From the Field: A Hike to the Top...

From Megan Moran, Expedition Guide aboard Safari Voyager

A hike to the top... 

Exploring Isla San Francisco is an exhilarating visual and emotional adventure. It’s amazing beauty, lush vegetation, and glorious view of the valley below can have a transformative power

 But to truly experience the spirit of adventure needed to hike to the top of its ridge, one must first brave the steep and narrow trail that winds its way up the spine of the island. Along the journey, the stunning scenery of the island's diverse terrain, from its rocky outcrops to the sandy beaches, will keep your eyes dazzled.

 On Isla San Francisco, there is a beautiful, curved beach and a ridge that overlooks the beach, and we often go hiking up the ridge and take nice pictures that mirror the brochure pictures. With a hardier group, we sometimes travel in the opposite direction. This path leads to the top of the island.

Starting up an arroyo in the shade and gradually climbing up further and further, the sun comes closer every step of the way. The more we climbed, the more we began to warm up.

We found a mouse skull that had been left in an Owl Pellet, we saw a red-tailed hawk, and then we got up to a ridge and a view. This view, however, was facing north, away from the curved sandy beach. Upon proceeding further up the hill, we made it to the top, a big cairn of “Tuff” rocks, which are ash that has been pressed into rock, and we could see the small islands north of Isla San Francisco, as well as the big island of Isla San Jose.

The southern end of Isla San Jose has a big lagoon with mangroves with a long sloping hill above it. Beautiful to look down upon! From there we worked our way back to the nice sandy beach, but we had captured a view off the beaten path.

Hiking to the top of Isla San Francisco in the Sea of Cortez is an unforgettable experience. The views from the peak were breathtaking, and the journey itself was filled with adventure and discovery. It was a great way to push our physical and mental limits while also taking in some of the most beautiful sights imaginable. This hike provides an incredible opportunity to explore a unique part of Mexico that is rarely seen by tourists.