6-11: Valle de los Cirios

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The cirios trees– Spanish for candle– stand tall in the desert and are topped with orange flowers in winter

The Valle de los Cirios segment of the Baja Divide is 559 miles (900 km) from Vicente Guerrero, BC, MX to San Ignacio, BCS, MX. It is the most remote and also the most diverse segment of the Baja Divide with six distinctive segments, some of which feature little resupply. The Valle de los Cirios begins with a salt marsh ramble away from the agricultural region of San Quintín along the Pacific coastal plain. Crossing the highway at Nueva Odisea, the route climbs inland into a sparsely inhabited desert filled with towering cirios trees and cardon cactus, winding past abandoned ranches until it rejoins MEX1 at a small truck stop.  Several restaurants provide minimal resupply en route to Cataviña, where granitic boulders welcome you to this scenic region.  Most riders should plan to bring 2-3 days of food between Nueva Odisea and Cataviña.  Cataviña is 5.5 miles off route on MEX1.

The section from Cataviña to Santa Rosalillita draws you back to the Pacific on the most remote section of the entire Baja Divide– a unique opportunity to ride a rough track along the wild and undeveloped California coast.  No food is available for 120 miles (193 km), and the only water resource is at a small ranch called El Cardon, about 100 miles (161 km) after leaving the pavement.

South of the fishing village of Santa Rosalillita the track begins a traverse across the peninsula from the Pacific Ocean to the Sea of Cortez, visiting Misión San Borja before a short paved section leads to the placid Sea of Cortez at Bahía de los Ángeles. Regroup in Bahía de los Ángeles for another push through expansive desert, as it is 136.6 miles (219.8 km) to Vizcaino, with extremely limited resupply along the way. The route continues between the bustling highway town of Vizcaíno and the quaint mission oasis at San Ignacio– both are great places to rest and take in the new and old culture of Baja California.

The Valle de los Cirios segment is challenging as resupply is limited and this is the least populated section of the Baja Divide. However the route passes through some of the most diverse and beautiful landscapes, spending time on the Pacific, the Sea of Cortez, and in the vast mountainous deserts that dominates this peninsula.  Beware of several extremely sandy roads on this section, especially between El Arco and Vizcaino.

Buses are available in Vincente Guerrero, San Quintín, Cataviña, Vizcaíno, and San Ignacio.

Warning: The route may become impassable when wet due to mud.

View the Valle de los Cirios on Ride With GPS.

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6/Vicente Guerrero to Nueva Odisea

7/Nueva Odisea to Cataviña

8/Cataviña to Santa Rosalillita

9/Santa Rosalillita to Bahía de los Ángeles

10/Bahía de los Ángeles to Vizcaíno

11/Vizcaíno to San Ignacio

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Resupply legend: F-Food store, f-limited food resupply, W-Water, M-Motel, C-Campground, R-Restaurant, B-Bike shop, $-Bank ATM, Bus, Airport