DAY 1 LOS ANGELES
Welcome to Los Angeles, the City of Angels. Take some time to enjoy a relaxing afternoon by the pool and enjoy the sights of L.A. before meeting up with your fellow riders at 4pm in the hotel lobby. We’ll crack our first cold drink together before heading to our favourite local watering holes for a bite to eat and a few cold drinks.
There is simply no better way to get to know the people you will be sharing the road with for the next two weeks than by breaking bread and twisting a few caps together. Wyatt and Billy wouldn’t have had it any other way.
Day 2 LOS ANGELES – DEATH VALLEY
Today we burn a lot of miles, but they fly by with anticipation of what lies ahead. After picking up our bikes from EagleRider in Los Angeles, we’ll ride just one mile down the road to the spot near LAX where the infamous drug deal that funded their journey was filmed.
From there, we point our bikes north, toward the vast, unforgiving expanse of Death Valley. The high deserts and low valleys of California hold a lot of Easy Rider secrets, and you’ll experience them all. This is where Billy and Wyatt started their trip, and there are stories to tell and buildings still standing that look like they did in the movie more than forty years ago.
Tonight we will enjoy a bonfire at our hotel, as we share a drink, tell a few wild stories, and pass around the guitar under a blanket of the thickest stars you have ever seen. There is nothing quite like spending the night in Death Valley.
Day 3 DEATH VALLEY – NEEDLES
In the cool of the Death Valley morning we will start our ride towards the famous Route 66 town of Barstow like Billy and Wyatt did in the movie.
For those of you who want to give yourselves fully to the Easy Rider experience, we’ll stop along a lonely stretch of road in front of a very familiar building outside of Ballarat, California just long enough for you to have one last look at your watch before you leave it forever in a cloud of dust on the roadside as you rumble away towards the Mojave Desert.
Between Death Valley and Needles lies the vast expanse of the Mojave Desert—one of the loneliest places on the planet, and still dotted by remnants of small Route 66 towns that struggle to cling to life long after the great Western Migration of the Dust Bowl and Great Depression subsided.
We continue our journey with Wyatt and Captain America along one of the most desolate stretches of Route 66 in America. This part of America looks just like it did in 1969, as we past abandoned motels, old gas stations, and roadside mailboxes without a home in sight. You are in the heart of the Mojave today, and you can almost feel Easy Rider in your blood. The feeling of freedom is washing over you like desert rain as you roar down a road so long and straight that your eyes won’t let you see the end. We’ll end our day with a swim in the warm waters of the Colorado River before finding some mischief to get into in town. Needles was an overnight for the crew during the filming of the movie, and our Easy Rider historians will share some behind the scenes knowledge as we make our way on foot through town.
Day 4 NEEDLES TO FLAGSTAFF
This morning we leave Needles, crossing the mighty Colorado River on Route 66. You’ll see the spot of the famous bridge crossing from Easy Rider. Later, we will ride through the “Old West” town of Oatman, Arizona, where the ghosts of gold miners past and their wild burrows still roam the streets. Then it is onto more Easy Rider movie locations as we climb into the pine trees of the Sacred Mountains, where Billy and Wyatt were denied a room for the night at the beginning of the movie. The Pine Breeze Inn, made famous from that opening scene in the movie still stands today, and we will stop there for some great stories and photos just before we arrive in Flagstaff. The neon “No Vacancy” sign that the owner of the Pine Breeze Inn switches on when he sees Billy and Wyatt is hanging in a small bar just down the street, which we will be sure to stop at for a cold one on the way. You’re going to experience a lot of scenes and locations from Easy Rider today so be sure to drop your camera in the hotel room, kick the dust off your boots, and splash some cold water on your face before we roam the streets of Flagstaff tonight.
Day 5 FLAGSTAFF – MONUMENT VALLEY
From Flagstaff we head north, through Navajo Indian lands, where wide open spaces lend themselves to beautiful stretches riding. We’ll wind through the Wupatki National Monument and visit the Indian ruins where Billy and Wyatt camped in Easy Rider, as well as the Sacred Mountain location from the famous gas station scene. A few hours later you’ll ride between the majestic, thousand foot sandstone spires of Monument Valley.
EagleRider has a long-standing relationship with the Navajo Tribe, and we will be treated to a private tour into the heart of Monument Valley with Navajo guides. You will enjoy a roaring bonfire, mystical Navajo music and dancing, as well as traditional “Navajo Tacos” under the shadow of the monuments at dusk. This is a mystical place, and the spirit of Billy and Wyatt has never been more alive than it is here today.
Day 6 MONUMENT VALLEY – DURANGO
Your Easy Rider journey continues today as we follow Billy and Wyatt through one of the most famous landmarks in the Southwest—the Four Corners. You’ll stand in a spot that most motorcyclists dream of visiting. You might look a little funny with your feet in Colorado and New Mexico, and your hands in Utah and Arizona, but it will make for a great photo and lots of laughs with your friends and family back home. Later we follow the trail of Easy Rider into the sleepy Colorado town of Durango, known for its laid-back people, amazing views, and “Old West” saloons.
Day 7 DURANGO
Today is at your leisure to rest and enjoy the distinctive flavour of this wild west city. Perhaps you would like to take a ride along the famed Million Dollar Highway, enjoy a sunrise hot air balloon ride, or play cowboy for a day on a horseback ride along a mountain or canyon trail.
Day 8 DURANGO – TAOS
The ride from Durango to Taos is, in a word, epic. The scenery is mind blowing and will have you feeling like you are shooting a scene from Easy Rider right out of the gate. Taos is a New Mexico mountain town that is rich in Native American history and culture, and also happens to have been the location for some of the most memorable scenes from Easy Rider. Parts of the hippie commune scenes, as well as all of the jail scenes were shot right in the heart of Taos. We will have a chance to visit both locations as part of this epic day.
Day 9 TAOS – AMARILLO
The only thing better than the ride from Farmington to Taos is the ride from Taos to Amarillo!
Our first stop today is the Easy Rider town of Las Vegas, New Mexico. The exterior of the jailhouse scene was shot here and you couldn’t miss it if you tried! This is one of our favourite photo stops and we can usually catch an “old timer” local who was around when the movie was shot to tell stories about all of the biker hippies that were in town back in the late sixties. If you remember from the movie, this is the scene where Jack Nicholson’s character, “George,” takes his first snort of booze in the movie; “Nic Nic Nic…Fut Fut Fut…Indians!”
Be sure to have a shot of Jim Beam and drink a toast to old DH Lawrence tonight when we get to Amarillo. If you are feeling crazy like the crew was when they shot the movie, you might want to camp out next to his grave in Taos. Our last New Mexico highlight today is just outside of the town of Coyote where the famous “If you wanna be a bird” sequence was shot. Tonight we will stay at our favourite hotel in Amarillo, Texas, The Ambassador. Our good friends from the Big Texan Steakhouse will pick us up at the hotel in a fleet of vintage Cadillac’s and cook us some of the biggest and finest steaks you will find in the great state of Texas!
Day 10 AMARILLO – ABILENE
The only real gap in the actual Easy Rider route exists between New Mexico and Louisiana. The story is that the cast and crew dispersed and all took different routes through Texas and Oklahoma to get to locations in Louisiana where the final scenes were shot. By all accounts, this approach was taken to give the cast and crew a much needed break from the tyrannical directorial style of Dennis Hopper. One crew had already quit in the middle of production as a result of his aggressive and brash style, so they thought it best to let the crew find their own way to New Orleans. Our Easy Rider route takes us through the heart of the Texas Panhandle and into the historic city if Abilene. This is a small, genuine Texas town that will leave you wishing we had more time to spend exploring.
Day 11 ABILENE – AUSTIN
As we continue our hiatus with the cast and crew of Easy Rider on our way to New Orleans, there is simply no doubt that we have to include an overnight in our favourite Texas town, and the live music capital of the world, Austin. Our hotel is in the heart of the 6th Street music district, which enables you to walk from bar to bar all night long while enjoying some of the best live music in the country. If you are a music lover, you will not want to saddle up and ride out of town in the morning. If you are not a music lover, you will be by the end of our stay in Austin. Rumour has it that Peter Fonda spent a couple of days on 6th Street on his way to New Orleans and shut down two bars. That’s quite a feat considering most bars on 6th Street were open 24 hours a day back in the 60’s!
Day 12 AUSTIN – LAKE CHARLES
Some of the most famous and memorable scenes from Easy Rider were shot in the southern bayou state of Louisiana; today we start our ride East out of Texas and into the heart of the south. This is a bit of a long riding day, but the miles will fly by with anticipation of what lies ahead. Louisiana, with all of her southern charm, swamps, bayous, and interesting locals, will feel like a foreign land compared to the places we have been thus far. Outside of New Orleans, Lake Charles is one of our favourite cities in Louisiana.
Tonight we will drink some local brew, and maybe even experience a little moonshine if the bayou spirits move you. Lake Charles comes alive at night and will give us all a taste of what lies ahead as we make our way with Billy and Wyatt towards the beckoning call of New Orleans.
Day 13 LAKE CHARLES – NEW ORLEANS
One of the reasons that Easy Rider became such an instant hit and classic movie was that people were simply shocked and awed by the final scene when Billy and Wyatt are literally blown off the road by tow locals with a shotgun. That scene was shot on an actual country road just outside of Krotz Springs, Louisiana.
Today, we will ride that very same road and stop at the exact spot the scene was filmed to remember what a profound impact Easy Rider and that incredible final scene had on shaping our lives as motorcycle riders. Riding this road is an incredible experience, but sharing this road and this experience with one another is a feeling that only those of us lucky enough to live it will ever be able to understand. You would never guess that two fictional characters could ever feel as alive as they do in this place. Soak it in. We end our day with a short ride into New Orleans… That’s right, New Orleans. Need we say more?
Day 14 NEW ORLEANS
As you can imagine, New Orleans became a Mecca for bikers after Easy Rider debuted in 1969. The famous cathouse and cemetery scenes were the perfect marriage of the hippie drug culture and emerging biker culture of the late 60’s. Billy and Wyatt were living life on the edge and chasing true freedom, and New Orleans provided the perfect backdrop for some of the most iconic scenes from Easy Rider. Our experience in New Orleans may not be as “psychedelic,” but it will definitely be as memorable.
We will visit the very spots in New Orleans that you have been experiencing on Easy Rider for years. New Orleans is like a living organism and this place becomes part of you with each passing hour. It doesn’t take long in the heart of the French Quarter to understand why New Orleans played such an important role in Easy Rider.
Tonight is crawfish, gumbo and an epic celebration of what you have just accomplished with your fellow Easy Riders. We’ll drink a toast to Billy, Wyatt, George, and, of course, the man who started it all, the late Dennis Hopper.
Day 15 NEW ORLEANS
Congratulations on having actually lived a dream that most fans of Easy Rider will never realise. What’s next? Route 66? Wild West? Sturgis? Canada to Yellowstone? It’s just a matter of time before we will be sharing road again. Until then, keep the chrome up Easy Riders. Be sure to let us know if you want to hang around New Orleans for a few more days. We are happy to make the arrangements for you.