To Hell with Tijuana

Fishing for Adventure
  |  Gorp.com
Photo by Erik Gauger
Look out, trout: Don't forget your pole

We head east along Route 3, the only passable valley through the Sierra Juarez, straight into the mountain range known as Sierra San-Pedro Martir. After 35 miles of scrub, the road becomes impassable, so we stop and walk five miles to the Parque de Sierra San Pedro Martir through a sandy-bottomed river.

We're completely alone. Huge peaks loom and green aspens line the river, but most importantly, trout are darting in the pools of water. After seeing some healthy-size trout higher up in the river, we head up there with our fly poles. Our efforts aren't rewarded, but perhaps we don't have the Baja touch; later, we see pictures of young children holding up ropes of several dozen trout.

Climbing back down and through the canyon, we return to the plateau and pay for beds at a solitary place called Mike's Sky Rancho. The ranch sits between slopes, miles from any other building; it's the only human construction along the entire road. Mike's Sky Rancho has survived turbulent times. It began as a quiet cantina for horseback riders, a lonely place to rest en route from La Paz to Ensenada. It made it from time to time as a resort, catering to private pilots and wealthy Angelenos, but was falling apart when the Baja 1,000 off-road bike, car, and truck race came roaring through starting in 1967. Every year, more and more racers enjoy this rugged pit stop.

CAMPING ESSENTIALS
There are several primitive camping spots near Mike's Sky Rancho. For $6, you can camp in any clearing along the river. Rooms at Mike's Sky Rancho are $20 a night. Showers and a swimming pool make Mike's a good resting spot for weary travelers.


Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication

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