de la Giganta - Ridge Ride
1- Arrive Loreto. We will meet you
at the Loreto airport and arrange for your transfer
to the Hotel Junipero. An orientation meeting
will be held in the afternoon to help you get
prepared for the upcoming adventure and to meet
the guides. Dinner on your own.
Day 2- 18 miles. Meet at 7
a.m. for breakfast and to load gear into the
support vehicle. The first part of the day we
will be riding through costal foothills with
great views of the Sea of Cortez and the ridges
of the Sierra de La Giganta. Then after a few
miles of strenuous climb up the Las Parras canyon
road to the 'great divide' of central Baja,
we arrive at our ranch camp in a valley surrounded
by volcanic plateaus. Trails around the ranch
offer some great singletrack rides in the evening.
Day 3- 16 or 22 miles. This
morning we ride down the gently sloping western
watershed to the village and mission of San
Javier, one of the first and definitely the
best preserved of the California missions. After
a tour of the church and gardens, and breakfast
mid morning at Memo's restaurant , we head north
to the Comondu road and our camp for the night.
A traditional ranch meal awaits at Monte Alto,
where our friend Chari makes fresh tortillas,
beans, goat cheese and orange leaf tea to relax
around the fire tonight. For those who want
a cool evening ride, there's an optional cruise
out to a nearby palm oasis.
Day 4- 22 miles. Our day begins
with a warm up ride over 3 miles of hills and
flats in the crisp desert air to the base of
a major climb. Maneuvering the rough road to
the top, along the ridge, and down the infamous
Cuesta del Horno will be the first of the real
technical riding for the day. After a well deserved
break at El Horno spring there's a short climb
to sweeping volcanic ridges. The road weaves
around the red-rock flows with cactus and mesquite
covered plains in the distance. A spectacular
sight awaits as the route drops into the lush
palm canyon of the Comondus. A camp-out in our
friend's sugar cane garden ends the day.
Day 5- 20 miles. A short history
tour of the village will give you something
to ponder as you crest the northern ridge of
the valley in the morning. Soon after you'll
be treated to the classic Sonoran desert garden
show as prickly pear, cardon and organ pipe
cactus fill the valleys and ridges. And then,
winding down into the valley of La Purisima
we'll find a comfortable camp set up near the
San Isidro lagoon.
Day 6- 35 miles. A quick intro
to the art of reed mat weaving, a tradition
of the area, may start the day. Then we wind
up and out of the valley, with beautiful desert
vistas back towards the east coast of Baja.
You'll enjoy some downhill rides today into
arroyos filled with Palo Blanco forests, while
heading across the sierra. We'll camp that night
near Rancho San Cristobal, a horse ranch, nestled
in a mesquite covered arroyo.
Day 7- 25 miles. From Baja's
Highway 1, we continue east through coastal
hills to a small fishing village on San Cristobal.
The Murillo family, whose ancestors founded
this picturesque oasis, will be our hosts as
we camp and enjoy their shaded gardens and palm
Day 8- 11 miles. This final
day our optional round-trip route follows the
coast past beautiful beaches, small local fishing
camps and a fantastic view to San Ildefonso
island and Punta Pulpito. Those who prefer a
day at sea can opt to take a skiff trip out
to view wildlife or snorkel on the island -
weather dependent and additional cost. In the
afternoon we drive back to Loreto to the hotel
for a fun-end-of-trip dinner.
Day 9- Anyone for a morning
ride along the beach before heading home on
the afternoon flight? Or stay a few days and
enjoy the sights and local day trips around
the area. We'll see you into a transport vehicle
for your return to the airport and your departure.
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