The least-traveled highway on the Baja Peninsula, Mexico 3, connects Ensenada  to Mexico 5 and San Felipe  on the Sea of Cortez. Along the way, it passes a Dominican mission site, provides access to a small national park, Constitución de 1857, and crosses the Sierra de Juárez via the San Matías Pass.
There are four places to buy gas along the route: Ojos Negros (Km. 39), Independencia (Km. 94), and Lázaro Cárdenas and Francisco R. Serrano, closer to the east end of the highway.
This 5,000-hectare park covers a sub-alpine plateau in the center of the Sierra de Juárez range. Granite boulders and Ponderosa pines ring its two natural lakes, Laguna La Chica and Laguna Juárez (Laguna Hanson). The latter has campsites (US$5) with fire pits and grills, but there are no marked hiking trails in the park.
The park is generally deserted except during Semana Santa (the week before Easter), when off-roaders invade. Be prepared for snow in winter.
The easiest access road to the park heads northeast off Mexico 3 at Km. 55 near Ojos Negros. This route is mostly paved now, and is passable for most vehicles, except after winter storms.
If you don’t want to retrace your steps to Mexico 3, you can continue on the access road heading northeast to the other side of the park, and meet Mexico 2 60 kilometers from Laguna Hanson, near La Rumorosa.
Padre José Loriente founded this mission (1797–1840) to the west of a strategic mountain pass that led to the San Felipe desert and the Colorado River beyond. At 1,067 meters, the mission was built to serve as a fort, protecting the coastal missions against raids from indigenous people to the east. At one time, it claimed the most converts of any Dominican mission on the peninsula, but it was destroyed in 1840 in a rebel attack.
Only traces of the mission walls remain in the present-day village of Santa Catarina, which is eight kilometers east of Independencia (Km. 94) along a graded dirt road.