By Dave Kelly, co-author of “Hiking Loreto”
Strolling down the Malecón in Loreto and looking north, one can’t help but see the large rolling peak looming over the sea across from Isla Coronado. This is Cerro San Bruno, and at 2,240 feet, a great adventure hike well worth the effort. You will be rewarded with uncompromising views of Islas Coronado, Danzante, and the entire massive of Isla Carmen with Catalan and Montserrat in the distance. Spectacular views can be had all around.
The trail has existed for some time and accesses a marine radio repeater at the summit. As the trail is a bit hard to follow in places, hikers should take special care to mark critical turns for the descent. Although the distance isn’t great, hikers should get an early start, bring plenty of water, wear good, light to medium weight hiking shoes and long pants.
To get to the trailhead, take Highway Mexico 1 north from Loreto 4.75 miles past the Jeep Monument in Colonia Miramar. Make a hard right onto an old cobbled roadway, stay left and pass over a stone bridge over an arroyo. Park just after the bridge, where you will not block the cobbled road. This road was built by hand many years ago to access the summit with a radio tower that has since been replaced with a modern cell tower. Follow the road past several switchbacks gaining altitude and views as you go. At about 1.6 miles, one tenth down from the cell tower, take a right turn onto an old ranch road. Walk down this for three tenths to a sharp left hand turn, stop here and look for two rock Cairns on the right marking the trailhead.
Follow the trail up to the right. The trail will then loop around to the left and then back to the right where it wanders pleasantly traversing the hillside, then traverses above an arroyo. The trail will then cross the top of the arroyo and head up and over a series of small mounds. After a ways the trail will head towards a limestone ridge high up on the next hillside.
From here the hike steepens until you reach the left hand end of the limestone ridge. A short, tricky scramble leads up the ledge to the ridge. The trail becomes quite faint but the way to go is obvious. Stay mostly on the crest of the ridge until it drops down slightly before heading up the summit cone, staying slightly to the right. Enjoy the spectacular views and return the way you came.
Find this hike and more in the Hiking Loreto guide book, available in Loreto at: The Rick Jackson Gallery, Caballo Blanco bookstore, Geckos Curios and Gavilon.
Also available on line at HikingLoreto.com and through Discover Baja