Hiking Near Loreto
Important Information About Hiking Near Loreto
Complaints have been received from ranchers about tourists entering the Sierra La Giganta properties without permission. If you are interested in entering a trail within any land in the Sierra please request permission prior to entering. Plan ahead your hiking trip so this can happen. For example, the land of the familia Fuerte (4 different ranches are found there) usually want to know visitors are present because they have had prospectors taking soil samples while acting like tourists when in reality they are mining prospectors. This has also happened in other ranches.
Realize all land in Baja has an owner. To assume anyone can enter someone else’s land is the wrong assumption. Ranchers go to great length to build and keep up their roads and may want to be monetarily compensated for the use of the road or entrance to their land. It is understood that the Lonely Planet guidebook or the recently published DeeDee Kelly hiking book may not state this information. That should not be a reason not to apply common sense if you enter land that is not yours. The owners may ask for money to enter the land or simply not allow access (which is now the case for several trails because of this behavior).
The arroyos are federal zones, but hardly anyone stays on an arroyo as we all know – the land is so beautiful to see! So, the best common sense here is to ask for permission because the ranchers are our neighbors and deserve our respect. For example, you can contact directly Ricardo Salome Fuerte Dominguez for reservations of the Familia Fuerte land or at his email: firstname.lastname@example.org. He is bilingual.
Please also know that Loreto used to have about 400 ranches and now it barely has 150 of them precisely because the owners struggle to maintain their ranches and transform them into self sustaining economic units. To them, you passing without the minimal outreach goes against common courtesy, is denigrating and economically unviable. What we don’t want here is for a few to ruin it for the majority for future hikes (for the ones who do ask for permission and work it out with the land owner prior to entering their private property). Please also know you should not be hacking any plants under the guys of creating new trails or “improving” the trails. Think how you would feel if someone came hacking at your plants in your garden. Please know you should not be taking rocks or anything from their land – this is considered stealing – even though in some eyes the land looks like the wild west.
If you want to take a dog, it should be on a leash. Inside of canyons with limited space, you should not take a dog – this has been the complaint of the people of Ligui and Ensenada Blanca community where their drinking water has been polluted by dogs. We now have more fences and locks where we didn’t before in Sierra La Giganta. While no one intended to be disrespectful by not getting permission or giving payment, but it can be easily seen that way. For more information on guides for hiking in Sierra La Giganta, please contact the Loreto Guide Association and its President: Rodolfo Palacios Castro
The people of the Sierra La Giganta never foresaw of the interest of the public to explore their private land in the Sierra. Only 10 years ago, the visits to the Sierra were just San Javier and Primer Agua. Unfortunately the email or address of the owners are not clearly posted for everyone to access at request. To assume that because there are no signs, there are no fences that you can just enter ranchers land is a wrong assumption. It also disrespectful mostly because we all understand the concept of private property. One of the additional challenges to all of this is that the hiking book recently published by author DeeDee Kelly made up cute new names to the trails – this was news to all of us (ranchers, guides, locals). It’s obvious to say that names: Jack and the Beanstalk, Tres Piedras, Emerald Pools exist only in the minds of the authors of the hiking book – no rancher was consulted or any one in the Loreto Guide Association for doing this. Please realize that the ranchers are being extremely amiable and accommodating when they do not need to be. We (hiking people, visitors, neighbors) can be amiable and understanding in return. We hope to make a catalog of some sort to reach out to the numerous owners of the trails we all enjoy before they all get locked up and chained because we forgot to have common courtesy and common sense of entering private land and use of private roads.