Caliente, Kurt Caselli Memorial Ride Nov. 18 2013. Photo by Janine Woodworth.

Caliente, Kurt Caselli Memorial Ride Nov. 18 2013. Photo by Janine Woodworth.

“So what in the world do you do for fun in Lincoln County?”

Residents have answered that question often, and people are shocked when they learn the area has no big box chain stores, no common fast food franchises, no theaters, no traffic lights and the list goes on.

But many here would argue there is way more fun to be had in Lincoln County than what the big city offers.

It doesn’t seem to matter your income status, race, religion or career. When you live here, there’s one common denominator. What do we do? We go off-roading.

Mountains and desert surround us, with flurries of forest patches that lead to endless wilderness. The paths that the settlers used in the late 1800s have remained. One has transformed into the major highway. Some have formed the main streets of our towns. The others were trod between neighbors for years. When the invention of off-road vehicles arrived, Lincoln County’s trails morphed into a source of natural thrill. Today, they continue to see a high volume of traffic from locals, as well as visiting off-road adventurers.

It’s no wonder why the Motorcycle Racing Association of Nevada (MRAN) holds a number of races in Lincoln County every year and why the county was voted the favorite racing spot in Nevada for MRAN riders at the annual banquet in January this year. For the present 2014 racing season, out of the 20 races MRAN has scheduled this year, almost half of them will take place in Lincoln County. Alamo, Caliente, Panaca and Pioche will all host MRAN races.

For an overview of the county’s trails, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) office in Caliente should be your first stop. The office offers a large supply of maps and information on county trails. Specifically, the Silver State Off-Highway Vehicle Trail brochure provides a map of the trails in Lincoln County and highlights the ATV-only sections. The brochure also provides a checklist vital for off-road travel. Off-roaders should come prepared with a map, lots of water, first aid kit, helmet, gas, oil, repair tools, extra nuts and bolts, tow rope, spark arrestor, spare tire, tire repair kit, gloves, sunscreen, flashlight, trash bags, food and a spare key.

If you are new to the area, it’s recommended that you get a local gas station’s phone number, and be sure to have Verizon service. With a brief description of where you went and the major trees or hills beside you, a local can be led to your rescue.

The off-road offerings in the county are poised for expansion. The landscape, all 10,000-plus acres of it, has a variety of possibilities that are catching the interest of top off-road organizations. The International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) is one such group. Plans for multiple mountain-biking trails are in full swing. The IMBA has been active in the county, obtaining agreements and cooperation with the County Commission, Caliente City Council, BLM and the Nevada State Parks. The association has been working to identify the best potential areas for trails and is putting the final touches on a planned course. Leaders hope to eventually connect all five state parks in Lincoln County. If all goes to plan, a new mountain bikers’ paradise will run through the mountain ranges, valleys and desert terrain of the county.

It goes without saying there are plenty of aspects to look at when it comes to Lincoln County off-roading. This year, Lincoln County Magazine highlights the county’s off-road racers. Having top-notch racing trails in their back yard, it’s no wonder our resident MRAN racers took home a large portion of the trophies for 2013. What follows are profiles of of Lincoln County’s off-road competitors.

So strap on your helmets, fill your gas tanks and bring your cameras as we show you the best in outdoor vehicle recreation.

Please Remember to T.R.E.A.D. Lightly

Travel responsibly on designated roads and trails or in permitted areas.

Respect the rights of others, including private property owners, all recreational trail users, campers, and others to allow them to enjoy their recreational activities undisturbed.

Educate yourself by obtaining travel maps and regulations from public agencies, planning for your trip, taking recreation skills classes and knowing how to use and operate your equipment safely.

Avoid sensitive areas such as meadows, lake shores, wetlands and streams, unless on designated routes. This protects wildlife habitat and sensitive soils from damage.

Do your part by leaving the area better than you found it, properly disposing of waste, minimizing the use of fire, avoiding the spread of invasive species, restoring degraded areas and joining a local enthusiast organization.