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Baja's Las Pintas Fossil Grotto & Petros 9-18-10

Discussion in 'Travel' started by David K, Sep 21, 2010.

  1. Sep 21, 2010 at 8:49 PM
    #1
    David K

    David K [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Part 1, Friday 9-17-10

    A quick weekend adventure was in order from my birthday, so we headed south to Baja! Our destination for the evening was El Rosario's Baja Cactus Motel.

    We left California at the Otay Border about 6:30 pm, Friday afternoon...
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    The line going into Mexico moved quickly, and we did get a red light and pulled up to the customs officer standing between lanes, who quickly had us continue on (only an ice chest in the truck bed).

    Ahead from the border, 1.1 miles is Blvd. Industrial where a left turn is made to get to the Corredor 2000 (formerly Blvd. 2000) which is a fast, easy freeway to the Ensenada highway, just south of Rosarito.
    910LasPintas147_ab60e25d543b7e042963b4a1e18cb11660878677.jpg
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    This is also the route to the Tecate Toll (Cuota) highway (Mex. 2-D).
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    About 5 miles down Blvd. Industrial is where the Corredor 2000 (to the right) and the Tecate Toll Highway (to the left) begin.
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    The sun was setting as we neared the end of the Corredor 2000 on the Pacific Coast.
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    The Corredor 2000 ends on the Free (Libre) Ensenada highway at Popotla, about 32 miles from the Otay Border. We went home via the Corredor 2000 and the Tecate Free Highway (Mex. 2) to the Tecate Border (38 miles from Mex. 1 at Popotla).

    South of Ensenada at Maneadero, we enjoyed some yummy carne asada tacos at Los Poblanos (red taco shop on the east side of the road). From Maneadero to almost Ejido Uruapan (12 miles) they are widening the highway and there are a few miles of dirt and paved detours. The military checkpoint just beyond Uruapan (north of Santo Tomas) and again just north of El Rosario both waved us through southbound, but did an inspection northbound.

    We arrived in El Rosario at 11:30 pm Friday night and enjoyed a great night's sleep at Baja Cactus...

    To Be Continued...
     
  2. Sep 21, 2010 at 9:01 PM
    #2
    Rakso

    Rakso CeRaTi

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    Let's do Baja 1000 in november!!!
     
  3. Sep 22, 2010 at 8:53 AM
    #3
    David K

    David K [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Saturday, 9-18-10:

    We slept well at Baja Cactus and were in no rush, so we casually got motivated and went 2 miles down the highway to Baja's Best (Bed and Breakfast) Restaurant... across the highway from the Turista Motel on the far edge of El Rosario. Elizabeth had hot cakes and eggs and I had their chorizo and eggs breakfast burritos... delicious!

    With so many interesting sites around El Rosario, we had not decided exactly which ones to visit until then. We decided on Las Pintas, but this time to try the northern road in and see more of the top of the boulder field. We have been to Las Pintas several times before, and it never ceases to amaze us. See http://vivabaja.com/pintas for our day there in 2005 and http://vivabaja.com/406 when my son and I spent some time there in 2006 (on pages 5-7).

    The access to Las Pintas is off the road to Punta San Carlos, a tiny fishing village and nearby wind-surfing resort, about 36 miles from Highway 1 http://www.solosports.net . The turnoff is between Km. 80 & 81 (just over 14 miles from El Rosario's Pemex station). There are two turn offs, the first one is signed for 'Puerto San Carlos' and the second one is just ahead at the second curve in the highway. Set your trip odometer to zero when you leave the pavement.

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    Just over 3 miles from the highway on the graded road, my low air tire warning light came on! For the second time, a pointy rock punctured one of the truck's tires (BFG Rugged Trail, with 16,000 miles on it). I was able to plug the leak and refilled the tire with my electric air pump. The same thing happened at 13,000 miles while southbound from Gonzaga Bay, near Laguna Chapala (on a different tire). We were in no rush, so we turned back to have the tire patched in El Rosario at Raul's Tires ($5.00). No more flats on this trip... note to self: Get new rubber for the truck!

    Take Two, back on the road to Punta San Carlos! Six miles from Highway One we pull over for a beer break where the old road from El Rosario meets the new, graded road to San Carlos... Life is good!

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    Victoria is a really good tasting beer that isn't as common as our other favorites (XX, Pacifico, Sol, Modelo, Tecate).

    We noted the mileage at Rancho Emiliano Zapata as 10.0, and knew the northern road to Las Pintas was not far past the ranch, and took the first road we saw, 1.9 miles ahead. 1.8 miles on this side road is another road to the left (which was correct), but seemed to me to be going too far north so I elected to continue ahead. The road ahead returned to the San Carlos road. No matter, we will just continue south to the normal Las Pintas access road, and return via the less used northern road! Just before the Las Pintas road, the San Carlos road enters a cardonal (a cardon cactus forest, the cardon is the world's largest cactus).

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    The Las Pintas road is 17.4 miles from Highway 1, and if you miss the first one, another is just ahead. Go too far and a ranch is passed, then you will cross the big Arroyo San Fernando (a usually dry riverbed).
    Once on the Las Pintas road, reset your odometer for the 7.2 mile drive in... Here is my road log to Las Pintas:

    DIRECTIONS

    Highway 1, southward from El Rosario 14.6 miles (between Km. 80-81), turn right at the left curve. GPS: 30°01.59', 115°32.05' (Map datum set to 'NAD27 Mexico')

    Go 17.4 miles on the good graded dirt road to a single track road going left. If passed, just ahead is a ranch house on the right and there is a second left road that joins the first. Set odometer to '0.0'. GPS: 29°49.64', 115°28.42'.

    Pass ranch houses ('Malvar') and make an 'S' turn right, into Arroyo San Fernando. You soon will be reach a (possibly) closed gate at Mile 3.5. Always re-close any gate after you pass through.

    Mile 5.2, (GPS: 29°52.53', 115°25.22') turn LEFT off of Arroyo San Fernando road, and follow a small side arroyo. Brush may scratch your vehicle in here.

    Mile 5.4, (GPS: 29°52.69', 115°25.26') turn RIGHT, out of small arroyo and cross low divide to small valley.

    Mile 7.2 LAS PINTAS parking area. GPS: 29°53.90', 115°24.48', elev. 755'. You are 24.6 miles from Highway 1 and 39.2 miles from El Rosario's Baja Cactus Motel and Pemex gas station, per my odometer.

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    Cardon cactus along the Las Pintas road.

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    An unusual multi-branched boojum tree.

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    The road drops into the San Fernando riverbed before reaching the side canyon for Las Pintas.

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    Nearing Las Pintas.

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    As close as we can drive. The storm of last January really changed the terrain here, as the sand was washed away and made getting to the rock art a bit more of a climb.

    910LasPintas037_3176d50a9e76e248ba1da395c56f44c172f6b03d.jpg

    I can't say enough good things about my truck! It is my third Tacoma, and comfort and off road ability is supreme. Only the tires could be better!

    910LasPintas038_fa952030397406ca286c7f95f58213b2ce51c1e8.jpg

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    Here we celebrated my birthday, exploring Baja!

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    Okay, we have arrived at Las Pintas and we make a lunch, have some cold beer, and explore around the lower end of the rock art and fossil site. In the next part, see more of the lower Las Pintas site and then we travel around to the top end of Las Pintas and see fantastic rock art that we have not seen before!

    To Be Continued...
     
  4. Sep 22, 2010 at 8:15 PM
    #4
    David K

    David K [OP] Well-Known Member

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    After a quick look, and another beer, I find a way to the big room... a cave created by a giant boulder resting on others. Inside are petroglyphs, as well.

    910LasPintas047_54b8ea816127799c25e7938b0536823db1bdf3e3.jpg

    One more of the outside glyphs.

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    Inside the big room, on the ceiling...

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    From the big room are these boojum tree views...

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    Back outside...

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    See Baja Angel waving?

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    The quail (cordonices) come out to check on us.

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    Okay, time to go on new (to us) roads! Back out the 1.8 miles to the side arroyo, then 1.0 mile north to the upper Las Pintas road, and 1.4 miles to the end of the road...

    LasPintasSmMap_e632a2547ebef9596f97f28738d9de995e0d867c.jpg

    To Be Continued!
     
  5. Sep 23, 2010 at 3:28 PM
    #5
    Jason'sLawnCare

    Jason'sLawnCare Prepared for Bambi

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    What a great way to celebrate your birthday. Much better than any material things.

    What a gorgeous highway that is.
     
  6. Sep 23, 2010 at 5:00 PM
    #6
    David K

    David K [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I agree! Viva Baja!!

    That highway is fantastic (Corredor 2000) to totally bi-pass Tijuana downtown traffic to get away from the border area fast! It was built about 4 years ago.

    I will have Part 4 of the trip report up soon...
     
  7. Sep 23, 2010 at 9:16 PM
    #7
    David K

    David K [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Now a 2WD might get to the lower Las Pintas site, but a good 4WD is a must for the top. There is a short section driving up a mud hill ridge top where traction assistance will make it easy.

    Near the end of where we could drive without getting too scratched up, we parked and began to explore...
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    The closest petroglyphs were on this large boulder, which we have been to before, walking up here from the bottom of Las Pintas back in 2005.
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    Close up...
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    From here we walked east along the base of the boulders. The site reminded us of Montevideo (off the Mision San Borja road).
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    What was this one trying to say... Trix are for kids?...
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    Lampost boojum tree!
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    Quite an overhang... below the large nose!
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    There are petros all over this and other boulders up here...
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    MORE COMING!
     
  8. Sep 24, 2010 at 1:38 PM
    #8
    Jason'sLawnCare

    Jason'sLawnCare Prepared for Bambi

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    Looks like a cool place to spend the night under that rock.
     
  9. Sep 24, 2010 at 5:55 PM
    #9
    David K

    David K [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Big rock country...

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    A toppled tall boojum... perhaps from the big January storm?...

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    It was getting late, and the street lamps were coming on...

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    This was pretty cool!

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    Back at our truck.

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    Here's the road home.

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    The boojum trees and cardons wave goodbye!

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    Back at our room at Baja Cactus Motel, El Rosario... a surprise!

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    Antonio ('Baja Cactus') is awesome! Thanks amigo!!

    The rooms at Baja Cactus are amazing! Comfortable king size beds with custom pillow-top mattress, telephone, 24 hour desk clerk, free bottled water and coffee maker... for under $39! Massage service in your room is available... Baja Angel and I both had one when we stayed here on our anniversary, last July!

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    10 Satellite TV channals (1/2 in English)

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    Giant showers with room for two or more! LOL (water pressure is boosted at the motel for good showers)

    We topped our gas tank at El Rosario for the 315 mile trip home (via Tecate).

    The trip down we left San Marcos with a full tank and it was 283 miles to El Rosario (229 miles from the border at Otay)... I topped the tank with 56 liters (14.8 gallons) giving me 19.1 MPG.

    A day of four wheeling and highway driving on Saturday totaled 122 miles and used 26.2 liters (6.9 gallons) giving 17.7 MPG!

    The price of gas at El Rosario was 8.21 peso per liter and it was 12 pesos per dollar, making gas about $2.62/ gallon. Premium was 9.59/ liter. The cheaper gas back home was $2.899/ gallon (ARCO).

    The 314 mile drive home via Tecate we got 18.0 MPG.

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    In Ensenada, we got the truck washed (border agents can get fussy if you have too much dirt on your vehicle!)... was 60 pesos ($5).

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    We took the free road north for Ensenada, and as before, it was in great shape and very little traffic. At Popotla, we hopped onto the Corredor 2000 for 18 miles to the free Tecate highway (Mex. 2) which is 4 lanes wide all the way... only a couple of traffic lights until Tecate, as well. Popotla to the Tecate Border was 38 miles.

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    Mexican Independence day was Sept. 16, and many flags were flying, including this nice display at the Pemex station in El Florido.

    The Toyota Tacoma Factory is passed along Highway 2... this is where my truck was made! 'Built in Baja for the Baja!'

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    No place to pull over, so a bit blurred!

    Here are some of the signs as you drive through Tecate showing you the way to the U.S. border:

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    We were in line for 20 minutes, around 6:30 pm Sunday... easy!

    So, if you want some adventure and luxury I recommend the sites around El Rosario, with a stay at the Baja Cactus Motel! Las Pintas is a petroglyph paradise,and while I took many photos, it doesn't take the place of being there. There are many petros and fossils I did not show, that you will find! I have been going to Las Pintas starting 10 years ago, and I am still seeing new things!

    [El Rosario is almost 230 miles/ 5 hours drive south of the border and considered to be the gateway to Baja's wild central desert. It is the last 'town' with most services for over 200 miles and a must fill gasoline stop, located an easy under a tank of gas drive from the U.S. Here you can find several restaurants and taco stands, groceries, beer, tire shops, 4 motels and a bed & breakfast. Many 'day trips' can originate in El Rosario to view interesting sites or to go fishing or surfing a few miles away. To see my photos of the sites around El Rosario or other Baja destinations go to www.vivabaja.com/tours ]
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2016
  10. Oct 4, 2010 at 10:06 AM
    #10
    jdkeller

    jdkeller How many words can be fit in this s

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    Dome light LED, 6000k HID Headlights and fogs, Grillcraft black mesh, rear 5100's, Total Chaos UCA's, 285/75/16 BFG KM2's, Spidertrax spacers, Blacked out emblems, cb,kenwood tm270 ham radio, All Pro 3" leaf pack, Fox 2.0 coilovers, Revenge Fab Sliders, u bolt flip kit, Pioneer avh4200, bed bar with light and antenna, Wet Okoles, Weathertech Mats, Wet Okole Armrests, Rear KR Fab bumper, bed mat, N-Fab spare tire carrier with full size spare on 16" TRD rim, Bedlinered flares and grille. Camburg Spindles, All Pro front fenders.
    Bests posts ever! Your so detailed in our your trip threads! Looks like a blast. Thanks for sharing.
     
  11. Oct 4, 2010 at 12:30 PM
    #11
    David K

    David K [OP] Well-Known Member

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    The pleasure is mine!

    Baja California is just an awesome place with so many off road adventures to have... and our Tacomas are just perfect for Baja travel!

    I wish I could go there even more than the 6 or so trips I take each year! Writing trip reports and sharing the photos gives me just one more activity that helps me continue to enjoy my trip after I have come home!

    HERE are some Baja trips, shared on Tacoma World:

    El Marmol/El Volcan: http://www.tacomaworld.com/forum/tr...rnias-onyx-schoolhouse-cold-water-geyser.html

    To Mike's Sky Rancho from San Quintin, and on to San Felipe: http://www.tacomaworld.com/forum/tr...a-california-via-mikes-sky-rancho-9-05-a.html and http://www.tacomaworld.com/forum/travel/78658-across-baja-part-2-mikes-sea-cortez.html

    Sept. 2008: Shell Island and Gonzaga Bay: http://www.tacomaworld.com/forum/travel/82878-baja-beach-fun-tacoma.html

    Jan. 2009: Finding a 'Lost Mission': http://www.tacomaworld.com/forum/travel/85021-baja-california-finding-lost-mission.html

    July, 2009: Big Trip to Baja Sur: Missions and more!: http://www.tacomaworld.com/forum/travel/76126-baja-california-tacoma-travel-7-09-a.html

    May, 2010: Mision Santa Maria group trip: http://www.tacomaworld.com/forum/tr...-santa-maria-mission-impossible-part-1-a.html

    July 4, 2010: Shell Island group trip: http://www.tacomaworld.com/forum/travel/101899-lifes-beach-baja-july-4-weekend-2010-a.html

    July 18, 2010: Shell Island and Gonzaga Bay road: http://www.tacomaworld.com/forum/travel/104316-beach-birds-bumps-baja-july-17-20-2010-a.html

    If you like seeing more of Baja... then see all of my trip web pages linked on my web site: http://VivaBaja.com
     
  12. Dec 15, 2010 at 4:55 PM
    #12
    David K

    David K [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Man, I am 'homesick' for more Baja!!!
     
  13. Jan 26, 2011 at 4:17 PM
    #13
    Baja Taco

    Baja Taco Work in Progress

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    Man, I have lived in Tijuana for the last 25 years, and haven't traveled to those places, its good to see that there are some people that have good thing to remember from Mexico than just what shows up on the evening news, your are officially a Mexican Gringo ;)
     
  14. Jan 26, 2011 at 7:15 PM
    #14
    David K

    David K [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Muchas Gracias Amigo!

    Please enjoy my web site http://VivaBaja.com Baja is a land of adventure! I have amigos who live in Tijuana, as well...

    Did you know there are a couple other Baja amigos with Tacomas? See Chris's (BajaTaco) web site http://BajaTaco.com and another with the handle 'Taco de Baja' on the Baja Nomad forums... http://forums.bajanomad.com

    Hasta Pronto!
    David
     
  15. Jan 27, 2011 at 8:23 AM
    #15
    Baja Taco

    Baja Taco Work in Progress

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    Great, Thanks, will have to take a look to those websites, I am looking forward to go explore Baja in my next vacations just for what you have posted, the only places I have visited are Mulege, Loreto La Paz and Cabos, but not all those wonderful places you have gotten to, have a great week end.
     
  16. Jan 27, 2011 at 10:12 AM
    #16
    David K

    David K [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Let me know if I can help with any trip ideas or info!
     
  17. Jan 27, 2011 at 10:36 AM
    #17
    Baja Taco

    Baja Taco Work in Progress

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    Katzkin Leather Interior, Maganflow Cat Back System, 5100's on all fours set at 2.5" and rear Toytec 1.5' blocks, N-Fab side Steps
    Thanks, when I am ready I will.
     
  18. Jan 28, 2011 at 8:06 PM
    #18
    David K

    David K [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Awesome amigo!

    Rock The Baja!
     
  19. Mar 3, 2011 at 3:12 PM
    #19
    cappo

    cappo Active Member

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    I thought your screen name looked familiar. I been following your updates of mike and donkay on the nomads site. Keep up the good work.
     
  20. Mar 3, 2011 at 5:25 PM
    #20
    David K

    David K [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Yup, not just a screen name... it is my real name, too! :D

    I will be checking to see if Mike and Don-Kay are still at SurfDoc's or if they moved down to Todos Santos today...

    What is your Baja Nomad name?:cool:
     
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