Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Pinacate Day 2

As usual tour style, we waited for the sun to hit the tent. I slept very well, mostly due to the music and the sandy sections from the previous day. Donuts and tea for breakfast to start the day....mmmmmmmm.

Our goal this morning was to finish riding to Cono Rojo and perhaps *begin* the climb the Pinacate to check out the trail.

Max's sidewall finally went out from the Gila. Looks like super glue only lasts 3 weeks.

Pinacate Volcano in the background

The singletrack at Pinacate Volcano was signed with the following:

10-12 hours

It also mentioned that you had to get permission from the reserve if you had wanted to climb the peak. Interesting. We rode up about 1 mile before hitting some sand and opting to turn around (water was getting scarce, having almost used 210 ounces each. I would consider the climb another option to do in the park if you wanted another day.

Although, from what I researched, you would probably have to ditch the bike for the last, steep pitch to the top (30% slope toward the end). 

We headed back down in the early afternoon to the car and beyond. Surprisingly, I was beat. I think the heat and sand combo really made this a beat down. Bummer the route was not a little longer so we could ride a little longer this day (see below for an option to lengthen the route).

While at the car drinking beer, we met some of the reserve workers. One old guy showed up his old, 1980s mountain bike drinking mescal like it was water.

"There is always someone out there that is more hard core...."

In the city of Why, stop at the gas station for a burrito....or 3!

The need to know about the trip
If you plan on doing this trip, call before you go. As noted before, our trip was an exception. Normally, bikes are not really recommended in the park.

Directions: Once in Mexico, follow signs for Hwy 2 into the town of Sonoyta (spelled Sonoita on some maps). Turn left on Hwy 2. You'll stay on Hwy 8 all the way to the Biosphere Visitor Center 
Leave Hwy 8 at the Biosphere Visitor Center 35 miles from the US Border. There's a large green sign which says Reserva da la Biosfera and Pinacate. Technically, it's "Reserva de la Biosfera de El Pinacate y Gran Desierto Altar". Turn north on the paved side road leading to a gate at the visitor center, which is open 8am to 8pm. We paid $4/person to enter. Since the road is gated and the visitor center seems not to be staffed, you may have to stop and find someone.

Other options
If I had more days, I would add the other side of the mountain and, just east of our route and ride through the Gran Desierto Altar (sand dunes) and make it a loop by using Highway 2 and 8. Finding water would be very, very interesting if you planned to do this version.

I thought about making the loop an option, and saw a building off Highway 2 at these coordinates 32.045024,-113.500596

Finally, look for more trips to Mexico from me. It will be the go-to place for exploration.....

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