Sierra Giganta

The Sierra Giganta is the backbone of southern and central Baja California – the mountain range that runs mostly continuously from south of Cataviña to near La Paz.  It is actually not continuous, but displays areas of higher terrain (associated with old volcanic features and lower passes.  In essence it divides the cooler, moister Pacific Ocean affected areas of the western part of Baja California from the much hotter and drier parts that border the Gulf of California.

The main north-south Baja Highway cuts across the Sierra Giganta in two places – near San Ignacio and between Loreto and the Magdalena Plain.  However, there are some newer paved roads that allow some access to higher terrain in several places.  Unfortunately (or fortunately for nature conservation) no roads really access the interesting high terrain above 4000 ft where some endemic plants are associated with the cooler and slightly wetter environments.  There are also some large palm oases in canyons on the western slopes of the Sierra that are inaccessible except to dedicated hikers.  Or Google Earth explorers like us.



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