By Justin Porter Biel
In the heat of summer, travelers and residents of Los Cabos spend a lot of time near the water. But while most people hang at the beach, another option is to head inland and spend the day cooling off in the freshwater pools in the Sierra de la Lagunas. A nice change from Cabo’s sandy shores, an afternoon in the Sierra’s will introduce you to an entirely different side of Baja.
A 1.5-hour drive from Los Cabos, the ideal day trip is a visit to Cañon de la Zorra. It’s a bit of a drive, but after a day of hiking in a protected biosphere and soaking in pools near the base of a waterfall, you’ll realize it’s well worth the effort.
To get to Cañon de la Zorra, head north from Los Cabos toward the Sierra de la Lagunas and watch as the landscape begins to change. Past the Tropic of Cancer Monument the desert recedes and green trees, cactus and shrubbery overtake the land. Nearing the old colonial town of Santiago, rolling hills turn to mountains, the tallest in the range reaching upwards of 7,000 feet. Past Santiago head west and follow signs to the Rancho Ecologico.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”3897″ img_size=”large”][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”3896″ img_size=”large”][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”3895″ img_size=”large”][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_column_text]The Rancho Ecologico Sol de Mayo is an isolated place nestled at the base of the canyon. Park your car and say hello to Don Prisciliano and Celeste, the couple whose family has owned the ranch for five generations. For $5 you can access the trail, which takes you up a moderate hike into the canyon. Exploring this unique biosphere, you’ll find pools to soak in, waterfalls, a plethora of wildlife, and plant and animal species endemic to the region. It’s a perfect place to bring lunch, relax for the afternoon, and still make it back to Los Cabos by nightfall.
Rancho Ecologico has six cabins available for guests that would like to stay overnight. At $60 a piece, and sleeping up to four guests, the cabins are a great deal. The rooms are basic but comfortable, and each cabin has one bedroom, a bathroom, as well as a separate kitchen/ living room with two futons. Be sure to bring food and drinks for your stay, and for $6 you can have home- cooked breakfast and coffee waiting for you in the morning.
On my last visit to the canyon, my wife and I arrived late afternoon and headed straight for the trail. We hiked past the large waterfall, then trekked up the steep mountainside, intent on working up a sweat after hours in the car. We explored the picturesque foothills, took photos, and then dipped into the pools to cool off. On our way down we climbed a large rock staircase to the base of a pristine waterfall and spent sunset swimming alone.
That night we were the only guests staying at the ranch. Evening in the mountain cabin was quiet and serene. After dinner, we sat upon the roof, and then watched as the stars came out.
We left the following morning in a state of Zen, confident that we would return again soon.