Equestrian Trails, Inc.
Death Valley Ride 2016
On October 31, 1994 Death Valley became a National Park, making it the largest National Park outside Alaska. Death Valley has an unusual variety of features ranging from Telescope Peak at 11,049 feet to Badwater at 2828 feet below sea level, to the largest sand dunes in California. Death Valley National Park you may think of as just desert, but there are other elements to this park. It’s composed of 3.3 million acres; 60 percent of which is over 1,000 feet in elevation with its highest point at over 11,000 feet. Not only are there sand dunes, there are sagebrush flats, hills that have a grassland appearance to them, and then there is the high country.
“You can stand in your stirrups, look around and not see a single sign of man.”
Equestrian Trails, Inc. has been holding this Death Valley ride since 1960. The ride followed the old historic 20-Mule Team Trail from Ridgecrest, California, to Furnace Creek, to Death Valley as part of the Death Valley 49ers Annual Encampment. Riders covered 125 miles in six days making camp at a new location each night.
Due to changes to the National Park regulations in 2013, we needed to reroute our trail. We still ride in and around Death Valley, traveling over 100 miles, following the Mule Team route, seeing old ghost towns and mining areas. We provide all of the comforts of home: great food, traveling beverage wagons and a fresh shower wagon. All Death Valley Ride crew members are volunteers, from our gourmet cooks, to our luggage handlers, veterinarian, horse shoer, trail bosses and every post in between.
Though we have adjusted to an easier trip for our riders, our Death Valley Ride is still an adventure to enjoy and remember.