MEXICO San Felipe to Bahía de los Ángeles
Skirt the gulf edge of Baja through the hot, rugged desert then up through the hills and finally back to the coast
Dist: 333 km; Date: Nov 2013
San Felipe is a good place for breakfast or fish tacos before starting out. Head south along the Gulf of California coast on Highway 5 for 160 km until you reach Desierto del Mar restaurant. If you want to do this route in two stretches, this is a good place to rent a palpa (“reed-roofed shelter”) and camp on the beach. Otherwise, stock up on water and snacks because this is it for the next 37 km until you reach the bizarre outpost of Coco’s Corner. Shortly beyond Desierto del Mar the tarmac disappears and it’s about 20 km of particularly sandy highway that they use of the Baja 1000 rally.
After Coco’s Corner you enter the rugged, desert hills and the highway is filled with large rocks, making progress quite slow. From Coco’s it’s 20 km to the intersection with paved Federal Hwy 1. There is a service station here and a turn-out, which is a good spot to inflate your tires to full pressure after the powdery stuff. Follow Hwy 1 for 50 km until you reach an intersection offering the opportunity to veer left. Take that left and it’s 66 km of undulating hills and valleys until you reach Bahía de los Ángeles. For a particularly nice finish, time it so that you hit the final stretch to Bahía during twilight.