Parker 425 changes course after COVID decision by CRIT

ARTICLE UPDATED 12/30/2020 to add CRIT reaction to the race still being on.

The BlueWater Parker 425 off-road race is still on in January, with a slightly different course after a decision by the Colorado River Indian Tribes to cancel the portion of the event that takes place on reservation lands.

At 4:26 pm on Tuesday, Parker Live received an official press release from the Tribes, calling the race “cancelled”. But within 20 minutes of publication of the decision, Best in the Desert had posted an update to its Facebook page, saying that they have had contingency plans for such an event, and that the race would be on.

“We want to let our racers and fans know that the BlueWater Parker 425 Presented by Jimco Racing is on despite the recent announcement by CRIT,” an announcement by Best in the Desert reads. “Best In The Desert has been working on a contingency plan with the Bureau of Land Management and our other partners from the Town of Parker for over three months in anticipation we would not be able to use CRIT reservation land, and we’re full steam ahead. The new Start/Finish will be on Shea Road, similar to the traditional start/finish of the historic Parker 400 event. The race will still be three laps but slightly shorter mileage overall, just shy of 400 miles. The event schedule along with the Pre-Fun Run scheduled for January 8th – 10th will remain the same.”

The legendary off-road race usually takes place partly on tribal land with a street start on California Avenue in the town of Parker, and the Best in the Desert racing association, CRIT, the Town of Parker and BLM are involved each year on making it happen, along with the other off-road races in the calendar.

But a recent surge in cases of coronavirus led to the decision by the Tribes. Indian Health Services has reported 141 new cases between December 1st and 27th. The statistics are expected to escalate as recent reports continue to come in. Overall, La Paz County has reported 473 cases between December 1st and December 29th, from 874 cases to 1347 cases. This includes a handful of delayed cases reported from November. On December 24th, CRIT also reinstated the previously approved ‘Stay at Home Order,’ also known as resolution 54-20. That order will remain in effect until at least January 31st.

In response to the Best in the Desert decision to keep the race going, CRIT expressed disappointment in a statement on Facebook.

“From our point of view we were hoping that the race would understand and cancel the event for the safety of the community. Apparently that is not what the Best in the Desert chose to do. We won’t speculate as to their reasons but I think it’s clear that our only concern is the safety of our people. Once again, CRIT stands alone in this fight against the pandemic as there has not been any support from the Town of Parker or La Paz county since it began. This was not a decision that Best in the Desert had not already discussed with us they understood the possibility of our involvement ending. The influx of thousands of racing spectators would drastically increase the number of COVID-19 cases on the CRIT Reservation when the pandemic is already reaching alarming numbers.”

The Parker 425 is a decades-old tradition in the Parker area, and is known for being especially suitable for spectators. The off-road racing schedule was impacted significantly across the United States during 2020 due to the pandemic.

Full schedules can be found at Best in the Desert’s website HERE.


  1. Terilyn Gary

    Just what is needed for people suffering from a respiratory illness… dust… ????‍♀️

  2. Jim Mckay

    Hopefully all the racers and fans will cancel their reservations at the casino, you know “for the safety of the tribes” .

  3. Jesse Newton

    Terilyn Gary it will be ok… Its quite a ways out of town, I highly doubt dust in town will be an issue

  4. Steve Miller

    Just read that CRIT cancelled the race.

  5. Amanda Crisenberry

    Terilyn Gary dust is the least of your worries while your inhaling nothing but Lysol and sanitizer for the last 10 months.

  6. Town of Parker Arizona

    Steve Miller That news is false. The event is very much still happening.

  7. Kelsey Thurman

    Steve Miller they have moved the race off of crit land

  8. Steve Miller

    Town of Parker Arizona CRIT Manataba Messenger says January races have been canceled.

  9. Duane Tejanosrus Dickson

    Terilyn Gary better than suffering from your ignorance of the situation

  10. RACE sHMace

  11. David Nehrbass

    Steve Miller crit land not being used. Race is still going forward with amazing support from Town of Parker, La Paz County and BLM.

  12. Rena Trevino

    Amanda Crisenberry have you had covid ?

  13. Rena Trevino

    Jesse Newton theres a cloud of dust for 3 full days everywhere

  14. Jamie Montieth Erikson

    Jesse Newton when they come out here by Bouse. We get a lot of dust if wind is blowing out of the east.

  15. Ronnie Ramirez

    Terilyn Gary they are all indoor in the icu’s not roaming the streets …dont you watch the news..????

  16. Isaac Sharpe

    Just another dusty day in the desert. We live in the desert!

  17. Marshall N Christy Gremard

    Rena Trevino Ive had the Flu 1 as a Kid it was much Worse than this FAKE shit Thing ..

  18. Larry Bryan

    California covid coming at ya

  19. Linda Rodman

    Jean Baker Cameron thank God…a bit of normal returning, I hope!

  20. Merv Scott

    Jim Mckay that would be ok or they close the rooms.

  21. Joe Lopez

    FUCK CRIT! I hope they put themselves out of business. WE’RE SICK OF IT !

  22. What types of covid precautions will be in effect and enforced to keep this from being a super spreader event?

  23. April Biglay

    Jim Mckay or the hotel could just close…but ohhh the money they make so there’s that.

  24. Jackie Austin

    If we aren’t allowed to ride on tribal land, then Can I get my 25.00 back for the sticker to be able to ride on (tribal land)!
    This is nuts! ????
    Asking for a friend!

  25. Missy Fair

    It should be at least they are being smart you all wouldn’t say that if it was your family member sick ! We are all sick of it but it’s during a pandemic people deal with it !

  26. Brenda Elizabeth

    Just cancel the whole thing!!

  27. Mike Rowe

    Hope all will wear masks which I doubt will happen.

  28. Cory Linnenkamp

    Time to play Cowboys and Indians again

  29. Cory Linnenkamp

    Jesse Newton thats what the masks are for

  30. KC Sage

    Daniel Claas we camping

  31. POp GOEs thee weEzell

  32. Kimberly Jones

    Vicki Williams Petersen Danny Webb Jr

  33. Brenda Elizabeth

    Jim Mckay good idea! Stay far away from here!!!

  34. I have to say I thought it was all a joke. In June I got covid, 7 days of body aches couldn’t wait for it to end. 5 months I figured I was immuned since I had it already. Went out to the bars, restaurants 4 days a week. .tested Negative dec 22nd, to visit family on Christmas. Dec 26 th I come down with a serious cold. Had a fever 103.1 went got tested it was Positive. Next day didn’t believe the test. Retested next day Positive. Now very sick with a head cold and fever. Oh shit. Fever broke 2 days later. Lucky me. Now I fill better but going to finish my 10 days of quarantine. Yes im 67 diabetic on insulin. New strain was not bad for me. Please wear a N 95 mask. Not those cheap blue masks, not the designer cloth masks. There 30 % effective. Go out, have fun. Dont let it control your lives. But please wear a N 95 mask only.

  35. Well I guess since we can no longer ride ATV’s on tribal land, including Big River, so now have to load it up on a trailer and drive mile to BLM Land, (when I called CRIT Fish and Game) I was told this law was permanent. Now I read the CRIT is disappointed the Parker 425 will go forward. Tit for Tat. You go Parker. More than one way to skin a cat.

  36. Ya,but the casino is still open ,rooms booked,
    That’s a joke,but cant ride there fn land,???

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