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ScottS
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[*] posted on 3-1-2017 at 10:53 PM


Quote: Originally posted by David K  
Well, if the tide is out far enough (and especially near the Quarter Moon phases), you drive right out to the beach. You will find few if any people there, and usually never any over-night campers. Even if you do, the island is four miles long, so you have many crowd-free options. ENJOY!

[and if you are not used to sand driving, if you begin to bog down: stop instantly].

Don't spin your tires at all! Let more air out of your tires... look for them to bulge. Get a low-pressure gauge. 8-12 psi range for some truck tires is necessary. Try 15-20 first, 4WD-HIGH, as low range may just want to spin you down... too much power. It's about floatation, not power. If you have traction control options, I use mine and the limited slip really improves the drivability.

I made a test to show how just lowering the pressure was like night and day...

Left the tires at street pressure (32 psi then, 2010 stock tires, new truck):

2010 Post:

We returned to our favorite beach in Baja last Saturday (July 17, 2010) with a heavy load of camping gear including two full ice chests and 6-gallon tank of water.

Two weeks earlier we discovered with the heat and heavy load, the Traction Control in H4 alone couldn't keep us moving (as it had last winter with a light load).

Again, we did cross the expanse of sand to the water's edge, but the truck struggled in the sand. I also tried A-TRAC in L4, but it still wanted to dig in. Once the air pressure was dropped to 15 PSI, I moved on with ease (in H4).

I took photos where I deflated the tires and seeing the two sides is pretty dramatic.

32 PSI the truck was digging in and moving slightly sideways on the steep beach. Once deflated to 15 PSI, the truck 'floated' on the sand and drove straight. I circled back to take these photos.



Thanks for the info on PSI and Shell island. That'll be useful.

Quote: Originally posted by David K  
As wilderone says, nearly everyone in Baja is nice (why not, it is the greatest place to be)!

Most of the "Campos" are not camping places but are private home locations or places with lots for long term leasing.

In the new map/guide I am working on, I have been documenting only the camping places. If the signage on the highway is not clear, then I investigate.

My first research trip was from Km. 0 (south of San Felipe town) to Punta San Francisquito.

Trip Two was from San Ignacio to Loreto area (and west to La Purisima).

Trip Three will be (I think) Mexicali to San Felipe (so I can check out all the places north of town).... and then desert camping possibilities, like all the canyons to the west of San Felipe down to Matomi.

Once it stops raining, then I can work on the Pacific side.

Here are the Highway 5 camping places I recorded south of San Felipe. Again, if they are only home locations and not campgrounds or RV parks, then they are not included. Distance to camp from highway included.

Km. 0 is 6.1 miles from downtown traffic circle, left turn off airport road.
Km. 6.5 El Faro Beach (no name on lighthouse sign, just spray painted "Camping") 0.5 mi to gate.
Km. 8.5 Villa Marina RV Park and palapas 0.3 mi.
Km. 12 Punta Estrella Beach 0.9 mi.
Km. 20.5+ Rancho Percebu 2.3 mi.
Km. 26+ Shell Island (no services, just beach) 4WD only 2.0 mi.
Km. 32 Nuevo Mazatlan 0.5 mi.
Km. 72+ Campo La Toba 0.1 mi.
Km. 74.5 PUERTECITOS paved road: 0.2 mi. to Octavio's Playa Escondida road (0.3 mi. in). 0.9 mi. to Puertecitos camping palapas (go left after Pemex station).
Km. 82 Beach no services
Km. 83 Bahía Cristina
Km. 84.5 La Costilla 0.4 mi.
Km. 103 Nacho's El Huerfanito
Km. 105.5 Campo Tano (future home lot campo)
Km. 133.5 Punta Bufeo (motel) 1.4 mi.
Km. 143 El Faro 1.6 mi. No services.
Km. 143+ Papa Fernendez' Resort (camping) 1.1 mi.
Km. 147 Alfonsina's Resort (motel), 1.8 mi. in, first left after Pemex.
Km. 147+ Rancho Grande palapa camping, 1.2 mi., second driveway after Pemex.
Km. 149+ Camp Beluga 2 mi., El Sacrificio 4 mi.
Km. 156 Punta Final 6.3 mi.


Are your KM markings from San Felipe, or just the KM markings on route 5? I guess I'm curious if they're marked like American highway systems or not?
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David K
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[*] posted on 3-1-2017 at 11:14 PM


The Mexican highways have kilometer markers, some places they are missing (like just south of Nuevo Rosarito) and sometimes they are moved. But, that is pretty rare.

My list above are the kilometer marker signs on Hwy. 5, south from the San Felipe airport road. Km. 0 is 6.1 miles from the traffic circle in San Felipe (the one with Pemex stations on each side).

If a location is close to half a kilometer from the last/ next sign, I add the .5. If it is a hundred or two hundred feet beyond then I add the +.

[Edited on 3-2-2017 by David K]




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ScottS
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[*] posted on 3-1-2017 at 11:37 PM


Quote: Originally posted by David K  
The Mexican highways have kilometer markers, some places they are missing (like just south of Nuevo Rosarito) and sometimes they are moved. But, that is pretty rare.

My list above are the kilometer marker signs on Hwy. 5, south from the San Felipe airport road. Km. 0 is 6.1 miles from the traffic circle in San Felipe (the one with Pemex stations on each side).

If a location is close to half a kilometer from the last/ next sign, I add the .5. If it is a hundred or two beyond then I add the +.


Copy that. Thanks for the clarification.

Your posts have been tremendously helpful, and I'm becoming very excited for my trip! :tumble:
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[*] posted on 3-2-2017 at 08:48 AM


Great to hear Scott!
I will be in Baja for the next several days continuing my research. 2017 Trip Report #3 coming when I get back.




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ScottS
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[*] posted on 3-3-2017 at 02:24 AM


Quote: Originally posted by David K  
Great to hear Scott!
I will be in Baja for the next several days continuing my research. 2017 Trip Report #3 coming when I get back.


I'll keep an eye for it!
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[*] posted on 3-4-2017 at 06:51 PM


David, what's the story on firewood? Can it be brought over from the US, or does it need to be bought in Baja?
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[*] posted on 3-4-2017 at 06:54 PM


no firewood crossing the border.
Tryat any OXXO or figure out how to do without.
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[*] posted on 3-4-2017 at 07:01 PM


Quote: Originally posted by PaulW  
no firewood crossing the border.
Tryat any OXXO or figure out how to do without.


Glad I asked, thanks for the reply. Do those same rules apply to food in coolers? I don't want to buy food state side just to have to throw it away.
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[*] posted on 3-5-2017 at 07:08 PM


Agree with David, you can't go wrong at Shell Island or Rancho Percebu for April. Weather is usually perfect in April.
Percebu has camp sites and a bar/cantina and is a frequent watering hole for folks traveling north/south down beach. Will find plenty of friendly people there to discuss future trips.
Shell Island, actually starts just across from the Cantina, then heads south about 5 miles.
Shell Island is pretty cool place and offers pretty good shore fishing at the north end just across from cantina. 5-8# corvina on silver spoons.
A word of advice though, Avoid Percebu over Easter weekend at ALL costs. Packed. Ironically, even with the crowds at Percebu, Shell Island will be pretty much empty of people.
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[*] posted on 3-5-2017 at 07:47 PM


What Pedro said!

As for food, take all you need for your meals. Eat out when you are in civilization because it is great.

I had lunch today at Campo Pomo, just north of Punta Bufeo. A full plate with three halibut filets, salad, rice, beans, tortillas.... and two cold beers for 280 pesos, or $14. I was the only customer from 11:30-12:30.
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ScottS
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[*] posted on 3-7-2017 at 05:30 PM


Quote: Originally posted by bajapedro  
Agree with David, you can't go wrong at Shell Island or Rancho Percebu for April. Weather is usually perfect in April.
Percebu has camp sites and a bar/cantina and is a frequent watering hole for folks traveling north/south down beach. Will find plenty of friendly people there to discuss future trips.
Shell Island, actually starts just across from the Cantina, then heads south about 5 miles.
Shell Island is pretty cool place and offers pretty good shore fishing at the north end just across from cantina. 5-8# corvina on silver spoons.
A word of advice though, Avoid Percebu over Easter weekend at ALL costs. Packed. Ironically, even with the crowds at Percebu, Shell Island will be pretty much empty of people.


Is the marking for shell island pretty obvious from the cantina? Thanks for the heads up as well, I'll be gone by the Friday before Easter, so hopefully I'll have a decently quiet week!


Quote: Originally posted by David K  
What Pedro said!

As for food, take all you need for your meals. Eat out when you are in civilization because it is great.

I had lunch today at Campo Pomo, just north of Punta Bufeo. A full plate with three halibut filets, salad, rice, beans, tortillas.... and two cold beers for 280 pesos, or $14. I was the only customer from 11:30-12:30.
Photos coming.


Man, that's a steal on food! I'll certainly have to eat some of the local food if our driving schedule lines up with restaurant operating hours.
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[*] posted on 3-7-2017 at 06:56 PM


Firewood??? We had it in each vehicle, in mine about 1/8 cord,
Just cover it up,
we take it every time, never been sent back
and there was wood in each of our three vehicles that were xrayed at San Ysidro two weeks ago- went right through.

Great camping spots??
I have several that are (ahem) slightly private
U2U me and I will give you some great leads,
just promise not to post them,
Love sharing them to anyone on a person to person basis
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ScottS
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[*] posted on 3-10-2017 at 10:39 PM


Looks like I'll be in Baja during the next full moon...

Does that impact access to Shell Island at all?
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David K
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[*] posted on 3-10-2017 at 10:57 PM


It can, go at low tide, which will be before noon. Use the diagonal track to the fishermens camp, keep tires in the most worn track... which will have the deepest water if the tide came up over 18'. See the San Felipe tide chart.

If you are not comfortable doing that, camp at Percebu or Nuevo Mazatlan. Otherwise where I camped at Gonzaga over New Years could be nice as it wasn't an established camp.




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ScottS
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[*] posted on 3-10-2017 at 11:05 PM


Quote: Originally posted by David K  
It can, go at low tide, which will be before noon. Use the diagonal track to the fishermens camp, keep tires in the most worn track... which will have the deepest water if the tide came up over 18'. See the San Felipe tide chart.

If you are not comfortable doing that, camp at Percebu or Nuevo Mazatlan. Otherwise where I camped at Gonzaga over New Years could be nice as it wasn't an established camp.


Cool, that's good to know. We'll be leaving OC around 5, so that should get us there before the tide rises. I'll check it out when we get down there, and if it looks sketchy, a few back up plans will be nice. :D
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[*] posted on 4-14-2017 at 11:32 PM


David,

Thanks again for the info on Shell Island. We had a great time!

We didn't quite make it in time to cross over to the island portion of the area, so we set up camp about halfway between the house and the crossing. Came across 12 other souls total the entire 4.5 days there, none camping.

Temps were in the low-mid 80's with a pretty constant sea breeze, and in the shade couldn't have been any nicer. First night we set up closer to the dunes and woke up to a fly infested camp. We quickly packed up and re-set up camp closer to water - 20 feet during high tide. That seemed to eliminate the fly issue the rest of the trip. That and keeping our used trash bags about 30 feet from camp!

It was neat to see the clear water and schools of small fish when we stood still in the water. Lots of birds cruising the water for food. We counted about 4 fishing boats out in the distance towards dusk each night with the hum of their motors against the tide rolling back in. Every night, shortly after dark there'd be a speed boat or two racing in the dark past us. We let our imaginations guess what they might be up to...

Despite me getting burned pretty good due to poor sun screen apply, we still had a great time. Your info was a great help, and we'll for sure be back!







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[*] posted on 4-15-2017 at 06:30 AM


Great that you got there and had such a nice camp set up. The island is 4 miles long so the choices for where to camp are many. My wife can't wait until it warms up more and she has vacation days, soon.



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ScottS
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[*] posted on 4-15-2017 at 09:37 PM


Quote: Originally posted by David K  
Great that you got there and had such a nice camp set up. The island is 4 miles long so the choices for where to camp are many. My wife can't wait until it warms up more and she has vacation days, soon.


We're looking forward to going back. How's the weather in the summer? It was nice in the shade, but a little too warm in the direct sunlight.
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[*] posted on 4-15-2017 at 10:04 PM


Only hotter, but usually close to 90°, so not too hot. The desert gets over 100°, but on the beach is cooler.

What is great about summer there is the sea is warm day or night. Magical, like another planet. If there is a strong daytime breeze then the waves at high tide can make bathing rough. If the lagoons on either end fill, then that provides calm wading.

During the highest tides around a full or new moon then high tide is early afternoon and after midnight.






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ScottS
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[*] posted on 4-17-2017 at 12:09 AM


Quote: Originally posted by David K  
Only hotter, but usually close to 90°, so not too hot. The desert gets over 100°, but on the beach is cooler.

What is great about summer there is the sea is warm day or night. Magical, like another planet. If there is a strong daytime breeze then the waves at high tide can make bathing rough. If the lagoons on either end fill, then that provides calm wading.

During the highest tides around a full or new moon then high tide is early afternoon and after midnight.




Thanks for the heads up. I figured it'd be warmer, but how much more I was unsure of.
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