By Dave Kelly, co-author of “Hiking Loreto”
While not as well known for mountain biking as are other areas in Baja, Loreto does offer some enjoyable rides for all abilities. With mountain biking growing in popularity, expect to see a rise in the number of trails being built in the area. For now, there are plenty of interesting rides to enjoy.
For those interested in a casual scenic ride, just start on the seaside malecón right in town. Head south crossing the San Telmo Arroyo into the pueblecito of Zaragoza and continue south along the water to the airport. Ride as far as you like either returning the way you came, or heading out to the newly paved highway, with spacious lanes for bikes.
Those looking for more adventure can cross the highway to a series of dirt roads and power line roads that zig zag through the scenic desert, mostly staying close to the highway. Some of these roads may have deep sand and a few small hills, and some may also be rutted due to the local race events held several times a year. From any of these roads, it is fairly easy to get back to the highway and Loreto.
For those looking for easy single track, the local bike club has built an enjoyable maze of trails close to town. These are fun and a great introduction to single track. To access these from Loreto, take the main paved road west (Salvatierra) to the highway, cross the highway and you’ll find a number of really enjoyable trails that criss-cross the desert plateau. They are well worn and all lead back to the start.
Experienced riders looking for more challenging rides will find several single track trails off of the San Javier road heading west. Ride up the San Javier road for about 3+ kilometers, look for a major dirt road that crosses the pavement (part of the race course). You will see an electric sub station on your right. There are single track trails on both sides of the road. A difficult loop starts on the left. Go through a fence just right of the race course and you will see the start of the trail. Follow this down crossing the dirt road (this downhill is quite steep and can be avoided by going down the race course a short distance and looking for the trail on the left). Follow this fun trail as it winds up and down and around coming back down into a sandy arroyo. Go left in the arroyo for a short distance and look for the trail continuing up to the left. This will wind up and down hills eventually ending up back where you started. On the other side of the paved road is an easier trail that parallels the road heading back down towards Loreto.
For biking supplies and repairs, Loreto has a great little bike shop for parts, tires, tubes and repairs “Bicitaller Manny” Located at #9 Calle Isla Del Carmen. 613-135-1474
For more bike trails and great hiking trails, check out the Hiking Loreto Guidebook and HikingLoreto.com. Available for purchase through hikingloreto.com, Discover Baja, or can be purchased in many locations in Loreto.