Adventure Rating: Baja
Trip Length: 3-6 weeks, 1554 total miles (1400+ dirt)
Season: Recommended November - April. Summer travel is possible, but be prepared for 100 F heat.
Technical Rating: Green with numerous blue sections
Typical Terrain: A mixture of wide gravel, dirt and sandy roads, and numerous jeep tracks (steep, off camber, rocky, rutted).
Recommended Vehicle: High clearance SUV or truck with 4 low gearing, and all terrain tires.
Recommended Gear: At least one full size spare tire (2 if you plan to do the whole route) and extra fuel. The Baja roads may not be the most technical, but they have a well earned reputation for being hard on vehicles. Baja veterans typically travel with a full tool kit and numerous extra parts.
Adventure Vans: Sportsmobiles and Quigleys only.
Alternative Routes: n/a
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 1: Tecate to Nueva Odisea Route Length: 292 miles, 3-8 days
While many venturing into Baja begin their route by crossing at the border into Tijuana, the Baja BDT takes a slightly different approach, beginning in the mid-sized city of Tecate. Tecate provides numerous amenities, weather 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 and 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, 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 BDT 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.
Route 2: Nueva Odisea to Bahia de los Angeles Route Length: 312 miles, 3-8 days
Route 3: Bahia de los Angeles to Mulege
Route Length: 366 miles, 4-10 days
Route 4: Mulege to La Paz
Route Length: 377 miles, 5-10 days
Route 5: La Paz to Dos Santos
Route Length: 205 miles, 3-6 days
Recommended Points of Interest
Maps + Navigation
>> Always check with local land managers for road closures and conditions.
Gaia GPS (Gaia base layer)
Baja California Almanac (highly recommended, this is an invaluable source)
Download GPX files
Baja BDT Entire Route with POIs
Baja BDT #1 - Tecate to Nueva Odisea (does not include POIs)
Baja BDT #2 - Nueva Odisea to Bahia LA (does not include POIs)
Baja BDT #3 - Bahia LA to Mulege (does not include POIs)
Baja BDT #4 - Mulege to La Paz (does not include POIs)
Baja BDT #5 - La Paz to Todos Santos (does not include POIs)
TIP: To expose alternative routes and points of interest in Google Maps, open the sidebar and select the desired layer.