Hiking the Sierra de la Laguna Mountains

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Costa Palmas Adventure

The Sierra de la Laguna mountain range is located just a 2-hour drive from Costa Palmas. A study in contrasts, Baja’s terrain offers dry tropical deserts, canyon and valley-rich mountains, and endless ocean. With the Sea of Cortez, the Pacific Ocean, and the granite mountains of the Sierra de la Laguna mountain range rising up to highest of heights, Baja is known for its vibrant, jaw-dropping natural beauty.

Just recently, the Costa Palmas Aventura Director, Marco and Golf Director, Lizzy, set out to hike and explore on a 3-night guided ride and hike on the cape less traveled. The spirited adventure was the inspiration for their trek as they prepared to embrace the wonder and possibilities of a Costa Palmas signature Baja experience.

Marco and Lizzy kept a journal of their journey to the Sierra de la Lagunas. Enjoy!

Day 1
We left Costa Palmas at 9 a.m. and after a scenic drive arrived at the foot of the Sierra de la Laguna trailhead by 11 a.m.  There, we met our three guides: Don Catarino Rosas (Don Cata), a very experienced park ranger and owner of the Rancho el Refugio in San Dionisio, Baja California Sur, along with his son, Chayo. A third guide, Luis, joined our Costa Palmas-based group of four. We immediately felt comfortable with these three men who know this part of the country like the back of their hands. 
We hiked for 3 hours and arrived at Poza de Pepe, a stunning ravine located at 3,000 ft. complete with Aspens and a beautiful “poza” with ice-cold water! Of course, we took a dip! When adventure calls, you answer it.

We enjoyed an early dinner of chicken fajitas and camped under the stars for the evening.
What a day!

Day 2
The sunrise was stunning! We enjoyed breakfast and left Poza de Pepe at 9:00 a.m. and hiked to the renowned Valle la Laguna. The three-hour hike was incredible – wildlife and flora and fauna that underscored the beauty of the Baja. The pine and oak tree forests and the water springs were amazing!

After exploring the creek, we left for the Picacho la Laguna, located at 7,000 ft. From that incredible height, we could see both the Sea of Cortez and the Pacific Ocean. We remained there until sunset… and the sunset did not disappoint.

After the sun and the moon exchanged places, we hiked back to camp, under the stars. There, our Chef prepared a delicious beef broth soup that was especially perfect since the weather was a bit cold! It was approximately 25 degrees Fahrenheit and perhaps even cooler during the early morning hours! We understand that this was normal weather in the Sierras in February.

Day 3
We left camp early after a delicious egg and bacon breakfast. On our trek back to where we started, we made an additional stop back at the Posa de Pepe for a refreshing swim and a venison burrito.

What an incredible world we entered for these 3 days. We’re so grateful for this experience, for all that Baja has to offer.

We hiked back to the trailhead around 2 pm and headed back to Costa Palmas. Once again, the Baja sunset didn’t disappoint. Together, we reflected and appreciated the wonders that we experienced.

What an adventure!

Lizzy’s favorite encounter on the trip:

“Summiting Picacho at sunset is something I will never forget. To the west was the hazy orange and the red sun setting over the Pacific ocean and to the east was the Sea of Cortez painted in pastels of pink and blue. The sunset was only half of the fun that evening though. We still had a 2.5-mile hike back to base camp that night, and one of the highlights was entering what we called the “valley of stars” that we saw when we emerged from a wooded area into the valley. Within a few steps, all of us had turned off our headlamps and looked up in awe. I had never seen so many stars in my entire life. We forged ahead in the valley of stars for 45 more minutes before finally returning to base camp”, said Lizzy about the hiking to the Sierra de la Laguna.

From sailing and stargazing, hiking and exploring, experiencing and swimming – Costa Palmas is where sophisticated free spirits can explore their personal frontiers, test boundaries – and find themselves.

On the Cape less traveled, the spirit soars.