With the rainy season in Todos Santos extending well beyond summer, it means the desert is awash in color in January.
Red, yellow, purple and pink stood out against the lush green. On this second day of the new year we were surrounded by lomboy, yucca, jumping cholla, pitaya, elephant trees, ocotillo and morning glories.
Anna led us into the desert on the Sierra Madre trail. The route is a mix of soft dirt, almost sand, along with small rocks that require paying a little more attention when stepping. It wasn’t long before stunning views filled our vision in every direction. From this vantage point the town of Todos Santos seems small, but also sprawling because of the abundance of construction.
The new cemetery is a focal point at different times, as it abuts the desert as it rises on the edge of town.
The ocean at times looked gray with how the sun was beating down on it. Other times it was a dark blue, almost like Lake Tahoe except much larger. From this perspective the Pacific seemed to be living up to her name – peaceful. So often that is not the case, at least in Baja.
The Sierra de la Laguna mountains beckoned; perhaps another day. The desert provides a lush carpet of green leading to the mountains. While many of these plants can draw blood when touched, they look anything but menacing from afar.
The radio tower is pretty much the highest point of the hike. From there we headed down in a bit of a zigzag that had us wondering if it might loop back to where we started. The route actually goes under the Highway 19 bypass leading farther out into the desert. We opted to make the tunnel our turnaround point.
While we went 5.23 miles, the Sierra Madre trail was built as a single-track mountain bike route. It’s just more than a 10-mile loop, and with various offshoots could be much more.
We hit an elevation of 597 feet, with the lowest point being 181 feet. Our elevation gain was 659 feet.
We started by parking at Jazamango restaurant, heading east into the desert on a road wide enough for the three of us. A small connector goes left, leading to another road that eventually hooks up with the Sierra Madre trail. This is the lone sign we saw going out. It’s also possible to start at the new cemetery. It would be fine to take a dog on this trail, however there is no water.
Oh my gosh, what gorgeous scenery. I love the girls in tank tops and the flowers bursting with color. What a wonderful hike. I am very jealous right now. Thanks for bringing us along. I’m living vicariously.
I too love teh photos. Happy to see your happiness through hikes and photos
I’m so glad you are a bel to be there and enjoy all this beauty. You’ve paid your dues, now comes the reward. Keep on enjoying. And thanks for sharing. Pat
Hello Kathryn. I’m over in Los Barriles and have been wanting to get over to the Todos Santos area for a hike. Thanks for piquing my interest further! FYI, your first photo is Coral Vine/ Antigonon leptopus, not Bleeding Hearts. The second very pretty photo is called Fairy Dusters, one of my favorites in Baja.
My friend, Lisa Berry is down there on the east coast in Los Barriles for the winter. I emailed her this story and being the wildflower geek she is, she thinks the bleeding hearts are actually Coral Vine. Here is a link. I’ve enjoyed reading your posts.
I like girls in tank tops too !
Oh great Lisa has emailed you, excellent.
Here is the link to the Coral Vine
Thank you … the flora names have been updated.