Settlers/Gold Rush Wilderness Trail  (Settlers Trail)

May 19 – June 1, 2024

 2 week Dual Sport and Adventure Bike ride across the western USA

Embrace the Wild: Settlers Wilderness Trail Awaits! Ready for a 2-week dual sport motorcycle journey through the rugged beauty of California, Nevada, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana? This adventure is more than just a ride – it's a chance to forge lasting friendships amid the challenges of untamed terrains. Together, explore hidden trails and immerse yourself in the heart of nature. Join us, not just to ride, but to connect and conquer. Secure your spot today and create bonds that last a lifetime

About: This route is designed for experienced off roaders and can be tough depending on conditions.  Rain, snow and mud are possible, so come prepared.  The weather can turn quickly. The best time of year is mid April through mid June.  It is common to find good weather in those months.  We have designed route options for just these conditions.  Our main adventure routes are colored Blue and we include easier Green route options for riders needing a break or bad conditions and, for overachievers, we include Red options that will take your breath away.  The ride can be enjoyed by a wide range of riders, but for sure you need to be experienced in these conditions.

The ride includes motels each evening.  Motel rooms are double occupancy.  Riders will share a room with 2 beds. 

The ride includes a luggage support van.  Riders can put their gear into the van and it will be transported to the next hotel each day.

Riders will be eating in restaurants  along the routes and some days will need to carry snacks as sometimes no food is on our routes.

Favortie bikes will be like KTM 500 to 690 or equivalant,  the wr250r and CRF300 will also work well.  Some may choose the KTM 890 and work harder as it may at times be a little big.  Mostly it depends on the rider.

Did you ever wonder how the pioneers, settlers, and gold diggers managed to cross the USA with wagons on rough or nonexistent trails? 

Now is your chance to go on their tracks, exploring the wilderness of the most remote parts of the United States on two wheels. While a van - the modern iteration of the settler’s carriages - will carry your gear and meet you every night at the hotel, you’ll ride all day with your buddies only equipped with your GPS, tools, and spare tubes.

This will not be an extreme enduro per se. Still, it will be an adventure for experienced riders able to endure long days in various meteorological conditions and over rough terrain. Are you tough enough to enjoy a few miles of sand, some steep rocky climbs, some fast-pace rides in the open desert, and handle muddy double tracks with possible fallen logs? Are you willing to push your limits and help others achieve their dream? Then, this is your chance to explore the USA far from the crowd of tourists buckled in their rental cars. 

Our path will start at the border with Mexico and take some elevation in the mountains to avoid the heat. After these rocky sections, it’s time to ride some sand next to Death Valley and deep inside Owens Valley. Gold mines hidden in the mountains will get you more rocks but also the opportunity to ride inside the mine tunnels. In Nevada, it will be a wild mix of old towns, sandy trails, gravel roads, and bumpy mountain tracks. You will even have great burgers in a reconverted bank! Oregon will not be dusty at this time of the year but expect some fallen logs here and here. In Idaho, the route will go almost to 6,000ft and will most likely bring some humidity, with possible traces of snow and most certainly mud. Last, but not least, Montana should be green and warming up in early May and be at its best to welcome the finishers of this first “Settlers/Gold Rush Trail” ride!

Our Collection of photos from our rides in there areas:  Settlers/Gold Rush Wilderness Trail Photo Album 

Is this route right for you?

This route is not good for beginners; you should be very experienced in backcountry travel and prepared for any difficulty or failures.  This route includes options: both easier and harder routes.  As an example for those wanting to avoid river crossings, we have added workaround route options.  For those just tired and wanting to end the day early, we have added easy paved shortcuts.  And for those tough guys wanting more, we have added some challenging routes.

Route Choices:  Don't put yourself in a bad spot.  gpsKevin route maps always include route options.  We recognize that weather and conditions can change.  We design these adventures with multiple routes in different colors.  The main adventure route is colored Blue, then there are easier and harder options, Green and Red, respectively.  This allows riders to choose their own level of adventure appropriate for their own skill and desires.  We don't want to put you into a challenging spot without options; we let you make the choice.

Signup info:

The cost to join this 14 day ride is $2,795.  This covers your lodging for the 15 nights during the ride and the cost of a luggage van and driver.  This also covers your ride packets which include a custom Garmin GPS Map on a micro SD card and printed ride maps and descriptions.

Now taking signups: You can now reserve your spot on this ride by leaving a $200 Deposit  (Ride limit is 16 riders)

$200 Deposit

After your signup riders will receive an email from me with further ride information and instructions.

Note: Riders must make full payment by March 1st, 2024.

Riders will receive ride packets in the mail two week before the ride.

Refund Policy

Do not sign up for this ride unless you are serious about coming.  I take your signup very seriously and start planning for you the minute you sign up.  If you need to cancel up to three months prior to the ride start date I will give you a full refund but I will keep $100 to cover the planning work. Sorry but I make non refundable commitments myself so it gets hard for me. "I hate this world of non refundable deals myself."  If you need to cancel within three months of the ride, I cannot give a refund unless I can find a replacement rider.  In the case of finding a replacement rider, I will gladly give you the full refund minus the $100 to cover the planning work.  In the event of ride cancellation, you will be given a full refund.

Ride Details

 I know many of you also enjoy dreaming about the ride and making your plans, so here is the detail, enjoy! 

Settlers Trail Ride Description

Yoda Olivier

Yoda Greg

Yoda Super Dave

What are these Adventure Rides like? These rides are designed along the theme of exploring the world.  They include a mix of remote dirt routes, back paved roads, sometimes some very seldom ridden paths and pavement.  Rides are a mix of all these things and sometimes some surprises due to weather conditions.  These rides are for experienced, well seasoned riders that are capable of turning a washed out road experience into just part of the day's fun.  Riders should be comfortable with turning around when necessary and finding an alternative route around unexpected obstacles. These rides are not for new riders. As an experienced rider, the tough part of having a great motorcycle adventure is the routing and logistics.  What routes do I take? Where do I stay? How do I find the best routes and places?

View the ride maps

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


The Blue lines are MAIN routes

The Cyan lines are Alternate main routes

The Red lines are Harder routes

The Green lines are Easy options

The Black lines are the out and back viewpoints

We have done the homework for you: We have studied and developed and ridden to find the best possible routes and then we have put them into great daily rides.  As riding skills and desires for riders can be different, we have developed and include route options.  We find that many riders like to ride with their best friends, however their friends may not always have the same riding skills and desires.  As the day's ride progresses, riders have choices of easier and harder routes.  This allows you to tailor the ride more towards your own riding desires and allows you to make choices that might better suit your friends when necessary.  Sometimes riders may just want a break too.

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 are 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.  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 World.




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. 

Q: What bikes are right for this ride?

A: Adventure bikes, Overland 4x4 and Dual Sport bikes can all do well; it depends on your ride choices

Q: Can I use my cell phone?  

A: Sorry, at this point we do not support cell phone GPS use for our rides.  The IMG files will not run on a cell phone. 

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

A: Buy one, you need it.  Get a Garmin, it is still the most reliable 

Q: Is the riding really on my own?

A: Yes, but we recommend you bring a friend

Q: How good are these routes?  

A: They are 99% perfect.  Or sometimes, 99.9% perfect.  Or sometimes, 95% perfect.  So be prepared for a little imperfection.

Q: What are Custom GPS Ride Maps?

A: Custom GPS ride maps are electronic maps designed specifically to show the paths and path choices for a particular ride.  The maps show the paths as clear bold lines so the riders can easily see them even on small screens.  The lines are often comprised of groups of arrows or chevrons so that riders can easily tell the recommended direction of travel.  The lines come in multiple colors so that riders can easily choose between Hard and Easy options. Custom ride maps make ride navigation much easier than ever before. 


Any and all riding is on you own.  Conditions change and routes may not be navigable.

Legal access can change and is not guaranteed.  Riders must assess the local conditions.

Weather can make the routes impassable.  Riders must obey all local laws

gpsKevin assumes no liability for these rides or your actions.

Who is going on this ride?

 Olivier deV

 Huntington Beach, CA

 CRF 450

 Dave R

 Pacifica, CA

 KTM 500

Greg M

 Chino Valley, AZ

 Support Driver

Tom K

 Silver Springs, MD

Beta 390

Keith M

 Potomac, MD

KTM 500