|Pilon de Las Parras
Near Loreto, Baja California Sur, Mexico.
Medium difficulty, ten miles from Loreto on a paved road. Time from the car, up and back - 6 hours.
From left to right: Pilon de Las Parras
from central Loreto, looking at it from the SW, the
roadside shrine at Las Parras, part of the route, view
from the top looking south. (Click an image to enlarge,
click again to go back.)
Look for this conical mountain from the middle of town helped by the street designer who pointed many of them right at it (good job!). Rock climbing experience helpful.
Find the paved road to San Javier a
mile south of town on Highway 1. Go 10 miles, almost to
Las Parras (an olive ranch).
Two hundred meters before the ranch there is a
place to park cars (1421'/433m). From here, start in the
gully on the other side of the road to reach open hillside
to the right above the gully. The best route goes up to a
rock outcrop (15 min.), left a few feet to avoid brush, up
and left of grey, steeper rock, then right to the base of
the climb (50 min.). Now look for an obvious easy route
through the cliffs ending at a cairn. From the cairn go up
along a prominent ridge, first on the right, on the side
facing Loreto, and then on the left side. Take care on the
descent to stay on the route - everything else ends in
You may notice that this mountain is
granite whereas the surroundings are volcanic. How did
this happen? At mile 9 on the way up just before a sharp
turn, look for a distinct vertical layer of rock. This is
the granite that while molten intruded the older
volcanics. It happened millions of years ago with much
heat and pressure and is now exposed by erosion.
Other things to do in the area.
- Swim in the deep pools on the way up where the road crosses the creek.
- Buy green olives at Las Parras.
- Continue on another 8 miles to San Javier with its nice old mission church and pretty setting.
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