120.00 check or $125.00 Paypal

AERC Two Days     $265.00 check or $270.00 Paypal

XP Two Days           $230.00 or $235 Paypal

AERC Three Days  $365 check or $375.00 Paypal

XP Three Days        $320.00 check or $325 Paypal


Mail your checks to Ann Nicholson at 19898 Road V, Lewis, CO 81327 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.

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 907 821 1819 or e-mail
























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