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Author: Subject: Mountain Roads around Loreto
David K
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[*] posted on 11-7-2017 at 09:34 AM


Thanks Tim, so it sounds like to go from San Javier to Comondú, a 4WD may still be needed for the mesa climb/drop?



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[*] posted on 11-7-2017 at 11:05 AM


Quote: Originally posted by Desertbull  
just drove this last week in my dodge 4WD w/37's and it was easy ... nothing different and no grading but it didn't really need it ... the steep section is hard rock and it wasn't gnarly just go slow ... the rest was, "well Baja beauty" ... always love it because it sees such little traffic ...


What part are you talking about right now, San Javier to Comondú/La Purisima.

Or La Purisima to Hwy 1?

We have been jumping around and just want to be clear.

Tehag indicated Javier to La Purisima to be pretty difficult right now.


[Edited on 11-7-2017 by JZ]
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[*] posted on 11-7-2017 at 11:22 AM


JZ, he was responding to the San Javier to Comondú road question with that answer.

Tehag was talking about different roads and he did not say when locals discouraged him from the Comondú to San Isidro drive. I can tell you once you were out of the Comondú valley drainage you were 'flying' on the mesa top to San Isidro last February. How often 'locals' drive these roads vs the trend to be polite and provide an answer is worth thinking of too.




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[*] posted on 11-7-2017 at 11:36 AM


Good. We are going ride our bikes through there, truck following, in the next couple weeks.



[Edited on 11-7-2017 by JZ]
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[*] posted on 11-7-2017 at 03:41 PM


Quote: Originally posted by JZ  
Good. We are going ride our bikes through there, truck following, in the next couple weeks.


I sure hope you are able to avoid rush hour. When I did that route last Thanksgiving, I encountered two German tourists on bicycles!

They said that it was part of a published trekking route called "The Baja divide"! I can envision bicycles getting jammed up at some of the technical areas, tempers flaring, trek rage, the works! :tumble:

On edit; That was the only traffic I encountered

[Edited on 11-7-2017 by AKgringo]




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[*] posted on 11-7-2017 at 04:39 PM


All my updates were in the past 2 months.



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[*] posted on 11-7-2017 at 04:43 PM


Thanks tehag.
Too bad if that road advice caused you to not see La Purísima. Once you were out of the Comondú canyon, it was one of the better roads in Baja I have been on this year.




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[*] posted on 11-7-2017 at 06:03 PM


Quote: Originally posted by tehag  
All my updates were in the past 2 months.


So were you saying San Javier to Comondú is pretty tough right now?
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[*] posted on 11-7-2017 at 06:20 PM


Just the grades up and down the mesa (between Palo Chino and El Horno).

Desert Bull said (above) it was no problem, although, like me, he drives a 4WD truck (his is much bigger and heavier). Just use low range and go slow over the rough spots... it is Baja, after all.

If it wasn't improved by that skip loader or anyone else, then it is probably how I reported it in February (see my map above where it says 4WD). tehag didn't drive his GMC over it, he turned back.




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[*] posted on 11-7-2017 at 10:44 PM


We are going to find out soon. Got about 6 rides planned out over 12 days.




[Edited on 11-8-2017 by BajaNomad]
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[*] posted on 11-8-2017 at 07:14 AM


I guess I should add when we came upon the rolled dozer in March the car in front of us was a local in a Honda CRV.
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[*] posted on 11-8-2017 at 09:57 AM


Quote: Originally posted by y2kbaja  
I guess I should add when we came upon the rolled dozer in March the car in front of us was a local in a Honda CRV.


Locals drive all sorts of cars into places tourists would never try! :light::lol:




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[*] posted on 11-11-2017 at 08:43 PM


Well. Thank you everyone for the input. I'm not sure what to make of it all, however. I guess I'll either go for it or I won't.

I wanted to go to La Purisima / San Isidro but I'm just not interested in driving all the way around on pavement, at least not both ways. I really wanted to get into the mountains. And most of the westside road looks horribly boring.

Maybe I'll go to South out of San Javier and if I have to turn around I will. It sounds like that is the best option in a rental sedan.

And thanks David for the map. It helped put it all together. I am pretty unfamiliar with the area and the town names and get confused easily. But let me ask; what is the difference between 'rough' and '4wd'? Does 'rough' require high clearance or just slow going? I assume '4wd' requires high clearance, 4x4 and low range?
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[*] posted on 11-11-2017 at 11:30 PM


Quote: Originally posted by Gscott  
Well. Thank you everyone for the input. I'm not sure what to make of it all, however. I guess I'll either go for it or I won't.

I wanted to go to La Purisima / San Isidro but I'm just not interested in driving all the way around on pavement, at least not both ways. I really wanted to get into the mountains. And most of the westside road looks horribly boring.

Maybe I'll go to South out of San Javier and if I have to turn around I will. It sounds like that is the best option in a rental sedan.

And thanks David for the map. It helped put it all together. I am pretty unfamiliar with the area and the town names and get confused easily. But let me ask; what is the difference between 'rough' and '4wd'? Does 'rough' require high clearance or just slow going? I assume '4wd' requires high clearance, 4x4 and low range?


'Rough' means rocky roadbed and slow driving for most of us... but 2WD is fine, however no low sports cars, naturally.

Pickups and SUVs are what anyone driving off the pavement in Baja should have, 4WD if you want to have extra insurance you can get through without drastic measures or damaging your vehicle since 4WD allows you to crawl slowly up steep grades whereas 2WD requires a run at it for momentum.

'4WD' means steep grades up or down. 4WD low range makes the worst parts easy for the experienced. Tire placement is crucial to have a safe drive. Always put your tires on the high parts of the road so you give the underside of your vehicle maximum clearance from rocks or high crown centers. Save the oil pan, gas tank, muffler, driveline!

The Rough Road from San Isidro east to Hwy. 1 was really just no fun to drive and I would avoid it. The best part was the view of the Purísima Valley and El Pilón from the grade climbing out of the valley.

The 4WD parts of the road between San Javier Hwy. and San José Comondú means that if they didn't regrade it since my trip last February, you really should have 4WD, but locals in pickups (or Honda Pilots) apparently get through.

The road from Comondú north (or northwest) to San Isidro/La Purísima was very good, recently repaired as of last February with only the first couple of miles climbing away from Comondú being 'rough' driving. I think it is all detailed in my Trip #2 report.

You can make some interesting pretzel-like driving loops to see all the oasis towns and avoid the 4WD or long rough section I mentioned. Don't let Bad roads stop you having a Good time! Just drive slow, don't be in a hurry when you arrive... I was on a time schedule and only over-nighted in La Purísima at the tiny semi-rustic motel there, it was quite fine with 300 channels of satellite TV, even! Spend time in both Comondú villages as well around La Purísma. They have installed many informative signs and whitewashed rock-lined paths to see the mission dam and oasis. More done when I was there last August from last February.

Gasoline: Have plenty, top off at the closest Pemex. Independents do sell gas out if cans in San Miguel Comondú (and other places), but you need to ask (quietly)where, as the governor still has ruled this activity illegal (but highly necessary do to the void of Pemex stations.

[Edited on 11-12-2017 by David K]




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[*] posted on 11-19-2017 at 08:28 AM


Rent a Jeep and be sure you are insured for off pavement. The road from San Javier to San Isidro was OK in my 4X4 Tundra last April. Hotel in Comondu is very nice. Hotels in S Isidro less so. Return south on paved roads with many really bad potholes on the main highway. Go slow there.
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[*] posted on 11-19-2017 at 09:20 AM


We will be doing the road San Javier, to Comondu, to San Isidro, to
San Juanico. next week. We did the same last year, road was great
with the Bronco. Also saw the Germans on the bicycle's! Crazy"s!


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[*] posted on 11-19-2017 at 09:39 AM


Looking forward to your trip report!



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[*] posted on 11-20-2017 at 05:34 PM


Quote: Originally posted by Marc  
Rent a Jeep and be sure you are insured for off pavement. The road from San Javier to San Isidro was OK in my 4X4 Tundra last April. Hotel in Comondu is very nice. Hotels in S Isidro less so. Return south on paved roads with many really bad potholes on the main highway. Go slow there.


You can reserve a jeep wrangler 4x4 in Loreto. Having a reservation will have no bearing on whether there is actually a jeep wrangler 4x4 available, however. Ask me how I know. I did arrange for a 2wd jeep liberty later this week. I think. Supposedly.

So we'll see how that goes. Thanks for the tips!
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