What’s The Deal With Those Mountains Behind Us?

They’re called the Sierra de la Laguna, and you can hike up there where it’s cool
BY: KT MORGAN

This impressive mountain range is part of the peninsula range that extends north from here for over 930 miles. The Sierra de la Lagunaa part of this mountain range at the southern end of theBaja California Peninsula. The highest peak is Mount San Jacinta in Southern California at 10,834 feet, and the highest peak in the Sierra de la Laguna is 6,857 feet.  The Sierra de la Laguna part of this mountain range runs from La Paz to Cabo San Lucas.  The name Sierra de la Laguna is in reference to the dry ancient lake beds that can be reached on an extended hike to the peak. From there the views are breath taking. The Sierra de la Laguna range is the dominate landmark in the area and is approximately 400 square miles total. The forests up there are exploited commercially fortimber, andcattle-raising, but mostly is dotted with small subsistence ranchos.

Down here at the base we have a beautiful desert and dry arroyos for most of the year, but once you climb up there you find trickles that form beautiful water falls, hot springs and a wide variety of flora and fauna including oasisis of palms. Above 2600 ft the dry gives way to pine oak and black oak forest. Above 5200 ft you find Mexican Piñon. Pines.

The variety of ecosystems and endemic species and sub species make this range worth protecting. There are estimated to be 694 species of plants with 85 being endemic. The Mexican government designated the range as a Biosphere Reserve in 1994.  UNESCO later called it 'a highly important and contrasted ecosystem' that is an important source of water to the surrounding communities of Todos Santos, Los Barriles, Santiago, Miraflores, San Antonio, Pescadero, Las Cuevas and Buena Vista. 

The annual rainfall up there is about 25 inches that mostly comes from summer storms and the occasional winter rains. The majority of these communities raise cattle and farm, making the case that we should continue with the reserve status and not bow to mining interests which are always trying to encroach.  These wealthy mining companies have unsuccessfully tried again and again to gain license to strip mine these glorious mountains for gold, silver and precious metals.  If approved they would bring jobs but beware of the vast open pit that would become of this enterprise.  They would use arsenic to separate the precious metals and contaminate the water supply that is in such short supply in our desert and semi arid environment. Mines in Mexico have a strong history of wrecking the environment with impunity.

The next time you fly into Los Cabos be sure to get a window seat.  The eye is drawn to the incredible coastlines down both the Pacific and Gulf Coasts.  Do not forget to gaze over our amazing mountain range that we love to explore, climb and discover.  Also, the next time you drive to La Paz from Cabo up highway 19 along the Pacific coast be sure to come back the other side of the loop down Highway 1 and the Sea of Cortez side. It takes a little longer but the loop takes you completely around the Sierra de la Laguna.  You might just fall in love with the inland part of our paradise.

KT Morgan brings this article to you from Cabos Finest, bringing you the best of Los Cabos real estate, restaurants, activities, and travel blogs. For your Insider's Guide to Los Cabos, visit www.cabosfinest.com, call 624-115-2703 or email kt@cabosfinest.com.