Baja Planning and advice

Discussion in 'Americas' started by jmull013, Oct 8, 2017.

  1. jmull013

    jmull013 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2009
    Oddometer:
    24
    I know there are thousands of Baja trip threads, I am just looking to add one more :-). We will be leaving Monterey CA early Dec; 2x KTM 690's and 1x XR650r. We will most likely haul bikes the 8 hr trip from Monterey to the boarder area. We have 10 days to do as much of Baja as possible.

    Questions:
    1. Does anyone have a good 10 day route (with Tracks) along the west coast? We want to stay off road as much as possible. Camping and small towns are preferred.
    2. Is there a safe place in Mexico to leave a vehicle? if not in MX any recommendations in SO CAL?
    3. Do we need ROTOPAX? We all have a 200-250 mile range.
    4. Any MUST see/ride spots?
    5. Besides rain, what does the rainy season bring? Afternoon showers, nightly showers, down pours, mist rains, you get the point.
    6. It sounds like we can get all necessary paperwork at the boarder. Is this correct?


    Thanks in advance,

    John
    #1
  2. jonz

    jonz Miles are my mantra

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2004
    Oddometer:
    3,968
    Location:
    CA dez (it's a dry heat)/West Yellowstone,MT
    I don't have the tracks. Compadre Trail south to Highway 3 and a night at Mike's Sky Ranch. Dirt south from there to Rancho Coyote. If you want the west coast, head there after Meling Ranch and take intermittent roads/trails along the coast. After El Rosario, you can take dirt roads to Santa Rosalalita. I'd personally head over to the east coast south from Bahia de Los Angeles

    There is a paid lot on the US side at Tecate. Works for my recommended start getting to the Compadre Trail

    200 mile range will be fine

    Lunch at Alfonsina's on Gonzaga Bay, Bahia de Los Angeles, San Francisquito south of there

    Most likely no rain as it's the desert. Rain more likely on the Pacific side than on the Sea of Cortez side. Expect heavy dew if you camp on the Pacific side

    You can get your tourist visa at the border. Even if you get the visa online, you have to stop and get it stamped so you may as well just get it done at the border.
    You need liability insurance. You can get it at the border but that is one thing I would get ahead of time online.
    #2
  3. jmull013

    jmull013 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2009
    Oddometer:
    24

    Thanks for the info and reply.
    #3
  4. Hill Climber

    Hill Climber Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2007
    Oddometer:
    708
    Location:
    Kaslo BC summer, Yuma AZ winter
    West Coast: Get fuel at El Rosario and have a meal at Mama Espinoza (Baja legend racing stuff). Next fuel availability is Catavina or the turn off to Bay of LA. Both are barrel gas fill-ups. If you prefer a gas station, next Pemex is Bay of LA, 180 miles from El Rosario or Jesus Maria, 200 miles from El Rosario. Small villages on the west coast usually has someone who sells barrel gas.
    #4
  5. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

    Joined:
    May 29, 2002
    Oddometer:
    26,569
    Location:
    Fort Collins, Colorado
    #5
  6. jmull013

    jmull013 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2009
    Oddometer:
    24
    Thanks hill climber and eakins
    #6
    Hill Climber likes this.
  7. DirtRich

    DirtRich Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2012
    Oddometer:
    62
    Location:
    NorCal
    I'm assuming you want dirt, no? Here's a route which grabs some great dirt and scenery and riding and areas and, and, and....

    Head to the border and lay up in Ensenada.
    • In the morning head to Santo Tomas and from there find the dirt road to the Pacific. It's about 1/4 mile before the restaurant if I remember correctly. That'll allow you to miss the worst riding part of Baja in my opinion, Santo Tomas to San Quintin. Not much there but a lot of stop and go traffic, dusty little towns and not a lot of fun. Stay to the ocean side as long as you can, eventually you'll get to Colonet or even San Quintin and it's a pretty sweet ride. Not totally desolate but a good warm up. From there head to Catavina via pavement and spend the night at the hotel or camp.
    • In the morning head back west from Catavina 7 miles and get on the dirt road(s) that head south west back to the ocean. This is a beautiful and desolate stretch of the Pacific, mostly good riding but there are some moments. You should be at least an intermediate dirt rider. This is about a 100(?) mile stretch that will spit you out near Santa Rosallallita, from there head south to Guerro Negro and again lay up there.
    • Next day head to San Ignacio, a beautiful oasis town. You may want to spend a couple days here. If the whales are in you should give that a try, they're at Laguna San Ignacio about 45 mins from the town of SI. If not ride to where the whales should be anyway and head south on the "sand highway" for another amazing stretch down to San Juanico aka Scorpion Bay, I think another 100 mi stretch.
    • Leave Scorpion via La Purisma and head over to the Sea of Cortez/ Concepcion Bay/ Mulege. It's not a long ride so if you want to keep on going do so and head either back to San Ignacio or carry on to San Francisquito via El Arco. Stay there as long as you can and want, it's beautiful.
    • From there head north to Bahia de los Angeles, and from there to Gonzaga and from there via hwy 3 back to Ensenada.
    No need for extra gas just use the barrel guys when you can. Do more research and I can provide more details if this interests you, it's a great loop. Good luck. Bring warm gear as it can get quite cold and wet that time of year.
    #7
  8. jmull013

    jmull013 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2009
    Oddometer:
    24
    Dirt Rich, Thanks for the route. Ill plot it on a map and see if I have more questions.
    #8
  9. seasider

    seasider Just a rider

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2007
    Oddometer:
    891
    Location:
    Virginia
    Hanging in for the replies myself. I went back in 2010 with a knowledgeable group and was amazed as a Baja noob (obviously still am) but now looking to go back this winter with a buddy. 2 guys as compared to the group of 7 last time.
    One of the biggest worries is the two of us do not speak spanish. Not sure how much I can learn between now and January. Anyway looking forward to the information the original poster was after for our benefit as well.........
    Thanks in advance to this site
    #9
  10. Strong Bad

    Strong Bad Former World's Foremost Authority

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2007
    Oddometer:
    7,890
    Location:
    Omicron Persei 8
    Bad Spanish? I always use: "Lo siento, mi español es muy malo" aka: "I'm sorry, my Spanish is really bad." Usually you will get a big smile and they will attempt English. If it is a cop or you are in trouble try: "No Fumar Español" which means "I don't smoke Spanish" works like a charm as they give up!
    #10
    going south likes this.
  11. AK1

    AK1 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2011
    Oddometer:
    14
    Location:
    Fairbanks, AK
    "I don't smoke spanish"...I'll be using that one!
    #11
  12. et17smith

    et17smith Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2016
    Oddometer:
    88
    Location:
    Toronto, ON
    This sounds awesome... How possible would it be on a 1150GSA 2up?
    #12
  13. TUCKERS

    TUCKERS the famous james

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2005
    Oddometer:
    15,704
    Location:
    Villa Maria Sanitarium, Claremont, CA. USA
    If the person you are ‘talking’ with can read you can use google translator for any laguage to language.
    #13
    seasider likes this.
  14. seasider

    seasider Just a rider

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2007
    Oddometer:
    891
    Location:
    Virginia
    I thought about that but expected it to be serfice dependend. Running with Verizon. Is service decent and worth extending coverage?
    #14
  15. jonz

    jonz Miles are my mantra

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2004
    Oddometer:
    3,968
    Location:
    CA dez (it's a dry heat)/West Yellowstone,MT
    There are big gaps of Verizon coverage in Baja but I usually pay Verizon to use my phone down there.
    [​IMG]
    #15
  16. seasider

    seasider Just a rider

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2007
    Oddometer:
    891
    Location:
    Virginia
    Not much different here in the Northeast when riding in the hills of WVa. Thank you
    #16
  17. Strong Bad

    Strong Bad Former World's Foremost Authority

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2007
    Oddometer:
    7,890
    Location:
    Omicron Persei 8
  18. rnrdozer

    rnrdozer Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2009
    Oddometer:
    300
    Location:
    Chico, ca.
    John, I have some good routes on the west coast and east I can share with you. Jonz makes a good point regarding the Pacific side during December it will likely be cold with a lot of dew, doesn't make for fun camping. As far as a good spot to leave a vehicle I've been staying at Diamond Jacks campground in Jamul and riding the bikes to the border. You can camp there and leave your truck for a small fee. What is the offroad skill level of your group and do you want single track or mainly two track? I would recommend a loop route. maybe enter through Tecate, ride the Compadre trail to hwy 3 then up to Mikes, ride laguna Diablo to San Felipe. from there you can ride about 35 miles of beach to Puertecitos. Then Gonzaga bay for camping. San Francisquito is a must camping spot. from there you can ride down to San Ignacio then work your way up the west coast.
    #18
    seasider likes this.
  19. rnrdozer

    rnrdozer Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2009
    Oddometer:
    300
    Location:
    Chico, ca.
    Here is a 9 day route I put together for some guys this year. Its a bit ambitious but they said they wanted a challenge and that they were A offroad riders. There would need to be a change on the portion back up to mikes from Vicente Guerrero. There is a gate there now but you can route around it to the north. I have the other tracks. Also the mesa trail down to Punta san Carlos is a very advanced trail, I have an easy route around it on the tracks. If you decided to ride these I would be happy to provide you with some more details.

    Attached Files:

    #19
    TooTallRacing likes this.
  20. DirtRich

    DirtRich Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2012
    Oddometer:
    62
    Location:
    NorCal
    Doable depending on skills. Assuming at least intermediate or better I'd say no sweat, two people to pick up the bike!! Avoid Calamajue Canyon and the more interesting parts after Catavina, I think they call it the seven sisters or something like that. You need to be able to do some sand tho, maybe that extra rider will help keep your tips up! Good luck.
    #20
    et17smith likes this.