31st Annual Nevada 200 Trail Ride

MotorcycleUSA Staff | April 14, 2015
If you love off-road riding you’ve probably heard of Scot Harden and Casey Folks. They’ve both have been racing and enjoying dirt bikes for decades. They also are the creators of the Nevada 200 Trail Ride, a gathering in Caliente, Nevada. This year marked the 31st year Scot and Casey have been holding the epic ride, which started as a small group of friends and slowly grew into an official trail ride for die-hard off-roaders. My first Nevada 200 was more than ten years ago while working at Dirt Bike Magazine and I’ve been attending the event ever since.

Adam Booth and two new Beta dirt bikes taking in the view on the 31st Annual Nevada 200 Trail Ride.

Every year Scot and Casey mix it up, changing the route and the areas the ride passes through. I’ve been to the Nevada 200 in freezing temperatures, riding in the snow, I’ve carved my way through perfect traction in the rain and, of course, there are years, like this one, that are dry and dusty. It is no secret that the West could use a little more rain! The nice part about a trail ride is that it isn’t a race so if you don’t like riding in the dust, just wait a few minutes and enjoy the trail away from other riders.

There are two rides to choose from, the A ride, led by Scot and the C ride, led by Casey. The C doesn’t necessarily stand for the level of ride but more for Casey. The first day is usually about a 50-mile ride, the second day averages right about 100 and the third day is another 50, with the total mileage adding up to the Nevada 200 name. Motion Pro is a major supporter of the Nevada 200 as is Klim, VP Racing fuels, and Motorex.

Scot Harden leading the group out of a lunch stop on the 31st Annual Nevada 200 Trail Ride.

Day 1

The first day of riding didn’t start until about 11 a.m, giving riders plenty of time to sign up and get ready for three days of roosting. This was the warmest Nevada 200 I can remember. I even wore vented gear, something I can’t say I’ve ever had to do on this ride. Because of the heat and dry conditions dust was an issue if you tried to ride anywhere close to other riders. Every time I encountered a trail of dust I pulled over and waited. It is so much more fun when you can see what you are riding through and over… The first day was a mix of two-track, single-track and the ever so fun sand washes. Of course Nevada has plenty of rocks for everyone.

Caliente and the surrounding area isn’t exactly at sea level and because of this my partner in crime, MotoUSA’s Justin Dawes hit the altitude sickness wall a few hours into the ride. He muscled through and wobbled back to the truck only to lay in the shade and promptly take a grass nap. Because of his napping he missed the afternoon Nevada 200 welcome party, catered with delicious tacos and treats. I ate a few extra for him.

Day 2

With a full night of sleep and some acclimation to the 5000 foot elevation, Justin felt like a new man and we rolled out at 8 a.m. ahead of the group to grab some photos of riders splashing puddles and having fun. To mix it up we rode the C loop for 50 miles to the lunch stop for another great catered meal. The morning C ride was highlighted by some fast and flowing single-track through trees. Splitting directions after lunch, I hopped on the A ride for the remaining 50 miles while Justin continued on the Casey (C) ride. Because the A ride didn’t have a gas stop and I was on a Beta with a two-gallon tank, I had to carry extra fuel to make the distance back to Caliente. Both the A and C rides had a wonderful mix of single-track and fast flowing sand washes, providing a good mix of what the area has to offer. Day 2’s A ride ended with a fun single-track trail full of rocks and small waterfall drop offs, leading right back into town. Saturday evening riders gathered for an Easter egg hunt, rewarding those who found the proper colored eggs with great goodies provided by the sponsors. An awards/insult dinner held by Scot and Casey Saturday night is a Nevada 200 tradition. Casey Folks on a microphone handing out awards for doing stupid acts throughout the ride is not to be missed. It isn’t kid friendly, so we will just leave it there.

Day 3

Justin and I were testing a Beta 430RR and a 480RR so on the third day we opted out of the ride and hit the trails around Caliente with camera bags full of gear for some photos and video clips. We explored the surrounding area and found great riding, logging a decent amount of miles in the process.

The Nevada 200 is an invite-only trail ride but you can get in with the right attitude, and some luck. If the Nevada 200 sounds like a good idea (it is), then make it happen. You’ll be surrounded by great people and tremendous times. Go to www.harden-offroad.com or www.bitd.com, beg, borrow and plea your way in, you won’t be disappointed. Tell them MotoUSA sent you!


31st Annual Nevada 200 Trail Ride

31 years later the Nevada 200 is going strong! The 31st Annual Nevada 200 group looking ready to ride. A few riders making their way up a steep trail on the the 31st Annual Nevada 200 Trail Ride.
Weaving through moon rocks on the 31st Annual Nevada 200 Trail Ride. Not all riders found the riding easy! 31st Annual Nevada 200 Trail Ride. Boothy and some awesome views. 31st Annual Nevada 200 Trail Ride.