California Backcountry Discovery Route

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CABDR-South route imageThe long awaited Southern-California BDR (CABDR-South) is the ninth route developed by the BDR organization for dual-sport and adventure motorcycle travel. 

Take a spectacular, yet challenging 820-mile ride across the south-eastern region of California. Rugged two-track and remote dirt roads lead riders through majestic canyons, rocky riverbeds, and sandy washes of California’s famous deserts and national preserves, including a dream ride in the Mojave Preserve. This is the first Wintertime BDR

The Butler Motorcycle Map and the film dvd are now available for sale at Touratech-USA and Butler Motorcycle Maps.  The video-on-demand will be available on Janaury 10th on this page.  

In the links on the right, you will also find an interactive map with section descriptions and the FAQ for the route.  

Join us for the upcoming CABDR-South film premieres.  More dates are being added weekly, so check back on our website if you don't see an event in your area.

Photos by Ely Woody.

  

Donate to support  the creation of future BDR routes. 



CABDR-South Discovery Points

Locations are on the route unless otherwise noted.


Part of the allure of the CABDR-South is just getting down to the start of the route in Yuma AZ.

If you are traveling south on Interstate 5, besides all to see and do in the LA area, there are a few places that are worthy stops if you are into history or just cool, out of the way places.

The Mission at San Juan Capistrano 33.50231  -117.6626, side trip

Historic mining town of Julian  33.07822  -116.6019, side trip

Anza Borrego State Park  32.82872  -116.1673, side trip

Glamis, Imperial Dunes  32.7105  -114.9227, side trip

Felicity, CA Center of the World?  32.75053  -114.7656, side trip

Yuma Territorial Prison 32.72736  -114.6146, side trip


Finally! You are on the route and it begins with a jaunt over the one lane Ocean to Ocean Bridge that separates Yuma from Winterhaven, CA. and the start of the CABDR-South.  (South to North)

Ocean to Ocean Bridge  32.72875  -114.6156

Picacho State Park and the Colorado River  33.02508  -114.6113, side trip

The Bradshaw Trail 33.49092 -114.888

The Blythe Intaglios (Geoglyphs) 33.79972  -114.5335

Aha Quin Resort or Water Wheel Resort  33.86164  -114.5265

The Mother Road or Historic Route 66  34.73506   -115.2458

Hi Sahara Oasis  34.8175  -115.1831

Goffs, The Mojave Desert Heritage Assoc. Museum and the Mojave Preserve  34.9215  -115.0674

Bert Smith’s Rock House  35.15519  -115.3349

Remnants of the Original Mojave Road  35.16711  -115.4312

Death Valley Mine  35.22192  -115.4626

Evening Star Mine  35.36003   -115.5417

Riley’s Camp  35.36514  -115.513, side trip

Ivanpah Solar Thermal Electric Generating System  35.55092  -115.4599

Colosseum Mine  35.56872  -115.5652, side trip

The China Ranch  35.80036  -116.1952

Delights Hot Springs  35.87597  -116.2278

Harry Wade Exit, Saratoga Springs Road  35.64675 -116.393

Devils Golf Course  36.33472 -116.8707

Titus Canyon  36.8265  -117.023

Scotty’s Castle  37.03258  -117.3414, side trip

Ubehebe Crater  37.01103  -117.4548

The Race Track  36.66575  -117.5682

Cerro Gordo  36.53769  -117.7953

Museum of Western Film History  36.60106  -118.0615

Manzanar National Historic Site  36.72831  -118.1475

The Reward Mine  36.75147  -118.0504, side trip

Laws Railroad Museum  37.40086  -118.3463

Fish Slough Petroglyphs  37.57142  -118.4176

The Inn at Benton Hot Springs  37.80094  -118.5282

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Backcountry Discovery Routes

Backcountry Discovery Routes Headquarters

The Mission at San Juan Capistrano (CABDR-South)

Established 1776.  This is the gem of the California Missions, located less than a mile off the 5 Freeway, it offers a glimpse back in time to what was happening on the “Left Coast” at the same time our Nation was being founded.  If you can’t make it this trip, you will be back, just as the Swallows of lore.

Anza Borrego State Park (CABDR -South)

Ok, you could spend days riding amazing dirt roads or just stop here for a scenic overlook on your way, the Carrizo Badlands Overlook.

Glamis, Imperial Dunes (CABDR-South)

So, you want to brush up on your sand skills before riding the CABDR, or make like Ricky Brabec or Andrew Short and get skills for the Dakar?  Well this is the place and it’s right on the way.      

And check out what’s left of the “Wood Planked Road”, early road builders’ efforts to tame the drifting desert sand.

Felicity, CA - Center of the World? (CABDR-South)

Could be, but then again since the world is a sphere, just about any place could warrant this claim. If you are into funky, interesting places, this is worth the time.

Yuma Territorial Prison (CABDR-South)

Make the stop, even if it’s not 3:10.  You will be rewarded with a peek into the life of interesting desperados, living out their days in sweltering summer heat or freezing winter nights with nothing but steel bars to quell the elements.

Ocean to Ocean Bridge (CABDR-South)

Finally! You are on the route and it begins with a jaunt over the one lane Ocean to Ocean Bridge that separates Yuma from Winterhaven, CA. and the start of the CABDR-South.

Picacho State Park and the Colorado River (CABDR-South)

If you choose to camp after traveling south to Yuma, this historic state park is just up the road and well worth the fee to camp.

Wiley’s Well (CABDR-South)

Camping, but with no potable water.

The Bradshaw Trail (CABDR-South)

Created in 1862 this was the first trail that crossed the Riverside County desert all the way to the Colorado River to allow gold seekers to get to La Paz AZ.  There is camping (Wiley’s Well 33°29'36.8"N 114°53'20.8"W  or 33.49356 , -114.8891 ) just north of where we pick up the Trail heading east, but no potable water.

The Blythe Intaglios (Geoglyphs) (CABDR-South)

Not to be missed.  Step back in time, way back in time. Experience Native American ground art believed to be over 800 years old and similar to the famed Nazca Lines found in Peru, although on a smaller scale.

Aha Quin Resort or Water Wheel Resort (CABDR-South)

Aha Quin Resort or Water Wheel Resort ( 29630 US-95 just up the road from Aha Quin). Not much more there than mobile home parks situated on the banks of the Colorado River, but if you didn’t get supplies in Blythe, the general store is your last opportunity for a while.

The Mother Road or Historic Route 66 (CABDR-South)

Established on November 11, 1926, the highway, which became one of the most famous roads in the United States, originally ran from Chicago to Santa Monica covering a total of 2,448 miles. Get your kicks here;  oh wait, we all have electric starts now.

Hi Sahara Oasis (CABDR-South)

Not so much of a desert Oasis as it is a place for food and fuel. Gas will probably be the most expensive on this route but grin, bare it, and be thankful you are not filling up a Winnebago, as there’s not another option.

Goffs, The Mojave Desert Heritage Assoc. Museum and the Mojave Preserve (CABDR-South)

A lot here in the middle of nowhere.  If you have time check out the Museum before entering the Mojave Preserve.  You could spend a week just riding the Preserve alone, exploring everything from Afton Canyon to ZZYZX.   Now’s the time to extend the vacation, if you have cell coverage.

Bert Smith’s Rock House (CABDR-South)

After WWI, returning veterans who had been exposed to poison gas found the deserts of California provided health benefits.  This cabin constructed in 1929 is an example of the homesteads build primarily of native materials.

Remnants of the Original Mojave Road (CABDR-South)

A glance down and right will reward you with a view of the original wagon wheel tracks of the infamous Mojave Road.  This trail once connected Fort Mojave to Camp Cady and previously used by the Chumash as a trade route due to the existence of what little water is to be found in the Mojave.

Death Valley Mine (CABDR-South)

Death Valley Mine (though not in Death Valley) is an example of mines found throughout California.  Established in 1906 as a mine and a community for miners from surrounding claims.

Evening Star Mine (CABDR-South)

As the only tin ore mine in the Mojave, it was also one of the few with a crusher on top of the head frame.  As this mine ceased operation in 1944 it is still relatively well preserved.

Riley’s Camp (CABDR-South)

A medic and an explosives trainer (kinda makes sense) during WWI, this camp is yet another example of a harsh life carved out of the Mojave Desert.  Be thankful you have heating, air conditioning and a flush toilet awaiting the return to your homestead.

Colosseum Mine (CABDR-South)

Everything you could ever want to know about this big hole in the ground, right here.  Ride down to the bottom at your own risk if you must, but resist the urge to take a dip in the multi-colored waters of the lake.  Word on the trail is that the residual chemicals left over from mining operations would leave your skin looking like something from the Apocalypse.

The China Ranch (CABDR-South)

Date Shakes! You have earned it, don’t pass up chance to hydrate and carbo load before entering Death Valley. Dates are 75% Carbohydrates, 21% water and the perfect desert snack. Savoring all the varietals here will leave you feeling like King Tut.

Delights Hot Springs (CABDR-South)

Half way through this BDR and you may be ready for rustic lodging or a soak in a hot spring, particularly if you are riding in the middle of winter. Tecopa Brewing Company is just down the road too.

Harry Wade Exit, Saratoga Springs Road (CABDR-South)

Trying to find a quick way through Death Valley to the Gold of California almost proved disastrous for the wagon train guided by Harry.  Fortunately, he found a southern exit from Death Valley before they ran out of water. We use this route as our Southern Entrance to this place of storied heat and wonder.

Devils Golf Course (CABDR-South)

No, your GPS has not gone on the fritz.  You are now well below sea level. In fact, at 282 Feet below Sea level Badwater Basin (36°13'47.3"N 116°46'01.2"W or 36.22981, -116.767) is not just the lowest point in the US, but the 8th lowest elevation on earth.

Titus Canyon (CABDR-South)

This canyon offers up sweeping views, steep canyon walls, remnants of a boom town that lasted less than a year (Leadville) and represents classic Death Valley Adventure riding.

Scotty’s Castle (CABDR-South)

Damaged in a massive flashflood that roared through Death Valley in Oct. 2015 restoration is not yet complete, but when it is, it's not to be missed.

Ubehebe Crater (CABDR-South)

Your friends will think you had one too many when you tell of your visit to Ubehebe. Pronunciation aside, this massive crater is just one of the amazing things Death Valley offers on this route.

The Race Track (CABDR-South)

An amazing set of atmospheric events combine to make rocks mysteriously slide across this desert playa leaving tracks etched in mud.   For decades this mystery went unsolved, many believing they were moved by the hand of God.

Cerro Gordo (CABDR-South)

Here’s your chance to experience a living, breathing ghost and mining town.  Step inside the American Hotel, built in 1867, saunter up to the bar or sit at the poker table in the parlor where many a game ended in a gun fight (bullet holes still visible in the walls).

Museum of Western Film History (CABDR-South)

If you are a fan of Western films, hitch your Adventure bike to a post out front and learn about the hundreds of films shot in and around Lone Pine California.  Make sure you pick up a map of the Alabama Hills with GPS coordinates to place yourself and your bike in your favorite film, from movies shot before sound, to recent blockbusters.

Manzanar National Historic Site (CABDR-South)

After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 authorizing the establishment of camps like Manzanar to intern American citizens just by virtue of their ancestry. This affront to the liberty we all hold dear has been thoughtfully preserved to give each visitor insight into the lives of those interned and reminds us how our government, complicit with Americans overcome with unfounded fear, responded with barbed wire and armed guards.

The Reward Mine (CABDR-South)

Not for you if you suffer Nyctophobia or Claustrophobia but the rest of us will enjoy the opportunity to ride our Adventure bikes deep into depths of a Gold and Silver mine. Just have a flashlight handy if you decide to experience total darkness by shutting off your bike and can’t find your ignition key.

Fish Slough Petroglyphs (CABDR-South)

Around 8,000 years ago this region was settled by the ancestors of the Bishop Paiute – Shoshone tribe. Over the course of thousands of years these earliest settlers left messages carved and painted on the three-quarter of a million-year-old volcanic rock across the region. Much of the messages carved in stone are unknown, however there is some consensus that they could be of celestial recordings or ceremonial in nature as opposed to many petroglyphs found in the West that record animals, hunters and tools of daily life.

The Inn at Benton Hot Springs (CABDR-South)

Reward your accomplishment for completing the CABDR-South with a stay at this Historic Bed and Breakfast.  Soak in the natural fed hot springs tubs, have a wonderful breakfast after a night spend in a bed rather than sand and rocks from the previous evenings.  Or, camp out behind the Inn. Even the campsites have their own private tubs. Reservations recommended.

Snow Levels low on CABDR

 

We have had reports from riders on the CABDR that snow is present going up the backside of Cerro Gordo. We are assuming there will be snow on the easier alternate route from Teakettle Junction up Hunter Mtn to Saline Valley Rd.  This also means there will be snow on the harder alternate route up Mazourka, Wyman and Silver Canyons.

Snow inset 6

We have not had any reports of snow on Saline Valley Rd as of yet. If you have experience any new areas or changes in what is posted here, please email us with the information.

 Snow inset 7

CABDR Affected by Govt Shutdown

 Park closed

Due to the Government temporary shutdown the CABDR maybe affected.  The route travels through the Mojave National Preserve and Death Valley National Park.  Because the websites are not being updated, we do not have any more current information other than the following official statement on the site.

During the federal government shutdown, this website will not be updated and may not reflect current conditions. Some national parks may remain accessible to visitors; however, access may change without notice. Some parks are closed completely. Some visitor services may be available when provided by concessioners or other entities. For most parks, there will be no National Park Service-provided visitor services, such as restrooms, trash collection, facilities, or road maintenance. For more information, see www.doi.gov/shutdown and the park website.

The Mission at San Juan Capistrano (CABDR-South)

Established 1776.  This is the gem of the California Missions, located less than a mile off the 5 Freeway, it offers a glimpse back in time to what was happening on the “Left Coast” at the same time our Nation was being founded.  If you can’t make it this trip, you will be back, just as the Swallows of lore.

Anza Borrego State Park (CABDR -South)

Ok, you could spend days riding amazing dirt roads or just stop here for a scenic overlook on your way, the Carrizo Badlands Overlook.

Glamis, Imperial Dunes (CABDR-South)

So, you want to brush up on your sand skills before riding the CABDR, or make like Ricky Brabec or Andrew Short and get skills for the Dakar?  Well this is the place and it’s right on the way.      

And check out what’s left of the “Wood Planked Road”, early road builders’ efforts to tame the drifting desert sand.

Felicity, CA - Center of the World? (CABDR-South)

Could be, but then again since the world is a sphere, just about any place could warrant this claim. If you are into funky, interesting places, this is worth the time.

Yuma Territorial Prison (CABDR-South)

Make the stop, even if it’s not 3:10.  You will be rewarded with a peek into the life of interesting desperados, living out their days in sweltering summer heat or freezing winter nights with nothing but steel bars to quell the elements.

Ocean to Ocean Bridge (CABDR-South)

Finally! You are on the route and it begins with a jaunt over the one lane Ocean to Ocean Bridge that separates Yuma from Winterhaven, CA. and the start of the CABDR-South.

Picacho State Park and the Colorado River (CABDR-South)

If you choose to camp after traveling south to Yuma, this historic state park is just up the road and well worth the fee to camp.

Wiley’s Well (CABDR-South)

Camping, but with no potable water.

The Bradshaw Trail (CABDR-South)

Created in 1862 this was the first trail that crossed the Riverside County desert all the way to the Colorado River to allow gold seekers to get to La Paz AZ.  There is camping (Wiley’s Well 33°29'36.8"N 114°53'20.8"W  or 33.49356 , -114.8891 ) just north of where we pick up the Trail heading east, but no potable water.

The Blythe Intaglios (Geoglyphs) (CABDR-South)

Not to be missed.  Step back in time, way back in time. Experience Native American ground art believed to be over 800 years old and similar to the famed Nazca Lines found in Peru, although on a smaller scale.

Aha Quin Resort or Water Wheel Resort (CABDR-South)

Aha Quin Resort or Water Wheel Resort ( 29630 US-95 just up the road from Aha Quin). Not much more there than mobile home parks situated on the banks of the Colorado River, but if you didn’t get supplies in Blythe, the general store is your last opportunity for a while.

The Mother Road or Historic Route 66 (CABDR-South)

Established on November 11, 1926, the highway, which became one of the most famous roads in the United States, originally ran from Chicago to Santa Monica covering a total of 2,448 miles. Get your kicks here;  oh wait, we all have electric starts now.

Hi Sahara Oasis (CABDR-South)

Not so much of a desert Oasis as it is a place for food and fuel. Gas will probably be the most expensive on this route but grin, bare it, and be thankful you are not filling up a Winnebago, as there’s not another option.

Goffs, The Mojave Desert Heritage Assoc. Museum and the Mojave Preserve (CABDR-South)

A lot here in the middle of nowhere.  If you have time check out the Museum before entering the Mojave Preserve.  You could spend a week just riding the Preserve alone, exploring everything from Afton Canyon to ZZYZX.   Now’s the time to extend the vacation, if you have cell coverage.

Bert Smith’s Rock House (CABDR-South)

After WWI, returning veterans who had been exposed to poison gas found the deserts of California provided health benefits.  This cabin constructed in 1929 is an example of the homesteads build primarily of native materials.

Remnants of the Original Mojave Road (CABDR-South)

A glance down and right will reward you with a view of the original wagon wheel tracks of the infamous Mojave Road.  This trail once connected Fort Mojave to Camp Cady and previously used by the Chumash as a trade route due to the existence of what little water is to be found in the Mojave.

Death Valley Mine (CABDR-South)

Death Valley Mine (though not in Death Valley) is an example of mines found throughout California.  Established in 1906 as a mine and a community for miners from surrounding claims.

Evening Star Mine (CABDR-South)

As the only tin ore mine in the Mojave, it was also one of the few with a crusher on top of the head frame.  As this mine ceased operation in 1944 it is still relatively well preserved.

Riley’s Camp (CABDR-South)

A medic and an explosives trainer (kinda makes sense) during WWI, this camp is yet another example of a harsh life carved out of the Mojave Desert.  Be thankful you have heating, air conditioning and a flush toilet awaiting the return to your homestead.

Colosseum Mine (CABDR-South)

Everything you could ever want to know about this big hole in the ground, right here.  Ride down to the bottom at your own risk if you must, but resist the urge to take a dip in the multi-colored waters of the lake.  Word on the trail is that the residual chemicals left over from mining operations would leave your skin looking like something from the Apocalypse.

The China Ranch (CABDR-South)

Date Shakes! You have earned it, don’t pass up chance to hydrate and carbo load before entering Death Valley. Dates are 75% Carbohydrates, 21% water and the perfect desert snack. Savoring all the varietals here will leave you feeling like King Tut.

Delights Hot Springs (CABDR-South)

Half way through this BDR and you may be ready for rustic lodging or a soak in a hot spring, particularly if you are riding in the middle of winter. Tecopa Brewing Company is just down the road too.

Harry Wade Exit, Saratoga Springs Road (CABDR-South)

Trying to find a quick way through Death Valley to the Gold of California almost proved disastrous for the wagon train guided by Harry.  Fortunately, he found a southern exit from Death Valley before they ran out of water. We use this route as our Southern Entrance to this place of storied heat and wonder.

Devils Golf Course (CABDR-South)

No, your GPS has not gone on the fritz.  You are now well below sea level. In fact, at 282 Feet below Sea level Badwater Basin (36°13'47.3"N 116°46'01.2"W or 36.22981, -116.767) is not just the lowest point in the US, but the 8th lowest elevation on earth.

Titus Canyon (CABDR-South)

This canyon offers up sweeping views, steep canyon walls, remnants of a boom town that lasted less than a year (Leadville) and represents classic Death Valley Adventure riding.

Scotty’s Castle (CABDR-South)

Damaged in a massive flashflood that roared through Death Valley in Oct. 2015 restoration is not yet complete, but when it is, it's not to be missed.

Ubehebe Crater (CABDR-South)

Your friends will think you had one too many when you tell of your visit to Ubehebe. Pronunciation aside, this massive crater is just one of the amazing things Death Valley offers on this route.

The Race Track (CABDR-South)

An amazing set of atmospheric events combine to make rocks mysteriously slide across this desert playa leaving tracks etched in mud.   For decades this mystery went unsolved, many believing they were moved by the hand of God.

Cerro Gordo (CABDR-South)

Here’s your chance to experience a living, breathing ghost and mining town.  Step inside the American Hotel, built in 1867, saunter up to the bar or sit at the poker table in the parlor where many a game ended in a gun fight (bullet holes still visible in the walls).

Museum of Western Film History (CABDR-South)

If you are a fan of Western films, hitch your Adventure bike to a post out front and learn about the hundreds of films shot in and around Lone Pine California.  Make sure you pick up a map of the Alabama Hills with GPS coordinates to place yourself and your bike in your favorite film, from movies shot before sound, to recent blockbusters.

Manzanar National Historic Site (CABDR-South)

After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 authorizing the establishment of camps like Manzanar to intern American citizens just by virtue of their ancestry. This affront to the liberty we all hold dear has been thoughtfully preserved to give each visitor insight into the lives of those interned and reminds us how our government, complicit with Americans overcome with unfounded fear, responded with barbed wire and armed guards.

The Reward Mine (CABDR-South)

Not for you if you suffer Nyctophobia or Claustrophobia but the rest of us will enjoy the opportunity to ride our Adventure bikes deep into depths of a Gold and Silver mine. Just have a flashlight handy if you decide to experience total darkness by shutting off your bike and can’t find your ignition key.

Fish Slough Petroglyphs (CABDR-South)

Around 8,000 years ago this region was settled by the ancestors of the Bishop Paiute – Shoshone tribe. Over the course of thousands of years these earliest settlers left messages carved and painted on the three-quarter of a million-year-old volcanic rock across the region. Much of the messages carved in stone are unknown, however there is some consensus that they could be of celestial recordings or ceremonial in nature as opposed to many petroglyphs found in the West that record animals, hunters and tools of daily life.

The Inn at Benton Hot Springs (CABDR-South)

Reward your accomplishment for completing the CABDR-South with a stay at this Historic Bed and Breakfast.  Soak in the natural fed hot springs tubs, have a wonderful breakfast after a night spend in a bed rather than sand and rocks from the previous evenings.  Or, camp out behind the Inn. Even the campsites have their own private tubs. Reservations recommended.

Snow Levels low on CABDR

 

We have had reports from riders on the CABDR that snow is present going up the backside of Cerro Gordo. We are assuming there will be snow on the easier alternate route from Teakettle Junction up Hunter Mtn to Saline Valley Rd.  This also means there will be snow on the harder alternate route up Mazourka, Wyman and Silver Canyons.

Snow inset 6

We have not had any reports of snow on Saline Valley Rd as of yet. If you have experience any new areas or changes in what is posted here, please email us with the information.

 Snow inset 7

CABDR Affected by Govt Shutdown

 Park closed

Due to the Government temporary shutdown the CABDR maybe affected.  The route travels through the Mojave National Preserve and Death Valley National Park.  Because the websites are not being updated, we do not have any more current information other than the following official statement on the site.

During the federal government shutdown, this website will not be updated and may not reflect current conditions. Some national parks may remain accessible to visitors; however, access may change without notice. Some parks are closed completely. Some visitor services may be available when provided by concessioners or other entities. For most parks, there will be no National Park Service-provided visitor services, such as restrooms, trash collection, facilities, or road maintenance. For more information, see www.doi.gov/shutdown and the park website.

CA1 Yuma to Blythe

The CABDR starts in Yuma, AZ along the Colorado River. Make sure you schedule a little extra time to visit the Territorial Prison State Historic Park and Museum. Old downtown has some great places to eat and stay. If camping is on the itinerary, then Picacho State Park should be at the top of your list. After leaving Picacho, your sand skills as a rider will be put to the test on Indian Pass Road. The trip to Blythe travels along a portion of the historic Bradshaw Trail. This trail was created in 1862 by William Bradshaw, and was the first trail that crossed the Riverside County desert all the way to the Colorado River which allowed gold miners travel to La Paz, AZ. The end of this section will conclude traveling through farm country and ends in the town of Blythe, where you will find many motels and restaurants. WARNING: No services from Yuma, AZ to Blythe, CA. Deep sand possible. Highlights: Old Downtown Yuma, Prison Hill Brewing Company, Territorial Prison State Historic Park, ‘Ocean to Ocean Bridge’ (one-lane) to enter back into CA, Picacho State Park, Historic Bradshaw Trail. Camping: Picacho State Park, Wiley’s Well (there may be no potable water at Wiley’s) Food + Grocery: Yuma, Blythe. Fuel: Yuma, Niland, Blythe. Hotel + Motel: Yuma, Blythe.

CA2 Blythe to Sahara Oasis

Traveling north from Blythe you will parallel the Colorado River which is the border of California and Arizona. Shortly after, you will leave the pavement and hit dirt at the fascinating Blythe Intaglios which were discovered in 1931. These giant pieces of art are similar to the Nazca Lines in Peru and the shapes are believed to have been formed prior to 900 AD. Traveling west, the route nestles at the foot of the Big Maria Mountain Wilderness before turning back toward the Colorado River. Once again, the route will take you on a two-track road that ribbons its way between two wilderness areas, so please make sure to stay on the road. After traveling through this desolate area, you will hop onto Highway 62 where you will see structures of times long since past and the Shoe Tree “gas station” before getting onto Cadiz Road. Cadiz Road will connect you to the “Mother Road” or better known as Historic Route 66. Route 66 travels 2,448 miles from Chicago to Santa Monica and is a destination for motorcycle riders from all over the world. The end of this section is unique and is the only final point in the entire BDR system that ends at a gas station, or should we say a “Sahara Oasis”. However, this isn’t your typical gas station . . . you’ll just have to see it to believe it. Be warned, the gas isn’t cheap. WARNING: No services between Blythe and Sahara Oasis. Deep sand possible. Highlights: Intaglios, Shoe Tree, Cadiz Mine, Essex, Route 66. Camping: Limited primitive camping. Fuel + FOOD: Blythe, Vidal Junction(off route), Sahara Oasis. Hotel + motel: Blythe, Parker, AZ (off route).

CA3 Sahara Oasis to Primm

Section 3 will take you out of the low desert and into the Mojave National Preserve. When entering the Mojave you will see the Goffs Schoolhouse and Cultural Center. This unique place at one point housed 16,000 troops during WWII and has preserved old railroad and mining artifacts for you to visit. Further on, you will enter the Granite Mountains. These granitic rocks have eroded into unusual rounded shapes that include spires, perched boulders and curved cliff faces. The rocks in this area represent the roots of ancient continental-margin volcanic systems. Most are late Mesozoic in age (80 to 180 million years old) and were formed at a depth comparable to the Andes Mountain chain in South America. Some of the sites along the route include the Government Holes, which were wells dug so people traveling across the Mojave would have access to water. The Death Valley Mine, Evening Star Mine and WWI Memorial will all be places you’ll want to stop and explore. Riding the two tracks in the midst of the Joshua Trees will keep you on your toes and is an experience you can only get in the Mojave Desert. This section ends in the small gambling town of Primm, Nevada, which is also one of the stops for the NVBDR. Highlights: Goffs Schoolhouse and Cultural Center, Mojave National Preserve, New York Mountains, Mojave Road, Government Hole , Death Valley Mine, White Cross WWI Memorial, Joshua Trees. Camping: Primitive camping, Hole in the Wall Campground. Food + Grocery: Blythe, Vidal Junction, Sahara Oasis. Fuel: Sahara Oasis, Needles, AZ (off route), Primm, NV. Hotel + motel: Primm, NV, Needles, AZ (off route).

CA4 ALT- Easier Short Cut

CA4 ALT- Easier to Excelsior Mine Rd

CA4 ALT- Gas Shoshone Loop

CA4 Primm to Furnace Creek

Fueled and full of supplies, you leave Primm and pass through the middle of the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System. This monstrosity is a 377 megawatt solar complex using mirrors to focus the power of the sun atop power towers. The first big technical climb comes just after Ivanpah up to the Colosseum Mine. This rocky steep climb is for riders who don’t shy away from an expert-only section. For those of you who don’t care for steep rock, there is an easier route from Primm. Once at the top, you can take a detour to the Colosseum Mine and ride down into the bottom of this open pit mine. Leaving the mine you will travel along the power line road to Excelsior Mine Road, which leads you into the Kingston Range. You can find several BLM camping areas along the road. Nearing Tecopa, don’t miss the opportunity to stop at the China Ranch for one of their famous date shakes. The small town of Tecopa is the home to many unique hot springs and fascinating people. The small brew pub is the first real food destination on the route and should be on your itinerary. Food and fuel can be found off-route in the town of Shoshone, just to the NW of Tecopa on Highway 127. The Ibex dunes will be your first taste of Death Valley. You will find a small stretch of dune-type sand to get your heart racing. Harry Wade Road will take you to the heart of Death Valley where you will travel the Westside Road. You can take a few detours and find Badwater Basin, the 8th lowest elevation on earth. Passing by the Devil’s Golf Course will remind you that you’re not in Kansas anymore. This section ends in Furnace Creek where you will find camping, lodging, food and fuel. If you plan to stay here, reservations ahead of time are suggested. IMPORTANT!!!ou must stop at the National Parks office for a parks permit in Furnace Creek WARNING: Steep rocky climb, Deep sand possible. Highlights: Ivanpah Solar Power Plant, Colosseum Gorge Mine, China Ranch, Tecopa Hot Springs, Ibex Dunes, Devil’s Golf Course, Death Valley National Park. Camping: Primitive camping, Tecopa Hot Springs (multiple campgrounds), Furnace Creek Fuel: Primm, Shoshone, Furnace Creek. Food + Grocery: Primm, Tecopa (limited, Shoshone, Furnace Creek Hotel + motel: Primm, NV, Tecopa, Shoshone, Furnace Creek.

CA5 ALT- Easier Hunter Mtn to Saline Valley Rd

CA5 Furnace Crk to RaceTrack

Still deep in the heart of Death Valley there is plenty to explore off-route and we suggest you do. The route takes you into Titus Canyon, which is a deep limestone-walled slot canyon and a must see. This road travels in a one-way direction past the ghost town of Leadfield, which boomed for less than a year in 1926. Before heading down into Titus Canyon, you must go into Beatty, NV and purchase fuel and any rations for the trip to the Racetrack and beyond. There are no services between Beatty and Lone Pine along the route. The Ubehebe Crater is a stop not to be missed before the final 20 miles to the Racetrack. Ubehebe Crater is a large volcanic crater 600 feet deep and half a mile across that exploded possibly as recently as 300 years ago. When traveling the Racetrack road you will come to the famous Teakettle Junction. Just look for the sign covered in dozens of dangling kettles. At the junction you can decide to travel six more miles down to the Racetrack or opt for the easier route to Lone Pine and skip Lippincott Pass which is considered ‘Expert Only’. If you haven’t seen the Racetrack, the six mile trip is worth it just to see the moving rocks on the Playa. WARNING: No fuel past Beatty, NV Highlights: Keene Wonder Mine, Leadfield Ghost Town, Titus Canyon, Ubehebe Crater, Teakettle Junction, Racetrack. Camping: Mesquite Springs Campground, Primitive camping near Beatty, NV, Homestake Dry Campground (Racetrack). Fuel + Food: Furnace Creek, Beatty, NV. Hotel + motel: Furnace Creek • Beatty, NV.

CA6 ALT- Easier to Cerro Gordo Rd

CA6 Racetrack to Lone Pine

Now that you’ve seen rocks move, it’s time to really see rocks move. This ‘expert only’ section of the route takes you over Lippincott Pass. Lippincott is for those who are not faint of heart. This steep, rocky and off-camber descent will get your attention and the views down into the Saline Valley floor are incredible. For those who want a slightly easier journey, go back to Teakettle Junction and travel over Hunter Mountain Road, which will bring you back to the main route at Saline Valley Road. At the junction of Saline Valley Road and White Mountain Talc Road the main route will continue as an expert route only up to Cerro Gordo Mine. This road is a steady climb through a deep rock wash and finally a smooth two-track up to 8,000 ft. There is an alternate route to this climb by going out to Highway 190 and around to where the route comes down from Cerro Gordo. The climb from Highway 190 up to Cerro Gordo Mine is easy and worth the effort to get there. Lone Pine is a great destination for a motel if you haven’t had a good shower in a few days. If camping is your gig, then make sure you stay in the Alabama Hills for a night. WARNING: ?Lippincott Pass can be extremely tough, Snow might be possible at higher elevations - Hunter Mountain and Cerro Gordo. Highlights: Lippincott Pass, Cerro Gordo Mine, Western Movie Museum, Historic Lone Pine Camping: Primitive camping in the Alabama Hills. Fuel+ Food: Lone Pine. Hotel + motel: Lone Pine.

CA7 ALT- Harder Mazourka Wyman Silver Cyn

CA7 Lone Pine to Bishop

Traveling from Lone Pine out through the Alabama Hills is one of the highlights of the CABDR. These unique rock formations were chosen for the set of many old western movies. If you have time before leaving Lone Pine, stop into the Western Movie Museum and learn all about the movies filmed in the area. Manzanar National Historic Site is the next stop on the route. Manzanar War Relocation Center was one of ten camps where Japanese-American citizens and resident Japanese aliens were incarcerated during World War II. If you have the time, this is a well done museum and one not to miss. Traveling through the Owens Valley floor, just off the route is the Reward Mine. The trail leading to the Reward Mine is steep and rocky with embedded boulders. You can ride into the mine for more than a quarter mile but do so at your own risk. There are several places to turn around. You may want to make sure your flashlight works just in case the bike stops. The route splits at the mouth of Mazourka Canyon. The main route remains on the valley floor crisscrossing the valley and the foothills up to Bishop. The Expert Only route takes you up Mazourka Canyon where you top off on Papoose Flats. There is a short descent into Wyman Canyon where you cross a creek several times to a lookout of the entire valley. The Silver Canyon descent will test your steep downhill skills. Make sure you take it easy and don’t cook your brakes before stopping in Bishop. Highlights: Alabama Hills area, Movie Road, Manzanar WW2 Japanese Relocation Camp/Museum, Reward Mine, Mazourka Canyon (expert only), Owens River Valley. Camping: Primitive camping (along expert route), Alabama Hills, Private campgrounds in Big Pine/Bishop. Fuel + Fuel: Lone Pine, Big Pine, Bishop. Hotel + motel: Lone Pine, Big Pine, Bishop.

CA8 Bishop to Benton

The final stretch of the CABDR is an easy road passing by a massive collection of Petroglyphs at the Fish Slough site. About 8,000 years ago this region was settled by the ancestors of the Bishop Paiute-Shoshone tribe. Take time to get off the bike and check out the collections, you ?will find hundreds hidden throughout the rocks. Out of nowhere, Chidago Canyon appears and gives you a final taste of a slot canyon before coming to the final stretch. Plan to stay at the historic Benton Hot Springs. You may stay at the small B&B or at the campground where you have your own private hot springs pool camp-side. Reservations are a must for both. Food and fuel can be found in Benton, which is one of the oldest existing towns in Mono County and was originally used by Native Americans for the use ?of the hot springs. Highlights: Fish Slough Petroglyphs, Chidago Canyon, Historic Hot Springs. Camping: Primitive Camping, Private campgrounds Benton Hot Springs. Food: Bishop, Benton. Fuel: Lone Pine, Bishop, Benton. Hotel + motel: Bishop, Benton Hot Springs.

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CABDR FAQ

Below are answers to some Frequently Asked Questions about the Southern California Backcountry Discovery Route.  

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