The Distant Pacific Route (Sun.- Tue.)

We left El Rosario Sunday with Roy following along for the next part of our vacation: The nearly 200 rough miles parallel to the Pacific side of Baja. Some of this remote road has been used for off road racing. First time was the 1975 Baja 1000.


Road Log 194.7 miles from Hwy. 1 to Hwy.1

The route along the Pacific is a way one can experience a little of what it was like to drive the length of Baja before Highway 1 was constructed between 1967 and 1974 (Dec. '73).

The route shown on the map is almost 200 miles and there are no services or fuel until Santa Rosalillita or beyond at Villa Jesus Maria.

Total (and partial) mileage shown from my Tacoma odometer. AAA map mileages for the same section of road were the same or very close to mine.

0.0 (0.0) Take the signed right turnoff to 'Santa Catarina (32 km)' 46.9 miles from El Rosario's Pemex. The road is between Km. 132 and 133. Just ahead (on Hwy. 1) is the road left to Guayaquil.

This is a good, fast graded road for the first 30 or so miles and it is fun to drive through beautiful cactus gardens.

7.2 (7.2) Road in from left to San Agustin along the old route from El Marmol... where onyx blocks were trucked to the Pacific at Santa Catarina Landing to be shipped north.

19.2 (12.0) pass through tree shaded Rancho Santa Catarina.

21.1 (1.9) Fork, left to Punta Canoas and right for Santa Catarina Landing... we go right. The road climbs to the the top of a ridge and then drops down to the coastal plain. The original road used to haul onyx over can be seen to the north.

36.3 (15.2) Fork, we first take right fork and it goes 3.4 miles to fish camp 'Punta Blu'... dead end, so back to this fork and take left branch.

37.3 (1.0) Road left is the route south... ahead goes 1.0 mile to Santa
Catarina fish camp, on the beach.

38.1 (0.8) Turn left and head away from coast.

47.3 (9.2) Come to the Punta Canoas road which forked at Mile 21.1 above. Turn right.

51.3 (4.0) Road to left... we continued straight.

52.3 (1.0) Road to left... we continued straight.

55.2 (2.9) Junction... Ahead goes 1.1 miles to high, look out/ view point, above Punta Canoas... To continue south, turn left.

58.5 (3.3) Join with road heading south (probably coming from the roads that turned left at Mile 51.3 and 52.3).

62.0 (3.5) Puerto Canoas Fish Camp.
Reset odometer to 0.0 for the next section of the road log.
0.0 (0.0) Puerto Canoas Fish Camp.
We first travel across the arroyo valley to investigate a modern, large home/ building near the beach... then head east.

1.8 (1.8) Big house facing beach on south side of arroyo. Head east, as no road is seen going south, close to the beach.

The auto club map shows the road we are on and we make camp at Mile 8.0 at the base of a pointy hill... about where the mileage '13.9' is shown on the AAA map.

The Baja Almanac only shows this road as a trail. Our first night camp is to the east of the word 'Mujeres' (an arroyo) on Almanac Map 17.

17.4 (15.6) Pass a pair of graves and come to a cross road at an abandoned ranch. This should be the road from Hwy. 1 near Cataviña going to Faro San Jose. We turn right.

19.6 (2.2) Cross road, fenced entrance. Continue ahead.

21.5 (1.9) Join newer, graded road... continue ahead.

22.6 (1.1) Green school(?), fork to right.

33.1 (10.5) Road in from right, continue ahead.

35.5 (2.4) Fork, go right.

37.4 (1.9) Road to El Mirador to right, continue ahead.

39.6 (2.2) Arroyo San Jose fish camp.

We want to stay near to the coast, and find a poor 'Jeep' road that does just that. After 6 slow miles we near Bahia Corbin and drive out onto the point on the north side of the bay for a lunch break. Finally, a beautiful looking beach... but a fish camp is there, too.

46.0 (6.4) Bahia Corbin, north end camping area on side road, just off coastal road.
Reset trip odometer to 0.0.
0.0 (0.0) Bahia Corbin. Return short distance to coastal road by fish camp and continue south.

8.8 (8.8) Arroyo La Pintada valley and road to east (to Laguna Chapala?).

10.4 (1.6) A second road going east which I am pretty sure is the unmapped road to Laguna Chapala on Hwy. 1.

16.0 (5.6) Road to coast at Bahia Blanco. We continue south.

The main road swings inland along Arroyo El Sauz, but we see a lesser dirt road cutting across the marsh (was dry) area staying nearer the coast and take it. This is not shown on the AAA map or Almanac.

21.7 (5.7) Meet newly graded roadbed on south side of Arroyo El Sauz. This soon follows the 'poor' road location shown on the Almanac and AAA map.

29.3 (7.6) After lots of silt on the graded roadbed we come to the north-south (now graded) road between Cordonices and Punta Maria. We turn right on the fast road, or better called 'dirt highway'.

34.5 (5.2) Road to right goes to Punta Cono. We continue south.

42.2 (7.7) Bahia Maria beach, near Punta el Diablo

43.0 (0.8) El Cardon ranch.

46.1 (3.1) Road to beach 0.4 mi., just south of Punta Lobos.

We are pooped from so much hard driving and want to make camp, so we go to the beach for a look.

We drive down the beach to find a camp site in the Valle los Ojitos dunes. A sea lion (lobo) is on the shore... photos.
0.0 (0.0) Beach road (Punta Lobos/ Valle los Ojitos)

6.8 (6.8) Road west to El Marron fish camp (near Punta Prieta/ Punta Negra). Road (or dirt highway here) heads away from the coast around the Sierra San Andres.

17.0 (10.2) Cross Arroyo San Andres

17.2 (0.2) Road west signed to '3 Alejandras' (Puerto San Andres).

21.1 (3.9) Come to PAVED Santa Rosalillita highway, turn right for the coast. (Hwy. 1 is about 8 miles to the left)

22.1 (1.0) FORK, Escalera Nautica Harbor is 1.2 miles to right. Straight ahead goes to:

22.5 (0.4) Santa Rosalillita village on the beach. Gas and supplies available.

Reset trip odometer to 0.0 for the final section of this coastal road log to Hwy. 1 via Punta Rosarito.
0.0 (0.0) Santa Rosalillita. Take street parallel to the coast south... road soon turns inland and crosses Arroyo Santo Dominguito, eventually returning nearer the beach.

This is a slow, rough road and is only advisable if you seek a wide, sand beach that stretches for miles in both directions.

11.0 (11.0) Road to west to coast at Punta Rosarito.

15.4 (4.4) Road has been following a rocky shore for a few miles and now leaves the coast.

18.1 (2.7) Highway 1 at Km. 63 (63 kilometers south of the Bahia de los Angeles junction).

Nuevo Rosarito is almost 7 miles north and Villa Jesus Maria (Pemex station) is 19.8 miles south.

Summary: The 'distant Pacific' is a combination of remote areas, rough and
good roads, rocky and sandy beaches, commercial fishing camps as well as unpopulated areas.

The northern half coast (Santa Catarina, Canoas, San Jose) is an area so unappealing and little to offer that I would probably not return. The inland sections (in the sunshine), had some beautiful desert scenes, but the overcast coastline wasn't appealing considering the distance and lack of services.

The southern half had some fine looking beaches as well as the 'ugly' fish camps, but the water temperature is so cold that I wouldn't be going there often, if ever again. The Sea of Cortez spoils me...

Another note... the Mexican government has built a paved highway to the coast at Santa Rosalillita and a good dirt highway north of Punta Cono with unfinished construction to Bahia Blanca. THIS AREA is no secret, and anywhere a standard auto can get to it won't belong before problems follow. It is BAD ROADS that filter out the bad people, not road logs or maps.

This Pacific coast road has been logged and mapped since the 1950's (Lower California Guidebook, Offbeat Baja, Baja Adventure Book, AAA map and guide, etc.). If I can find unpopulated beaches in 2007, after 50 years of maps and guides... then I can hardly blame any author if development comes!

Nope, it will be the paved and graded dirt highways that will change the area, as it has everywhere else in Baja they were built.


The Santa Catarina road is nice drive for about 30 miles... then there is some rough and dusty (silt) places closer to the coast.

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