Note: This hike is in Mexico. HAZ does not have access to data for the area... so the trail data is speculation at best.
The Pinacate mountain range is the large volcano in Mexico you see off to your right as you drive down to Rocky Point.
Once at the base of the volcano (see directions below), there is a road that begins to wind up the mountain, but then tapers off. We hiked this road and then all splintered off into different directions, each trying to find the 'best' path up the volcano. I don't think anyone ever found an actual trail. The volcano is all lava rock and cinder so it would be difficult to create a real trail. I started on the southeast side and headed in a northwest direction up the mountain, eventually realizing the peak from the north. The peak is around ~3,900 feet high and the hike is extremely difficult. I heard that most people who attempt the peak do not make it. You must make your way through the razor-sharp lava at the base of the mountain and then through the loose cinder at the top. My thick leather boots were torn to shreds and my joints ached from the constant pounding. The hike took all day.
Once at the top, it is tradition that you imitate the Pinacate Beetle by doing a hand-stand. Apparently, this particular beetle likes to stick his rear-end in the air. The view up there is impossible to describe...you won't get a better one anywhere. On a clear day you can see the mountains of Baja California. What is even more remarkable about this trip is that the pristine Sonoran Desert in the area is entirely awash in black soil and black rock from the volcano. A truly eerie and beautiful landscape that you will not see anywhere else. While you're there, take the extra time to go see El Elegante, a beautiful impact crater where rumor has it that astronauts trained for the moon landscape. Don't know if that's true, but it sounds plausible.
This hike is very difficult, but one of the most rewarding you can imagine. If you do one hard-core desert camp/hike in your life, make it this one. Be very careful, however. Only attempt this hike if you are an experienced hiker and camper, who is well-versed in desert survival. Don't mean to scare you, but An Arizona hiker got lost in this area several years ago and died of dehydration.
Check out the Triplogs.
This is a difficult hike. Arrive fit and prepared or this could get ugly.
WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.
Most recent Triplog Review