Mike's Sky Ranch
To contact Mike's Sky Ranch, call 011-52-664-681-5514 from the U.S.; or send mail to Mike's Sky Ranch, 607 Twining Avenue, San Diego, CA 92154
The road to Mike's - the lower smoother part!
Once you arrive at Mike's Sky Ranch, approximately 88 miles east of Ensenada, you will be pleasantly surprised with the natural surroundings, the unique hotel, the inviting swimming pool, and some of the splendid waterfalls which run down from the San Pedro de Mártir Park. The resort is named after its founder, Mike Leon, who established the business in 1967. Through the years it has developed an outstanding reputation as being a haven for dirt bikers and off-roaders. It has also become very popular with SUV owners. In the past it has served as a checkpoint for the Baja 500 and Baja 1000 off-road races.
Depending on the time of the year you visit, you will enjoy the stream which runs through the property. Visitors also enjoy the colorful rustic rooms surrounding the swimming pool. The water in the pool comes directly from the mountains via the year-round flowing river next to the camp. Visitors also find a large common room which includes the dining area, bar, and a place to relax after a busy day. Pool players can enjoy the billiard room. Below the ranch, healthy sycamores shade the area where campers pitch their tents.
Each of the 27 rooms offers basic amenities. However, there are not any telephone poles in this secluded part of the world; this results in no electricity. You still have the opportunity to take a shower as the ranch uses a generator which is available from sunset until around 10:00 p.m. One of the former guests at the facility stated, "Man, when that generator goes off, poof...the stars come on!"
Entrance to the Mike's Sky Ranch hotel
After a long day of adventures you will enjoy a hearty dinner, which is included in the price of your stay. The prices at Mike's are very reasonable. They are on a per person basis and include a bed, two meals, and all of the extras the facility offers. Visitors gather around just about the time that Leon lights up two large piles of mesquite. He then places some delicious steaks or an assortment of chicken pieces to be prepared for the guests. Following dinner people offer some small talk while others wander off to the cozy bar. It seems like 10:00 p.m. rolls around quickly which means "lights out." This still does not prevent the diehards from sitting around an inviting campfire while others join in some campfire songs.
Mike's Sky Ranch is a secluded, backcountry facility. Some might say it is in the middle of nowhere making it a haven for off-roaders. If you enjoy the remote back roads of Baja then this trip will soar to the top of your 'favorites' list. You should always be aware of the rainfall and the resulting erosion. This, of course, causes the road conditions to change from one year to the next. During the heavy, winter, rainy season it is always wise to check to see how deep the river is before you begin your last obstacle of crossing it.
A great day trip is to El Coyote. Here you will experience all types of terrain-water crossings as well as rock crawling and fast desert roads. It was founded in 1950 by Salvador Johnson. It sits at an elevation of 2500 feet and sections of the Baja 500 and 1000 courses also wind through this area. Or, after you enjoy your morning breakfast, you might decide to visit the Observatorio Astronómico Nacional at San Pedro Mártir. It is reported that it offers excellent astronomical viewing. The original location was established in 1878. It has been relocated several times. It now is situated at an altitude of 9200 feet. It offers three optical telescopes on the summit of Sierra San Pedro Mártir. Each has the Ritchey-Chretien design. If you choose to spend the day near camp you can enjoy fishing for trout. If you are a hunter, you can take delight in scoping some rabbits, quail, and other targets. Another attraction everyone can marvel at are the fantastic waterfalls.
Mike's Sky Ranch - sponsored by Pacifico beer
If you head to Mike's Sky Ranch, and you depart from the Ensenada area, you will head east 88 miles on Baja Highway 3. Once you pass through the town of Valle de Trinidad, you will go 11 miles. You will see a large "Mikes Sky Ranch" sign and this is where you will make a right turn going south. You will begin your 19 mile adventure down the dirt road to Mike's. There are a number of signs along the way which will keep you on track. The beginning of the 19 miles is a pretty smooth ride; however, the further south you travel the rougher the road becomes. If there has been a heavy rainfall this usually results in some muddy roads to conquer. It is suggested that you do not begin this journey unless you are in a vehicle with sufficient ground clearance. The trip is excellent for a pick-up or an SUV.
Article by Jack E. George
The hotel pool and mountains behind
Pool upstream from Mike's