Spotlight 29 to Parker AZ


Explore the Desert from Palm Springs (Indio) to the Colorado River

Marty, Davyd and Tom along the Bradshaw Trail

What's great about this ride?

This ride centers on exploring the area of the desert along the Colorado River called the California's Colorado Desert. This is a great time of the year to venture into this region as the weather is often perfect. The Colorado Desert is a part of the larger Sonoran Desert. The region's habitats include creosote bush scrub, mixed scrub, including yucca and cholla cactus, desert saltbush, sandy soil grasslands and desert dunes. The ride starts near Palm Springs in Indio and wanders along the Chocolate Mountains, then closely follows the Colorado River into Parker, Arizona. The ride includes some of the earliest known routes across the mountains.

Joshua Tree National Park

This is a great weekend Dual Sport ride with a choice of routes for the scenic rider or the tough rider. The ride starts near Palm Springs on I-10 at the Spotlight 29 Casino in Indio and will take us to the Colorado River and Parker, AZ on Saturday evening. On Sunday, the ride returns with options through Vidal and Joshua Tree National Park. The ride will include the famous Bradshaw Trail and parts of the Colorado Desert and a great lap along the Colorado River.

About the ride

Riders will spend Saturday night in a hotel in Parker, Arizona. The ride includes a support van to carry your overnight gear.

The ride includes a hosted celebration dinner at Frank's on Saturday evening.

Also included is lunch on the trail on both Saturday and Sunday.

The ride will have options of routes to take depending on the level of difficulty that you would like and the weather conditions. This is an intermediate level ride, not a difficult ride. This is not a good ride for beginners. The distances can be long. There will be about 1/4 pavement depending on your choices.

Think Scenic Explorer's Ride!

Flat tire on the trail

Hosted Dinner at Frank's

Full Ride Description

Ride Description “Spotlight 29 to Parker 16”

This ride is a team effort ride with the Big Bear Trail Riders.

Do this ride yourself: Purchase Rider Packet and GPS microSD Card for this ride

Note: A Full Rider Packet consists of printed ride descriptions and paper ride maps and a custom GPS microSD card for your Garmin or BMW GPS unit.

Spotlight to Parker 16 Self Guided Ride Packets: The SD Cards and maps cover the complete trail with all the route options

Spotlight 29 to Parker 16 Choice (Scroll Down Menu)

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Notes: I suggest you plan and order early. Normally I ship within a week. But sometimes I run out and it can take me several weeks to get new cards and maps. And sometimes I am out riding and building new adventures so that can be hard too. I list the Option for 2 SD cards because many riders like to carry a backup card or a cheap backup GPS in the event of unforeseen circumstances.

Ride Hotel info:

You will need to make your own motel reservations per below

Make your reservations early as space can be limited

Best Western Inn Parker AZ

1012 Geronimo Avenue, Parker, AZ, 85344 United States, 1-800-780-7234

View the ride maps below

OK since many of you might like to study more detail about the ride, below are the ride maps.

I put these ride maps on the web page because I know a few of you love looking at the ride detail and dreaming about the ride. At first glance these maps do not look so impressive, but they are way cool. If you click the Earth or Satellite tab and start zooming in, you can see the ride in incredible detail. I have spent a ton of hours sorting through the details of the ride for each day, so for those of you that enjoy this sort of thing, well enjoy!


The Blue lines are MAIN routes

The Red lines are Harder routes

The Green lines are Easy options

Pictures from this ride


Q: What bike will I (gpsKevin) be taking on this ride?

A: I will ride my 2015 WR250R or my 2013 KTM690

Q: How much stuff can I load into the support truck?

A: Please only bring one small overnight bag with your street clothes. No gas or oil as the gear is stored inside my van.

Q: Would this be a good ride for new riders?

A: No, this ride is for intermediate and experienced riders only. The riding has easy route choices and tough route options. Each evening we will study the following day's choices. You will find lots of supportive people at the ride.

Q:What will the weather be like this time of year?

A: In February, the weather is often nice, but could be a little cold in the morning and in the mountains. But sometimes there can be rain and snow. Some years the snow in the mountains is a problem. Snow can force us to change our routes. Come prepared with extra gear for cold and wet.

Q: Where can I park my truck for the weekend?

A: You can park your truck in the parking area at the Spotlight 29 casino

Q; What do I do if I don't have a Garmin GPS?

A: Buy one, you need it, we will show you how to use it. You can get a great one for $100 bucks. ( See gpsKevin's gps recommendations)

Q: Is the riding really on my own?

A: Yes, but almost everyone hooks up and rides with a friend, or a new friend.

Q: What fuel range is required for this trip?

A: 115 miles, plus a little margin depending on your choices

How does the ride navigation work?

This is a self-led GPS ride; all riding is on your own. You are responsible for your own riding. You will be given a GPS map file and instructions on how to use your Garmin GPS unit. People will hook up in small groups of less than 6 riders and tend to ride together. You are not encouraged to ride alone. You are responsible for your own riding and yourself.

(see my ride Navigation Video)

Are you right for this ride?

When something goes wrong on a ride, would your riding friends say that you are more likely to need help or more likely to give help? You should be in the more likely to offer help camp. This ride is filled with riders that are more likely to give help, so most of the time the riders never need help. Additionally there is all the normal stuff: come prepared to maintain your bike, fix your bike on the trail, repair flat tires, deal with bad weather and rain and make a joke or two.

How do I make the GPS stuff so easy?

I develop very high quality ride maps custom for our ride, they come from much of what I and others have ridden. I take the best from all my rides and make new ones.

(See my Custom Ride Maps Video)

Note from me, gpsKevin

My goal for this ride is simple: great riding! So you can count on great routes and places to ride.

But in addition: the ride is about discovering new places, meeting new friends, seeing new parts of the Southwest.