Lonely Planet Writer

Take a thrilling ride through history with this 900-mile off-road motorbike trail in Nevada

A spectacular nine-hundred-mile dirt road trail is being opened in Nevada for travellers who enjoy thrills of the two-wheeled variety.

 

The backcountry discovery route runs the length of the state through deserts, sagebrush valleys and mountain ranges. It’s designed for off-road bikes and starts in the town of Oatman in the Black Mountains of ArizonaOatman started off life in the 1860s when gold was discovered in the nearby hills, and has since transformed into a tourist mecca along the famous Route 66.

Sailing stones and their paths on the floor of The RaceTrack Playa in Death Valley National Park in California.
Sailing stones and their paths on the floor of The RaceTrack Playa in Death Valley National Park in California. Image by Getty Images

The route travels north then to the town of Pahrump, with Las Vegas to the east and Death Valley National Park away to the west. The route snakes through mountains and deserts to the ghost town of Gold Point, a mining town that was finally abandoned in the 1960s. It cuts through Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest before moving on to the town of Elko. The long journey then finishes in Jarbridge, site of the last ever recorded stagecoach robbery in US history.

 

Bikers will be able to ride the entire trail, or any of the six smaller routes within it. Other sights along the trail include historic Wild West saloons, desert sculptures, murals, and the world’s largest car forestAs part of the launch, a documentary on the route has been produced with a sneak peek already available on YouTubeIt explains how the trail is so long, it even runs through different climate zones. In the southern part, temperatures routinely rise above 100 degrees Fahrenheit, while on the northern leg, bikers had to contend with ten inches of snow. It will be the seventh route of its type in the US, with similar trails already open in the states of Utah, Washington, Colorado, Arizona, Idaho, and New Mexico.
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