17/La Paz to La Ribera

Distance: 90.9 mi (146.3 km)

Notes: a necessary 15 miles of pavement out of La Paz, the view from the pass above Los Divisaderos, the coast road east of San Juan de los Planes is nearly free of vehicles, beautiful beaches

Resupply: La Paz-FWMCR$ Bus Airport, Los Divisaderos-fW, San Juan de los Planes-FWR, El Cardonal-FWMCR, Punta Pescadero-M, Los Barriles-FWMCRB$ Bus, La Ribera-FWMR

La Paz and the surrounding area presented the greatest challenges to off-pavement routing in the entire peninsula, which was a reminder of how open the people and the land are in the rest of Baja California. Thus– and while there are a few local off-pavement segments– we’ve routed up the paved road out of town making the climb to 2000′ just a bit easier. Once at elevation, you turn onto a gorgeous dirt road leading down to to Los Divisaderos. From there, you finally climb over the ridge to spectacular views of San Juan de los Planes and the Sea of Cortez, and you may see the winding dirt road that climbs over the distant ridge to the sea. Descending to the valley, a series of sandy tracks lead back to the paved road for a few easy miles into San Juan de los Planes. Where you contact the pavement a paved road leads north to La Ventana and El Sargento, world famous for water-based wind sports, and also featuring some of the best singletrack in the cape region. There is an active community of Americans and Canadians down for the winter, many of whom spend their days on the water. Singletrack is found at the end of the paved road, continue a bit down the dirt road past El Sargento. Download a free map from Captain Kirk’s website. Get up to the top of the western trails to ride Pista Pista Exteme, and definitely ride all the way north to the new Punta Gorda trail, a bench cut trail along a cliff above the sea. If you make it up to La Ventana, there is a network of developed but unmapped singletrack south of town which can be connected back to San Juan de los Planes, ask about the Cardon Trail named for the massive cactuses along the way. These trails may become part of future Baja Divide routing.

Resupply in San Juan de los Planes and continue west onto a rough dirt road over the low mountain ridge to the sea. The next 15 miles are some of the most scenic rocky coastal roads of the Sea of Cortez coastline on the Baja Divide. Resupply is available in El Cardonal, and especially in Los Barriles and La Ribera. Arriving in Los Barriles, the riding is mostly flat all the way down the coast to Cabo Pulmo. Little is available in Cabo Pulmo, save for two restaurants, so load up in Los Barriles and La Ribera. Both communities are greatly supported by seasonal tourism, and you are likely to find a range of American groceries alongside Mexican fare in Los Barriles. Turn up the main street in town to find the best local supermarket.

Next section: La Ribera to San José del Cabo

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