Baja - the best of.......the worst of...

Discussion in 'Americas' started by gaspipe, Oct 5, 2007.

  1. Grinder

    Grinder Wrong way 'round

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Oddometer:
    3,059
    Location:
    In DC traffic...
    I should have read that before going through the wash. I made it through on my KLR without too much trouble, but a few of my fellow riders were there overnight - mostly due to a fried clutch on one of the bikes.:freaky It's very sandy through there...lots of fun on a proper bike

  2. Hosebag

    Hosebag Difficult but Useful

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2006
    Oddometer:
    5,442
    Location:
    Douchevillia
    Word to that brother, but you did us proud on that KLR :1drink
    (the gals at work thought the sleepover in the desert was awesome until I mentioned the red ants, scorpions and snakes :eek1 )


  3. Holaday

    Holaday Man of Leisure

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Oddometer:
    704
    Location:
    Vancouver's North Shore, B.C.

    Attached Files:

  4. Bgunn

    Bgunn Posible maƱana

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,809
    Location:
    Rockford.Wa - Yuma.Az
  5. SenorFeliz

    SenorFeliz hangin' out

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2006
    Oddometer:
    410
    Location:
    lake Simple, Ontario
    baja reports are the best!!!:lurk
  6. ChrisUK

    ChrisUK Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2004
    Oddometer:
    779
    Location:
    God's Own County
  7. rokklym

    rokklym one man wolfpack

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2004
    Oddometer:
    4,529
    Location:
    Westby Wisconsin
    I asked Coco about how to get to the wash and he said it wasn't for our type of bikes, only dirt bikes.We were loaded down on a DRZ, DR650, and an LC4E.

    I suppose it depends mostly on the water level?
  8. gaspipe

    gaspipe Wandering Soul

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2004
    Oddometer:
    11,437
    Location:
    Pickwick Lake, Tennessippi
    Time for a new installment on the Baja thread. :deal I think I left off at Gonzaga Bay, so if this gets redundant, bear with me.

    Couple updates: The road is paved south of San Felipe all the way to Puertecitos. The road south from there can be rough, or it can relatively smooth. Depends on when the graders last came though, the weather, etc. Count on some embedded rocks and square edged hits at the vados.

    [​IMG]

    There is a new(ish) Pemex at Gonzaga Bay on the main road. Everytime I have been there, there has been fuel. I know there was a period about a year back when there wasn't. The point here is, if there's gas, get it - especially if you're on a dirt bike and like sand. I'll explain later.

    [​IMG]

    Head south on the main road to Rancho Las Arrastras, and soon after you'll find Coco's Corner. It's about 23 miles from the Pemex to Coco's Corner. The future of Coco's Corner is at best uncertain since Coco lost his other leg. Rumor has it the compound has been ransacked. Sad - every time I've gone to Baja I've stopped in for a chat and brought him some goodies.

    [​IMG]

    This is where the road forks.

    Heavy bikes or riders not sure of their skills best head southwest to Chapala. That's an easier ride, but again be prepared for some rocky road. about three or four miles before the intersection with the highway, you can cut out across Chapala dry lake for some high speed fun or some powerslides from hell.

    [​IMG]

    It's about 13 miles from Coco's to the pavement. From there it's about 30 miles south on pavement to the BoLA Junction - a place where barrel gas usually is obtainable.

    Lighter bikes can opt for the Calamajue wash. You'll pick that up heading southeast from Coco's. About 4.5 miles up the Calamajue beach road, you'll bear right onto a sand road. Don't go up to Calamajue Beach. There's nothing there for you, and odd things occur there. Trust me. The start of the Calamajue Wash road can be smooth sand, or it can be 4 foot high whoops. After another nine miles or so, you'll be at the top of a mesa, looking down at the mouth of the Calamajue Wash itself. this is where the ancient Calamajue Mission was. The remains are there if you look. :deal

    [​IMG]

    From here, you'll ride up the wash - it's marginally easier going up this than down it, just because of the sand - and there will be lots of it. It's a beautiful ride and lots of fun. From the mouth of the Wash, it's about 15 miles to the highway. Don't be a jackass, and close the gates behind you as you go. At about 6 miles after the wash starts, you'll climb to the top of a small bluff. There's a turnoff here that goes due west to the Highway. This will take you to the entrance to Satan's Asshole, and a road that will take you to Bahia Blanca on the Pacific. Big bikes will suffer on this road.

    [​IMG]

    If you're still heading south, then Bay of LA (BoLA) is where we're headed next. Big bikes can take the paved road from the BoLA Junction. If you like sand roads, there's a nice cutoff for the more dirty types that clips off the corner. It's easy to see from the road, and is on most all Mexico GPS maps.

    [​IMG]
  9. crashmaster

    crashmaster ow, my balls!

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2007
    Oddometer:
    5,566
    Location:
    Alaska
    Very cool. I had never taken the road west at the top of that hill. Next month I think Satan's asshole will be calling to me.:thumb That sounds like a great way to get to Bahia Blanca. Would that be the sand, silt, rock, "road" that goes west from the highway a few miles south of Chapala, then through the oasis and the mission and ties into the main road that runs from Rosalillita to Bahia Blanca?

    The Pemex at Gonzaga has been hit or miss for fuel for the last couple of months. Rafael of Rancho Grande will sometimes sell fuel when the Pemex is dry. But that is hit or miss as well. If anyone goes though there in the near future and is need of gas, be prepared to do a little scrounging around, and if you find someone willing to part with fuel, be prepared to pay big bucks for it.

    I was by Coco's a few weeks ago. It was my turn to drive the sag wagon that day. I went in and looked around. Everything seemed to be in order inside. There was a sign on the door asking to please feed the cats. Since we had a pooch with us, hence dog food, we left some for Coco's cats inside. They were still there and seemed to appreciate the free meal.:D

    Great thread Gaspipe, man you sure hit much of the good stuff of Baja.:thumb
  10. SenorFeliz

    SenorFeliz hangin' out

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2006
    Oddometer:
    410
    Location:
    lake Simple, Ontario
    thanks very much for the update Gaspipe. 5 weeks until we leave for first ever Baja trip.:jkam appreciate you mentioning the alternate routes for bigger bikes. I will be on GS and nephew on his KLR and we are trying to avoid the major sand. rocks and rough stuff is okay for us but GS hates sand. your recommendations will be followed. how do you feel about taking back way out of Mike's to observatory road? thanks again.:beer
  11. jgreer

    jgreer close this thread already

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2008
    Oddometer:
    275
    Location:
    Behind bars (you know handle bars)
    I keep hearing about a ferry to the mainland from baja, does anybody know where it leaves from and arrives at on the mainland? My dad lives in the little town of Villa Hildalgo, I should add him to the tent space, its a great little town off a dirt road. Anyway I'd like to leave from mexacali down to the ferry and over to my dads house.

    Thanks
  12. crashmaster

    crashmaster ow, my balls!

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2007
    Oddometer:
    5,566
    Location:
    Alaska
    On a 12 GS? Well sure, you could do it. However its some short steep climbs and descents in big rocks. Fun on a dirt bike. On a big bike, I think not so much. You will be slipping the shit out of the clutch in first gear and concentrating on the right line. I have taken my 990 in there and it was not fun for me it was work. Low speed tip overs in rocks. Is it doable, yes. Just take into cosideration what you are capable of the big GS. It will be work.

    FWIW, I probably wont take my 990 on that route again, or if I do, its because for some reason I absolutely have to get to the west coast out of Mikes. I'm an average dirt rider. I can rip it up on a dirt bike but the 990, not so much.
  13. gaspipe

    gaspipe Wandering Soul

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2004
    Oddometer:
    11,437
    Location:
    Pickwick Lake, Tennessippi
    I have some opinions on this. First, Crashmaster is pretty much spot on. For the most part, it's not a super technical way to go, but there is one climb out of Mike's, and one descent closer to El Coyote that will be a challenge on a big bike.

    The sad thing is the observatory road is mostly paved now, and the ride south from where the observatory road hits the highway kind of sucks. Unless you have a reason to be over on that side of the mountains, I'd stick to the Sea of Cortez side of Baja anyway.

    El Coyote is a cool place to spend an evening, as is Rancho Melling. Food is good, the folks nice.



  14. dirtdiver

    dirtdiver Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,467
    Location:
    San Diego, CA + Napoli Italy
    Crashmaster,
    I did the route from the observatory to Mike's rancho on my DRZ with maybe 20 pounds of stuff on the bike with another 10 pounds on my back. It was pretty fun on the DRZ. My only hesitation was that is was late in the day and I was by myself. I had left snow at the observatory and it was getting cold on this trail. I saw no one till I got to Mike's. If I had a problem I was on my own. Exciting in that way too though. I am new to the 990 so I am still trying to get my capabilities calibrated. I enjoy your comments on the bikes :-) steve


  15. gaspipe

    gaspipe Wandering Soul

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2004
    Oddometer:
    11,437
    Location:
    Pickwick Lake, Tennessippi
    I sorta spelled out the route out of Mike's in that prior post. Everyone has favorites, and the Pac coast up north is not one of mine. Too many people, too much traffic, and really not many good dual sportish roads. There is some singletrack out there that is good, but that's way beyond the scope of this thread.

    So let's get back to Bay of LA. The paved road on the way in is a nice ride. About 60 miles from the junction will land you in BoLA, and the descent to the sea is one of the prettiest places in Baja.

    Now if you have a lot of time, take the dirt road that runs north from the BoLA road out to Mision San Borja. It's a pretty ride, and the Mision is very cool. You can ride back out to the main north south highway from there, or go back to the BoLA road.

    The road to Mision San Borja..

    [​IMG]

    There are a couple PEMEX's in BoLA now, as well as a few good restaurants and motels. It's a really cool place to spend a night - the sunrises are almost as good as those in Gonzaga Bay. There's a good grocery store and auto parts place on the south exit from town. You can get everything from synthetic oil to Red Bull here. Get it here if you want it, as it's a long way to anywhere from here.

    Road bikes will want to go back out the same way they came in, but dual sport bikes (and even big GS's) will have a fun ride south from BoLA. It's a little tricky geting out of BoLA and heading south, but it will become obvious.

    [​IMG]

    The road south to Playa San Rafael is mostly just gravel, a few sand spots in the vados, and occasionally a booby trap or two - so watch your speed. What you'll also find is some of the most fantastic Saguaro forests you'll ever see.

    About 22 miles from the edge of BoLA, there's a pickup truck door on the right side of the road (as you're heading south). It's covered with race stickers. This is the dirtbike alternate route. You'll head a hundred yards or so and then drop into an arroyo. This route is a sandy two track that recombines back into the main road about 30 miles later. It's a fun ride for unladen thumpers.

    The turn and the truck door:

    [​IMG]

    The main road has been under construction recently, and was in good shape the last time I was through there. If you go this way, take the time to have a look at the beach at San Rafael - or even ride the beach a bit. There are a lot of really nice views out along here, and it's one of my favorite places in Baja.

    [​IMG]

    After the sand road recombines, the road will climb up about 1800 feet, straighetn out, and get pretty sandy. The next spot is Rancho El Progreso. There used to be a military checkpoint here right where several roads all intersect. The last two times I went through here, the military was gone.

    Here's where you need to make a decision. There's a sandy two track that will take you to Pozo Aleman, and on to El Arco, or another road not on any maps that will take you to Miraflores (and Mision Santa Gertrudis - a cool stop off the beaten track). It's also the intersection fo the 20 mile sandy road down to San Francisquito.

    San Francisquito is a very cool place to go - waaaaay off the beaten track, beautiful, and remote. But the management has been changing due to death and other things. Last I heard, the place was sold to a businessman from mexico City, so who knows what it will be like next time I'm there. What you can count on there is decent food, a cabana or camping, no hot water, sometimes gasoline, cold beer, airplane folks (there's an airstrip here that attracts our equivalent with wings), etc. Although it's getting run down, it's still a cool place to go. You'll want a sleeping bag here even if you're in a cabana.

    San Francisquito:

    [​IMG]

    Man, I'd forgotten how much there is down there. I'm gonna wear out my keyboard just hitting the basics :lol3

    And anyone who wants to toss up pics, please do - just try not to get ahead of me. Pics rule!
  16. crashmaster

    crashmaster ow, my balls!

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2007
    Oddometer:
    5,566
    Location:
    Alaska
    Now, if you feel you want to do that route on the GS, you can take the back road out of El Coyote and hit the observatory road way far west. Then you run about ten miles or so, but it may be 20 ( I really cant remember) to a turnoff and head south though a gate (open and close please) which takes you though a very cool but rocky two track up and over the rest of the mountains on a plateau where you get the cool breeze and your first glimpse of the pacific ocean, from way high up. Its very cool. GS Mit, I can send you a track if you like, but its really not big bike friendly, really dirt bikes only IMO. But I'm not a good rider on the big bike so YMMV.

    Sorry Gaspipe, I dont want to hijack your thread. GS Mit, please respond to me via PM if you want more info on this routing.

    Now back to Mr. Gaspipe's original thread...............
  17. crashmaster

    crashmaster ow, my balls!

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2007
    Oddometer:
    5,566
    Location:
    Alaska
    Ah yes Gaspipe, the green door is no longer there. Some asshole probably took for a collection. Hoewver, the route is as good as ever!!! Sand, rocks cactus, all the good shit.

    I'll conjure up a waypoint for the old green door when I get a chance. Thats good riding if youre on a dirt bike that you should not miss!!!
  18. gaspipe

    gaspipe Wandering Soul

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2004
    Oddometer:
    11,437
    Location:
    Pickwick Lake, Tennessippi
    crash,

    Not a hijack - this is more or less a public thread. I just expect anyone who wants to add to it doesn't jump ahead - it makes the thread hard to follow.

    Your additions are quite welcome and perfect for what this thread is about: Collective experiences, good bad or indifferent.

    :thumb
  19. gaspipe

    gaspipe Wandering Soul

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2004
    Oddometer:
    11,437
    Location:
    Pickwick Lake, Tennessippi
    Dang, that door was there for a while. Waypoint is appx:

    N28 40.755 W113 25.535

  20. thetourist

    thetourist Just passing thru

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2005
    Oddometer:
    6,843
    Location:
    Moscow, Idaho
    I'll throw out a couple. This was a beautiful area Great roads and scenery.



    [​IMG]
    Borja Mission


    [​IMG]
    Spring in Baja Lots of this on the road into Borja Mission



    [​IMG]
    On the way to San Fran Note the beer can in the brush.


    [​IMG]