The Sea Lion Crater Near El Rosario
Article and photos by David Kier
La Lobera is a magnificent sea lion crater, just 3 dusty miles from Highway 1 at Km. 47.5, south of San Quintin and 6 miles north of El Rosario. At La Lobera, one will see a huge sea cave where the ceiling collapsed exposing a 'secret beach' enjoyed by sea lions (lobos del mar). The rugged coastline also offers photographic wonders as the waves crash and splash against the cliffs.
The three level building was to be a sea food restaurant where the food would be raised on site. In the 2006 photo, La Lobera owner Adrian Santana shows us baby abalone in one of the many tanks below the restaurant. Lobsters and other sea food is being raised in what has become a large sea food production project.
La Lobera makes an excellent day trip destination from San Quintin or El Rosario and the road, while not well marked, can best be located by the power lines that go over the highway to the sea lion crater. Just follow the power lines as an easy guide to the correct road to take. A daily parking fee is collected (was 30 pesos in 2011) to maintain the viewing area.
The restaurant idea seems to have died, but the second story location and third story view deck will be rewarding to customers should it ever become a reality. The aquaculture project has continued to grow at La Lobera and from the tanks to the giant man-made tide pool, this sea farm continues to operate as a model to sustain the sea food industry.
In 2011, a viewing area was built into the side of the crater and the many sea lions on the beach below did not seem to mind us humans observing them. Take the path along the coast to the south for some wild scenery and water drama as the waves meet the cliffs. The road between Mexico Highway 1 and La Lobera is quite dusty, but two wheel drive friendly in dry weather.
Around 2016, the aquaculture project was abandoned. Seems the intake pipe to bring sea water to the tanks kept getting damaged by the waves. In 2020, the road to La Lobera remains open to the public but it is not maintained, and the one big gully crossing may be difficult without four-wheel-drive.