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Baja Travel Adventures
By David Kier

Camping and four wheeling Baja California has been a passion of David Kier, starting as a child in the family Jeep. In 1973, David published his first Baja guidebook and a second was published the following year. David enjoys helping travelers and continues to research Baja’s rich history and write travel articles. In 2012, he teamed up with history author Max Kurillo to write The Old Missions of Baja & Alta California, 1697-1834. In 2016, David wrote a more detailed history book with his Baja California Land of Missions. In 2020, David and Max Kurillo co-authored Old Missions of the Californias with new data on the missions. David maintains the website VivaBaja.com to share his travels and more!



A Tale of Two Railroads
A Tale of Two Railroads
What grand dreams could bring such infrastructure to such a desolate region 130 years ago? Around 1885, an American (and later English)... Read more
Directions to the Missions: Part 1
Directions to the Missions: Part 1
With paved roads, people today can “time-travel” back when the Spanish only had a rocky path known as El Camino... Read more
Directions to the Missions: Part 2
Directions to the Missions: Part 2
With paved roads, people today can “time-travel” back when the Spanish only had a rocky path known as El Camino... Read more
The Sulfur Mines of Baja California
The Sulfur Mines of Baja California
The yellow element sulfur is found naturally near volcanic activity of the past or present. Baja California .. Read more
California: Island or Peninsula
California: Island or Peninsula
Establishing missions, baptizing Natives, and teaching how to farm the rugged land were not the only .. Read more
Nuevo Mazatlán Baja
Remembering Luis of Nuevo Mazatlán
My story begins as a young boy traveling with his Baja-exploring parents in their recently purchased Jeep .. Read more
Petroglyph Baja
Petroglyphs, Pictographs, and Geoglyphs
Baja California has all three styles of prehistoric artwork. Used seemingly to convey a message, an idea, or .. Read more
1967 Baja Trip to Bahía de los Ángeles
1967 Baja Trip to Bahía de los Ángeles
Fifty-three years ago, in the summer of 1967, my parents and I took our Jeep Wagoneer to L.A. Bay going... Read more
Why Mission La Paz is in Todos Santos
Why Mission La Paz is in Todos Santos
Some of what makes Baja California mission history interesting might include the many unusual facts about... Read more
Driving to Cabo in 1966
Driving to Cabo in 1966
Since December 1, 1973, motorists have had a paved highway running the length of the Baja California peninsula... Read more
San Pablo Baja
The Controversial Padre: Félix Caballero
In the archives of October 12, 1812, Fray Félix Caballero is a 23-year-old of regular stature, dark color... Read more
San Pablo Baja
The Visita de San Pablo
When Spanish missions were established in Baja California, several years would often pass by between... Read more
San Borjitas Baja
The Painted Cave of San Borjitas
In the mountains not far from Mulegé is perhaps the most interesting of Baja California’s countless painted caves... Read more
San Bruno
San Bruno: The Oldest Spanish Ruins in All of California
San Bruno was the site of a fort and colony established by Admiral Isidoro de Atondo y Antillón and Padre Eusebio Francisco Kino... Read more
TV’s ‘America Unearthed’ Goes to Baja
TV’s ‘America Unearthed’ Goes to Baja
Scott Wolter, a forensic geologist from Minnesota, has been on a mission to find answers to mysteries of the past. Scott’s top rated television... Read more
The Mission Name Game
The Mission Name Game
The twenty-five Spanish missions on the peninsula of Baja California, plus two more founded after Mexico’s independence, have many intriguing mysteries and questions of history... Read more
Laguna Hanson
Laguna Hanson: A Baja Pine Forest
In the land best own as an exotic desert, dotted with tropical oasis resorts, is a beautiful lake and a pine forest, over 5,000 feet above sea level... Read more
El Rosario
El Rosario: The First Dominican Mission in Baja California
Spanish missions in California were the first step of Spain’s colonization program. The importance of peaceful coexistence with the Native Californians... Read more
La Muralla
An Amazing Structure at San Ignacio, La Muralla
Baja California is so rich in historical treasure and stories that one can have a fulfilling vacation just exploring these artifacts from the past... Read more
Lost Jesuit Mission
The Case for a Lost Jesuit Mission
Time for us to examine again an unsolved mystery I first wrote about many years ago. The story begins even earlier: In 1966, an expedition... Read more
El Rosario
A Surprise Desert Campground Near El Rosario
Baja California continues to provide new and interesting discoveries and Rancho El Sauce with its campground, cabins, and spring fed pools... Read more
El Rosario
Mission Santa Catalina
Padre Juan Crisóstomo Gómez was serving as the Dominican President from 1790 to 1793. He had recently completed the construction of the great stone church... Read more
Santo Tomas
The Disappearing Missions at Santo Tomás
Mission Santo Tomás was established to reduce the large gap along El Camino Real between the missions San Vicente and San Miguel... Read more
El Rosario
Backcountry Baja: The San Borja Loop
In the center of the peninsula, between the Transpeninsular Highway and Bahía de los Ángeles is a most magnificent structure in a seemingly alien landscape... Read more
Desert Railroad Baja
A Desert Railroad
Once again, the surprises that a little exploring in Baja will provide attract those with a sense of adventure. One such surprise is the 1895 railroad line... Read more
Bahia Tortugas
The Highway to Bahía Tortugas and Beyond
A look at the map of Baja California will instantly expose the large point or “hook” midway down the long peninsula. This westward-projecting point off... Read more
La Muralla
The Distant Pacific
Baja California is a land of adventure and with a potential for enjoyment of so many outdoor activities. Surfing is one of those activities... Read more
San Felipe
San Felipe’s Valle Chico and Canyons
The desert valley southwest from San Felipe offers several driving and hiking adventures. With many dirt roads, palm filled canyons, waterfalls, and hot springs... Read more
La Muralla
A Baja Sur Mission Adventure
Most Baja travelers are probably familiar with the beautiful Bay of San Luis Gonzaga, about 90 miles south from San Felipe. What may be less known... Read more
Sierra San Pedro Mártir
Sierra San Pedro Mártir
When one speaks about the fascinating peninsula of Baja California, images of cactus covered deserts, rugged off-road racing, the best sportfishing, surfing... Read more
Mission Guadalupe
El Triunfo de la Cruz and Mission Guadalupe
The Jesuits had begun the colonization process in California, a land many considered to be an island. Missions were founded at Loreto... Read more
El Rosario
Baja’s Pronghorn Reserve Visitor Center
The Peninsular Pronghorn or Baja California Pronghorn (Antilocapra americana peninsularis) is the second fastest land animal on the planet... Read more
Agua Dulce
Agua Dulce In 2017
Agua Dulce is located 200 miles down the nearly 800-mile- long Baja California peninsula, about 12 miles north of Cataviña... Read more
Bahía Asunción
Bahía Asunción
Halfway down the 800-mile-long peninsula of Baja California, and 70 paved miles west from Highway One is the seaside community of Bahía Asunción... Read more
Mission Loop
Driving The Mission Loop
The possibility to see ten mission-era sites, ranging from complete churches to stone ruins to just a location where a mission once stood... Read more
Comondú Viejo
Comondú Viejo - Nearly A Lost Mission
In 1708, the Jesuit missionary Julián de Mayorga founded the fifth mission on the peninsula called California. The Spanish still were unclear if this new... Read more
Chile Invaded Baja
When Chile Invaded Baja
During the years when most Latin American nations declared their independence from Spain (1810 to 1822), the enemies of Spain such as France and England... Read more
Mission Santa Catalina
Montevideo Rock Art
On the side of a rocky cliff, up a dead-end valley, in a forest of boojum trees, one may find a connection to the ancient past of Baja... Read more
Bahia Concepcion
The Other Side of Bahía Concepción
The first influx of travelers to Baja California followed World War II, thanks to the creation of the civilian Jeep, the Willys station wagon and pickup... Read more
El Rosario
Las Arrastras de Arriola
Las Arrastras de Arriola is another Baja California historic site that could soon vanish under the construction of Highway 5... Read more
Pozo Aleman
Pozo Alemán
Gold was discovered in the central region of Baja California at Calmallí in 1882. One pure gold nugget reportedly weighed fourteen ounces... Read more
Bahia Concepcion
The U.S. Occupation of Baja California - 1846-1848
In its desire to be a nation spanning the continent from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific, American officials made efforts to purchase northern Mexico... Read more
Santa Catalina
Cuestas Of El Camino Real
In the Californias, El Camino Real was a road for people and pack animals that connected the missions with each other other and was the line of... Read more
La Muralla
Exploring La Gringa And El Toro
Punta La Gringa is the north end of the beautiful Bahía de los Angeles (Bay of the Angels). It is a popular camping, fishing, and shell viewing area... Read more
Santa Catalina
The Lost Missions Of Baja
The peninsula of California, that we call “Baja” today, is a place so infused with history that it is easy to see many ancient sites when traveling both... Read more
Matomi Falls
Matomi Falls
On one of my early childhood trips to Baja California with my folks, we stopped in at Arnold’s Del Mar Café in San Felipe. The year was 1966 or 1967... Read more
El Descanso
The Mystery At El Descanso
Baja California is home to the first eighteen Spanish California missions as well as nine more added while the Franciscan padres were... Read more
Loreto Mission
Loreto Mission History
The first successful California mission almost did not survive its first year or even get started on the then hostile peninsula... Read more
Choral Pepper
Choral Pepper
One of Baja California’s biggest promoters from the 1960s until her passing in 2002 was author Choral Pepper. Choral Pepper’s books... Read more
Melchior Diaz
Searching For Melchior Diaz
Baja California is a land filled with history and mystery. The location of where Spanish explorer Melchior Díaz is buried is one of the... Read more
La Magdalena
La Magdalena Revisited
The mission-era ruins of La Magdalena have been one of the many historic mysteries of Baja California, dating back to the 1700’s... Read more
Agua Dulce
Agua Dulce
Water sources in the desert are more valuable than gold when one is thirsty. In the not too distant past, traveling the Baja California peninsula... Read more
Jesus Flores Gold Mine
Jesus Flores and His Gold Mine
The subject of this story is an old time Baja California cowboy. He was first written about by none other than ‘Perry Mason’ creator... Read more
Exploring Pole Line Road
After the attack on Pearl Harbor, there was genuine fear that the Japanese would strike California next. In those years... Read more
Petroglyph Park
Finding Petroglyph Park
The magic peninsula of Baja California never ceases to amaze with the fun and interesting sites to be seen and experienced... Read more
The Old Baja Road
The Old Baja Road
To drive an automobile from Tijuana to Cabo San Lucas was once such a rare and amazing feat that the few who did it wrote books about it... Read more
San Felipe
Beyond San Felipe - Half a Century Ago
The magic peninsula of Baja California never ceases to amaze with the fun and interesting sites to be seen and experienced... Read more
San Felipe
Beyond San Felipe - Part Two
Just south of Okie Landing, there is a small water hole just off the road that made an interesting, brief side trip. Agua del Mezquitito... Read more
Real de Santa Ana
Real de Santa Ana
The Real de Santa Ana was California’s oldest mine and first secular/ non-mission town. Nearly 30 years earlier... Read more
Mission Santa Maria
Mission Santa Maria
One of Baja's most rugged roads is the four wheel drive trail to the oasis mission of Santa María de los Angeles... Read more
Las Flores Ghost Town
Las Flores Ghost Town
Ten miles south of the town of Bahia de los Angeles are the ruins of a gold and silver mill town that was once home to 400 people... Read more
Baja Fossils
Finding Fossils In Baja
Once upon a time, Baja’s desert was underwater! The prehistoric sea location is quite obvious when you see fossilized shells, coral... Read more
Las Flores Ghost Town
Exploring Calamajue
In 1746, Padre Fernando Consag explored the land north of San Ignacio to find new potential mission... Read more
Baja Ligui
A Sandy Beach And The Vanished Mission Of Ligui
Baja California has so many attractions and they are often coupled with beautiful surroundings. Such is the... Read more
El Carmen Baja
The Painted Cave Of El Carmen
Located in the very center of the peninsula is a beautiful painted cave that is a great reward for the short, but steep hike... Read more
San Pedrito
The Tropical Beach At San Pedrito
On the west cape coast, about 4 miles south of Todos Santos is a pretty beach at the end of a path through... Read more
The Spanish Missions Of Baja
The Spanish Missions Of Baja
One of history's greatest endeavors was the establishment of the mission system in Baja California. When it began in 1697, California... Read more
Mission San Borja
Mission San Borja
Located in the central desert of Baja California midway between the Pacific and Gulf of California, San Borja offers many sites to visit... Read more
La Lobera
La Lobera
La Lobera is a magnificent sea lion crater, just 3 dusty miles from Highway 1 at Km. 47.5, south of San Quintin and 6 miles north of... Read more
The Bat Cave Of Santiago
The Bat Cave Of Santiago
California is constantly providing the traveler with fascinating sites to visit. A lifetime is not nearly enough to see all the wonders of this... Read more
Las Animas
Mystery At Las Animas
On a 2009 New Year's weekend trip south to Bahia de los Angeles and beyond, we had the great pleasure to... Read more
Magdalena Ruins
The Mysterious Magdalena Ruins
A Baja mystery is waiting to be examined by desert and history buffs, just a few miles from Highway... Read more
El Rosario
The Petrified Forest Of El Rosario
One of the many interesting sites near El Rosario is the small canyon containing petrified wood... Read more
Mission San Francisco Javier
Mission San Francisco Javier
The second California mission was originally founded 5 miles north, but moved to the current location in 1710. The church was built from... Read more
Guerrero Negro
Guerrero Negro: What's in a Name?
What began as a salt mine camp called Salina Vizcaino in 1954 became the company town of Guerrero Negro in 1957, named after the... Read more
The Eiffel Church Of Santa Rosalia
The Eiffel Church Of Santa Rosalia
While Baja California is a region of Mexico, one town in Baja started out as a little piece of France. The story... Read more
Guadalupe Valley
The Rich History Of Guadalupe Valley
Spanish missionary Felix Caballero established Californias last mission in 1834 as Nuestra Senora de... Read more
El Camino Real Of Baja
El Camino Real Of Baja
El Camino Real translates to "The Royal Road" or sometimes "The Kings Highway". In Spain, El Camino Real... Read more
El Rosario
The Lost Mission Of Santa Isabel
The thing that makes going to Baja California so appealing is the nearly endless amount of activities available there... Read more
The Onyx Of El Marmol
The Onyx Of El Marmol
The abandoned onyx quarry and mine town of El Marmol near El Rosario makes for an interesting and unique... Read more
El Berrendo Canyon
El Berrendo Canyon: Baja's Blue Palm Canyon
One canyon near San Felipe stands out as a Blue Palm paradise with the blues growing both in the arroyo sand and high up the cliff face... Read more
Petroglyphs of El Rosario
El Rosario Petroglyphs
The abandoned onyx quarry and mine town of El Marmol near El Rosario makes for an interesting and unique... Read more
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