Pacific Coast near San Quintin
After some breakfast burritos at Laura’s Wet Buzzard Bar (Gypsy’s RV Camp, Cielito Lindo), Elizabeth and I drove up the flat sand beach until she spotted sand dollars!
Once found easily in San Diego, now a drive into Baja is required for easy sand dollar hunting… (take only photos/ leave only footprints)
We leave Mexico Highway 1 onto the now (half way up) paved road that climbs 9,000 feet in 62 miles to the National Observatory at the top of the Sierra San Pedro Martir. We go 30 miles on it before turning north…
About 25 miles from Highway 1 is fresh asphalt climbing high into the mountains…
Soon we are on the base roadbed awaiting the final blacktop coating. The tall sierra is seen in the distance. Some photos from a 2000 trip all the way up are at http://vivabaja.com/davidlorenzo/
30 miles from Highway One and, 2 miles before the Meling Ranch, we turn north on a well signed, graded road for ‘El Coyote’ where the rough road on to Mike’s Sky Rancho begins. Full detailed road log at the end of the Mike’s Sky Rancho road photos!
Not far from El Coyote, we discover a large fire had recently burned much of the area between El Coyote and Mikes (thousands of acres)!
More burned hills!
Elizabeth finds this poor fellow who didn’t have a prayer…
No doubt most of the smaller animals do not survive brush fires.
Some pretty sky in Baja’s high country.
This huge oak was still smoking! It fell across the road requiring a short detour.
I stand in front of the fallen oak that blocked the road. One car and some bikers had made a detour through the brush before we arrived.
At the junction with the other (northern) route back to El Coyote, which is a couple miles longer than the route we took. TKT= Tecate (Beer)… The Spanish pronunciation for the three letters is Tay-Kah-Tay.
On the long down grade to Mike’s Sky Rancho on the San Rafael River, we drive past landslides like this boulder with ‘OUCH!’ painted on it!
We finally get a glimpse of buildings at Mike’s… the former stables… way off from here. Horses are no longer rented there as most guests have motorcycles.
Looking over the edge, down to the river, as we slowly get closer to Mike’s.
Mike’s Sky Rancho
Motel, Swimming Pool, Bar, Restaurant and camping along the river…
The road from Mike’s north to Highway 3 is much easier.. about 20 miles and all in 2WD.
Mike’s road at Mexico Hwy. 3 near San Matias
We continued on to San Felipe and south 20 miles to my favorite beach, ‘Shell Island’ (as I call it). Photos there on the final page, after the road guide.
ACROSS BAJA (Hwy. 1 to Hwy. 3) via Mike’s Sky Rancho (GPS datum is WGS84)
- Highway 1 (at Paved ‘Observatorio, San Pedro Mártir’ road): 0.0 miles, 0:00 hours, 123′ elev., 30°58.02′, -116°9.29′
- San Telmo: 5.7 mi., 0:09 hrs., 310′, 30°58.14′, -116°5.50′
- Hacienda Sinaloa: 11.4 mi., 0:18 hrs., 483′, 30°56.94′, -116°0.72′
- Road south (El Carricito, Valladares), stay on pavement: 16.9 mi., 0:27 hrs., 529′, 30°56.56′, -115°56.33′
- Road north (Buenavista), stay on pavement: 17.5 mi., 0:29 hrs., 564′, 30°56.97′, -115°55.95′
- Take road north to El Coyote and Mike’s: 30.1 mi., 0:55 hrs., 2,611′, 30°58.61′, -115°45.96′
- El Coyote driveway west (go east for Mike’s): 34.8 mi., 1:08 hrs., 2,958′, 31°2.24′, -115°45.55′
- Los Encinos road east (go north for Mike’s): 39.3 mi., 1:41 hrs., 3,405′, 31°3.44′, -115°42.22′
- Alternate (northwest) road in from El Coyote: 41.5 mi., 1:57 hrs., 3,852′, 31°4.34′, -115°41.17′
- Rancho Simpson and Tepi road to north: 43.4 mi., 2:09 hrs., 4,570′, 31°5.19′, -115°39.77′
- Mike’s Sky Rancho: 46.6 mi., 2:41 hrs., 3,992′ elev., 31°6.58′, -115°38.15′
Part 2, Mike’s Sky Rancho north to Hwy. 3
- Mike’s Sky Rancho: 0.0 miles, 0:00 hours (see above for other data)
- Rancho El Conejo road: 5.1 mi., 0:21 hrs., 4,108′, 31°9.95′, -115°39.22′
- La Cieneguita road northwest: 5.7 mi., 0:24 hrs., 4,115′, 31°10.47′, -115°39.35′
- Rancho San Javier road: 8.3 mi., 0:30 hrs., 4,287′, 31°11.71′, -115°37.57′
- Rancho San Antonio: 9.8 mi., 0:37 hrs., 3,956′, 31°12.41′, -115°36.77′
- Road to west (Alberchigos): 13.3 mi., 0:48 hrs., 3,583′, 31°15.17′, -115°36.05′
- Rancho Picacho road south: 16.8 mi., 0:57 hrs., 3,438′, 31°17.78′, -115°35.11′
- Highway 3 (just east of San Matias): 19.8 mi., 1:03 hrs., 3,143′, 31°20.25′, -115°34.44′
Sea of Cortez Sunrise
As seen from our camp on Shell Island.
Later that morning….
It is low tide and I am standing at the high tide line!
The upper Gulf of California (Sea of Cortez) has one of the world’s greatest tides. In just a few hours, the water will be back up.
The entire beach is ours to enjoy, not a soul in sight!
Being an island that requires low tide and four wheel drive to get to, does help keep the crowds away! This is our camp in the dunes.
Until next time, have a great adventure yourself!