The Baja Divide is an off-road route created by Nicholas Carman and Lael Wilcox that goes from San Diego (CA, USA) to San José del Cabo (BCS, MX). It connects the Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Cortez, historic Spanish mission sites rich with shade and water, remote ranchos and fishing villages, bustling highway towns, and every major mountain range in Baja California on kilometers and kilometers of beautiful backcountry desert tracks.
Baja California is the northernmost and westernmost state of the 32 federal entities of Mexico, with geography ranging from beaches to forests and deserts. It is bordered by the Pacific Ocean on the west; by Sonora, the state of Arizona and the Gulf of California on the east; and the state of California on the north. The highest peak of the peninsula is the Picacho del Diablo (3,096 m/10,157 ft) and it is located in the Sierra de San Pedro Mártir.
We stopped along the way to enjoy some local hospitality, to explore and surf, which offered up some great rest days along the trail. You'll notice these where there are gaps between Tour stages in this Collection.
You can find more information about the route at bikepacking.com/routes/baja-divide.
We left San Diego early in the morning and our friends joined us for a while after eating some doughnuts for breakfast.
We crossed all San Diego and the first climb of the day started. Otay Mountain was going to be a good physical test to get used to the weight we were carrying.
We rode all the way to Tecate to cross the border and rode a bit more to get to Cañón Manteca.
We stopped in between as the rain started and we were all wet.
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It rained the whole night and part of the morning. It was a grey muddy day, the drizzle never stopped and the climbs were insane.
We stopped just before it got dark and as we were still quite in high in altitude, the night was really cold.
We got up when it was just 0°C and everything was frozen and wet.
We rode to Ojos Negros and then the temperature rose to 28°C.
At some point, we found an abandoned house and we used it as our shelter for the night.
We made it to the Pacific Ocean after riding pretty much all day. The landscape kept changing during the day, from desert and sandy tracks, to green and rocky trails.
We got up by the sea, the fishermen were already busy and the first lights of the day were drying our tent. We started riding what seems a more or less flat section to Punta Colonet but it’s not. It’s continuously up and down and some of the climbs are hard enough to make you walk. We had breakfast in…
The sun was out but it was chilly down the valley. We had to cross the same river several times on our way to Rancho El Coyote. 30km uphill seems nothing but it was hard technical terrain. But we made it!
We left el Coyote and we followed a lot of road and tarmac as one part of the off-road route is closed due to a conflict with a ranchero. The road, though, was really nice and quiet until we put ourselves in the Mex1. We were lucky to have some tail wind, otherwise the Mex1 would have been a nightmare…
Vicente Guerrero is a busy town, we didn't want to spend much time there so we left early after breakfast to start the part of the route that is called Valle de los Cirios. We didn't see that many, yet, but we started to have an idea of what was about to come. The route to Cielito Lindo wasn't hilly…
We left Cielito Lindo to eat something at Nueva Odisea and the plan was to make it to the highest point and go down a bit to sleep. We got at the top for sunset and the sillhouettes of the cirios appeared. We were in Valle de los Cirios and we were excited to see it in daylight.
We got up in the middle of a beautiful valley surrounded by cactus and cirios. We didn't see it yesterday night as it was already dark when we put our tent. We were delighted with the colors, the lights, the silence. The spokes of the cactus shined like gold and the whole valley was little by little…
The wind on this day was our worst enemy. Head wind all the way to Cataviña and a terrain that made it easier to walk than to pedal. It was really a nightmare and we had a really hard time for about 48km. Then it changed and we started seeing the typical blocks of rocks from the Cataviña area, some of…
After a good night of rest, we were happy to ride again but this time the terrain was way better. The landscape kept being amazing and we went all the way to the Pacific coast again. When we arrived at San José del Faro, a small fishing community, we met Azael and his family and they invited us to try…
Sunrise by the ocean is always great, quiet and peaceful. But this feeling of calmness didn't last for long as the day started with a lot of steep, rocky climbs that made us push many times. We got to "El Cardón" in the afternoon and we rode a bit more until we found a super nice beach. There was no…
After one day stopped for surfing at the Cardón area, farewell to our new group of friends and we were on our bikes again. A long stretch along the coast was awaiting and we wanted to get into Ejido Nuevo Rosarito. The first part until we made it to Santa Rosaliíta was pretty much all washboarded. We…
Super tough day. It was definitely too much and we got to BDLA super exhausted. The whole route was rough and it combined bumpy tracks with sandy parts. You were shaking all the time. We stopped for lunch at Misión San Borja where we met José. He calls himself one of the lasts "cochimíes" and he is the…
We were too tired the day before to notice, but we had made it to the Sea of Cortez for the first time in the route!
We had a late start, it was really windy, although it was mostly tailwind, and we took it easy.
The ride to Rancho Escondido was also fairly easy compared to the previous days.
This rancho is a beautiful place, everything is organized and well-thought and it is owned by a family that wants to promote ecotourism.
It was really windy and they offered a shelter place to put our tent so we decided to stay there for the night.
At 7am we were ready to ride again after spending a day in Rancho Escondido.
This time, the route followed smooth paths, sometimes a bit sandy, but all rideable until El Arco. We arrived there quite fast and after stopping for lunch, the timezone changed.
We were now in Baja California Sur. The trails…
We had 18 kilometres left to arrive at Vizcaíno, but it took us almost two hours to make them as we had to hike-a-bike across the sand.
We arrived at Vizcaíno in the morning and we were more than happy to find a small stand with fresh fruit juices. They were just amazing after some days without having…
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