Sierra de San Pedro Mártir
For true wilderness seekers, the highest mountain range on the Baja Peninsula offers a dramatic change from the desert and coastal scenery below. Lodgepole pines, quaking aspens, and the endemic San Pedro Mártir cypress are just a few of the unusual trees that have attached themselves to the slopes and canyons of the Sierra de San Pedro Mártir.
The rare borregón (bighorn sheep) lives on the range, and the California condor was recently reintroduced.
At 3,095 meters, the tallest peak in the range, Picacho del Diablo (Devil’s Peak), also goes by the names Cerro de la Encantada (Enchanted Mountain) and La Providencia (Providence). Its two granite peaks are often capped with snow in winter. Experienced backpackers typically approach the summit from the eastern side on a three-day trip.
Ensenada native Francisco Detrell has been organizing sierra tours since the 1980s through his company EcoTur (Costero 1094, Local 14, Ensenada, www.mexonline.com/baja/ecotur3.htm, ecoturbc [at] ens [dot] com [dot] mx, tours US$12–150). Guided trips include waterfall hikes, Picacho del Diablo summits, and observatory tours. Francisco speaks English and Spanish.
Rancho Meling also offers guided hikes into the sierra.
© Nikki Goth Itoi from Moon Baja, 9th Edition