There’s nothing better than riding on an open desert road, the infinite sands and Joshua trees stretching beyond and the endless desert sky ahead. Such pristine vistas are made possible by the hard work of conservationist organizations like the Mojave Desert Land Trust (MDLT), who fight to protect the desert lands.
Thanks to the hard work of MDLT and their partners, one of the best places to ride and enjoy the Mojave Desert’s beauty during Babes Ride Out is in the Mojave Monuments, the three national monuments designated by then-President Barack Obama in 2016: Mojave Trails, Sand to Snow, and Castle Mountains.
But wait, aren’t monuments statues made of stone? Not in the California desert. Here, we are lucky to have public lands protected for their historic and scientific value. Watch this video from our friends at MDLT about the desert’s national monuments and why they matter to the communities who surround them.
MDLT has prepared an online Mojave Monuments Adventure Kit, complete with maps and information about how to get to the monuments to help guide your exploration. One of the most important aspects of visiting the national monuments is to do so respectfully. These lands are already under threat by federal attacks to their protection. By being a respectful rider, you can show you care about these lands.
- Plan ahead. Be prepared for extreme desert heat. Pack plenty of water and salty snacks – the Mother Road can be sweltering!
- Travel on durable surfaces. Stay on the road. Avoid sensitive areas by only riding your bike in designated areas.
- Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints. Pack it in, pack it out! Don’t leave trash in beautiful natural landscapes. Leave what you find, too. Every rock, plant, and natural object plays an important role in the ecosystem and landscape. Observe, but do not touch, historic debris. It may look like trash, but it could tell the story of Route 66 travelers or World War II trainees in Mojave Trails.
- Respect wildlife. Watch the road for crossing critters like desert tortoises. Observe from a distance, and never feed animals. Store food and trash securely to keep it away from curious critters.
- Be considerate of other visitors. Respect the quality of others’ experiences with these incredible desert lands. Our bikes can be noisy, so when you can, let the sounds of nature prevail.
- Take political action. If you love riding through these lands, help preserve them for future generations. Call your congressman and let them know that you love the California desert national monuments. Find your representative HERE
Article by MDLT's Samantha Schipani