Crossing California’s Mojave Desert, on a tricycle …

Steve and Bigfoot

< Backcountry Explorer Steve Greene, and his extreme terrain ICE tricycle, pose for a pre-trip portrait.

This website features the remote Mojave Traverse, a solo and unsupported human powered recumbent tricycle adventure that crosses the Mojave Desert in California, USA, a portion of which is officially recognized as Earth’s hottest location. The trek spans 410 total miles, with 195 of those miles on unpaved surfaces (48% of route), such as old dirt roads and pioneer trails, including dry sandy river bed crossings and flood washouts. The Mojave Traverse begins in the northern Owens Valley, crosses most of the north/south length of the Mojave Desert in California, including the north/south lengths of Death Valley, Death Valley National Park, and the Mojave National Preserve, and ends at the Mojave River near the San Bernardino Mountains of southern California. Learn the outcome of this expedition through the movie, photos, and story buttons above.


ICE Full Fat

The Backcountry Expedition Vehicle (BEV), manufactured by Inspired Cycle Engineering in England, is well suited for rugged desert riding! The all-terrain recumbent tricycle is fully suspended, and uses a Rohloff rear internal hub for changing gears. Cargo bags used on this expedition include Arkel RT-60 side panniers, Arkel TailRider top trunk, Radical Design side seat pods, and TerraCycle FastBack hydration packs. Tires are Schwalbe Jumbo Jim 26×4.8.



Mojave Traverse MapSTART: Big Pine in northern Owens Valley – FINISH: Mojave River at San Bernardino Mountains

Mojave Traverse from Space

Mojave: pronounced   mo-HAW-vee


Mojave Traverse Luggage


Badwater Basin

Death Valley’s Badwater Basin in the Mojave Desert is a barren salt flat, and dips to 282 feet below sea level. A portion of Steve’s Mojave Traverse route takes the 40 mile long West Side Road (all dirt) through this arid chasm, along the base of the Panamint Range, which is visible in the distance across the salt flat. Summer temperatures at Badwater are known to exceed 134 degrees Fahrenheit (56.7 degrees Celsius). October can still surpass 100.

Dantes View

Steve stands atop Dante’s View, 5,758 feet above Badwater Basin (see prior photo). Notice the tiny asphalt ribbon of Highway 178 far below. This is how a distance slightly greater than a vertical mile appears to an eagle. Things don’t get much more vertical than this. Don’t step back Steve!


One thought on “Crossing California’s Mojave Desert, on a tricycle …

  1. So you’re finally ready for off Steve but what exactly have you packed? How will you know how far you’ve travelled each day without mileposts?

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