Canon Santa Maria

Don Jorge - 11-13-2004 at 10:29 AM

I've been tripping, literally, through this area a few times now and I find it quite fascinating. A few photos from my last trip. It was blowing about 40 miles an hour for two days and my gps pooped out so the trip was modified but I still had a great time. Adios!

David K - 11-13-2004 at 10:46 AM


I will look in detail later, as I a heading out.
Thank you Don Jorge!

Mike Humfreville - 11-13-2004 at 12:11 PM

That was great. I wandered around the desert that leads to your canyon recently, just to feel the isolation of the ancients, but had less energy than you and never attempted the canyon itself. I look forward to reading about your upcoming trip with the grad students. It will be interesting to hear of the differences between the two adventures: the first being solo and reflective and the second being...well, I guess we'll just have to wait and see. Write on!

David K - 11-13-2004 at 05:52 PM

Just returned from the booksigning in La Mesa, and looked at the photos more closely. I love the way you can see El Camino Real in three of them... as it heads towards Santa Maria from the Gonzaga Desert.
I look forward to more, as I see you labled this 'Part 1'!
Thanks so much!:bounce:

jide - 11-13-2004 at 08:08 PM

Thanks Don Jorge!
...your pictures got me tranported for a while, I wished I had more time to explore when I was there last month....

jide - 11-13-2004 at 08:27 PM

D.J., did you find anything interesting on the south mesa?

you said " I have a gut feeling there is something to see on the south side mesa above Santa Maria Canyon"

Canon Santa Maria

Cameron - 11-13-2004 at 10:25 PM

Thanks for the beautiful pictures and trip report. What a spectacular place! I really appreciate the time you put into laying out the report/photos, and the addition of the geological info as well. Nice job!

I'll be in the area just after Thanksgiving, and now I find myself trying to justify squeezing an extra week or so in the canyon into my plans for December! :)

I'll try to plan my time there so I don't show up while you and your group are there. I'm not trying to be antisocial, it just seems like I appreciate places like that more with a smaller group, and I know you're going to be on a "working" trip as well, and don't want to get in the way...
If you're going to be there again on a solo trip, (or further south) post a message or PM/U2U and if I can meet you, I'd love to learn more about the geologic and anthropological history of Baja.

If you're on a solo trip in BCS, you can feel free to let me know your estimated arrival/departure dates, and I'll come looking for you if you don't come back on time. A broken GPS on your trip sucks. A broken leg could really put a damper on your fun if you're all alone... I don't want to step on any toes here, (Lo siento, JR/BSAR!) but if I was stuck or injured somewhere, I wouldn't care who it was who showed up, just as long as they got there fast. :)

Please show us more when you've got the time. Thanks again!.. Cameron

David K - 11-14-2004 at 01:02 AM

Hey Cameron, in case you haven't seen Don Jorge's previous web page about hiking up the Camino Real to Mision Santa Maria then back down, in the canyon... in one day... it is at:

This is also linked in my site...

Don Jorge - 11-14-2004 at 08:32 AM

DK, It is an addicting place. I am also hoping to do several more trips there next year before the summer season. I plan a few more from the east side and then hope to put some dots together from the west side.

Mike, Thanks, the next trip will be very interesting. These "kids" are very good folks full of energy and lusting for knowledge. Plus it will be a blast to have backup and be able to step out of the box a bit.

Jide, From your posts I can tell you are a fellow canyoneer and love the rocks and water. Yes there is great stuff on the south side mesas!

Cameron, It is a spectacular place! Don't worry about our schedule, we are going up and out of the canyon after humping water for the first day. I doubt if we will run into each other.
Thanks for the offer about BCS. When the nest is empty!
As regards safety, I carry lots of water, sat phone, laminated phone # list, gps, topo, altimeter, compasses, survival gear and know how to use all of it. My family and friends lecture me hard about the risk in my trips, both in the US and in Mexico. I try to mitigate that risk using the ultimate survival tool, the brain. Careful! It is very hard to find companions to hike with whom have compatable schedules, experience, goals and the physical tools to accomplish those goals. Ni modo.

To all: Thanks for the feedback!

cristobal - 11-14-2004 at 02:25 PM

Nice pics JORGE .....

David K - 11-14-2004 at 11:13 PM

Taken by BajaMur during our flyover recon above the canyon about midway between the mission valley and the canyon's mouth facing Punta Final, Gonzaga Bay. May, 1999 and look at the amount of water in this desert canyon! More of Mur's aerial photos at:

[Edited on 11-17-2004 by David K]

David K - 11-16-2004 at 07:10 PM

D'Rat, if I recall that attempt correctly... you guys didn't know which way led up to the pools and palms... Here is a doctored photo (was posted in another thread as well)... This is facing east near the mouth of the canyon. I added a note showing where you can park a 4WD next to the white sand arroyo (2WD park up on the mesa above the big ravine where it says in the photo 'Our Launch Site'.

The Camino Real heads up, out of the valley across the arroyo from the 4WD parking spot.

The palms and pools are up the main canyon, west from the parking spot.

The Las Palmitas oasis is a mile and a half south in a side canyon, take main traveled road branching south after reaching bottom of big grade... from 'Launch Site'. 4WD parking is at a big boulder, 0.8 mi. east of Las Palmitas jcn. on faint road.