As if Cabo San Lucas didn't have enough to offer the world with year round summer weather, spectacular golf, world famous sport fishing, and dozens of 5 star resorts to pamper oneself and totally relax; amongst the most beautiful landscape and warm ocean waters. Adding the trail hiking adventure up to the peak of the third tallest mountain range in Baja California; El Picacho, simply adds another interesting wrinkle to the multitude of cool and daring activities available in a Cabo known more for its beaches and sunshine.
The Picacho mountain stands 6, 507 feet above sea level and is a favorite attraction of the adventurous thrill seekers that arrive to Los Cabos, wanting to partake in the natural wonders of this Southern Baja California Region. The Sierra de la Laguna mountains are part of the areas Ecological Preserves that are protected by the Mexican Government. Assuring that places like Picacho and Cabo Pulmo remain natural wonders, uncorrupted by developers.
The Sierra de la Laguna is relatively famous for its hidden desert oasis, breathtaking waterfalls, colorful bird life and dazzling array of trailside flowers and fauna. Much of its beauty has been retained by the areas decades old isolation. While not recognized world-wide as the Incas Machu Picchu of Peru or Arizona's Grand Canyon, the Sierra de la Laguna range and its Picacho mountain are equally as spectacular and as visually stunning as anything one can find in Baja California.
The unspoiled landscape of Picacho makes it the southern neighbor and near identical twin of the Indian cave paintings found at San Francisco de la Sierra in Mulege, which contain dramatic earth-tone sketches of man and animal; giving visitors a distinct feel for the heart and soul of a Baja California from 10, 000 years ago. For passionate hikers, the climb to Picacho mountains is one worthy of photographs and video which may capture an essence of the adventure, but does not replace actually seeing the majesty of the area in person and on foot.
Another vital aspect of Picacho mountain, is the June 2010 decision by Mexico's economic secretary, designating the area as one of 12 sites in 9 states open to international "gold digging" mining investors. From 1910-1920, the small village of El Triunfo was home to a silver mining rage that transformed the the little pueblo into a boisterous town straight out of the old west. Of course, profits withered once the mines dried up and El Triunfo returned to its quiet, humble, little slice of old Mexico after everyone left.
The 163 square mile designated mining site in the Sierra Laguna mountains possesses UNESCO Biological Reserve status and the dangers a new mining boom would cause to the sole source of drinking water for Los Cabos and East Cape, have kept the mining prospect on ice.
Last year, Humanos SOS; a collection of environmental groups in Mexico, protested Baja California Sur state legislature against "toxic open-pit mining activities" that include the use of cyanide and arsenic mining practices by Pediment Gold Corporation of Canada and Vista Gold, by assembling 5,000 people at Playa del Tule and forming a human SOS symbol on the beach.
Visiting the Picacho range to mountain bike, go hiking, or sight see one of the natural wonders of this region, now holds a deeper meaning in that it has become a modern day sign of resistance to the gold or silver mining efforts by corporations willing to sacrifice the areas natural beauty for monetary gain.
The Minimountain Resort has 3 cottages strategically placed on a hilltop with views of Picacho and is considered by many a perfect sanctuary of utmost privacy and relaxation. The resort has an outdoor heated pool, shaded palapas, outdoor kitchen, wet bar, charcoal barbecue pit and its isolated, hillside location, provides ample clarity at night to star gaze alongside a wood-burning campfire.
Whether on mountain bike, running or hiking - getting to the top of Picacho - is no easy task but one definitely worth the 15 mile journey. And while it is definitely a physically challenging pilgrimage, it's a scenic one at that. A rewarding excursion and an undoubtedly memorable experience.
An exploit that can be captured in digital photo or cell phone video, but an undertaking that can only be thoroughly enjoyed best in person; on foot or on two wheels. In one day or two; as camp sites along the climb allow for a much welcome respite for those hikers and guests willing to traverse upwards to Picacho's peak and not succumb to the rigors of its high elevation and towering panoramic views.
So bust out the canteen, fill it with water, and enjoy another of Los Cabos' wonderful gems of nature.