overland

Lets go to Baja!

BBE_YOTA

Trail Grom
Joined
May 24, 2021
Messages
14
Happy 2023 fellow OTG'ers! I am hoping 2023 is full of epic overland adventures and hope to share some of these experiences with you. During these once in a generation CA winter events, I can not help but ponder winter/early spring overlanding options. We just got back from the KOFA NWR between storms, it was epic and there is nothing like the wonderful earthy smell of the desert after it rains.

Like mentioned to some of you (@OTG Ben, @schultzp-8939, @cedillor-3976, @nckwltn, @ethan.ka-4037, @Walnut, @CAchief, Dan) during our epic EMHT trip; that was our first trip with a group and we had a great time with you all. Also discussed around the fire while sharing the infamous butt coal technique; BAJA! I would like to start the convo here regarding the initial framework of a Baja trip(s). Like discussed with @schultzp-8939 and reinforced during my initial research into Baja travels, it is advised to travel as a group. My thought is to start with a low key family camp style road trip down the Sea of Cortez while camping at places such as San Felipe, Bahia Gonzaga, Bahia De LA, and maybe get further south if time permits. This could be a good way to literally get our feet wet and ease our way into Baja while becoming more comfortable with some of the common anxiety associated with with border crossings, fuel, water, safety, checkpoints, and other logistics.

I figure we should start the convo, see who is interested, and start building the structure of a trip starting with discussing timeframes. I am thinking of two options (or both!) that match my sons school vacation days: Feb 17-26 and/or Mar 31- Apr 9. Please let me know if you are interested and any insight or thoughts as to how we should plan this; this is an open-preliminary-discussion. I am open to any ideas including adjusting the timeframe(s). I am not opposed to doing regular 4x4 overlanding in the wilderness; I eventually want to be doing that annually, just figure a low key family camp trip to start sounds fun.
 
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Luinil

Trail Grom
Joined
Nov 29, 2022
Messages
4
Location
Oregon
I assume you meant Mar 31-Apr 9. The weeks before and after Easter are holidays in Mexico. Lots of locals head to the beaches for camping and R&R. So the beaches may be crowded. There are a number of Campos north of San Felipe. Pete’s Camp use to cater to campers, now they cater to the RV crowd. Gonzaga Bay is beautiful although it can be windy. The camping spots have palapas with sides for wind protection. Have only stayed at LA once for a quick overnight. There is a good restaurant there.
 

BBE_YOTA

Trail Grom
Joined
May 24, 2021
Messages
14
Thank you for the info. Do you think the beaches/Campos will be crowded further south during the holidays, not a lot of population centers in central BC. I figure SF will be super busy and really plan on avoiding it regardless (except for getting fresh groceries there) and heading to Gonzaga to start and beach/town hopping with a goal of making it someplace into or near the BCS border (would love to make it to loreto). More into camping on the beaches while snorkeling, surf fishing, checking out the local flora/fauna and culture. The Baja desert communities are very intriguing to me as it seems very diverse, extensive, and relatively untouched; like the Mojave/Kofa had a baby and took steroids.
 

Luinil

Trail Grom
Joined
Nov 29, 2022
Messages
4
Location
Oregon
I would expect that the Campos all the way down to Conception Bay will be crowded during the Easter weeks. Your February dates will be less crowded with mostly anglos from the US and Canada. You can make it to Gonzaga in one day if you cross the border in Calexico CA early in the morning. Grocery stores there are similar to here.

The road from MX 1 to Bay of LA is paved. The road that loops back to MX 1 south of BoLA is not paved. If you go that way you can expect it to take two days to get to MX 1.

My YouTube channel, https://www.youtube.com/@LarrieEasterly, has a couple of series of my travels in Baja that you may find interesting.
 

Pphylo

Trail Grom
Joined
Jun 19, 2021
Messages
11
Ditto on the comment about Easter being busy. We have a place down in Punta Chivato and Semana Santa is a MAJOR beach holiday.
 

OTG Ben

OTG Principal Explorer
Staff member
Admin
Joined
Apr 24, 2021
Messages
343
Location
NorCal
@BBE_YOTA Thomas gets the following week off in April-- doh! We're thinking of heading out to Utah, but they're neck deep in the white stuff, even at lower elevations-- so we'll have to see how things pan out in the few months! But you should def do the Baja trip. I know that Daniel @DPurdy85 is planning a trip with a different group sometime in April, but don't know the exact dates.
 

schultzp-8939

Weekend Warrior
Joined
Oct 15, 2021
Messages
27
Location
Redwood City, CA
@BBE_YOTA Thomas gets the following week off in April-- doh! We're thinking of heading out to Utah, but they're neck deep in the white stuff, even at lower elevations-- so we'll have to see how things pan out in the few months! But you should def do the Baja trip. I know that Daniel @DPurdy85 is planning a trip with a different group sometime in April, but don't know the exact dates.
We also have Spring Break in the week from April 10-14 and are still looking to do something cool. Let me know if you want to do something --- we did your Escalante-Grand Staircase loop last Spring Break and enjoyed it immensely.
 

schultzp-8939

Weekend Warrior
Joined
Oct 15, 2021
Messages
27
Location
Redwood City, CA
Thank you for the info. Do you think the beaches/Campos will be crowded further south during the holidays, not a lot of population centers in central BC. I figure SF will be super busy and really plan on avoiding it regardless (except for getting fresh groceries there) and heading to Gonzaga to start and beach/town hopping with a goal of making it someplace into or near the BCS border (would love to make it to loreto). More into camping on the beaches while snorkeling, surf fishing, checking out the local flora/fauna and culture. The Baja desert communities are very intriguing to me as it seems very diverse, extensive, and relatively untouched; like the Mojave/Kofa had a baby and took steroids.
I'm also excited about possibly doing Baja (finally!). However, we have to get our stupid passports renewed as they seem to have expired! I guess we haven't traveled much outside the country lately .... Geez! Always something.
 
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