The Mineral County desert will be alive this weekend with the roar of off-road vehicles when the 20th annual “Best In The Desert” off-road race begins.
This popular race which covers the dirt roads of Nevada from Las Vegas to Reno has been contested with the passing through a new national monument which includes restrictions such as a no-pass zone and slower speed.
A change to any off-road racer who is used to speed well over 70 miles per hour.
The race technically starts outside of Caliente, about 150 miles northeast of Las Vegas and ends on Saturday near Dayton. The racers and crews will hold up Friday night in Tonopah.
John Ruhs, Nevada state director for the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, approved the special recreation permit submitted by Casey Folks and Best In The Desert Racing Association. The 640-mile race on Friday is being contested as a potential ecological impact on the Basin and Range National Monument by conservationists.
“We have done a careful evaluation of the race and built in specific mitigation measures to minimize potential impacts,” Ruhs said. “The BLM is proud to provide diverse recreation opportunities on the incredible public lands we manage here in Nevada.”
The mitigation includes a 35 mph speed limit on the 37-mile stretch of the route that travels through the monument that President Barack Obama designated last summer across more than 1,000 square miles northeast of Las Vegas.
Racers also are prohibited from passing each other within the monument’s boundaries and will be penalized if they exceed the speed limit.
Mineral County residents are urged to watch the race from designated pit areas throughout the county and to be considerate of road crossing and other race markers.