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Old 12-20-2012, 08:54 AM   #16
BrianF
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Originally Posted by tallpaul63 View Post
Two ways to be safe camping in Baja:

Camp in one of a thousand campgrounds where you will pay a few bucks for a spot to pitch your tent, and you will have a little peace of mind knowing that others are around. Petty theft is possible, but violence unlikely.

Or...find a place so remote that it's unlikely that anyone will know (or care) that you're there.

Either way, I'd travel with a light load, without expensive electronics etc. Take reasonable precautions, and chances are you'll have a great trip. Good luck to you!
That's great advice tallpaul, thanks a bunch. I didn't actually know there were "developed" campgrounds there. I've never actually been to Baja, other than TJ. My guidebook is arriving today, but I'm considering not bringing it. Just a map and a sense of adventure generally serves me well.

One other question that may cross the line into "is Mexico safe": how far from the border do I need to be before I stand a reasonable chance of survival? I'm thinking about 100 miles should be enough to get past the real trouble.
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Old 12-20-2012, 09:11 AM   #17
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Feb 2013 trip planned

Hi All,

My wife and I want to spend some time camping on the beach in February. We will only have about 5 days to spend once we reach the California/Baja border. We will be two up on a KLR650 with soft luggage. I'd love to make it to Mulege, but not sure we have time. Any suggestions will be appreciated.

Thanks

Ken

BTW, Thanks for the thread TallPaul!
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Old 12-20-2012, 04:26 PM   #18
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That's great advice tallpaul, thanks a bunch. I didn't actually know there were "developed" campgrounds there. I've never actually been to Baja, other than TJ. My guidebook is arriving today, but I'm considering not bringing it. Just a map and a sense of adventure generally serves me well.

There are a ton of campgrounds throughout Baja. There are vast numbers of gringos who spend a chunk of their time living down there, and they travel with pickup trucks on the low end, to huge RVs in the middle, to permanently parked RVs on slabs with their own roof, set in place for the season. You might look for a very popular book called Camping Mexico's Baja (Rolling homes Press) for a good list of campgrounds. The downside is that this book is written for the RV crowd, so many of these places cater to that group. The upside is that it is quite comprehensive.

One other question that may cross the line into "is Mexico safe": how far from the border do I need to be before I stand a reasonable chance of survival? I'm thinking about 100 miles should be enough to get past the real trouble.
I don't know that there is a simple answer to that. I would plan on crossing the border early in the day. Ensenada might be a good destination for your first night. I crossed the border at Tecate and bypassed Tijuana entirely, which seemed to be a solid choice. If you cross at Calexico, you might find your way to San Felipe the first night. I think that town can be a bit rough, but nothing to worry about if you keep an eye on your gear and stay in a place where you can secure your bike.
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Old 12-20-2012, 04:34 PM   #19
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Mulege is great

Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzer View Post
Hi All,

My wife and I want to spend some time camping on the beach in February. We will only have about 5 days to spend once we reach the California/Baja border. We will be two up on a KLR650 with soft luggage. I'd love to make it to Mulege, but not sure we have time. Any suggestions will be appreciated.

Thanks

Ken

BTW, Thanks for the thread TallPaul!

I loved the area around Mulege, but it's too long a run as a destination if you're only in country for five days. Consider more northern destinations like Mikes Sky Ranch, and Gonzaga Bay, pay a visit to Coco's Corner. My humble opinion.
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Old 12-21-2012, 08:58 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tallpaul63 View Post

There are a ton of campgrounds throughout Baja. There are vast numbers of gringos who spend a chunk of their time living down there, and they travel with pickup trucks on the low end, to huge RVs in the middle, to permanently parked RVs on slabs with their own roof, set in place for the season. You might look for a very popular book called Camping Mexico's Baja (Rolling homes Press) for a good list of campgrounds. The downside is that this book is written for the RV crowd, so many of these places cater to that group. The upside is that it is quite comprehensive.

I don't know that there is a simple answer to that. I would plan on crossing the border early in the day. Ensenada might be a good destination for your first night. I crossed the border at Tecate and bypassed Tijuana entirely, which seemed to be a solid choice. If you cross at Calexico, you might find your way to San Felipe the first night. I think that town can be a bit rough, but nothing to worry about if you keep an eye on your gear and stay in a place where you can secure your bike.
Tallpaul you're the man, you've pretty much singlehandedly convinced me that this trip is good to go. I'm leaving at 4am tomorrow, going to try to get into Baja by early afternoon, crossing in Tecate. Unknowingly I did order Camping Mexico's Baja, and it's intense (in-tents?) Will definitely bring it along.

Hopefully I'll have time to throw together some semblance of a ride report when I get back. Should be a interesting little adventure. Thanks again!
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Old 12-21-2012, 09:17 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tallpaul63 View Post
I loved the area around Mulege, but it's too long a run as a destination if you're only in country for five days. Consider more northern destinations like Mikes Sky Ranch, and Gonzaga Bay, pay a visit to Coco's Corner. My humble opinion.
Hi TallPaul,

Would you recommend just crossing at Mexicali, or going down to Ensenada and taking highway 3? We love scenery and don't mind taking it slow, but I'm not great in the dirt. How long will it take on 3 and do we need to carry extra petro (KLR)?

Thanks again.

Ken
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Old 12-21-2012, 09:39 AM   #22
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Old 12-21-2012, 10:15 AM   #23
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Have a great trip!

Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianF View Post
Tallpaul you're the man, you've pretty much singlehandedly convinced me that this trip is good to go. I'm leaving at 4am tomorrow, going to try to get into Baja by early afternoon, crossing in Tecate. Unknowingly I did order Camping Mexico's Baja, and it's intense (in-tents?) Will definitely bring it along.

Hopefully I'll have time to throw together some semblance of a ride report when I get back. Should be a interesting little adventure. Thanks again!
If you're leaving from home, and planning to cross the border into Baja on the same day, AND make it down to Ensenada, that sounds pretty ambitious to me. You will do well to cross at Tecate, and the road to Ensenada is nice, passing through one of baja's wine growing regions, quite pretty. I would plan on staying close to the border in Ca the first night, and leaving plenty of time after crossing the border to get yourself oriented, and south of the border towns on your second day. But the important thing is that you are going; have fun!

You may like more saddle time than I do, but you will find that your mileage expectations need to be altered in Baja. Average speeds will be slower, and the days are pretty short this time of year. Most folks will tell you to avoid riding at night. I agree.

Buena Suerte!
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Old 12-21-2012, 10:26 AM   #24
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Hi TallPaul,

Would you recommend just crossing at Mexicali, or going down to Ensenada and taking highway 3? We love scenery and don't mind taking it slow, but I'm not great in the dirt. How long will it take on 3 and do we need to carry extra petro (KLR)?

Thanks again.

Ken
I don't like to travel the same road twice, so I think you can travel southbound from Tecate (easy border crossing) toward Ensenada on the way south. Passes through some nice vineyard country, maybe 2 hours to Ensenada from the border. Cross the peninsula somewhere, and return home via Coco's corner, Alfonsina's, Puertocito through to San Felipe. Or do this in reverse.

I also hear that the toll road to La Rumarosa from Tecate is nice, but I haven't ridden it. Check it out if it works for you- I don't think you need to hang in Mexicali except in transit.

Good luck!
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Old 12-21-2012, 07:02 PM   #25
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From the border you can make San Felipe in a day without problems. I've done this a couple times and I goof around a lot.

I overnighted at Rancho El Coyote without a reservation. Very cool place, Highly recommended, especially with a sweety. It was $60US with two meals. This is on the road into the National Park, south of Ensenada. About 50-60 mi of twisty pavement into the park. When I was there, no motos were allowed, but the ride was still worth it. Not for acrophobs. 1000ft cliffs at the fog line. Sandy corners, sluffed road edges. Stunning scenery. Melling Ranch and El Coyote (part of Melling) are on the road in. This was a day to the border, for me. You can see the spot in my Baja ride report, in my sig.

Catavina to the Park was a days ride. From the Park to a couple hours across the border was a day.

I took it really slow on the washboards around Coco's Corner. I enjoyed the people and spent three days from Coco's to San Felipe.

Don't ride at night is a good rule, although I have done it at very reduced speeds (30mph) Very risky. Don't drink the water. Don't camp on unoccupied/unknown beaches. Drug trafficing on the east side of Baja where the road gets close to the ocean.

If you get to San Ignacio, Nano Fongs was a nice little motel. Cheap and really great food. At the intersection to the town plaza, off of hwy 1.

I like staying at the small motels and renting palapas on the beaches.

Gas stations are far apart on hwy 1, but barrel gas at Catavina and the turn into Bay of LA.

You will have a great time. I wish I was going south.
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Old 12-22-2012, 03:31 PM   #26
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Northern Baja is pretty wet right now, lots of standing water. The road is good from Alfonsina's to Coco's, muddy and wet from Coco's out to the highway.

The weather is great here in Todos Santos today.
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Old 12-22-2012, 04:26 PM   #27
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Thanks for the update Tim!

Hopefully the north will dry out a bit by the time we get there late next week.

Hope your trip continues to go great! Happy Holidays!!!
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Old 12-23-2012, 09:09 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzer View Post
Hi All,

My wife and I want to spend some time camping on the beach in February. We will only have about 5 days to spend once we reach the California/Baja border. We will be two up on a KLR650 with soft luggage. I'd love to make it to Mulege, but not sure we have time. Any suggestions will be appreciated.

Thanks

Ken

BTW, Thanks for the thread TallPaul!
Not the beach but an optional northern destination with your short window..

http://guadalupecanyonoasis.com/

My last night in Baja last March..fun little ride out and back off Hwy 2. Couple of entrances (sets of tracks). I found the eastern most, right across the dry lake bed the easiest. The more "formal" road was washboarded and sandy at the time. Do a search here - I'm sure you'll find great advice and even tracks.. Have fun!
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Old 12-24-2012, 09:03 AM   #29
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Not the beach but an optional northern destination with your short window..

http://guadalupecanyonoasis.com/

My last night in Baja last March..fun little ride out and back off Hwy 2. Couple of entrances (sets of tracks). I found the eastern most, right across the dry lake bed the easiest. The more "formal" road was washboarded and sandy at the time. Do a search here - I'm sure you'll find great advice and even tracks.. Have fun!

Hi Mtcrawler,

Did you stay there? It looks like something my wife might like. What did you think of the place?

Thanks
Ken
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Old 12-24-2012, 10:14 AM   #30
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Does anyone know if the San Ysidro crossing customs office/bank is open 24 hours? I think I read that somewhere...trying to cross really early morning and take care of the tourist card at the border.
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