The first two mission sites, listed below, are considered extensions of Mission San Miguel, by some historians. They were founded after the Spanish period had ended.

El Descanso (1830-1834):

Foundations located behind the modern church date to 1830 and are partially protected by this steel awning.

Photographed by David Kier in 2017

Full name: El Descanso

Founding date: 1830 (near the 1810 relocated San Miguel mission site)

Catholic Order: Dominican

Founded by: Padre Felix Caballero (well after Mexico’s independence from Spain)

Condition: Floor and footings exposed and protected, next to the modern church.

Closing date: Abandoned in 1834

GPS: 32.205433, -116.905558


Guadalupe (1834-1840):

Photographed by David Kier in 2017

Full name: Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe

Founding date: July 25, 1834

Catholic Order: Dominican

Founded by: Padre Felix Caballero (after Mexico’s independence from Spain)

Condition: No remains. Footings added at site in 1998 to simulate mission.

Closing date: Abandoned in 1840.

GPS: 32.091944, -116.574250


Almost half of the missions relocated during their operational years. Usually for a better supply of water, farmlands, or for the Native population. Ruins remain today at some of these other locations. Missions often were called by the location name after a move. The idea of one mission with two names (and two locations) was confusing to some.

San Miguel (1787-1834):

The second and final site (1788-1810 and ~1814-1834)Photographed by David Kier in 2017

Full name: San Miguel Arcángel

Founding date: March 28, 1787 (moved 7 miles west in 1788, then north 8 miles in 1810, then back circa 1814)

Catholic Order: Dominican

Founded by: Padre Luis Sales

Condition: Adobe ruins at the second site.

Closing date: Abandoned in 1834

GPS: 32.094279, -116.854331


Santa Catalina (1797-1839)

Photographed by David Kier in 2018

Full name: Santa Catalina Virgen y Mártir

Founding date: November 12, 1797 (last Spanish mission founded in Baja California)

Catholic Order: Dominican

Founded by: Padre José Loriénte, Padre Tomás Valdellón

Condition: Footing stones, room outlines

Closing date: Abandoned in 1839

GPS: 31.660583, -115.821111


Santo Tomás (1791-1849)

Photographed by David Kier in 2017 at the final site.

Santo Tomás de Aquino

April 24, 1791 (moved 1 mile east in 1794 and 3 more miles east in 1799)

Dominican

Padre José Loriénte

Adobe ruins at final site, nearly vanished.

Abandoned in 1849 (was the last California mission to be operating)

31.558333, -116.413583


San Vicente (1780-1829)

Photographed by David Kier in 2017

San Vicente Ferrer

August 27, 1780

Dominican

Padre Miguel Hidalgo, Padre Joaquín Valero

Adobe ruins, stabilized in a park setting.

Closed in 1829.

31.329972, -116.259167


San Pedro Mártir (1794-1811)

Photographed by Jack Swords in 2004 at the second site.

San Pedro Mártir de Verona

April 27, 1794 (relocated 7 miles south after just 3 months)

Dominican

Padre Caietano Pallás, Padre Pablo Grijálva, Padre José Loriénte

Stone footings at first site. Stone walls at second site.

Abandoned in 1811

30.790069, -115.472458


Santo Domingo (1775-1822)

Photographed by David Kier in 2017 at the second site.

Santo Domingo

August 30, 1775 (relocated 2.5 miles east in 1798)

Dominican

Padre Miguel Hidalgo, Padre Manuel Garcia

Adobe ruins at second site.

Closed in 1822

30.770889, -115.937222


El Rosario (1774-1822, two sites)

1774-1802 site. Photographed by David Kier in 2017
1802-1822 site. Photographed by David Kier in 2017

Nuestra Señora del Rosario de Viñadaco

July 24, 1774 (relocated 2 miles west in 1802)

Dominican

Padre Francisco Galistéo

Adobe ruins at both sites

Closed in 1822

30.066944, -115.718889 (first site), 30.041389, -115.739111 (second site)


San Fernando (1769-1822)

Photographed by David Kier in 2017

San Fernando de Velicatá

May 14, 1769

Franciscan

Padre Junípero Serra

Adobe ruins remaining date to the 1790s

Closed in 1822

29.971109, -115.236434


Santa María de los Angeles (1766-1775, two sites)

1766-1767 site, called Calamajué. Photographed by David Kier in 2016
1767-1775 site. Photographed by David Kier in 2010
Photographed by David Kier, March 30, 2022

Nuestra Señora de Columna/ Santa María de los Angeles

October 16, 1766 (relocated 30 miles northwest and renamed on May 26, 1767)

Jesuit

Padre Victoriano Arnés, Padre Juan Diez

Adobe outlines at 1766 site. Adobe buildings at second site, from 1768-1769.

Abandoned in 1774 or 1775.

29.421194, -114.195100 (first site/ Calamajué), 29.731742, -114.547379 (second site)


San Borja (1762-1818)

Photographed by David Kier in 2017. San Borja was a visita of Mission Santa Gertrudis.

San Francisco de Borja Adac

September 1, 1762

Jesuit

Padre Wenceslaus Linck

Adobe ruins from 1759-1773. Stone church from 1801.

Closed in 1818

28.744547, -113.753997


Santa Gertrudis (1752-1822)

Photographed by David Kier in 2017

Santa Gertrudis

July 15, 1752

Jesuit

Padre Georg Retz

Stone church construction completed in 1796

Closed in 1822

28.051117, -113.085325


San Ignacio (1728-1840)

Photographed by David Kier in 2019

San Ignacio de Kadakaamán

January 20, 1728

Jesuit

Padre Juan Luyando

Stone church construction from 1761 to 1767 and again from 1779 to 1786.

Closed in 1840.

27.283939, -112.898922


Guadalupe de Huasinapí (1720-1795)

Photographed by David Kier in 2019

Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe de Huasinapí

December 12, 1720

Jesuit

Padre Everarado Helen

Ruins from the 1750s.

Closed in 1795.

26.918423, -112.406086


Santa Rosalía de Mulegé (1705-1828)

Photographed by David Kier in 2019

Santa Rosalía de Mulegé

November 1705

Jesuit

Padre Juan Basaldúa

Stone church constructed 1757 to 1766.

Closed in 1828.

26.885339, -111.985979


La Purísima (1720-1826)

Photographed by David Kier in 2017

La Purísima Concepción de Cadegomó

January 1, 1720

Jesuit

Padre Nicolás Tamaral

No church ruins, two crypts remain to mark the mission.

Closed in 1826.

26.190444, -112.072944


San José de Comondú (1708-1827, two sites)

1708-1736 site, called Comondú Viejo after the move to its visita of San Ignacio. Photographed by David Kier in 2017
1736-1827. This site was a visita named San Ignacio before 1736. Photographed by David Kier in 2017

San José de Comondú

1708 (relocated 22 miles south in 1736)

Jesuit

Padre Julián de Mayorga

Stone church constructed 1754 to 1760, demolished in 1936. A side chapel was preserved.

Closed in 1827.

26.274278, -111.719028 (first site), 26.059726, -111.822168 (final site)


Loreto (1697-1829)

Photographed by David Kier in 2017
Photographed by David Kier in 2017

Nuestra Señora de Loreto Conchó

October 25, 1697

Jesuit

Padre Juan María de Salvatierra

Stone church constructed from 1740 to about 1750. New roof and bell tower added in 1955.

Closed in 1829.

26.010278, -111.343278


San Javier (1699-1817)

Photographed by David Kier in 2017 at the second site. San Javier moved here, to its visita of San Pablo, around 1710-1720.

San Francisco Javier de Biaundo

November 1, 1699 (relocated 5 miles south circa 1710-1720)

Jesuit

Padre Francisco Pícolo

Stone church constructed from 1744 to 1758.

Closed in 1817.

25.860727, -111.543585


Ligüí (1705-1721)

The location of Mission San Juan Bautista de Ligüí (later called ‘de Malibat’), now in an arroyo. Ruins were destroyed by flash floods. Photograph by David Kier in 2017, looking west, 1/2 mile from Mex. #1.

San Juan Bautista de Ligüí (de Malibat)

November 1705

Jesuit

Padre Pedro de Ugarte

No ruins

Abandoned in 1721.

25.739500, -111.264167


Los Dolores (1721-1768, two sites)

1721-1741 site, known as Dolores Apaté. The mission moved from here to its visita of La Pasión. Photograph by Ashek in 2014
1741-1768 site, known as Dolores Chillá or La Pasión. Photograph by David Kier in 2017

Nuestra Señora de los Dolores

August 2, 1721 (relocated 15 miles southwest in 1741 to La Pasión)

Jesuit

Padre Clemente Guillén

Ruins at both sites, with only rubble and foundation stones at second site.

Closed in 1768 by the Spanish government.

25.055543, -110.884425 (first site, Apaté), 24.887709, -111.031002 (final site, Chillá)


San Luis Gonzaga (1737-1768)

Photograph by David Kier in 2017. This mission was originally a visita of the Dolores mission.

San Luis Gonzaga Chiriyaqui

July 14, 1737

Jesuit

Padre Lambert Hostell

Stone church constructed from 1753 to 1758

Closed on August 20, 1768 by the Spanish government.

24.908056, -111.290903


Pilar de la Paz (1720-1840, three sites)

Plaque in La Paz (no original mission remains) recognizing the first location (1720-1748). Historians believe the mission was actually a few blocks south and east from this plaque. In 1748, the mission moved to its old visita site of Todos Santos, after Mission Santa Rosa was established there. Photograph by David Kier in 2012.
Site of second location (1748-1825) at Todos Santos (this was same location as Mission Santa Rosa, see below). Photograph by David Kier in 2017
Third location of Mission Pilar de la Paz (1825-1840), in Todos Santos. Photograph by David Kier in 2017

Nuestra Señora del Pilar de la Paz

November 3, 1720 (relocated 50 miles south to Todos Santos in 1748, then 1 mile south in 1825)

Jesuit

Padre Jaime Bravo, Padre Juan de Ugarte

No ruins remain at La Paz or the second site. Reconstructed, enlarged church at the third site.

Closed in 1840.

24.160000, -110.316500 (first site plaque, 1720), 23.460316, -110.219140 (second site, 1748),

23.449767, -110.225450 (final site, 1825)


Santa Rosa (1733-1748)

Modern church at the site of Mission Santa Rosa, originally a visita of the La Paz mission, and the second site of Mission Pilar de la Paz. See also Pilar de la Paz second site photo, above. Photograph by David Kier in 2017

Santa Rosa de las Palmas

August 1733

Jesuit

Padre Sigusmundo Taraval

No ruins remain. Modern church and playground on the site, along Highway 19.

Mission Santa Rosa was terminated in 1748 when the older mission at La Paz relocated to here.

23.460316, -110.219140


Santiago el Apóstol (1724-1795)

Modern church on final mission site. Photograph by David Kier in 2017

Santiago el Apóstol Aiñiní

1724 (relocated 2 miles south in 1736)

Jesuit

Padre Ignacio Nápoli

Modern church on second site.

Closed in 1795.

23.475694, -109.717333


San José del Cabo (1730-1748 & 1768-1840)

Modern church on final site. Photograph by David Kier in 2012

San José del Cabo Añuití

April 8, 1730 (relocated 3 times)

Jesuit

Padre Nicolás Tamaral, Padre José de Echeverría

Modern church on final site.

Closed from 1748 to 1768 and finally in 1840.

23.062139, -109.695639


Those are the mission sites on the peninsula of Baja California, north to south. In addition to the mission locations, are many visita sites. A visita was a satellite chapel of the head mission, located at other water sources and Native settlements. Some missions had several visitas attached to them. Some visitas became missions themselves. Photos at visitas are on the next page…

To learn and see more about the missions and visitas: https://vivabaja.com/missions1/

To have the most complete and up-to-date history and details, order a copy of Baja California Land of Missions at www.oldmissions.com (or from your local book dealer or Amazon.com).

Visita photos on next page >>>

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