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BAJA! The Mission Santa Maria 4X4 Trail

Discussion in 'Off-Roading & Trails' started by David K, Feb 15, 2010.

  1. Feb 15, 2010 at 6:01 PM
    #1
    David K

    David K [OP] Well-Known Member

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    A few TW readers have seen my photos and wanted to see more so, I thought it would be a good thread subject here...

    The 4WD road to the last Jesuit mission founded in Baja California was built over several years by the owner of Rancho Santa Ynez, beginning in the 1950's and lasted until the early 1970's when the effort to continue past the mission and on to the east coast of Baja was abandoned... The terrain was just too tough!

    The road is not passable to most vehicles and only those with good ground clearance, good tires, and a rear locker or A-TRAC type limited slip differentials should attempt.

    Remove any running boards, mud flaps, trailer cable jack under our bumpers, etc. It will be knocked off, otherwise!

    A stock 4WD Tacoma Off Road can do this... I did it in my '01 and my '05.

    The full report of this trip is at http://vivabaja.com/msm but, here are a few photos for a quick look... Oh, it is a popular Jeep run and there are some YouTube videos taken in there... The really steep grade is called The Widowmaker (a name I gave it in 1999 when I rode in on a quad and was thrown off while climbing that grade... blood stained rocks might still be seen! The road to the mission is only 14 1/2 miles long... but allow 3 hours for the run. You leave the highway (Mexico 1) about 300 miles south of Tijuana, just past Cataviña, at Rancho Santa Ynez.

    Going to the mission, you climb slowly to the peninsular divide at mile 9.9(where you can see Punta Final, Gonzaga Bay on the gulf coast). Then the next 4+ miles is steeply dropping down into a canyon with year round water and an oasis of palms... on more tough ridge to go over, then you come to the mission ruins... Founded in 1767, but so remote it was soon abandoned for a better location.

    A mile beyond the mission, after another steep down grade is an oasis where we camped and had a pack of bighorn sheep visit us in the morning! This trip was in May of 2007... and I just can't wait to take my new 2010 Tacoma (with A-TRAC) in there!

    Going in, my friend Roy with his brand new Land Rover LR-3 went first and coming out (for the Widowmaker climb) I lead the way in my 2005 DC Tacoma...

    MSM07019_371bf7d3cbba43a25628bdac659a4e14f46197c0.jpg

    MSM07020_cc761dd622e7fc352461514f7c3ccce4cb408d87.jpg

    MSM07027_1dc3a51135c7d3b45dbc33391bc52f458106e6c6.jpg

    MSM07032_19be20aaa0ff14d6fdf2087fd65ed1b5ea07ca83.jpg

    MSM07041_761c641648de23e78d3ac0f9022c4d2dbe0db715.jpg

    MSM07051_057a35d620e7d93f41dd70e56ceace2e4cc1f115.jpg

    MSM07192_82513fa5ad08753e6afaf1d84e2365068f71abcc.jpg

    Down the Widowmaker!

    MSM07060-2_7f4ea1f8b52a54564c31b5a3fef58c83648f8118.jpg

    MSM07062-1_3673eb8fce4579cc5c95ec2509e09ff0b45d486d.jpg

    Tacoma Time!

    RoyMSM011_5d83cfab2ceec44984c5fa1fbdd67c303940fa49.jpg

    RoyMSM013r_ccba97caf7373c2f25eb1eed68fedb93d4bdbab2.jpg

    Through the bog (this is usually wet!):

    MSM07064-1_c417c1a0ad17fb195e0ad44f43492a05dc58999f.jpg

    MSM07072_276b71c841fec2be87929ab6edc127c1f719e930.jpg

    MSM07073_af2cc2c3c9c1f5e40fd6393dc9ad221823b3f054.jpg

    The mission!

    MSM07071_efc4300365d5b3fbabdee8d40dac019fadbacd4d.jpg

    MSM07099_7d87c1b1ab68b08c9635c26a53fc101cac6f4539.jpg

    MSM07097_928c5472e4b577e1bf3b8bbe1290d00d7aca4e28.jpg

    MSM07117_1e356f8079435a30443bb59e34566bc951ee633b.jpg

    2 days later, we leave... UP The Widowmaker!

    MSM07056_086c631835caed91e9efde14f5c974ba0519ac6f.jpg

    RoyMSM070r_0d78c07100b5f991a9c15b281d4a2beb9864151f.jpg

    RoyMSM071r_84b144bd88547ec76db4025ecbbd704088d0c7b2.jpg

    MSM07059_1bdc6ea26ecfa06954ebaf1c8ceadd68c71ed699.jpg

    MSM07060_c94dd3148326128b2280647e321c0f2999ca0a87.jpg

    MSM07061_49bf54f63558c32b22ee94bc7bd263175f1dc707.jpg

    RoyMSM072r_637236868493138403d8f6da1a1092e9e8e2c44b.jpg

    Made It! Now, Roy's turn!

    MSM07062_7e24f7b9a2a07c564647df4e1cacfff7d4b90a73.jpg

    MSM07063_11c37fdeb4086cf459e7bdb05298c0d028633fd5.jpg

    MSM07064_5b88c9044093798d17e035a23716ecfef4221da0.jpg

    MSM07065_4c70c60ec1f6ad95fab6ebef4add9727444cfa85.jpg

    MSM07066_cab82bf78fb94718814da229a5c72cabfe83b185.jpg

    MSM07181_874900bcb10a217452bd0a5d494565feaebdd81d.jpg

    MSM07182_c2b67092facd7fea770eff9cf3ce4588bb426c11.jpg

    The Land Rover made it! Now, we still are 13 miles away from pavement... the Widowmaker is only just over a mile from the mission! Many folks are affraid to go down it, so they park there and walk the rest of the way!

    In the middle of the Baja desert are places like this:

    MSM07066-1_a8cf92814a118ddf2a111d5cb3e40ee3ab5ba147.jpg

    It is a magic place! My web page is devoted to these remote 4WD and off highway destinations and the mission history of Baja... where the California mission chain began! http://VivaBaja.com ENJOY!
     
  2. Feb 15, 2010 at 6:03 PM
    #2
    kinkrider101

    kinkrider101 Well-Known Member

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    i would love to do this trail. to bad i cant /:
     
  3. Feb 15, 2010 at 6:05 PM
    #3
    David K

    David K [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Make your next Tacoma a 4WD Off Road TRD, and you shall!
     
  4. Feb 15, 2010 at 6:14 PM
    #4
    HondaGM

    HondaGM Roll Tide

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    nice pics
     
  5. Feb 15, 2010 at 7:04 PM
    #5
    aficianado

    aficianado Well-Known Member

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    back to bone stock.
    fantastic!
     
  6. Feb 15, 2010 at 7:08 PM
    #6
    Stillfly199

    Stillfly199 ( . )( . )

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    Looks like a bad ass time
     
  7. Feb 15, 2010 at 7:10 PM
    #7
    TRICOMA

    TRICOMA Tacoma with the TRI package

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    Damn that looks like fun. I think I will have to check that out some day.
     
  8. Feb 15, 2010 at 7:20 PM
    #8
    kinkrider101

    kinkrider101 Well-Known Member

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    i dont have any money too get a 4wd trd or but i would love that
     
  9. Feb 15, 2010 at 7:26 PM
    #9
    SkyHighTacoma

    SkyHighTacoma Josh

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    Im so jelious of the trails that yall have! :goingcrazy:
     
  10. Feb 15, 2010 at 7:32 PM
    #10
    Danzer

    Danzer Well-Known Member

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    Great pics. I'd love to hit that trail some day. I'll put it on the list.
     
  11. Feb 15, 2010 at 7:46 PM
    #11
    ttylerr

    ttylerr Well-Known Member

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    i think its time i made a road trip... too many places i wanna go... moab and pretty much anywhere in arizona are also on my list...
     
  12. Feb 15, 2010 at 7:54 PM
    #12
    jdkeller

    jdkeller How many words can be fit in this s

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    Can a prerunner with a locker aired down make it?
     
  13. Feb 15, 2010 at 8:44 PM
    #13
    Stillfly199

    Stillfly199 ( . )( . )

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    Thats the spirit :thumbsup:
     
  14. Feb 15, 2010 at 8:44 PM
    #14
    jdkeller

    jdkeller How many words can be fit in this s

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    Im pretty sure I can. I have made stuff where 4x4's get stuck and slip. Just asking. that place seems really neat.
     
  15. Feb 15, 2010 at 8:48 PM
    #15
    topgun155

    topgun155 Well-Known Member

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    Looks like good fun.
     
  16. Feb 15, 2010 at 8:50 PM
    #16
    Stillfly199

    Stillfly199 ( . )( . )

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    Seems like the only place you would have trouble would be the widowmaker
     
  17. Feb 15, 2010 at 8:52 PM
    #17
    jdkeller

    jdkeller How many words can be fit in this s

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    Ehh that dont phase me. Worst case scenario just get more speed. lol
     
  18. Feb 15, 2010 at 8:58 PM
    #18
    Stillfly199

    Stillfly199 ( . )( . )

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    I like the was you think :cool:
     
  19. Feb 15, 2010 at 9:02 PM
    #19
    jdkeller

    jdkeller How many words can be fit in this s

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    If your out here til night maybe we could meet up. I will be in Pomona til 630.
     
  20. Feb 15, 2010 at 9:23 PM
    #20
    djford193

    djford193 Member

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    pretty bad ass trail dont hav anything like that wher i liv ima check that out sometime
     
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