The ninth Backcountry Discovery Route, released in late December, is the first specifically designed for wintertime riding.

It goes through the desert landscapes of southwest California, beginning in Yuma, Arizona and wending 820 miles south-to-north, ending in Benton, California.

The GPS route for the Backcountry Discovery Routes ride through the landscape of southwest California — image co

The GPS track was released early to give riders a chance to escape the cold enveloping much of the country and enjoy some spectacular scenery.

desert, California, off-road,

Backcountry Discovery Routes ride through the landscape of southwest California — image co

The California Backcountry Discovery Route South (CABDR-South) mostly sticks to dirt and challenging two-track roads while leading riders over (dried out!) washes, canyons and dry riverbeds in California’s national preserves (including the Mojave preserve) and arid landscapes.

desert, California, off-road,

Backcountry Discovery Routes ride through the landscape of southwest California — image courtesy of BDR

Because the GPS map was put out early to take advantage of the season, the usual supporting material of Butler maps and an expedition documentary DVD aren’t ready yet. BDR expect them to come out some time in January.

gravel desert, California, off-road,

Dropping it on the Backcountry Discovery Routes ride through the landscape of southwest California — image co

In addition to the GPS track, BDR have put a FAQ for the route and an interactive map with section descriptions on their website.

Canyon, desert, california

Backcountry Discovery Routes ride through the landscape of southwest California — image courtesy of BDR

Among the sights riders will be treated to are unusual desert communities, ghost towns, old-timey mines, and ancient petroglyphs and intaglios (which are carvings.) They’ll be able to ease their sore bones in mineral hot springs and enjoy the unusual Joshua trees of the Mojave preserve.

Mine, desert, California, off-road,

Did someone say mines? The Backcountry Discovery Routes ride through the landscape of southwest California — image co

BDR are still scheduling dates for their movie of the new route, which debuted in Long Beach back on November 16th. You can check their website here for the updated calendar of showings, and even offer to host on yourself, right here.

To whet your appetite, here’s a preview video of the ride.

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