BajaNomad

TRIP #8: (AUG. 2018) HWY 3 & Laguna Hanson road to HWY 2 + HWY 5 REVISIT to HWY 1.

David K - 8-18-2018 at 09:44 AM

This has been a long time to come, to get the final Baja Bound research trip done, but Baja wins in the end!
What I mean is, this was the final Baja Bound Road Guide research trip to make up for the 2 days I lost last October due to my brake fail between El Coyote and Mike's Sky Rancho. Thanks to 'bajatrailrider' (Larry), I made a field repair and got my truck back home and to my mechanic.

So, the road guide was missing my detailing Hwy. 3 (other than Valle de Trinidad to Hwy. 5) and the Sierra Juarez road passing Laguna Hanson.

Well, I cleared three days this week and not only covered the rest of Hwy. 3 and the Sierra Juarez road, but I did a run south past Gonzaga Bay to get the latest details on Hwy. 5 construction since I last was over in August 2017.

I left North County San Diego at 7 am and crossed at Tecate about 8:30. Green light and I tried parking in the empty inspection spot to easily get my new FMM in that building. However, when I asked if I could, naturally I was told no and pointed to the street for parking.

As I detailed before, once you find a parking spot on the one-way cross-street near the crossing, you walk through a turnstile and follow the white line/ arrows north (as if returning to the USA by foot) then across the Mexico entrance street and into the INM office. Paperwork filled out, you are instructed to go back outside to the bank window for payment (180-day FMM). I ask the banker what hours and he said that if he is closed you can pay the INM official inside). INM is open the same hours as the border (5am-11pm) officially. You go back in with your payment receipt and the INM officer does his final stamp. Took about 10 minutes overall. I was the only person doing this. I asked him about the free 7-day FMM and if it still it had to be returned (as instructed the past 2 years at Mexicali INM) or could be thrown away like the 180-day one. I was surprised when he said it should be returned, yes... but it would be "okay" to throw it away!

I was only going for 3 days but did not want to do the return work on my way home... plus, I may go back to Baja again in the next 6 months (I hope).

Okay, so I head south and see BP and Arco stations as well as Pemex. Last October, I saw a BP under construction in Tecate. There are still mostly Pemex stations, but the white ARCO stations are really bright and stand out. Also, all the stations are advertising prices since they are allowed to compete and prices for Magna (Regular) ranged between high 18 and mid 19 pesos per liter... with a peso to dollar exchange between 17.60 and 18-something per dollar. In short, 87 octane gasoline was a hair over $4/gallon!

I did a quick stop at the Guadalupe mission/museum location and the Guadalupe Wine Museum (outside) and noted Laja and Mustafa's restaurant kilometer locations.

Topped my tank in Ensenada: 19.05 pesos/liter; 18.00 pesos/dollar; 16 mpg on this leg.

Heading out of town towards Ojos Negros, I saw some gravel on the pavement just past Km. 15 where Bajaguy reported a landslide. All clear.

I had intended to drive into Agua Caliente hot spring resort at Km. 26, but the gate was chained closed... not inviting even though signs said "open".

There was a military checkpoint just past the Pemex by the Ojos Negros entrance road, waved on. I drove into Ojos Negros and back out.

Next, I did a quick stop at the Laguna Hanson/ Sierra Juarez turnoff at Km. 54.5. I would be returning to this spot in 2 days.

My first side trip was to check out El Alamo, a one-time huge gold mine town. The road is unsigned and the kilometer marker before it is only facing the other lane and hidden by a shrub! It is Km 85 and the graded road to the west for El Alamo is at Km. 85.5.

The road is pretty easy to drive with just one huge puddle to cross. it is 9.5 miles to 'town' and it was pretty deserted! A real ghost town indeed. I could not get near the mine structures because of closed gates.

I will post some photos to this point and return to continue the report, later... Stay tuned!


BP Tecate


Mission de Guadalupe, museum. Ruins are likely not the mission itself.


Museum of Wine




Ensenada at start of Hwy. 3.


Agua Caliente road


El Alamo road















OK, so that is about it for El Alamo...
Next stop, the final Spanish mission in Baja California, Santa Catalina 1797-1839.

Map:

Red arrow is El Alamo and blue arrow is Mission Santa Catalina. Independencia is between the two.




[Edited on 2-8-2019 by David K]

Mission Santa Catalina 1797-1839

David K - 8-18-2018 at 11:06 AM

Back out to Hwy. 3, it is just 3.5 miles to Ejido de los Heroes de la Independencia at Km. 91 where the road to the Paipai Indian village of Santa Catarina heads east.

My last time down this road to see the mission site was in June 2006 with Baja Angel (Elizabeth) and The squarecircle (Roy). We had just finished doing radio relay help for Baja Pits during the Baja 500, south of Valle de Trinidad. www.vivabaja.com/606

Since then the road has been paved (concrete) and power lines run the 5 miles. The town is just 1/2 mile from the mission site and has a slightly altered spelling from the Dominican mission.

Where the concrete road ends, follow the power lines down and to the left, passing the large church. Work your way towards the left (north) and over a small hill to the cemetery. Park here or if in a truck/ SUV, you can take the faint road to the left to the top of the hill and park.

There is almost nothing of the mission beyond the large square that was the compound and some melted walls of a few rooms and the round watch tower and perimeter wall.

Since my last visit, someone had an adobe wall built above or beyond the mission site as some sort of monument, it would seem.

I took many photos and will show just a few here, as they will most likely bore most of you! LOL Ok, a few more...

As I mentioned, this was the last Spanish mission in Baja. The two additional missions (El Descanso, Guadalupe del Norte) were established after Mexico's independence, making them "Mexican missions".
Descanso was at first a new location for San Miguel after floods in 1809 forced a move, and it was known as San Miguel la Nueva. The Dominican Padre Ahumada) moved it back to the old San Miguel site after some time. A new mission was built at Descanso, in 1830, by Padre Caballero. In 1834, Caballero then founded Mission Guadalupe (del Norte) and closed both Descanso and San Miguel. In a sense, Guadalupe is the final site for what began as San Miguel (at today's La Misión on Hwy. 1).





See how dark it is? It rained on me for a few minutes while driving!


The old tower remains at the NW corner and a new wall behind. Panning photos clockwise, then moving to each corner and taking photos:










This was a row of rooms.


SE Corner marker.


From the marker to the parking area by the SW corner/ compound opening.


The SW corner.


Looking to the SE corner from SW corner.


Rooms


Pieces of adobe brick (from 1797?)


For scale, my book at a mission room. :light:

Here is the 1926 sketch of the mission site by Meigs:




The return drive back to Hwy. 3 at Independencia.

More to come!

Here is a 2007 photo of the archeological dig to the adobe wall's stone-foundation, at a corner... Very impressive to see what is below the melted adobe walls of these ruined mission sites!


Photo from Dr. Lee Panich in 2007. The photo and the 1926 plan are in my book, as well... page 161-166 covers this mission.








[Edited on 8-18-2018 by David K]

ehall - 8-18-2018 at 11:42 AM

I always wondered why that road is concrete instead of pavement

David K - 8-18-2018 at 01:32 PM

Highway 2-D is being converted to concrete near Rumorosa. How long has the Santa Catarina road been paved? I was last on it in 2006.

PaulW - 8-18-2018 at 03:17 PM

David,
Next time you pass Agua Caliente. Stop by the gate and honk your horn. The full time security guy in the small trailer will come and open the gate.

David K - 8-18-2018 at 03:31 PM

LOL... I would wonder if there is a guard, why have a chained closed gate and why not put the gate by the trailer?
Thanks Paul.

Continuing on Hwy. 3 past Independencia

David K - 8-18-2018 at 04:22 PM

At Km. 109 is the road to Ejido Jamau and an off-road m/c rider resort:



At Km. 117.5 is what Score calls the "Goat Trail" or race course in or out of Valle de Trinidad. In fact, it was the Ensenada-San Felipe main road before the highway was built in the mid-1970s. Originally it was BC Hwy. 16.


This photo was actually taken 2 days later on my drive back towards Ensenada.

Valle de Trinidad entrance road (and one of two Pemex stations here) is at Km. 120+ (a plus sign means about 1/4 km past the sign).

The orphanage made famous in the movie Dust to Glory, supported by Malcolm Smith, is at Km. 130+

The short way to put "Mike's Sky Rancho" on a sign...


Km. 137.5

I did a short drive on the Score race course north from Borrego Pit (Km. 179.5)...



The road was VERY rough so I only went in about a mile. This would be the route (maybe) to access a new search area for the Lost Diaz Grave. Actually Nomad 'Fatboy' has checked some of this area. Geoff and I want to look deeper in the Sierra Pinta range if we make another search.

Just a wave through at the smaller El Chinero checkpoint (on Hwy. 3) and again at the bigger one (on Hwy. 5).

At San Felipe, I get gas at the "ejido" Pemex (Km. 184) after hearing good things about it from PaulW. Indeed, it seems like honest pumps and good persons working there. Magna was 19.35/liter and the exchange was 18.35:1 dollar. My truck took on 37.2 liters (9.8 gal.) for 185 miles giving me a great 18.9 MPG! I love ethanol-free gasoline! Here it cost $4.00/gallon.

It is 4:40 pm and I head south to see if the tides will allow me to get across the marsh/muddy salt flats to Shell Island. It is just after a new moon and it was really high.

Well, there was water in low spots but the flats were not underwater (I have crossed these when I could not see the ground, just the shrubs, more than once).

About halfway across the flats, I sink in... oh balls!

I put it reverse and try to back out... I am in low range and my A-TRAC is always on in low range. However, my tires can do nothing more than spin in the goo and A-TRAC hates spinning tires (as it is useless to spin, typically)...

One last resort that the Tacoma has, a rear locking differential ("for emergency only", says Toyota). When the rear is locked, A-TRAC is disabled under 3 mph and only works on the front tires in that situation. This forces the tires to spin (in back) and I get out. Good thing, as I am alone, and nobody is in Baja in August, except the most sincere Baja lovers!

I back out of the goo, and since my truck is now got mud splattered, I take a different tack and that worked!


My truck on Shell Island, looking across the mainland of Baja California.

I go for a swim, make dinner, and sleep well. I see some meteors when I wake briefly before sunrise while it is still dark and a moonless sky.
END OF DAY 1 (Wednesday, August 15, 2018)


Thursday, August 16. Let's see what's happening on Hwy. 5 to Chapala!

David K - 8-18-2018 at 05:10 PM

It has been exactly one year since I last was over Highway 5 to the very south end.

In brief, it appears as if Mexico has abandoned this project of finishing the highway, other than adding some blacktop to the stretch of new road in the Chapala Valley (and have not connected the south or west end of it, 1 mile from Highway 1). Basically nearly nothing in one year. I could drive the north end new roadbed with no problem and using the nearly one added paved mile from Km. 167 (where the pavement ended in 2014).

The Coco's Bypass (as we call it) was basically done except for the southern mile, which is through the mountain ridge and into the canyon (where the worker camp is located). After weeks or months of neglect, rainwater has begun eroding the sides of the road. It is not well cleared or finish graded. It is as if they just left the job uncompleted. So close to being done, too. A rough detour or access road goes down to the current Coco's route.

The worker camp has all the heavy Caterpiller equipment parked... almost nobody was there... but smoke was coming out of the kitchen shack. There was one backhoe working on one of the ridge cut and I saw one water truck being driven.

I have GPS track maps and mileages to share. I can't be the only one who likes to know the location of new roads in Baja, can I?

First, let's talk about where the workers are working... if they are the same ones? The new Hwy. 5 stretch from Arroyo Matomi to Cowpatty's near Puertecitos is getting all the love and putting us onto a 7-mile dirt detour. It begins at Km. 61 (Arroyo Matomi road is Km. 60 and Rancho El Pozo is at Km. 60.5) and ends at almost Km.73, where Cowpatty's cantina is.

Photos (Southbound and northbound, the next day, yesterday):





Northbound Friday:









Basically, this will end the multiple short steep dips across Arroyo Matomi that have been there since about 1990.


The 7 miles of detour is between the red and blue arrows, for scale on the San Felipe to Puertecitos 51 miles long highway.

Next...


I always like stopping at the Km. 99 viewpoint.

Passing Papa Fernandez' road, soon come to the military checkpoint. They asked me where I was going and where I came from... no search... and I was on my way!

The Pemex station at Km. 147 is still a Pemex station. There was word of it becoming a Union 76 station... but only Pemex signage. I got gas here on my way back north, later today.

New sign at Km. 167.5, where the detour points you to the older road, alongside the new. However, the paved road continues ahead (as it did a year ago) for about a kilometer and a half. There is even a Km. 168 sign added along the road.



More to come... including maps!

[Edited on 8-19-2018 by David K]

David K - 8-18-2018 at 05:13 PM

That is 30 km. to "Transpeninsular" (Chapala, Hwy. 1) is via the new bypass route, about 5 km + shorter than going through Coco's Corner.

The bypass is not finished and not fully open, either.

rts551 - 8-18-2018 at 05:33 PM

All the hwy 5 info has been posted before on Talk Baja along with continuous updates.

ehall - 8-18-2018 at 05:40 PM

Lot of great pictures and info David. Glad those killer vados are being fixed.

David K - 8-18-2018 at 06:32 PM

Quote: Originally posted by ehall  
Lot of great pictures and info David. Glad those killer vados are being fixed.


Thank you Ed.
The best (I think) is coming next!




[Edited on 8-19-2018 by David K]

mjs - 8-18-2018 at 06:37 PM

I appreciate the posts and info here as I'll never see it on FB.

David K - 8-18-2018 at 06:42 PM

Quote: Originally posted by mjs  
I appreciate the posts and info here as I'll never see it on FB.


Thank you for posting!
Not only do many people have issues with Facebook, there are countless viewers here who never post or are not even Nomads.
I hope you enjoy what I have still to share.

rts551 - 8-18-2018 at 07:02 PM

Yes. That is why I said if you are not facebook challenged..,.mstr Monitor.

bajatrailrider - 8-18-2018 at 07:14 PM

David thank you for another great write and pictures your time and effort. As far as stupid book never. Keep up the good work love your write ups.

John Harper - 8-18-2018 at 07:29 PM

Another interesting and informative report. Great work, DK!!

John

David K - 8-18-2018 at 07:32 PM

Baja is such a great gift... and never stops giving!

PaulW - 8-19-2018 at 08:16 AM

Quote: Originally posted by David K  
LOL... I would wonder if there is a guard, why have a chained closed gate and why not put the gate by the trailer?
Thanks Paul.

==== =
Sigh the Mexican way. To much trouble and cost to move the gate when security was needed in recent years.
The gate has been there for several years, and the nearest flat place is where his house (trailer) is located. The guy is very nice and walks briskly to the gate, but for sure he has nothing else to do so napping is probably normal. Just be patient while gets to the gate.

PaulW - 8-19-2018 at 08:27 AM

I need to spend a lot more time traveling on Hwy 3. So much more to see that just the highway. Thanks for all the input.
Do you have interest in Jamau and the race summit travel. If so ask for easy directions for you truck. A trip I do each year just for fun.

StuckSucks - 8-19-2018 at 09:16 AM

I have a question about the new section south of Matomi. Is that a new alignment of the highway running to the west of the current pavement or just a clean-up of what is already there? Tell me more.

rts551 - 8-19-2018 at 09:21 AM

Quote: Originally posted by StuckSucks  
I have a question about the new section south of Matomi. Is that a new alignment of the highway running to the west of the current pavement or just a clean-up of what is already there? Tell me more.


Right over the top of the old section. been going on for months. some sections are almost done.

The NEW ROAD to CHAPALA AUG. 16 2018

David K - 8-19-2018 at 09:41 AM

As I mentioned earlier, except for a small crew, the work is currently dead... and has been dead long enough to the point where erosion is taking away dirt from the sides of the road. They are so close to finishing, the logic of using up all the funds to blast through the mountain, only to not finish it or at least open the completed or near completed parts is hard to reason.

In January 2015 pavement reached what is now Km. 167.5 and over 3 1/2 years later they still have a detour sign pointing off to the older road here.

In 2017, just over 1 km. of new blacktop was added. In 2018, a Km. 168 post was added... and that is it for the north end paving. You may, however, stay on the new roadbed over the bridges to Las Arrastras and decide to take the detour or old road via Coco's Corner or if you are in an SUV with good tires and don't mind a couple of slow miles, take the new route (Coco's Bypass road) for interest.

Previous to this year, the unpaved section to Highway one was about 23 miles, via Coco's Corner.

Mile 0.0 (KM. 167.5) A detour road goes right, log continues on the new road. Most traffic still using old road, some use new, going around a small sand berm. There are no missing bridges or hazards other than fallen rocks if using new highway route here.

Mile 0.3 (KM. 168) The last kilometer sign noted.

Mile 0.7 End of paving.

Mile 1.1 Another detour road down to the right to the older road.

Mile 1.6 On a very high bridge. Seen from older route below and to the west.

Mile 2.4 Detour road/old road crosses new. All traffic now uses the new road from here south.

Mile 3.3 Road west to La Turquesa Canyon (not driven this trip).

Mile 5.3 Detour route forks left to the old road via Coco's Corner. Most traffic still uses. Log continues on new highway route.

Mile 5.5 Las Arrastras Bridge. See caves and large arrastra (gold ore grinding wheel) down to the east of the highway. New road bed heads upslope, cutting through ridges. Road base never completed, many rocks to dodge and rain erosion for apparent abandonment of the project.

Mile 10.1 Leave new roadbed (which ends ahead at top of the mountain cut) on detour/access road going down 0.9 mi. to the older road, south from Coco's Corner. This is an SUV/truck/4x4 style road.

Mile 11.0 On old road, damaged construction sign and orange cones are all that mark this junction.

Mile 11.8 Construction camp, parked equipment, almost no activity.

Mile 12.4 New highway will junction about here when completed, coming over the mountain from Mile 10.1 above. This will cut approx. 1 mile from this logged distance when open.

Mile 14.0 Pavement.

Mile 15.5 Detour right, off the pavement to the older road for most vehicles.

Mile 18.5 End of pavement, large sand pile on road, only deep dust (silt) tracks from here to old (detour) road. 1 mile to Highway 1.

Mile 19.5 Highway 1/ Laguna Chapala/ Km. 200 sign for Hwy. 5 end. I will estimate the final kilometer will be reduced to 197 because with the small detour it is 199 kms and the route will cut about 2 kilometers off when it is pushed through to the canyon.


This is 32.2 miles from the Gonzaga Pemex station (Km. 147+) and I estimate when the rest of the new road is open, another 2 kms. will be reduced from the overall distance making it roughly 50 kms from Gonzaga Pemex to Highway 1 rather than the 200-147=53 kms the final sign would indicate.

Map and sat. image in some cases:
Km. 167.5 to Las Arrastras:






Coco's Bypass:






Laguna Chapala Valley:




OK, well that was a lot of work!
I hope it helps or in interesting!
I can add more details later. Let me know if you have questions.
I have more trip report coming: Gonzaga Bay, Octavio's at Puertecitos, and the Laguna Hanson road between Hwy. 3 and Hwy. 2.
:light::bounce::cool:

[Edited on 8-30-2018 by David K]

PHOTOS for this section...

David K - 8-19-2018 at 10:16 AM






Las Arrastras from Highway 5 bridge.








Just past here was the detour down to the older road about where it enters the canyon.


New pavement


End of Hwy. 5 at Hwy. 1.

Going back north to Gonzaga Bay...


Detour well signed, near Construction camp.


That's the section not yet open as seen from the old road.


Back at the Las Arrastras bridge.


Back to the Km. 167 area.




Gonzaga Bay... or Ensenada de San Francisquito!

David K - 8-19-2018 at 12:24 PM

Yes, technically Gonzaga is the small harbor between Papa Fernandez' and Alfonsina's. The bigger, open bay from Alfonsina's to Punta Final is the Ensenada de San Francisquito. But, hey, nobody wants to say all that! Gonzaga Bay works for both!

I go to the bay between El Sacrificio and Punta Final, where I camped at New Years week 2017. A nice break from all the driving was needed. I had no shade, but it was only 91° and some high clouds eased up on the sun.




Punta Final


Looking northward towards El Sacrificio.


Where I 'chilled' for a few hours.


A bit later, after I take a soak...

A go around the area to collect a few twigs to add to my artificial log for a fire when it gets dark... and I see weird stripes ALL OVER the place.


I have never seen so many sidewinder tracks!

I folded my chair, got in my truck, and left! LOL

I got $25 worth of gas at the Gonzaga Pemex... 22.6 liters, 445 pesos. It was 17.80 pesos per dollar and Magna was 19.69/liter. The attendant was a young guy on his cell phone texting (service at Gonzaga or wifi?) but very nice! 20 peso tip!

I drive north, a fast stop at the checkpoint, and am wondering where to crash for the night. I pull off on the Puertecitos paved sideroad (Km. 74.5) and very soon is Octavio's Playa Escondida. It is hot, getting dark, and no other campers are there. Manuel tells me normally it is 250 pesos, but 200 is fine. I pull between palapas and make dinner.









The next morning is beautiful...
Here is just before I leave.



Stay tuned for Day 3 report and photos.



[Edited on 8-19-2018 by David K]

Friday Aug 17 Puertecitos to Laguna Hanson to Tecate

David K - 8-19-2018 at 05:47 PM

Can you guys believe it but I have never been to Laguna Hanson!
Close, from the north... but not to this famous body of water (or mostly mud) named after a murdered American... Here's what I researched for Cameron Steele's Trail of Missions 2017 Itinerary:

Laguna Hanson: A shallow lake named after an American rancher who arrived in the area in 1872 and who was murdered in 1880, nearby, at Rancho El Rayo. A fellow American named Harvey was found guilty of killing Hanson and cooking his remains in a large cast iron pot.

Great stuff, right?

On the way south and on the way north, between San Felipe and Puertecitos, I noted the dozens of campo km. marker locations... I will produce the list and add it to Nomad as well as The South Campos Facebook page... if any of you have an interest.




Km. 20.5+


San Felipe is an attractive landmark with Punta El Machorro being the north end of Bahía San Felipe and Punta Estrella, the south end.

After getting in the salty mud two days earlier, I was so happy to find my favorite car wash open and waiting for business... about 8:30 Friday morning...




This was the big Pemex near the arches (km. 190)... now ARCO!


Hwy. 3 heading west. The checkpoint was amazingly fast and no search.


Borrego Mountain (El Arrajal).

The road to Laguna Hanson begins at Km. 54.5 and there are a few forks along the way, mostly well signed!




A long steady climb from 3,000 ft to over 5,000 ft.




First pines at 5,000 ft and 11 miles from Hwy. 3.










Laguna Hanson, south end... some water!







OK... I will make a road log and continue the trip up to La Rumorosa on Hwy. 2.
STAY TUNED!

Road Log: Hwy. 3 to Hwy. 2 via Laguna Hanson

David K - 8-20-2018 at 08:50 AM

0.0 Miles Hwy. 3 at Km. 54.5 (from Ensenada).
2.7 Fork, go left
3.8 Fork, go right
4.8 Oak Grove
5.2 Fork, go left (elev. 4,000')
11.2 First pine trees (elev. 5,000')
13.7 Rancho El Rayo
15.1 Road right to Rancho La Botella, cattle guard crossing.
16.2 Aserradero (abandoned homes) a former sawmill, elev. 5,277'.
16.4 Food advertised.
17.5 Cabins for rent, food store "Oxxxo".
19.1 Fork, go left.
19.8 LAGUNA HANSON (cabins) 68 pesos camping fee, elev. 5,300'
20.5 Km. 60 sign (37.2 miles from La Rumorosa, Hwy. 2).
22.1 Road east to Rancho San Luis... located above the top of Guadalupe Canyon.
23.8 Km. 55 sign.
24.6 Rancho Rodeo del Rey, an abandoned/ deteriorated hotel/restaurant.
25.0 Rancho Bajío Largo road west.
26.9 Km. 50 sign.
35.6 Rancho El Topo road west.
35.7 Km. 35 sign.
40.4 Former mining area of La Milla.
41.4 Condor road west, elev. 4,916'.
41.9 Km. 25 sign.
42.7 Junction with a road southwest from Las Margaritas.
44.4 Road to the east.
45.6 Rancho La Ponderosa road east.
47.2 Km. 17 sign.
48.7 Rancho Nuevo road east
53.1 Km. 7, 'Inspection' station, open gate.
55.1 Blacktop paved road begins.
55.4 Parques Los Potrillos and El Tesoro campgrounds.
57.5 Highway 2 (Km. 72), La Rumorosa.

Here is the 2010 AAA map for a visual of the road location:




The 2009 Baja Almanac of the Sierra Juarez area:



[Edited on 8-20-2018 by David K]

Photos going north from Laguna Hanson:

David K - 8-20-2018 at 09:15 AM






There were dozens of big puddles last Friday!






La Ponderosa has an inviting sign.


Coming down to La Rumorosa.


THE END!

I drive west, get on the toll highway and soon find it is down to one lane wide each way as they convert the blacktop to concrete for several miles.

I reach the border at Tecate about 4 pm Friday and there is NO LINE. One car in front of me and my turn comes and the agent looked at my passport, punched something into his computer, and asked me if I had anything to declare. I was on my way home.

Lots of data to crunch and then incorporate into the Baja Bound Guide including the updating of Highway 5.

The guide may be an online or printed, but either way, it is made to be updated as things change or more roads are added. No guide is 'current' as something can change the day after I was there. The idea is to provide recent, detailed, and accurate road and location information to show some of the many interesting places to visit in this fascinating peninsula of California!

Thank you and I hope you enjoyed traveling along with me!

South Campos Kilometer List 2018

David K - 8-20-2018 at 11:37 AM

If I could see a sign, then I noted it... from Punta Estrella to Puertecitos. In many places the word 'Campo' was dropped from the name listed:

Km. 8.5 Villa Marina RV Park
Km. 11 La Jolla del Mar
Km. 12 Punta Estrella Beach
Km. 14+ Valle de los Gigantes
Km. 15.5 Pancho's
Km. 17 Rancho Los Potrillos
Km. 20.5+ Rancho Percebú
Km. 31 Bahía Santa María/ La Misión/ Playa Hermosa
Km. 31.5 Baja Beach Resort
Km. 32 Nuevo Mazatlán
Km. 32 El Sahuaro
Km. 33 Playa Linda
Km. 33.5 La Roca
Km. 34 Campo Delicias
Km. 34+ San Pedro
Km. 35+ El Vergel
Km. 35.5-36 Colonia Delicias
Km. 36.5 OM BAJA
Km. 36.5+ La Perlita
Km. 37.5 Diamante
Km. 37.5+ Santa Fe
Km. 38.5+ San Martin
Km. 39.5 Garcia
Km. 39.5+ Playa Mexico
Km. 40+ Rancho Anita
Km. 40.5 Cielito Lindo
Km. 40.5+ Agua Azul
Km. 41.5 Campo Cadena
Km. 42+ Campo Jimenez
Km. 42.5 Los Gorditos
Km. 43.5 Pelicano
Km. 44 Campo Badilla
Km. 45 Campo Adriana
Km. 45.5 Mar y Sol
Km. 45.5 Los Morritios
Km. 46 San José
Km. 47 Rudy's Camp
Km. 47.5 San Francisco
Km. 49 Los Pulpos
Km. 49+ Rancho Las Panteras (El Coloradito Parcela 55)
Km. 49.5 Consuelo (at curve in highway)
Km. 51.5 Playa El Sueño
Km. 52.5 Old Puertecitos Road (Score Race Route)
Km. 52.5+ Costa Verde
Km. 54.5 Playa Cristina
Km. 58.5 Los Olivos
Km. 60 Arroyo Matomí
Km. 60.5 El Pozo
Km. 61-72.5+ DETOUR for new highway work.
Km. 65 El Conquistador
Km. 68.5+ Zimarros
Km. 68.5+ La Violeta
Km. 72+ La Toba
Km. 73 Cow Patty
Km. 74.5 Puertecitos Road (Ocatcio's Playa Escondida access)






[Edited on 8-22-2018 by David K]

ehall - 8-20-2018 at 12:17 PM

Lots more great info. Thanks. Glad you got to see Laguna Hanson with water in it.

David K - 8-20-2018 at 12:35 PM

I think there was more water in all the road puddles than in the lake! :biggrin:

Great Photos/ Excellent work as always

thebajarunner - 8-20-2018 at 05:15 PM

Thanks as always for the great photos and descriptions.
Been on all of those roads, most of them in the past year
Always enjoy the detail and quality of your reports

As to your critics

"Illegitimi non Carborundum"

Which loosely translates "Don't let the Ba$tards$ grind you down"

David K - 8-20-2018 at 07:28 PM

Thank you, Dick.
They have tried to upset me for 18 years and I still know that folks like you enjoy tripping in Baja the way I do and report back.
I am seeing a lot of posts on Facebook about Danny Thompson's speed run. Pretty cool he is following his father so closely, so late in his life!

bajaric - 8-21-2018 at 06:18 AM

Nice report. I got rained on the Sierra Juarez a couple weeks ago. The rain there seems to run off quickly and the decomposed granite soil does not grow very much grass even if it rains, its tough being a cow there. I think you should invest in a cargo net and an EZ up. The cargo net secures stuff and discourages pilferage by thirsty roadside ratones and also you would have some shade.

David K - 8-21-2018 at 08:10 AM

Quote: Originally posted by bajaric  
Nice report. I got rained on the Sierra Juarez a couple weeks ago. The rain there seems to run off quickly and the decomposed granite soil does not grow very much grass even if it rains, its tough being a cow there. I think you should invest in a cargo net and an EZ up. The cargo net secures stuff and discourages pilferage by thirsty roadside ratones and also you would have some shade.


A camper is a nice idea, as even an Instant Tent and air mattress is a small hassle. The problem is I use my truck for work/ tools/ parts and while 2017 was a HUGE year with 8 trips and 12,000 miles in Baja for the Baja Bound Road Guide and Map, this year, only the one trip (so-far) and us getting older and poorer (lol) the number of Baja vacations may not be very high. So, the idea of a camper shell on my bed was passed over. I have never had anything stolen out of my truck bed... in Baja or here in the USA. Knock on wood!

David K - 8-21-2018 at 08:32 AM

Here are my GPS TRACK maps for the Laguna Hanson road, going north from Hwy. 3 to Hwy. 2, La Rumorosa:






DouglasP - 8-21-2018 at 04:21 PM

Quote: Originally posted by rts551  
Yes. That is why I said if you are not facebook challenged..,.mstr Monitor.


Damn, dude.....
I will never sign up for ghey book, so this is helpful for me.

JZ - 8-21-2018 at 04:44 PM

Quote: Originally posted by rts551  
Yes. That is why I said if you are not facebook challenged..,.mstr Monitor.


Facebook is horrible. Beyond horrible.


blackwolfmt - 8-21-2018 at 05:53 PM

DK, I dont always agree with ur opinions on certain subjects, But gotta say your pics maps ect.. of SOB are a WEALTH of info and very enjoyable too look at and read, thanks for the grt work

David K - 8-21-2018 at 06:00 PM

Thank you. It seems to be what I was born to, travel Baja and document my trips!

I still have all the pages of notes from our July 1973 trip to Loreto and the Baja highway was still nearly 200 miles from being done and maybe 75 miles on the old main road (Agua Dulce to Laguna Chapala) where the dozers hadn't even plowed the route yet. They built that final nearly 300 miles (San Quintin to San Ignacio) all in 1973. Four years for just 20 final miles of Hwy. 5, still not done!

DaliDali - 8-21-2018 at 06:55 PM

Quote: Originally posted by rts551  
Quote: Originally posted by JZ  
Quote: Originally posted by rts551  
Yes. That is why I said if you are not facebook challenged..,.mstr Monitor.


Facebook is horrible. Beyond horrible.



Fine. Don't go there. Many of us, including your disciple, DK, use both. In Facebook we can post photos very easy and you have a huge audience (39000 members on Talk Baja)....Here you can dominate the conversation if you so desire. Freedom is great.



David is no ones disciple ok?
Some like his information and some don't.
You don't....that is obvious. Do you feel overmatched in Baja knowledge and want a slice of that knowledge pie?

As another poster who you flamed opined.....you chase DK like a dog looking for a hydrant. Anyone who frequents this board can see this.
While DK always responds to you in friendship and with respect.

And here you are again......belittling him, suggesting he has disciples.....really?.....get over it.

From the palm tree, to his accounts of Hwy 5.....there you are, doing your damnedest to get in some digs.

Get off Baja Nomads.....resign....no one will miss your style of interaction with other Baja travelers or residents.

1-2-3.....JJJ, Goat and now RTS.....the top disruptors


rts551 - 8-21-2018 at 07:08 PM

Quote: Originally posted by DaliDali  
Quote: Originally posted by rts551  
Quote: Originally posted by JZ  
Quote: Originally posted by rts551  
Yes. That is why I said if you are not facebook challenged..,.mstr Monitor.


Facebook is horrible. Beyond horrible.



Fine. Don't go there. Many of us, including your disciple, DK, use both. In Facebook we can post photos very easy and you have a huge audience (39000 members on Talk Baja)....Here you can dominate the conversation if you so desire. Freedom is great.



David is no ones disciple ok?
Some like his information and some don't.
You don't....that is obvious. Do you feel overmatched in Baja knowledge and want a slice of that knowledge pie?

As another poster who you flamed opined.....you chase DK like a dog looking for a hydrant. Anyone who frequents this board can see this.
While DK always responds to you in friendship and with respect.

And here you are again......belittling him, suggesting he has disciples.....really?.....get over it.

From the palm tree, to his accounts of Hwy 5.....there you are, doing your damnedest to get in some digs.

Get off Baja Nomads.....resign....no one will miss your style of interaction with other Baja travelers or residents.

1-2-3.....JJJ, Goat and now RTS.....the top disruptors

I do not have to compete when it comes to Baja knowledge. When it comes to palm tress..yes you are correct Lol.

If you really look, you will find many of my posts that have nothing to do with David. 1000,s of posts.

The disciple comment is because I always expect people to jump out to his defense...Its the nature of this forum. Like JR used to say... The COOP.


DaliDali - 8-21-2018 at 07:18 PM

Quote: Originally posted by rts551  
Quote: Originally posted by DaliDali  
Quote: Originally posted by rts551  
Quote: Originally posted by JZ  
Quote: Originally posted by rts551  
Yes. That is why I said if you are not facebook challenged..,.mstr Monitor.


Facebook is horrible. Beyond horrible.



Fine. Don't go there. Many of us, including your disciple, DK, use both. In Facebook we can post photos very easy and you have a huge audience (39000 members on Talk Baja)....Here you can dominate the conversation if you so desire. Freedom is great.



David is no ones disciple ok?
Some like his information and some don't.
You don't....that is obvious. Do you feel overmatched in Baja knowledge and want a slice of that knowledge pie?

As another poster who you flamed opined.....you chase DK like a dog looking for a hydrant. Anyone who frequents this board can see this.
While DK always responds to you in friendship and with respect.

And here you are again......belittling him, suggesting he has disciples.....really?.....get over it.

From the palm tree, to his accounts of Hwy 5.....there you are, doing your damnedest to get in some digs.

Get off Baja Nomads.....resign....no one will miss your style of interaction with other Baja travelers or residents.

1-2-3.....JJJ, Goat and now RTS.....the top disruptors

I do not have to compete when it comes to Baja knowledge. When it comes to palm tress..yes you are correct Lol.

If you really look, you will find many of my posts that have nothing to do with David. 1000,s of posts.

The disciple comment is because I always expect people to jump out to his defense...Its the nature of this forum. Like JR used to say... The COOP.



Would it kill you to be a bit respectful and courteous when responding to any of DK's post?....like he is with you?...
Snarks do not serve anyone.
Is that too much to ask?

DaliDali - 8-21-2018 at 08:06 PM

More snarks.......sad

rts551 - 8-21-2018 at 08:11 PM

Quote: Originally posted by DaliDali  
More snarks.......sad


Your own snarks are getting old. I am done.

bajabuddha - 8-21-2018 at 08:32 PM

rts, DK owns this site... stated he was ''second in command" ... told me personally once, then denied it later, insinuating it was a doppelganger in a foreign body talking to me. He is truly the one and only Nomania ruler of the site at the pleasure of his liege, the owner. You don't stand a chance arguing with him on any topic as he will of course have a come-back and counter-point.

The old adage, "the old dog you can't teach new tricks to, chances are you never could".

And as usual, yet another thread morphed into all about DK.

Mee, mee, mee.

Mee, my , I.

Mee, my, mickey my,

My, I, I,

Mickey My, I, mee, mee, mee,

Mickey Mee My, I.

:P

Move on, dude. :coolup:

Post script : also had an employer many years ago running his business into the ground. In answer he replied, "My train set".

Keep smilin'

[Edited on 8-22-2018 by bajabuddha]

willardguy - 8-21-2018 at 08:55 PM

God bless you Ron :yes:

rts551 - 8-21-2018 at 08:57 PM

Quote: Originally posted by bajabuddha  
rts, DK owns this site... stated he was ''second in command" ... told me personally once, then denied it later, insinuating it was a doppelganger in a foreign body talking to me. He is truly the one and only Nomania ruler of the site at the pleasure of his liege, the owner. You don't stand a chance arguing with him on any topic as he will of course have a come-back and counter-point.

The old adage, "the old dog you can't teach new tricks to, chances are you never could".

And as usual, yet another thread morphed into all about DK.

Mee, mee, mee.

Mee, my , I.

Mee, my, mickey my,

My, I, I,

Mickey My, I, mee, mee, mee,

Mickey Mee My, I.

:P

Move on, dude. :coolup:

Post script : also had an employer many years ago running his business into the ground. In answer he replied, "My train set".

Keep smilin'

[Edited on 8-22-2018 by bajabuddha]
:light:

BajaNomad - 8-21-2018 at 10:32 PM

Quote: Originally posted by bajabuddha  
DK... is truly the one and only Nomania ruler...


This comment indicates both a lack of understanding of what's involved in providing this resource for the community for the past 16 years, and is disrespectful of your host.

David K - 8-22-2018 at 07:21 AM

Exactly, Doug runs this show 100%. About the only help I can provide is to show the few here who post over-sized photos how to easily stay within the Nomad limit and save Doug some valuable time for him so he doesn't need to resize those photos. Wish I could do more, Doug!

David K - 8-22-2018 at 09:16 AM

Earlier in this thread, I posted the kilometer list for the South Campos and other places (Punta Estrella to Puertecitos).

After sharing the list on the South Campos Facebook page, I got a lot of requests to add in the places I did not see a sign for, plus other things.

Here is the edited list, now starting at Km. 0, to Puertecitos:

South Campos Kilometer List Aug.17, 2018

Km. 0 Airport Road (6.1 miles from San Felipe traffic circle)
Km. 1 La Hacienda
Km. 6 San Fernando*
Km. 6.5 Residence "Camping" (El Faro Beach)
Km. 6.5+ La Perla del Mar*
Km. 8.5 Villa Marina RV Park.
Km. 9 Campo Lobo*
Km. 11 La Jolla del Mar
Km. 12 Punta Estrella Beach
Km. 14+ Valle de los Gigantes
Km. 15.5 Pancho's
Km. 17 Rancho Los Potrillos
Km. 20.5+ Rancho Percebu.
Km. 26+ Shell Island access road (4WD)
Km. 31 Bahía Santa María/ San Carlos*/ La Misión/ Playa Hermosa
Km. 31.5 Baja Beach Resort
Km. 32 Nuevo Mazatlán
Km. 32 El Sahuaro
Km. 32.5 La Joya*
Km. 33 Playa Linda
Km. 33.5 La Roca
Km. 34 Campo Delicias
Km. 34+ San Pedro.
Km. 35 Fire Station*
Km. 35+ El Vergel
Km. 35.5 Lupita*
Km. 35.5-36 Colonia Delicias (TOWN) See note D, below.
Km. 36 Esmeralda*
Km. 36.5 OM BAJA/ Punta Loma*
Km. 36.5+ La Perlita
Km. 37.5 Diamante
Km. 37.5+ Santa Fe
Km. 38.5+ San Martin
Km. 39.5 Garcia
Km. 39.5+ Playa Mexico
Km. 40+ Rancho Anita
Km. 40.5 Cielito Lindo
Km. 40.5+ Agua Azul
Km. 41.5 Campo Cadena
Km. 42+ Campo Jimenez
Km. 42.5 Los Gorditos
Km. 43 San Antonio*
Km. 43.5 Pelicano
Km. 44 Campo Badilla.
Km. 44.5 Playa Gabriela*
Km. 45 Campo Adriana
Km. 45.5 Mar y Sol
Km. 45.5 Los Morritios
Km. 46 San José
Km. 47 Rudy's Camp
Km. 47.5 San Francisco
Km. 49 Los Pulpos
Km. 49+ Rancho Las Panteras (El Coloradito Parcela 55)
Km. 49.5 Consuelo (at curve in highway)
Km. 51.5 Playa El Sueño
Km. 52.5 Old Puertecitos Road (Score Race Route)
Km. 52.5+ Costa Verde
Km. 54.5 Playa Cristina
Km. 58.5 Los Olivos
Km. 60 Arroyo Matomí
Km. 60.5 El Pozo
Km. 61-72.5+ DETOUR for new highway work.
Km. 65 El Conquistador
Km. 68.5+ Zimarros
Km. 68.5+ La Violeta
Km. 72+ La Toba
Km. 73 Cow Patty
Km. 74.5 Puertecitos Road (Octavio's Playa Escondida access)


note D*: In Colonia Delicias is Chelo's Restaurant, South Campos Community Center, Marino’s Restaurant, Josefina’s Laundry and Car Wash, Tita’s Taco Tuesday Restaurant, Aniceto's Restaurant, Police Station, Amazona Market

* = Edits added from South Campos Facebook members

My kilometer system is this: Km. 20 (for example) is at or within sight of the marker. Km. 20+ is about 1/4 kilometer marker past. Km. 20.5 is about half a kilometer past. Km. 20.5+ is about 3/4 a kilometer past.

If I could see a sign, then I noted it... from Punta Estrella to Puertecitos. In many places, the word 'Campo' was dropped from the name listed.



[Edited on 8-23-2018 by David K]

motoged - 8-22-2018 at 10:04 AM

David,
We have at least two things in common.....a love for Baja....and 20 year old camp chairs from Costco....:D



Thanks for the update....

David K - 8-22-2018 at 10:32 AM

Exactly right.. bought that one at Costco in 2002 or thereabouts.

PaulW - 8-22-2018 at 12:48 PM

Looks like what Harbor Freight sells these days for 19.99. And I like them. And they are a perfect fit in the back of my Jeep. The things have a shelf but no cup holder on the shelf so I have to use the cloth bag on the side for my drink.

thebajarunner - 8-22-2018 at 02:27 PM

I have one without the shelf.... Hate the shelf!!
When you gather round the campfire the shelves are always encroaching on valuable space.
Don't remember where I got mine but it has made 21 annual Baja trips.
We opened a new subdivision last weekend and I sat under the canopy and greeted customers, somehow that comfy old chair looked just a tad out of place in a first class setting.

steviecroc - 8-22-2018 at 08:09 PM

David, thanks so very much for your time, effort, and sharing with us about Baja.
We are putting a trip together for early next year after a 12 year absence from
Baja.
Thanks again, Steve & Cheryl

David K - 8-22-2018 at 08:21 PM

My pleasure, Steve. Please see my 2017 trip reports (#1-7) to have a look at much of the rest of my peninsula-wide research trips.

Great stuff!

El Vergel - 8-24-2018 at 07:53 AM

Hi David, what a fabulous trip report. Thanks for the share.

I especially enjoyed your images and description of El Alamo and Laguna Hanson. Please let me join the next adventure in search of Melchoir.

Those sidewinder tracks were no bueno! Good move. And, you got stuck in the mud at Shell!!! lol! I'll bet you'll be back to the Baja within 6 months.

Peace to All, Viva Baja!

David K - 8-24-2018 at 09:23 AM

I hope so Vern!!

Thanks for the offer of co-driver, again. It was really fun traveling with you in 2011 on out Lost Mission hunt with other Nomads (BajaCat, TMW, dtbushpilot, XRPhil, and the late bajalou).

I didn't get 'stuck' as much as my 'forward advance was halted'! Luckily, the Tacoma's locking differential and A-TRAC, combined, got me out so my feet never got muddy!

kevin_in_idaho - 8-25-2018 at 07:29 AM

Awesome write up. Last time I was at Laguna Hanson was in the 80ies. Snowed on us!

David K - 8-29-2018 at 08:40 AM

Thanks, Kevin!
It was a nice drive, pretty easy all the way from Hwy. 3 to Hwy. 2. Big puddles, many unavoidable were on the road north of Laguna Hanson.
The pine trees are a different scenery of long Baja drives as I am more used to boojum trees and cardón cacti!

David K - 9-4-2018 at 04:51 PM

Revised map for the south end of Hwy. 5 changes:



I left the Coco's bypass (new highway route) as dashed lines since it is unfinished and the south detour to the old route is pretty rough for non-4WD vehicles, even though it is less than a mile long. As it is now, most traffic should exit the new roadbed at Las Arrastras and continue via Coco's Corner. The 3.0 miles of 4.5 miles of paved road in the Chapala Valley is also unusable to most vehicles because of the big dirt berm placed at the south end (1 mile from Hwy. 1) with a short deep silt detour to the rest of the road. None-the-less, the paved road is there awaiting the job to be completed... someday!

Estimated Kilometer #s and current road log south of Km. 168

David K - 9-5-2018 at 08:21 AM

Using the newest sections of road where possible south of the first detour sign at Km. 167.5.

KM. 168 The last kilometer sign noted, 21 kms. south of Gonzaga Pemex, and 1/2 km. south of detour sign, in place since 2014.

Mile 0.0 End of paving, Km. 168.5+ [Km. figures south from here are estimated along new highway]

Mile 0.4 [Km. 169.5] Another detour road down to the right to the older road.

Mile 0.9 [Km. 170+] On a very high bridge. Seen from older route below and to the west.

Mile 1.7 [Km. 171.5] Detour road/old road crosses new. All traffic now uses the new road from here south.

Mile 2.6 [Km. 173+] Road west to La Turquesa Canyon (not driven this trip).

Mile 4.6 [Km. 176] Detour route forks left to the old road via Coco's Corner. Most traffic still uses. Log continues on new highway route.

Mile 4.8 [Km. 176.5] Las Arrastras Bridge. See caves and large arrastra (gold ore grinding wheel) down to the east of the highway. New road bed heads upslope, cutting through ridges. Road base never completed, many rocks to dodge and rain erosion for apparent abandonment of the project.

Mile 9.4 [Km. 183.5+] Leave new roadbed (which ends ahead at top of the mountain cut) on detour/access road going down 0.9 mi. to the older road, south from Coco's Corner. This is an SUV/truck/4x4 style road.

Mile 10.3 On old road, damaged construction sign and orange cones are all that mark this junction.

Mile 11.1 Construction camp, parked equipment, almost no activity.

Mile 11.7 [Km. 186] New highway will junction about here when completed, coming over the mountain from Mile 9.4 above. This will cut approx. 1 mile from this logged distance when open.

Mile 13.3 [Km. 188.5] Pavement begins, Aug. 16, 2018.

Mile 14.8 [Km. 191] Detour right, off the pavement to the older road, for most vehicles.

Mile 17.8 [Km. 195.5+] End of pavement, large sand pile on road, only deep dust (silt) tracks from here to old (detour) road. 1 mile to Highway 1.

Mile 18.8 [Km. 197+] Highway 1/ Laguna Chapala/ Km. 200 sign for Hwy. 5 end. I will estimate the final kilometer will be reduced to 197 because with the small detour it is 199 kms and the route will cut about 2 kilometers off when it is pushed through to the canyon.



[Edited on 9-5-2018 by David K]

norte - 12-7-2018 at 07:34 PM

Why bump this thread. With all the storm damage, it is more than sightly out of date.

David K - 12-7-2018 at 07:49 PM

Quote: Originally posted by norte  
Why bump this thread. With all the storm damage, it is more than sightly out of date.

Thanks for asking. There is much more to this report than the portion of Hwy. 5 that was damaged, and that was in October, 2 months after I was there.
This report covers all of Hwy. 3, both of them as well as both roads to Laguna Hanson. Perhaps you missed all that focussing on the small part of my post that covered where the highway was damaged.
I bump up posts when I get a u2u request from people seeking photos or data that I have. Do you have a trip report to help Nomads plan a trip you can share?
Happy Festivus!

David K - 7-6-2019 at 09:36 AM

:light: