Baja sanity check

Discussion in 'GPS Tracks - Mexico, Central & South America' started by Frisco Rider, Feb 20, 2019.

  1. Frisco Rider

    Frisco Rider n00b

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    Mates,

    I have read many posts over the years and have used those posts to plan a continental divide trip and a Colorado back country trip. I have also read so many Baja posts and my eyes got blurry. However, even after all that reading, I still have lots of questions and seek your advice.

    My 17 year old son (KLX 250), my 53 long time friend (KTM 400), and I (KTM 350), from Colorado, are heading to Baja in the last week of March. We will trailer the bikes to Yuma and cross the boarder at Los Algodones. We plan to be in Baja from March 23rd unit March 30th.

    From Yuma, we plan to ride to Guadalupe Canyon Hot Springs for the first night and then head East for San Felipe. However, I have read posts that there is no road or readily identifiable path directly from the hot springs to San Felipe. Does anyone have tracks from Guadalupe to San Felipe that does not include returning to Mexicali and then down Mex 5?

    After San Felipe, we plan to head south along the gulf to Bahia de los Angeles (might be too far south). Then we plan to head west with the immediate destination unknown. From that unknown destination, we will make our way North to Mikes Sky Ranch (I have read the posts saying good and bad things about Mikes, but my friend wants to go there). After Mikes, on the 30th, we will head back to Yuma.

    We will be camping some nights, motel other nights. Our bikes have larger tanks, new tires, valves check, etc. I have a Garmin Montana, a paper Map, I plan to down load the e-32 map, but would still like some suggestions and tracks from experienced riders like you.

    If you have read this far, than you very much. I would greatly appreciate any advice, suggestions, tracks you are willing to share. I would also like to thank all those who have posted their rides. It has been very helpful reading your posts.

    Frisco Rider
    #1
  2. brumsky

    brumsky n00b

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    Sent you message. Check inbox.
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  3. stormdog

    stormdog Long timer

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    Just my opinion, but I would trailer to Tecate then leave your rig at one of the border parking lots.
    It would save you a bunch of pavement. And you wouldn’t have to ride through Mexicali.
    #3
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  4. Hill Climber

    Hill Climber Been here awhile

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    Crossing at either Algodones or San Luis won't take you through Mexicali central... you bypass the city by taking Mex 2-D to get to Laguna Salada. They would have a bit more pavement, maybe 20 or so miles.
    #4
  5. Hill Climber

    Hill Climber Been here awhile

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  6. stormdog

    stormdog Long timer

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    Leaving Mikes and riding the Compadre trail back to Tecate, as appossed to riding pavement all the way to Yuma on dirt bikes I stand by my opinion
    #6
  7. Hill Climber

    Hill Climber Been here awhile

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    Yup, you're right... I was comparing distance via pavement both ways
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  8. stormdog

    stormdog Long timer

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    Not relevant to the thread, but
    I crossed at San Luis a couple times last fall and the first stop light you come to after crossing there is a pigeon living where the yellow light is supposed to be
    You got to love Mexico
    #8
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  9. Frisco Rider

    Frisco Rider n00b

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    Thank you all for your input and recommendations. I downloaded the E-32 maps and there appears to be a track from the Canyon to San Felipe. I will also read the ride report.

    Thanks again for all your help.
    #9
  10. Hill Climber

    Hill Climber Been here awhile

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    On the E32 maps, you'll find roads and trails labelled "Vereda" = Path or Trail and "Brecha" = Dirt road.
    A lot of the paths or trails don't necessarily exist anymore... they may have at one time or another, but Mother Nature played its' part in erasing them with storms and erosion.
    My son and I were playing around south of the hot springs last November, intending to go as far south as we could, but we bailed due to whooped out and deep sand trails. I think we were on part of the old Baja 1000 course.. we went cross country (more deep sand) to eventually find our way back to the main road which led us to highway 5. FYI, the SE part of the dry lake bed wasn't so dry... we were sliding around a lot on 3 - 6 " of mud. When it dries, it's like concrete.
    Make sure you have lots of fuel.. you'll burn lots in the deep sand!
    Top your tanks off at the Pemex in La Rumorosa if you're coming from the west or the outskirts of Mexicali if you're coming from the East. You won't easily find gas again till San Felipe.

    Caution: Once you taste the experiences of Baja, you'll be addicted, as in "hooked for life".
    #10
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  11. stormdog

    stormdog Long timer

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    I really like E32 maps, and use them as my go to map, but I don’t trust any of their off road route suggestions.
    I think the routes were generated in an office using Google earth not from actually riding.
    #11
  12. Frisco Rider

    Frisco Rider n00b

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    Thank you very much for the updated information. I am working with the E-32 maps, but not feeling very confident about the maps. I appreciate your first hand experience. It is very helpful.

    My son and I will have larger tanks and will bring some extra fuel. However, I am not a bike fan of deep sand am thinking of alternative routes: I have ridden through sand on the KTM 350 without bags and with a GS 1200 with bags. Neither sand adventure was that much fun.

    Rich
    #12
  13. stormdog

    stormdog Long timer

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    Sand really is an acquired taste.
    I really like it when I’m feeling my mojo, but when I’m off my game not so much.
    Of course one has to weigh in the distance from the truck in the risk reward calculations
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  14. Frisco Rider

    Frisco Rider n00b

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    Mates,

    I am back from Baja. It was a great trip with every day having a new adventure. I will put a ride report together in the next couple of weeks. But, before too much time passed, I wanted to thank all of you for your help. In particular, I would like to thank Mike G.

    Mike was instrumental in helping me plan this trip with GPS Visualizer. My wife was amazed on the amount of time he spent teaching me GPS Visualizer: his wife may have had a different reaction. In any event, I am truly grateful for all the help.
    #14
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  15. Beaumont Paco

    Beaumont Paco Been here awhile

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    Waiting for report, can't wait.
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  16. Hill Climber

    Hill Climber Been here awhile

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    Looking forward to a Ride Report as well!
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  17. Frisco Rider

    Frisco Rider n00b

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    Mates,

    Thanks for the reminder. Like we all experience, sometimes life gets in the way of doing things we would like to do. That being said, I will make a concerted effort to get the ride report together in the next 30 days. Thanks for your patience.
    #17
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  18. Frisco Rider

    Frisco Rider n00b

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    Mates,


    Thank you for your patience waiting for this ride report. This is only the beginning.

    On February 20, 2019, I started this thread asking for a “sanity check” for my Baja trip with my 18-year-old son, Will, and my friend, Chris. Having completed the trip, the thread should be titled, “If I can do it, you can do it.” While I have had some experience riding a GS 1200 on the Colorado Back Country trail and the Continental Divide Trail, I used the existing tracts prepared by much more experience riders for those rides. I had never planned this type of trip before and could not have done it without your help.

    Soon after posting the thread, members gave me a sanity check. I received suggestions on where to go, where not to go, and how to map the trip. Mike G. was instrumental in helping me manage GPS visualizer. We prepared routes using GPS visualizer and then imported the routes onto my phone and onto my Garmin Montana. Mike was incredibly generous with his time.

    Throughout the trip, I used my phone and the Garmin to navigate from Hacienda Veronica, to Coyote Cals where we practically had the place to ourselves. Onward to the Old Mill where we had an odd encounter with a tour group leader who suggested we could not stay there (the owner disagreed) and had a thrilling ride along the breach a 60 MPH an hour (until Chris almost hit a seal). Problems came when the route on the phone did not match the route on the Garmin (my fault, not Mikes) and we “took a wrong turn at Albuquerque” that sent us through a fantastic cactus forest, a horrendous wash, some private ranch land (Chris’ fault) that led to a very uncomfortable encounter with a rancher and his helper, but ended hours later back on the Pacific coast with a late night encounter with some nice, somewhat displaced, Americans and a cold beer.

    The next day was a long ride to Gonzaga Bay where, on route, Chris and Will ran out of gas, siphoned gas from my bike, we met Coco, whose reputation proceeded himself, and ended with great meal, two margaritas, Chris had a cold shower, and we talked late into the night with a nice Mexican family. Then we were off to Mikes Sky Ranch via really deep sand where, when we arrived, despite having made reservations, we treated like unwanted guests. The ride back to Hacienda Veronica was uneventful, except Chris running out of gas and almost getting run over by tricked out jeeps and an out of control Toyota Tacoma.

    In the coming weeks, I will fill in the details of the trip. My son still has most of the GoPro footage. So, I will apologize in advance for my limited pictures. Hopefully, Will, who is a freshman at SCAD studying film, will put a short film together. Until then, I can only offer my iPhone photos.

    Thanks again for your help.


    Rich
    #18
  19. polar8

    polar8 Adventurer

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    Rich, sounds like an awesome trip! I'm planning a baja trip at the end of this month- would it be possible to check out the tracks you prepared for your trip? Much appreciated.
    #19
  20. Frisco Rider

    Frisco Rider n00b

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    #20