Babes Ride Out

Mojave Land Trust

10 Cool Critters (and Plants) to Spot in the Mojave during Babes Ride Out

SponsorsAnya Violet

On long rides, sometimes it’s nice to stop and smell the roses…or spot the tortoise! During your time at Babes Ride Out 5, we hope you’ll keep an eye out for the awesome desert plants and animals that make this location so special. Here are some notable flora and fauna that is active during the month of October in Joshua Tree and beyond. Just remember to give critters their space and watch out for animals crossing the road!

Mojave Yucca

An iconic desert plant and close relative of the Joshua tree, these spiky shrubs can be seen all around Joshua Tree, Yucca Valley, and in the southern portion of Mojave Trails.

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Desert Holly

It may only be October, but much like your local department store, the Mojave Desert is already getting in the Christmas spirit! You can spot these prickly clusters with red berries at Amboy Crater.

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California Juniper

These bushy trees can be found on desert slopes in Joshua Tree National Park. Keep your eyes – and nose! – open for beautiful blue berries and that refreshing juniper fragrance.

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Pinyon Pine

Harvested for timber and firewood over the centuries, the sweet pinyon wood fragrance invokes the image of pueblos and adobe homes. You can find these majestic, twisting trees throughout the desert on rocky, southern-facing slopes and mesas.

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Honey Mesquite

Known for its beautiful beans that sustained travelers in the frontier days, the mesquite is the most common shrub of the desert southwest. You can find honey mesquites and their pods in Big Morongo Canyon Preserve

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Red-Tailed Hawk

True to its name, the red-tailed hawk has a broad, rounded tail with a rich, russet hue. You can see these amazing aerial acrobats circling around in the sky throughout the desert, especially in north Mojave Trails.

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Bighorn Sheep

Mature male bighorn sheep have curled horns that can reach up to 33 inches, while juvenile and female horns never exceed a half-curl. These majestic creatures can be seen scrambling up mountain slopes during the day, especially in the morning when they feed, at the Whitewater Preserve.

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Desert Tortoise

With their domed shells and ambling gait, the California state reptile is one of the most recognizable species in the Mojave. October an active time of the year for the desert tortoise, so maybe you’ll get lucky and spot one among the shrubs. If you see a desert tortoise on the road, follow Joshua Tree National Park’s guide on when and how to move a desert tortoise.

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Chuckwalla

These plump, peaceful lizards are usually the size of your forearm and emerge in the morning to bask in the sun before hunting for food. Look for these regal reptiles at Amboy Crater amongst the lava rock.

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Sphinx Moth

The sphinx moths are among the largest flying insects in the desert and have fabulously flashy pink hind wings. You may confuse these beautiful bugs for hummingbirds when they are flapping around in the early evening throughout the desert lands.

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Protect the Planet, Buy a Bottle + Mug Combo for Babes Ride Out 5 | 50% of Proceeds Go to The Mojave Land Trust

SponsorsAshmore Ellis

Our planet is precious. No matter where we go, we want to be conscious of the impact we have on the incredible natural landscapes we have the privilege of experiencing from the rider’s seat. One of our goals at Babes Ride Out 5 is to be more respectful of the ecosystems we enjoy. After all, we want future Babes to be able to ride around these desert lands for generations to come.

We have partnered with the Mojave Desert Land Trust to help reduce our footprint on the desert and everywhere we roam on two wheels or four. That is why we are excited to launch the official Babes Ride Out mugs and water bottles with clip on carabiners for easy moto and belt loop toting. We all need a caffeine boost for those early morning rides, and it is important to hydrate while exploring (especially in the desert), but plastic water bottles and cups take up to 1,000 years to degrade! With our reusable bottles, we can stay hydrated (in style!) while also caring for the lands we love. 50% of proceeds will be donated to the Mojave Desert Land Trust to help them keep securing and protecting this beautiful place we call home. 

50% of Proceeds go to The Mojave Land Trust 

50% of Proceeds go to The Mojave Land Trust 

Pre-order your water bottles and mugs HERE to pick up your set at The Mojave Land Trust Booth when you arrive at Babes Ride Out 5.

Use code MDLT17 to take off the shipping for this item ONLY if you are picking it up at BRO5 (please do not add any additional items to your order, sorry!). If you want this item shipped, please DO NOT use this code. All water bottles that need to be shipped we be sent Oct 30th.

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Explore (and Protect) the Desert’s National Monuments with The Mojave Desert Land Trust

DIY Tips, SponsorsAshmore Ellis

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. 

Photo by ariana Maguire

Photo by ariana Maguire


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.

Photo by Mariana Maguire

Photo by Mariana Maguire


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.

Photo by Bob Wick

Photo by Bob Wick


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
Photo by Patrick Donnelly

Photo by Patrick Donnelly

Article by MDLT's Samantha Schipani

Take Only Pictures, Leave Only Footprints | Mojave Land Trust x Babes Ride Out

DIY TipsAshmore Ellis

Take Only Pictures, Leave Only Footprints on Designated Trails by Sam Schipani of the Mojave Land Trust. 

One of the greatest joys of exploring on two wheels is capturing special moments to share with your family and friends. We want your loyal Instagram followers to see your stunning snapshots of that earth-splitting desert sunset or that adorable desert tortoise, but we also want these special landscapes and habitats to stay the way they were before we rode into town.

There are a few things to keep in mind when striking out to take pictures in fragile ecosystems. Our friends at the Mojave Desert Land Trust are experts on how artists (yes, Instagram artists count, too!) can consciously engage with the desert. Their Reading the Landscape program, launched earlier this year, guides artists through the process of creating in a way that ensures the desert will provide inspiration for generations to come.

Going off road can create irreversible damage to the ecosystem. 

Going off road can create irreversible damage to the ecosystem. 

Here are MDLT’s tips for reducing your impact on the desert while still getting that perfect shot:

  • Stay on designated roads and trails. Avoid loose sand and soil – especially if you’re setting up a tripod! Designated areas are always a safe bet.
  • Take what you brought, including debris, chemicals, equipment, and liquids. Pack it in, pack it out!
  • Leave what you find, including rocks, vegetation, animals, bones, and historical trash.
  • Know who owns the land prior to your site visit, as well as how to access the land through legal routes and using an appropriate vehicle.
  • Identify and avoid on-site cultural resources, historic debris, and wildlife burrows. For example: A desert tortoise burrow entrance looks like the letter “D” lying on its side.
  • Respect the wildlife by giving them space. For close-up shots, make sure you have your zoom lens on hand.
  • Review the rules and regulations of the land management agency specific to your project. Obtain a commercial permit, when appropriate. If you intend to create art within Joshua Tree National Park’s boundaries, determine if your project requires a Special Use Permit. Commercial filming or photography requires a filming permit, but permits are not required for news crews or visitors photographing for personal use. All permit applications can be emailed to JOTR_Special_Use@NPS.Gov
  • Use Instagram as an educational platform for other photographers! If you see a photo on Instagram that is less-than-respectful of our desert ecosystem, politely let the user know. Our citizen Desert Defenders in Joshua Tree have used Instagram as a tool to educate visitors to great effect.

    With these tips, you will be able to reduce your impact on the desert – and share its beauty with all your family, friends, and followers! - Sam Schipani

When you follow these simple rules, you are protecting all these beautiful creatures and their home :) 

Meet the Mojave Land Trust | Official Partner of Babes Ride Out

Sponsors, Events, PeopleAshmore Ellis

Babes Ride Out has officially partnered with the Mojave Land Trust to implement some incredible ways we can all reduce our carbon footprint not just in this beautiful desert but everywhere we roam on two wheels or four. Over the next few months leading up to Babes Ride Out 5, we will be releasing helpful info that will aid in making sure we leave the desert as beautiful as we found it. But first, take some time and get to know the Mojave Land Trust and find out exactly what they do. 

The Mojave Desert Land Trust (MDLT) is a 501(c)(3) conservation non-profit whose mission is to protect the unique living landscapes, ecosystems, and cultural history of the Mojave Desert. From its headquarters in the village of Joshua Tree, MDLT works throughout the 24.5 million acres of California’s eastern Mojave and Colorado Deserts. The organization acquires properties throughout the desert, stewards the land with their bevy of volunteers, conducts outreach in local communities, and grows native plants for habitat restoration.

Youth project at Big Morongo Canyon Preserve in the Sand to Snow National Monument

Youth project at Big Morongo Canyon Preserve in the Sand to Snow National Monument

MDLT strategically purchases private parcels of land to help connect national parks, wilderness areas, and wildlife linkage corridors throughout the desert. Since its founding in 2006, MDLT has conserved more than 66,000 acres of prime desert habitat. By preserving the land, MDLT also protects dark night skies, spectacular desert vistas, and clean air and water.
To celebrate its 10th anniversary in 2016, MDLT deepened its conservation mission by establishing its Native Plant Nursery & Seed Bank. Located at the organization’s headquarters in Joshua Tree, the nursery grows plants endemic to the Mojave Desert for restoration throughout the region. The nursery staff also collects and stores seeds for conservation purposes.

MDLT prides itself on being a strong community voice. The organization has established a corps of volunteers to steward and monitor the lands. The work instills in the community a sense of personal connection to and responsibility for the desert’s open lands and wild places. 

Removing graffiti at Sheephole Pass in the Sheephole Wilderness, Mojave Trails National Monument

Removing graffiti at Sheephole Pass in the Sheephole Wilderness, Mojave Trails National Monument

Through its outreach and education programs, MDLT engages diverse groups with the mission of protecting and enjoying precious desert lands. Earlier this year, MDLT launched its Reading the Landscape guide for artists creating consciously in the desert. The program guides artists to make informed decisions throughout the creative processes, to ensure that each step is done in a way that will preserve the landscapes for future generations.

MDLT launched its Desert Defenders campaign in response to April’s executive order instructing the Department of the Interior to review national monuments designated by the Antiquities Act. The organization collected 1,290 public comments and held 5 rallies across the California desert in support of the two Mojave national monuments that are up for review: Sand to Snow, and Mojave Trails. 

A volunteer explaining cultural resources to a group of Girl Scouts at Black Lava Butte in Sand to Snow National Monument

A volunteer explaining cultural resources to a group of Girl Scouts at Black Lava Butte in Sand to Snow National Monument

To MDLT, everyone who enjoys the desert – whether they live there year-round or visit once to recreate – is a stakeholder in its conservation. As such, the organization collaborates closely with and is supported by a diverse range of partner organizations like Babes Ride Out to ensure that everyone can experience the magic of the Mojave while preserving it for future generations.