top of page

Baja Divide 4x4 Trail

Updated: Jan 9

Based on the epic bikepacking route with the same name, the Baja Divide 4x4 Trail is the best way to discovery the rugged landscapes, pueblos, beaches, and fishing villages of the Baja Peninsula. At over 1,500 miles in length, with the majority of the trip off road, this is the grand daddy of overland adventure tracks in Baja!


Route Overview

Adventure Rating: Dakar

Trip Length & Season

Trip Length: 3-6 weeks, 1554 total miles (1400+ dirt) Season: Recommended mid October - early May. Summer travel is possible, but be prepared for 100 F heat.

Technical Ratings & Terrain

Recommended Vehicle / Moto / Adventure Vans

Recommended Gear & Provisions

Permits & Papers: Canadians and Americans are required to obtain a Mexican tourist card (FMM) and Mexican auto insurance before driving into Mexico. BajaBound.com is a fantastic resource covering all of the ins and outs of the process, which really isn't as tedious as you might think! Check out Baja Bound's FAQ page on entering/exiting Mexico.

 

Route Details

Segment 1: Tecate to Nueva Odisea Route Length: 292 miles, 3-8 days Fuel: The longest distance between gas stations is approx. 80 miles from Tecate to Ojos Negros.


While many venturing into Baja begin their route by crossing at the border into Tijuana, the Baja Divide takes a slightly different approach, beginning in the mid-sized city of Tecate. Tecate provides numerous amenities, whether you need groceries, delicious Mexican food, fuel or just about anything else you can think of. As you make your way south and into the hills surrounding Tecate, the pavement gives way to the real Baja-- a place overflowing with dirt roads, jeep tracks, quaint farms, fishing villages, and hidden oases. Camping opportunities are practically unlimited once you're on dirt, but please respect private property where marked. Just east of Ensenada, Ojos Negros marks the first pueblo along the route, and an opportunity to refuel and soak in the local culture. If you'd like to make the detour to check out Ensenada, it's about a 45 minute drive from Ojos Negros. From Ojos Negros the route continues south passing through the idyllic wine growing region of Valle San Tomas, and then west over the mountains before it meets up with the paved MEX-1 for a short distance. Mision de Santo Tomas just is one of many historic missions along the route, many of which are worth checking out. Leaving MEX-1 and Mision de Santo Tomas, the route turns back to dirt once again as it makes its way to the western coast of Baja. Numerous camping opportunities abound along this coastal section. One of the more popular spots is Coyote Cal's. The route crosses MEX-1 once again in the small pueblo of Punta Colonet before heading into the the interior desert hills, and then back to the Baja coast. This section of the Baja Divide concludes at Nueva Odisea, which features a mission (Mision Santa Maria) not far from the village, and a couple of great RV camps along the beach.


Segment 2: Nueva Odisea to Bahia de los Angeles Route Length: 312 miles, 3-8 days

Fuel: Longest distance between fuel is approx. 125 miles from Nuevo Odisea to Catavina, and 165 miles from Catavina to Villa Jesus Maria (south of the main track).

Segment 2 is when things really start to get remote. As you travel the interior hills, mountains, and canyons of Baja, you'll be far away from the more popular routes in the Baja Peninsula. Chances are, you'll be passing a lot more locals than fellow travelers. This segment contains two historic missions that are worth visiting (see discovery points for subscribers). To reach the ruins of Mision de Santa Maria, you'll need to take a rugged 4x4 track from the small pueblo of Catavina that ends at a waterfall and oasis known as Oasis or Pozo de Santa Maria. The desert landscape surrounding Catavina is truly breathtraking. The village is surrounded by mountains filled with massive builders and towering cacti. From Catavina, the track heads to the Pacific Coast, along one of the most remote stretches of the Baja Divide track. Once you hit the coast, fishing villages are far and few between but the scenery is absolutely astounding with an abundant supply of coastside campsites. You'll need to plan on carrying all of your necessary provisions from Catavina until reaching Bahia de los Angeles. As you near Bahia L.A., be sure to visit Misión San Francisco Borja, an exquisite mission that sits in the Baja backcountry. Bahia L.A. is a popular spot among the overlanding and RV crowd and a great place to meet new friends. Plan on refueling and stocking up on provisions before you take on segment 3.


Route 3: Bahia de los Angeles to Mulegé

Route Length: 366 miles, 4-10 days

Fuel: Approx 140 miles from Bahia L.A. to Villa Alberto Andres Alvarado Aramburo. Approx 165 miles from San Ignacio Oasis to Mulege. Bahia L.A. is a popular destination, and turn-around point for many folks that need to head north back across the border. It's also incredibly scenic, but trying to find an abandoned beach is a bit more difficult around these parts. If you're looking to escape the crowds, take the dirt road out to Bahia de las Animas. From here, the track briefly visits the Sea of Cortez coastline before heading into the rugged Baja interior. If you're looking for some upgraded accomodations, consider staying at Rancho Piedra Blanca. As you traverse this section, keep an eye on the surrounding landscape-- you may have noticed that this area was once a hotbed of volcanic activity by the tell tale Further down the track you'll come across Carmen's Cave and pictographcs, just off the left side of the trail. From Carmen's Cave the Baja California Sur (BCS) is just a few short miles down the road. Once you reach BCS, some of the highlights of this section (may require driving off the main track) include Vizcaino Biosphere Reserve, the Cave paintings of the Sierra de San Francisco, and the lush San Ignacio Oasis. San Ignacios Oasis is a favorite resting point for Baja travelers. You'll find thousands of date palms that were originally planted by the Spanish missionaries still thriving at San Ignacio, and the river provides a perfect place to freshen up if you so desire. Down the road from San Igano Oasis you'll come across the San Igacio lagoon, a famous grey whale sanctuary. Numerous locals and outfitters offer tours to get up close to the grey whale mothers and their calves. The track follows the Baja coastline until heading east towards Mulegé. Mulegé is an incredibly popular destination, and is known for its clear turquoise waters, bays and beaches. It also has an abundance of campgrounds at the various bays and and beaches.


Route 4: Mulegé to La Paz

Route Length: 377 miles, 5-10 days

Fuel: Approx 120 miles from San Isidro to Ciudad Insurgentes. Approx 160 miles from Ciudad Constitucion to La Paz (there is one local who sells gasoline out of his rancho south of Misión San Luis Gonzaga Chiriyaqui. However, this is not an official gas station. As you head south from Mulegé, the incredibly picturesque Bahia Concepcion is on your left. The bay is dotted with a plethora of beachfront campgrounds. If you're looking for a bit of privacy, take the dirt track to the bay's southern end. The beach may not be as picturesque as those that you passed, but you'll likely have the entire place to yourself. From here, you won't be seeing the beach for quite some time, so enjoy the mountains! There are three old missions that you'll pass along the track. The first is the remaining ruins of Misión De La Purísima, followed by Misión San Jose de Comondu, followed by one of Baja's most impressive missions, Misión San Francisco Javier de Viggé-Biaundó. After passing through the town of Ciudad Constitucion is the final standing mission along segment 4, Misión San Luis Gonzaga Chiriyaqui, but you can also visit the site of Misión de Nuestra Señora de los Dolores del Sur Chilla. As you make your way through the mountains back to the Sea of Cortez, if you happen to be traveling in early Fall or late Spring when temps begin to rise, consider stopping by Pozo de la Purificacion. Once you near the Sea of Cortez, you'll notice the absolutely massive Isla San Jose a couple of miles from shore. The coastline along this section is much more rugged, and white sand beaches and bays are far and few between. If you remain vigilant, you'll be sure to come across some oceanfront campsites. Continuing south, the sprawling metropolis (at least by Baja standards) of La Paz comes into view. La Paz is steeped in rich history and known for its vibrant are scene. We encourage travelers to try to spend at least a day taking in La Paz and all of its vibrant energy. If you're looking to escape the city, consider heading north to Playa Tecolote and the beaches to the hidden beaches to its north, which see little traffic at nighttime.



Route 5: La Paz to Dos Santos

Route Length: 205 miles, 3-6 days





Camping Recommendations


 

Maps + Navigation


Digital Mapping Files



 

Resources


Land Managers

  • N/A


Other Resources

  • coming soon


 


Terms of Use: Should you decide to travel a route that is published on Overlandtrailguides.com, you do so at your own risk. Always take the appropriate precautions when planning and traveling, including checking the current local weather, permit requirements, trail/road conditions, and land/road closures. While traveling, obey all public and private land use restrictions and rules, and carry the appropriate safety, recovery, and navigational equipment. The information found on this site is simply a planning resource to be used as a point of inspiration in conjunction with your own due-diligence. In spite of the fact that this route, associated GPS track (GPX and maps), and all route guidelines were prepared under diligent research by OverlandTraxx, the route accuracy and current conditions of roads and trails cannot be guaranteed.

9,063 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Comments


bottom of page