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Author: Subject: Hwy 3
daskew24
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[*] posted on 1-30-2019 at 09:01 PM
Hwy 3


We will be driving down the Baja to Loreto in a few weeks. Plan to cross at Mexicali, pick up the FMM, drive Hwy 5 to Hwy 3 junction. From there, we will head west towards Hwy 1 then continue south.

I know it's not the quickest way but we have yet to venture on Hwy 3 and I'm not mentally prepared to head south on Hwy 5 this time around!

We will likely stay in Lazaro Card##as for the night and then continue on to Ensenada and points south on Hwy 1.

We are not in a big hurry so any suggestions of points of interest along the way, specifically on Hwy 3, would be much appreciated. We like hiking and natural sights along with historical places.

Also wondering if there is any cutoff road on Hwy 3 that would allow us to bypass the congestion of Ensenada. We will be driving a Rav4 with good tires and a bit of clearance but nothing exceptional.

Thanks for any help.
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thebajarunner
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[*] posted on 1-30-2019 at 09:50 PM


Take your time and take the 5
Your ride is perfect for the route
More scenic
Best of all you avoid the San Quintin corridor
It’s Baja!
Just do it!!!
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ElCap
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[*] posted on 1-30-2019 at 10:23 PM


I agree, take Hwy 5 all the way to Mex 1, it will be way less miles and stress. I drove Hwy 3 once going northbound and it is pleasant, and while I'm sure there may be some interesting stops, it's the wrong direction for your trip.
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[*] posted on 1-30-2019 at 11:03 PM


winter might dictate your route......if you're an off road fan stop and get a selfie at the Jeff Kargola (ox memorial) at K163 off the 3.:D
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bajabuddha
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[*] posted on 1-30-2019 at 11:29 PM


Oh hell, just DO IT. Then take another route next time....... jayzus, what is Baja all about other than seeing EVERY LITTLE BIT????

whew. Let everyone else plan it for you.




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KasloKid
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[*] posted on 1-30-2019 at 11:48 PM


I agree with the Mex 5 way... way more interesting than Mex3 over to Mex 1... Sure it's rough, but take it slow and easy... not only is it a more scenic route (fits perfectly with your loving nature comment), there's hardly any traffic. You could spend the night in either San Felipe, or Gonzaga Bay (Alfonsinas - rustic rooms with high prices, but good food) then with an early start, your next stop would be Guerrero Negro.

If you insist on travelling from Ensenada via Mex 3, then there are a few hotels in Lazaro Card##as (Valle de la Trinidad or Valley T) to stay at. You can escape the major congestion if you don't take the turnoff into Ensenada Centro and stay the course, you'll escape the route that takes through the center of town. U2U me with your email and I can send you a couple of map pics that show this route. It comes out at the south end of downtown proper, but you'll still have lots of traffic to contend with south of Ensenada.
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David K
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[*] posted on 1-31-2019 at 12:07 AM


In my Trip Report #8 (from August 2018) I cover all of Hwy. 3, starting in Tecate and then restarting as it does in Ensenada. There are hot springs (Agua Caliente honk to open gate at hwy.), gold mine ghost town (El Alamo), and the last Spanish mission in Baja (Santa Catalina).

http://forums.bajanomad.com/viewthread.php?tid=91029

I also drove down Hwy. 5 to Hwy. 1 on that trip... piece of cake... a new video was shot last week you can see all the road from San Felipe south with the detours, which are easy looking. https://youtu.be/Ou3fRmJlONA




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[*] posted on 1-31-2019 at 12:21 AM


X4 on Mex 5. Mex 3 is a nice drive if you are heading north and want to go thru Ensenada and cross at Tecate. South of Ensenada on Mex 1 sucks till you get to El Rosario. And besides, if you go Mex 1 you won't get to meet Coco at Cocos corner. A Baja old timer who you either love him or hate him but you should find out for yourself and meet him at least once.

Stay in San Felipe the first night and with a reasonably earlyish start GN is a good days drive or better yet 30 miles further gets you to Visciano. A goofy little town but better than GM IMHO. One of the first hotels on the right as you come into town, can't remember the name right now, is a nice place to stay for about $50 a night and the next day Loreto would be doable. Unless of course you got sidetracked in San Ignacio or Bahia Conceptcion.





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[*] posted on 1-31-2019 at 01:35 AM


On the 3 in the higher elevations you can see remnants of a pinon-juniper forest. Junipers (green plant used to make gin) grow wild in this area, although the pine trees were cut down long ago for use by the miners at El Alamo. There are several "short cuts" that go from the 3 to the 1, bypassing Ensenada, the most obvious being Valle Trinidad - Colonet, although if you are leery about the 5 this might not be a good choice. Do you even have a map?
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ehall
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[*] posted on 1-31-2019 at 05:00 AM


Lots of cool stuff on 3.
Short detour up to Mike's Sky Ranch.
Short detour to Horsepower Ranch
Not too far to Laguna Hanson.
Burritos at San Matjas
Tacos at el Rancho.
Drive up the famous goat trail

No good way around Ensenada except the race course that goes from Ojos Negros to near Santo Tomas. Don't recommend it.
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daskew24
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[*] posted on 1-31-2019 at 05:18 AM


Thanks for comments and suggestions. The road from Valle Trinidad was the one I was looking at on the map but I had no idea what condition it might be in. If you tell me it's super sandy and serious 4x4 then that won't work for me, if you tell me it's similar to the road into San Borja from Hwy 1 and just requires a bit of high clearance, then that would work for me!

We drove 1 down last year and 5 back, the Rav4 did survive the pounding washboard after leaving hwy 1. Just have never been on 3 and driving home last year on 5, the mountains were calling. Would someday like to get into Parque Nacional Sierra de San Pedro Mártir for some hiking.

I guess another option is to just take some time and drive up 3 into the mountains and then turn around and head back to 5 to continue south.
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bajabrant
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[*] posted on 1-31-2019 at 07:03 AM


trinidad cutoff similar to san borja road
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ehall
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[*] posted on 1-31-2019 at 10:11 AM


Quote: Originally posted by daskew24  
Thanks for comments and suggestions. The road from Valle Trinidad was the one I was looking at on the map but I had no idea what condition it might be in. If you tell me it's super sandy and serious 4x4 then that won't work for me, if you tell me it's similar to the road into San Borja from Hwy 1 and just requires a bit of high clearance, then that would work for me!

We drove 1 down last year and 5 back, the Rav4 did survive the pounding washboard after leaving hwy 1. Just have never been on 3 and driving home last year on 5, the mountains were calling. Would someday like to get into Parque Nacional Sierra de San Pedro Mártir for some hiking.

I guess another option is to just take some time and drive up 3 into the mountains and then turn around and head back to 5 to continue south.




You miss half of 3 if you bail that early. It's a wide, graded , washboard road. Dumps you out just south of san Vicente. Very scenic thru the mountains.
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David K
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[*] posted on 1-31-2019 at 11:56 AM


As bajabrant and ehall report!

Here is the part of my Nomad TRIP #4 report that covers it:

TRIP #4
DAY 1 Wed. Apr. 19:

On the road at 8:25 am, arrive at Calexico at 11:25 am.
Buy pesos at 17.70: Dollar

Note to supplement the previous trip: Km. 51.5+ Campo Sonora is closed.

Take Hwy. 3 (Ensenada highway) west.
Km. 195 Military Checkpoint (just west of Hwy. 5).
Km. 179.5 Borrego pit area, race road crosses highway.
Km. 163 & 162.5 Road to SW to the top end of Diablo Dry Lake, signed 'Colonia San Pedro Mártir'.
Km. 152.5 Road north to Rancho Arroyo Grande (may be closed by locked gate)
Km. 151 San Matias Pass. Original road to San Felipe to left.
Km. 141 San Matias village. At least three eating places along the highway.
Km. 137.5 Road south to Mike's Sky Rancho (31 kms./20 miles).
Km. 120* Valle de Trinidad, paved entrance, Pemex station.
* no sign seen, the Pemex station gave me the km. number.

From here, I take the dirt road that crosses the hills to Highway 1, just south of San Vicente. There are a few turns to get started on the correct road (I won't detail them unless requested) and then it is up and down for a total of 40 miles from Hwy. 3 to Hwy. 1. Took me about 2 hours to drive. 2WD road, but not for motorhomes or Porsches!

Highway 1 is reached at 4:30 pm (Hwy. 1, Km. 103).
I book south to San Quintin, take the 'new' paved road west at Km. 1 for the OLD MILL, and the road is already potholed!

The Old Mill hotel and restaurant is 3.2 miles from Hwy. 1.
I have a delicious LOBSTER burrito plate, with soup and salad and a Pacifico for 230 pesos (U.S. $13)!

I arrive at El Rosario, where the nicest bed and pillows await at Baja Cactus Motel.


Mike's Sky Rancho Road


Over the hills to Hwy. 1









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