Bikepacking Baja Part 1

Photos and words by brand ambassador, Leslie Kehmeier

Baja...I’ve been traveling here for 25 years and thought it was about time to break the Los Cabos bubble and venture out beyond my two decades of “resort land” experience. With a few weeks on my hands and a hankering for a good old-fashioned adventure, I enlisted a handful of travel mates to head south of the border.

 With passports and plus-size tire bikes in hand we’ve set out on a self-supported journey from the Pacific Ocean to the Sea of Cortez and back. When all is said and done, my compadres and I will ride clockwise around the bottom of Baja, stopping in Todos Santos, La Paz and Los Barilles, with many places (and taco stands) in between. 

Our trip is inspired by the Baja Divide route, a long-distance bikepacking experience created a few years ago by Lael Wilcox and Nicholas Carman. They pioneered the route, a 1,671 mile odyssey from San Diego, California to San Jose Del Cabo, the terminus of the Baja. It’s the kind of trip that cater to adventurous souls who might want to explore remote, off-road places by bike. We plan to focus on the Cape Loop, a small portion of the entire Baja Divide route.

With the first week in the books, we’ve crossed the Sierra La Laguna mountains multiple times, knocking off 200+ of our 400 mile route. It sounds cliche but the views have been amazing and the tacos are the best we have ever tasted. It makes me wonder what took so long for me to discover the rest of Baja?

As a quartet from Oregon and Colorado, we have felt most at home in the mountains. The Sierra La Laguna are certainly not what you’d might expect when thinking in terms of Mexico and the desert. The mountains here are big, rugged, lush and helpful for great views of the ocean. At least, this is what we discovered on our first night out, while setting up our bush camp at the top of a pass, with distant views of the Pacific Ocean. The wildlife is interesting too. Whenever we sleep under the stars, we are sung to sleep by cacophony of crickets, birds and cowbells.

After the first day and night under our belts we settled nicely into to our tour and pushed on to Todos Santos, followed by a respite in the small historic town of El Triunfo. From there we put our heads down and pedaled the highway north to the far end of our route. After a brief stop in La Paz to resupply our reserves of fresh roasted coffee, we’ve posted up in La Ventana for a few days, soaking up plenty of the Sea of Cortez and sampling the local singletrack.
With our remaining time, we’ll continue south along the coast. No doubt we’ll stay on track with the gorgeous sunrises and sunsets with plenty of yummy tacos to fill the time in between.

Hasta Luego.