Route: Baja Divide (Mexico, CA USA)

California, US
2,690.2 km

The Baja Divide is a rugged 1,700 mile off-pavement bikepacking route down the length of the Baja California peninsula, from San Diego, CA, USA to San José del Cabo, BCS, MX, researched and developed by Nicholas Carman and Lael Wilcox in the winter and spring of 2015-16.

This route connects the Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Cortez, historic Spanish mission sites rich with shade and water, remote ranchos and fishing villages, bustling highway towns, and every major mountain range in Baja California on miles and miles of beautiful backcountry desert tracks. The Baja Divide is a free route resource for anyone to ride at any time, self-supported, and is best enjoyed from November to March, when most off-pavement routes in USA, Canada and Europe are closed for the season.

And from Alek Simpson:

The rules for recording the fastest known time on the Baja Divide are simple. The course begins in the plaza in Tecate and follows an adapted Baja Divide GPX track, ending just over 1500 miles later in the plaza in San José del Cabo. 

Required and permitted alternates from the official Baja Divide:

Tecate: An FKT attempt begins in the public plaza in Tecate, although the official touring route begins in San Diego.

Bahía San Quintín alternate: The salt marsh adjacent to Bahía San Quentin- specifically the mostly-dry river delta east of Lázaro Cárdenas, is susceptible to impassable mud when wet, which occurs during extreme high tides. Runners attempting an FKT are permitted any alternate around this area, but must follow the track out of Lázaro Cárdenas to the west and must pass the point of the route nearest Molina Viejo. If a detour is required, runner will return to MEX1 at Ejido Papalote and will continue on mostly paved roads to rejoin the route near Cielito Lindo, which begins the 4 mile section of beach riding toward Nueva Odisea. This detour is about 8 miles long.

Bahía Concepción alternate: The boat ride across Bahía de Concepción is a very special element of the Baja Divide. However, the boat ride is not possible in some weather. Runners are permitted to run MEX1 from Mulegé to El Rosarito, bypassing the boat ride across the bay and the run on the other side.

Santa Anita to San José del Cabo: The official Baja Divide route completes a loop in the cape, which returns the rider to La Paz. For the purposes of an FKT attempt, the route will finish at Plaza Mijares in the historic district of San José del Cabo. Once the runner reaches MEX1 in Santa Anita, just north of San José del Cabo, they will run south on the main road through the city to the plaza. This is the Baja Divide equivalent to finishing the Tour de France on the Champs-Élysées, although much busier and with more dust and tacos.