Thursday October 29 2020

Posted by on May 17, 2017
  • Gravel Road Mex 5
    Gravel Road Mex 5
  • Excavation of Lower Mex 5 highway
    Excavation of Lower Mex 5 highway
  • Mex 5 Rest Area
    Mex 5 Rest Area
  • Mex 5 Highway newest section
    Mex 5 Highway newest section

Road report Cabo to San Felipe (Mex 19, 1, I-5) May 2017

Beginning from Cabo San Lucas headed north on highway 19 past Todos Santos to highway one in La Paz. On the way to La Paz and through the city and northward there is very little to report. There is a permanent security check point mostly for southbound traffic on the south of La Paz near the propane gas distributor.

Just north of La Paz as you begin to go up there are some areas of construction as they are widening certain areas of the highway. None of the detours are that extensive. Further north about kilometer 55 there is a more major detour as the road is being repaired.

Then just south of Constitución in the area of Santa Rita you will encounter a large detour. Most of theses detours while long, are just very dusty and all can be driven by any cars. Always take care to stop at all stops in Constitución as the police have a reputation for stopping people who breeze through. This trip I did not see on police car which is a first in many trips.

North of Loreto on your way to Mulege. You will find one of the longest and bumpiest of detours of all. Like all detours just take it slow and realize trucks have to really go slow when loaded.

North of Santa Rosalia as you finish the climb of the hill of hell (cuesta de infierno) you will encounter a few more dirt track detours. One of these is quite long and dusty and then it is pretty much just some rough patches as you pass through San Ignacio, Emiliano Zapata and head into the Guerrero Negro area. North of Guerrero Negro the road is in bad need of repairs and there are many bad pot holes and rough areas up to the Laguna Chapala turn off to highway Mex 5. I decided to take the Mex I-5 route to avoid more of the rough pavement that obviously still continues through Cataviña. I also wanted to avoid the San Quintin area up north, with all the farm traffic that can be rather tedious.

However, the main reason I drove this Mex I-5 route was to see how the work is going on the lower 30 kilometers that are not yet finished. Almost immediately upon rising into the mountains there are a myriad of rough gravel roads that all wind around. The road is fairly well marked but at times you may find you have gone on the wrong road and have to double back. This is caused by so many side service roads opened and temporarily used by the construction workers and obviously changed depending on the weather. I do not recommend this route for trailers and motor homes. I did not stop to photograph the 3 house trailers that were stopped in the middle of the road, one broken down. It was hard enough to get by them on a turn and they were hopefully going to turn around when they could find a place. It was early on that I encountered them and kept thinking if they continued it would have been a slow and very difficult trip getting through. In SUV's and tucks however this route is no doubt the faster way north.

You will see a lot of serious excavation and find it rough going and slow to about 20mph all the way through the mountains on the way to Cocos corner. These areas are seeing a lot of work but there is obviously much more to go. The amount of excavation is amazing and the quantity of bridges finished and yet to be finished is why this section is taking so long to complete. The big question I had “was the previously completed road extended from where it was over 2 years ago?” and the answer is no. While they are making great progress at this time, many more bridges have been built but are not yet being used and there is no further extension of asphalt from the north for several years now.

Once you are through the 30 kilometers of dirt track you will join some of the smoothest newest highway in Baja. This road is very well built and you will want to speed along until you join the old Mex 5 at Puertocitos where the road is still straight, but great caution here as there are serious dips that many cars will bottom out on as shown by the scrapes in the roadway from previous hits.

This straight but heavily patched roadway continues with dips all the way to San Felipe. North of San Felipe once again be cautious in the dips. I left I-5 north of San Felipe to try a road new to me that goes between San Felipe and Ensenada. Mex 3 is the approximately 2 hour route over to the west coast through Valle de Trinidad and Routa del Vino y Queso (Wine and Cheese route). I will continue that in a separate report for those interested.

All content and images
The Original Online Magazine fore Traveling & Living in Baja

About the BajaInsider