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Author: Subject: San Francisquito to Mex 1 (through El Arco)
kbrauner
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[*] posted on 2-2-2018 at 08:41 PM
San Francisquito to Mex 1 (through El Arco)


Does anyone have semi-current information on the road from San Francisquito to Mex 1 (through El Arco)?
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JZ
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[*] posted on 2-2-2018 at 10:18 PM


December 2016 you could drive it 50+ mph once you got about 1/2 way. Fastest dirt road I've ever seen in Baja towards the end.



[Edited on 2-4-2018 by JZ]
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David K
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[*] posted on 2-3-2018 at 12:04 AM


June 2017, it was excellent. Maybe on of the best graded dirt roads in Baja!



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PaulW
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[*] posted on 2-3-2018 at 09:50 PM


Drove there 1/21. Same as the other roads. Good shape And nothing unusual.
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[*] posted on 2-4-2018 at 07:53 AM
El Arco/San Francisquito Road photos



Crossing the state border, near El Arco (looking south).


Directions in El Arco


Concrete Grade "Cuesta de la Ley" westbound


Major junction eastbound


Major junction westbound


Smooth graded road, better than some of the paved roads in Baja!





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kbrauner
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[*] posted on 3-29-2018 at 08:21 PM


On March 9, I drove from Bahia de los Angeles to Hwy 1 via Rafael, San Francisquito, and El Arco. From El Arco to reach Hwy 1, I traveled due south and then southwest. The portion from Bahia de los Angeles to San Francisquito was the worst. The portion from San Francisquito to Hwy via El Arco was a dream. I was able to travel 50 miles per hour quite frequently on that stretch. I was driving a 2007 Toyota 4Runner. As I recall I needed its clearance and probably its 4-wheel drive (in any case I used it) for the drive to San Francisquito, but not thereafter. My times were as follows:
Bahia de los Angeles to San Rafael - 2.5 hrs
San Rafael to San Francisquito - 1 hr
San Francisquito to El Arco - 2 hrs
El Arco to Hwy 1 - 1 hr
(For the unaware: all of these roads are unpaved.)


[Edited on 3-30-2018 by kbrauner]

[Edited on 3-30-2018 by kbrauner]
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AKgringo
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[*] posted on 3-29-2018 at 08:43 PM


I drove it heading north on Saturday 3/24. It is in pretty good shape, nearly as good as the report JZ described, with a few detours around the culverts that washed out a couple of years ago. 4x4 was not necessary.

They are working on the road just east of Rancho Piedra Blanca, and west of the cemented portion of the grade. I don't know what the intent is, but where they should have been installing a culvert, or cemented vado, they are using wire mesh baskets filled with large rocks!

I don't get it! They are way worse than any tope, or vado I have ever driven over, and are an extreme hazard for anyone that hits them at speed. Especially on two wheels!

The first heavy rain will probably wash out the fill material on one or both sides of the baskets, leaving a stone wall across the road!

I should also add that the washed out culverts were between the junction with the road to San Francisquito and Bahia San Rafael.


[Edited on 3-30-2018 by AKgringo]




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[*] posted on 3-30-2018 at 05:52 AM


Thanks for posting updates on road conditions. I drove from G. Negro to El Arco about a year ago so this is old news but there is a long section of elevated roadway just after you leave Hwy. 1 gong east, it is U shaped from being graded and at that time there had been some recent rains that accumulated on the road and where the water flowed off it had cut several deep gullies that reduced the width of the road down to one lane. Don't know if they have fixed that yet but just wanted to throw in my 2 cents; no problem in daylight but would be a bummer to hit in the dark at speed.
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[*] posted on 3-30-2018 at 05:58 AM


G. Negro - El Arco road, mar. 2017 edit: pic was too large and would not load so resized it:

calmalli 037 resized.jpg - 143kB

[Edited on 3-30-2018 by bajaric]
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kbrauner
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[*] posted on 3-30-2018 at 07:38 AM


A clarification: In my "3-30-2018 at 03:21 AM" post above, from El Arco to Hwy 1 I describe the route that goes first south and then southwest. I did NOT use the route that travels WSW (westsouthwest) from El Arco. That is the route that travels most directly from El Arco to Guerrero Negro. This latter route is (I think) in much worse shape as commented upon by bajaric immediately above.
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David K
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[*] posted on 3-30-2018 at 08:20 AM


Quote: Originally posted by kbrauner  
A clarification: In my "3-30-2018 at 03:21 AM" post above, from El Arco to Hwy 1 I describe the route that goes first south and then southwest. I did NOT use the route that travels WSW (westsouthwest) from El Arco. That is the route that travels most directly from El Arco to Guerrero Negro. This latter route is (I think) in much worse shape as commented upon by bajaric immediately above.


The road that goes straight south from El Arco is the original (pre-1973) Baja Main Road to La Paz. It went directly to cross Highway 1 south of Vizcaino. However, with El Arco getting its own paved highway (Mexico #18) in 1974, the use of the old road diminished. Eventually, farms began to fence across it on the southern end (the map below has removed that southern end of it. You met the graded road to Guillermo Prieto and turned SW to meet Highway 1, a few miles north of Vizcaino.

The pavement to El Arco was never maintained and was badly potholed by the early 1980s. You cannot see any asphalt at all, anymore. The road (except for the rain erosion) is excellent when driven last summer.

Today the once important mine town of El Arco is abandoned, The big military base there is deserted and only a cattle rancher lives in the center of the former 'city'.

Here is the AAA map that illustrates the roads south from El Arco:




Here is the roadmap from 1962, with modern roads added in:





[Edited on 3-30-2018 by David K]




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[*] posted on 3-30-2018 at 08:37 AM


For clarification, my pic above is shown on map as HWY 18, that departs HWY 1 just south of turnoff to Benito Juarez. Really, the road was in fine shape aside from those little washouts that were no problem to negotiate in daylight. That was a year ago and for all I know it has been fixed. I believe this was the infamous paved highway that almost immediately deteriorated to dirt conditions after it was built.

As long as we are talking road conditions in that area, has anyone driven the road to El Arco that departs HWY 1 at Villa Jesus Maria recently? Doable in 2WD pickup? That would be a nice shortcut to avoid the bug spray / check point just before G Negro.
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[*] posted on 3-30-2018 at 09:14 AM


Quote: Originally posted by bajaric  
For clarification, my pic above is shown on map as HWY 18, that departs HWY 1 just south of turnoff to Benito Juarez. Really, the road was in fine shape aside from those little washouts that were no problem to negotiate in daylight. That was a year ago and for all I know it has been fixed. I believe this was the infamous paved highway that almost immediately deteriorated to dirt conditions after it was built.

As long as we are talking road conditions in that area, has anyone driven the road to El Arco that departs HWY 1 at Villa Jesus Maria recently? Doable in 2WD pickup? That would be a nice shortcut to avoid the bug spray / check point just before G Negro.


Just turn to the airport and the road goes around the west end of the runway and drops into the west end of Guerrero Negro, by the bank.

There was a thread a few months ago on using the old main road between Jesus Maria and El Arco, but don't recall if it was driven by any Nomads. I am guessing while less miles, it will take you longer?





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