Hiking a section of the El Camino Real in Baja in 2022


Aug 29, 2019
I am planning on hiking a short section of the historic El Camino Real in Baja early next year and I am looking for any advice, pointers, suggestions and information anyone may have.

The plan is to do the 70 mile section from Mission Santa Gertrudis north to Mission San Borja.

I have posted this over on Baja Nomads site and got some good info, just not very much (there probably isn't much out there).

Emailed the folks over at caminorealbaja.com and they have actually walked that section. They hope to be back in that area later this month and will try to get me some current information on the water sources along that section.

Spent sometime rereading Harry Crosby's book The King's Highway and reading Edie Sundby's book The Mission Walker to get some idea of what that section of the trail is like.

The trail is not marked in anyway and it is probably a stretch calling a 200 year old path that has been neglected for the last 150 years a trail.

As of right now I have, what I believe, is a pretty accurate gps track for that section, along with gps coordinates for several Ranchos and possible water sources along that section.

My concerns right now are...
1. A ride from one end to the other. I have two possibilities in the works but nothing definite. I hope to park at San Borja and get a ride to Santa Gertrudis.

2. Water. It has been a dry year some are saying and I only have recent reports on water in two spots, but both are in the same area, about 8 miles south of San Borja, so that leaves over 60 miles with no recent reports of water being available at any of the other water holes.

One thing I was wondering about were the Ranchos along the way. I believe some, if not most will be abandoned, but how would they have gotten water - from a well or from a spring? Does a rancho mean water, even if it is abandoned?

Then the question comes up, realistically, what is the most amount of water an average person carry and still hope to cover 10 to 15 miles a day with?

I have carried 8 to 10 liters up on Kaiparowits, but it was bloody heavy and don't look forward to doing that for 4 or 5 days. While up on Kaiparowits one of my planned water sources was not available when I arrived at the spring which then led to some stressful time planning what to do then. Do not want to go through that again!

So any any help would be greatly appreciated.
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