12-12-12 Nacapule Canyon

We’ve been hearing good things about Nacapule Canyon ever since we’ve been in San Carlos.  Unfortunately, it’s a little too far away to walk to.  We know some folks who took a taxi, so I guess there are alternatives to having a car.  However, Tony & Marquita on s/v Seaclusion, who also have a home here in San Carlos, had a couple of extra mountain bikes that they offered to us to use while we’re waiting for a weather window to get out of town.  After talking to them, we determined that a bike ride up to Nacapule was completely doable.

The road from the marina to the “Ranchitos” area of San Carlos is relatively flat and the road is paved.  But once we left the last of the houses behind, the road turned to dirt and rock and climbed steadily uphill.

This is the good section of the road.

This is the good section of the road.

The road in the photo above was pretty easy to ride except when the sand got too deep occasionally.  But later, the road got very, very rocky.  Like mostly rock.  And then it started to climb.  It wasn’t terribly steep except maybe right at the very end but we haven’t ridden bikes for quite a long time so it was taking its toll.  Not really sure how far past the Ranchitos the park was but I’d guess 6-7 miles.   And there’s NO shade along the way.

Once we got to the park itself, we found a big palapa that provided shade and a place to lock the bikes up.  There were also smaller shaded parking spots and a few BBQ pits.  There was a building where the employees, when they’re on site, are stationed but no one was working today.  What there weren’t any of, which we’ve come to expect in US parks, were signs showing maps of the trail(s).  But, we found what looked like the only trailhead and started walking.

Starting the hike

Starting the hike

Every so often along the trail, there would be arrows pointing more or less in the right direction.  I say “more or less” because the arrows were mounted on pointed stakes but were generally laying on the ground rather than being driven into it.  Not unexpected since the ground was pretty much solid rock.  There were also occasional interpretive signs in Spanish and English explaining various plants and a little about the history of the canyon.

The scenery was spectacular.  Huge red cliffs climbing out of the canyon floor.  The canyon itself covered in foliage, leaning heavily toward palms.

Nacapule Canyon

Waiting to see if we see any dinosaurs.  It's that kind of setting.

Waiting to see if we see any dinosaurs. It’s that kind of setting.

The trail was pretty interesting in itself.  Much of it was pretty obvious as it passed over rocky stream beds.

more trail

But, in other places, it was a little harder to figure out.

Believe it or not, there's a trail in there somewhere.

Believe it or not, there’s a trail in there somewhere.

And, in some places, it was really hard to believe that this was actually the trail.

Probably not approved by the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Probably not approved by the Americans with Disabilities Act.

But, we always managed to find another sign that indicated that we were indeed, still on the trail.  The path got narrower and narrower as we reached what we assumed was the end.  After a half hour or so, it looked like we’d reached the end.

Could this really be the end?

Could this really be the end?

After some of the obstacles we crossed, Lulu wasn’t completely convinced that we’d arrived at the end of the trail.  So she ventured further into the cave to see if there was something beyond.

is there any more trail?

But, alas, there was definitely no trail on the other side of this window.  We’re still not sure that there wasn’t more trail somewhere as the stuff on the internet as well as some of the signs indicated that there was a waterfall and waterhole at the end.  We definitely didn’t see anything like that although there was some water flowing along the trail and a few puddles here and there.  One article on the internet says that when you reach the end you have a panoramic view of the area extending all the way to the water (meaning the Sea of Cortez).  Not sure where that was but we definitely didn’t find it.  A map would be nice.  But, the canyon was still awfully darn pretty.


The ride back down to town was much easier as it was all pretty much downhill.  Still had to watch out for those pesky rocks, though.

Wish we had room for bikes on the boat.  Don’t bother sending links to various folding bikes.  We have to think twice before we buy a package of 12 rolls of toilet paper vs. an 8-pack.

By the way, this was the first time in over 18 months that I had actual shoes on my feet.  I still prefer sandals.







About sryoder

Steve & Lulu... retired. Had enough of the cold wet dreary fall/winter/spring in the Pacific Northwest. Bought a boat, fixed it up, sold our home and sailed to Mexico in November, 2010. Been here ever since except for occasional forays to the States (summer only, thank you) to visit the kids, parents and siblings. If you're looking for a sailing blog, this is the wrong place. This is a traveling, hunkering in, eating blog. Sailing is just how we get from place to place when we can't walk.
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2 Responses to 12-12-12 Nacapule Canyon

  1. John Dakins says:

    terrific pictures!! thanks for the effort 🙂

  2. there really is a waterfall–we’ve been there…..hopefully we can hike it together someday…..altho i’m with you on the shoes–yucky!

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