2003 Baja Mountain Trail Run hosted by Rebel 4x4 | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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2003 Baja Mountain Trail Run hosted by Rebel 4x4

Ken Cooke

Explorer Addict
April 18, 2000
Reaction score
City, State
Riverside, California
Year, Model & Trim Level
'03 Rubicon - Tomb Raider
This is Rebel 4x4's first international 4WD trail run with trails covering hundred's of miles of distance, taking participants from rocky desert canyons to the hills above the coast and up into the Ponderosa/Jeffrey Pine Alpine-land for a unique 4WD adventure.

Several stops are planned along the way:
-Laguna Hanson - one of interior Baja California's few semi-permanent bodies of water.
-Arroyo Matomi - a rocky 28 mile trail that leads from the San Felipe area to the base of the Sierra San Pedro Martir mountain range. The Baja 250 is raced in this rock-shrewn canyon featuring a rock-lined pool with a cold-water waterfall.
Meling Ranch - a 10,000 acre cattle ranch rebuilt in 1911 after being destroyed during the Mexican Revolution.
National Observatory - located at the end of a one-way 70 mile dirt road that climbs 9,000 feet above sea level that takes you from the coast into Alpine country!

The trip is tentatively planned to take place August 2nd-10th...returning to the U.S. on August 11th.

Several 4WD magazines will run ads in their August issues (hitting the stands on July 1st). For those of you without a 4WD vehicle, California Baja Rent-A-Car has joined forces w/Rebel 4x4 to offer discounts for Baja Mountain Trail Run participants. Contact California Baja Rent-A-Car at:
California Baja, Rent-A-Car
9245 Jamacha BLVD
Spring Valley, CA 91977
Phone: (619) 470-RENT (7368)
Fax: (619) 479-2004

More information will be posted in the coming weeks about trip itinerary, trail difficulty, and hotel/motel room reservations. This is free trip. The only expense will be your travel expenses, gasoline, food, etc. Please email me at: Baja Mountain Trail Run - Ken Cooke if you are interested in taking part in this unique trail run...

The National Observatory

Arroyo Matomi

The tough climb out of La Tasajera meadow

The end of Venado Blanco trail - Rancho Viejo (Old Ranch).

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If anyone is interested in this trip, but are concerned about the expense, don't worry. I can provide you with a detailed expense summary I designed in MS Excel that will accurately show the cost of gasoline and lodging on this trip (excluding your food allowances since everyone's are different).

Just email me!

Baja Run

Guys, this is going to be a kick-ass trip that everyone's gonna dig. There's gonna be plenty of wheeling, including many different types such as rockcrawling, desert-running, cruising on the beaches, hillclimbs, etc. We are also planning a sweet night run that's gonna be pretty badass as well. Let us know if you're in, or go to www.rebel4x4.net for more info. We'll see you on the trail!:smoke:

What types of trails? And are there bypasses that allow non-lifted 4x4's to ease on by the rough stuff? Momma doesn't wanna scratch up her pretty little wrangler if she follows along. hehe

Hmmm...I would say that it wouldn't be that good of an idea to take an unlifted vehicle on the trails, due to boulders and rocks and stuff. A stocker could get messed up pretty bad out there from what I know. Ken could give you a more accurate asumption though...Ken?

There are two (maybe three) trail runs that might cause issues with "momma."

One, would be the trip into the Sierra Juarez. The trail crosses a spring-fed stream that must be crossed. I hear it can be rocker-panel deep at times, but usually not higher than your hubs. Other than that, nothing tough except the high elevations (all on dirt road) that might be tough on a carborated engine.

Night-Run I. The trip from San Matias Pass to San Felipe (old route into San Felipe on dirt road) will be jarring, high-speed Baja action after dark!) From here, we'll travel into the Matomi Canyon. This route will be traveled during late night hours and should provide hours of entertainment on some "smaller" rocks. Nothing extreme - just stuff to keep the group awake with...

Mike's Sky Rancho to Rancho Coyote to Observatory Road - this is supposed to be a rocker-panel nightmare. Its been known to bang up quite a few unlifted, stock 4x4s over the years. Not recommended for motorcycle travel either. There's a couple of "Big Dogs" coming along on the trip (such as Andrew Simpkin's "Champion Rock-Crawler"). His rig made short work of Surprise Canyon:eek: so, he's looking forward to the trail with others. Bypasses? No way. Your best bet is to ride along with one of the Rebels (in Ford Explorer comfort!). We'll travel the dusty trail, compete on a loose hillclimb for bragging rights, explore for miles, and then complete the same nasty rock garden after dark!:eek: :eek:

There'll be all types of 'wheeling for all types of folks - from moderate 4 wheelers (like me) to the more challenging stuff (like our friend Andrew)...

Some moto riders trying to get out of the Matomi Canyon

-Ken :eek:

Matomi Canyon - a mixture of sand and rocks


On this trail, you can pick your line and just have fun. I'll try and tackle some of the harder stuff and see how well my KCs light up the trail...

David K's -- "Matomi" trip report


Baja Trail Run Itinerary

Baja Trail Run Trip Itinerary
August 2 [Saturday] - meet the group in Chula Vista, CA at around noon, purchase our auto insurance, get our tourist visas (as a group). Sleep at Los Pelicanos -- possibly visit Papas and Beer [www.papasandbeer.com] after dinner???

August 3 [Sunday] - Travel from Rosarito (9 or 10 a.m.) to Ensenada, break for a quick 1 hr. lunch. Go to the Fish market, and stock up for that evenings BBQ. Top off our tanks/cans before heading to Mikes.

August 4 [Monday] - Depart Mikes at 9 a.m. to Sierra Juarez. Investigate historic mining sites, Laguna Hanson, and Chichi de la India. Check out as many of the trails as possible before heading back to Mikes.

August 5 [Tuesday] - Depart Mikes at 1 a.m. to visit Canyon Matomi. Tour the springs, and travel the rocky road/trail to the springs. Nap at the end of the trail until dusk (time permitting). Travel to Shell Island for a brief drive on the sand, and stop at Norma's in San Felipe (on the Malecon) for brunch before returning to Mike's for a mid-day nap. Free afternoon to spend however we like - hiking, sightseeing (in pairs), or just laying around the pool.

August 6 [Wednesday] - Depart Mikes at 9 a.m. to investigate the rocky trail from Mike's to Rancho Coyote. Travel new logging routes into the Sierra San Pedro Martir just for the heck of it. Drive down the Observatory Road to investigate the now closed Rancho Meling and take snapshots of it before it is either sold to a private party or demolished. Record this location w/digital cameras to capture a piece of Baja history. Return late in the afternoon/early evening.

August 7 [Thursday] - Depart Mikes at 10 a.m. - Cross the Valle de Trinidad to San Telmo. Travel to Parque Sierra San Pedro Martir. Visit with the personnel (briefly), before setting up camp in Vallecitos (due to our trailers - this will provide the easiest access).

August 8 [Friday] - Botella Azul, Venado Blanco, La Tasajera Meadow (we'll walk down to the trout stream this time!).

August 9 [Saturday] - National Observatory Tour [10 a.m.-12 p.m.] Altar de la Mirador trail (I might do a ride-along if I get spooked by the switchbacks).

August 10 [Sunday] - Depart Parque San Pedro Martir for San Quintin. Set up camp and drink/party!

August 11 [Monday] - Depart campground at 6 a.m. and do an early morning tour of Cinder cones (low tides permitting). Return to camp at 10 a.m. Depart San Quintin at noon - returning to the USA by early evening.

Those wishing to stay in San Quintin will return to the USA with Andrew and Gretchen on the 15th/16th. Those wishing to return on the 11th can depart with Ken/Suzanne and the Rebel 4x4 crew.

On August 16th, our International trail run will continue with trail runs in the San Bernardino National Forest. We'll be running the following:
John Bull -- Rated 4+
Dishpan Springs Trail -- Rated 4+

It should be great winding down from some fun 'wheeling in Baja!



Andrew didn't get to run John Bull, nor did he get to check out Dishpan Springs on the day that we attempted the trails. So, while he's down here, he is determined to run these two trails. I'm going to assemble a group of 'wheelers who think they'd like to make a day of it in the mountain wilderness (on the U.S. side) and do some rockcrawlin'!:D


1 week to go...If anyone else is ready for the challenge, just drop me a line. There'll be around 6 vehicles attending (not counting tow vehicles), so, the turnout will be a decent size.:D The 1st night will be worth the whole thing (if I must say so)...


I came across this website today, and several of the day trips these guys take are what we have planned... I think it'll be a blast out there, and let's see how many women Josh can pull in one night!:p

Unimogs in Northern Baja Mountains

Ken, I got the email with the link and read through that whole site and all their trip reports. It looked like they had a blast on all of their runs and Baja was a totally awesome experience. That makes me want to go even more!! Oh man I can't wait, I've been waiting all summer and its soooo close. I'm gonna pack some stuff tonite and start layingn out my stuff to take. I got a whole lotta tools, just need to figure out what spare parts I wanna take. OMG I can't wait!!!!!!!!!:eek: :D :eek: :D :eek: :eek: :D :eek: :D :eek: :D :eek: :D ;) :D :eek: :D ;) :D :D ;) :D :eek: :D ;) :D :eek: :D :eek: :D ;) :D :eek: :chug: :chug: :chug: :chug: :chug: :chug: :chug: :chug: :chug:

San Diego - area Precipitation
Look under the 'D' and the 'i' in the word 'San Diego' and you'll see that the mountains are getting some rainfall/tropical moisture. With all of the water crossings we'll be making, you should get some use out of those Mud Terrain tires you're running!:bounce: It should be a blast out there!


Well, the rain has moved on by the time I checked that site, but itll be good no matter what! Hey man I finally found me a rider! (for my truck:D ) I went into the Cigar Shop by my work yesterday and was havin a nice cigar on my lunch break shootin the **** with the owner, and it turns out his buddy is going with us now! He'll be riding shotty in my rig, and is said to be a real cool guy. I've never met him b4, but I will be looking forward to it. I gotta pick him up tomorrow at 11am down in Irvine.

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