ROAD LOG: THE DISTANT PACIFIC
Road Log 194.7 miles from Hwy. 1 to Hwy.1
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
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
55.2 (2.9) Junction... Ahead goes 1.1 miles to
high, look out/ view point, above Punta Canoas... To continue south, turn
58.5 (3.3) Join with road heading south (probably coming
from the roads that turned left at Mile 51.3 and 52.3).
Puerto Canoas Fish Camp.
Reset odometer to 0.0 for the next section of
the road log.
Puerto Canoas Fish Camp.
We first travel across the arroyo valley to
investigate a modern, large home/ building near the beach... then head
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.
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
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
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.
(6.4) Bahia Corbin, north end camping area on side road, just off coastal
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
10.4 (1.6) A second road going east which I am pretty
sure is the unmapped road to Laguna Chapala on Hwy. 1.
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.
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
(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:
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
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.
(4.4) Road has been following a rocky shore for a few miles and now leaves
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,
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.
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...
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
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
Nope, it will be the paved and graded dirt
highways that will change the area, as it has everywhere else in Baja they