U.S. Astronauts trained for moon landing just north of Rocky Point, Mexico
Just about 20 miles north of Rocky Point, Mexico lies one of the most hostile areas on earth. Summer temperatures soar into the triple digits, water is scarce, and winter temps dip near zero even snowing sometimes. This undesirable area that spans over 600 miles is surprisingly home to a vast variety of flora and fauna including the rapidly disappearing Sonoran Pronghorn. The Pinacate Biosphere Reserve is also home to volcanic craters including the Elegante Crater, one of the largest volcanic craters in the world. Though the volcanoes in this area are dormant, plumes of steam rising from the area were seen and recorded last month – there is a video on YouTube that shows the plumes.
A little known fact about the area is that U.S. astronauts trained there in the 1970s for their moon landing. Apparently the topographical areas are very similar. It is hard to believe this incredibly hostile and diverse land is just minutes away from Rocky Point, Mexico where the Sea of Cortez is the center of attraction. If you are vacationing at Laguna Shores Resort you can see the “Pinacates” very clear. There are two high peaks which are favorites for climbers and hikers.
In the Pinacate Biosphere Reserve you can:
• Camp in designated areas
• Climb the peaks
• Visit the volcanic craters
• Visit the gift shop and information center
This is a great area for a day trip or longer if you are wanting to camp or hike. If you plan to camp, hike or visit the craters you will need to check into the ranger station where they will give you some information about the area. They will also record where you will be and when you plan to leave so that if you get lost or something happens, they know where to find you. Within the Biosphere Region there are many levels of hiking from simple to hard so don’t be discouraged if you are not an expert hiker, there are still many wonderful places to see. Hiking to the top of the Pinacate is not an expert climb, but can test your endurance. Most people camp at “Red Rock” and hike to the top from there which can take as little as 6 hours or longer depending on your endurance. It is a hike well worth the trip because the scenery from the top is breathtaking. And an added bonus is the journal that you can sign and make notes in for other hikers to read. It’s fun to look through the journal and see all the people from different countries who have hiked to the top. The journal dates back to the 1950s.
A popular thing to do in the area is drive to the craters – very little walking involved. The craters are just stunning especially the Cerro Colorado which is a deep rich red color. So, for a short or long trip off the beaten path and to learn more about the area consider visiting the Pinacate Biosphere Reserve. For a short diversion you can drive to the Visitor’s Center and check out the area from their spectator’s platform and see photos of the craters and area and get a better sense of what creatures inhabit the area and the history of this beautiful part of the Sonoran Desert.
Come and spend a week at Laguna Shores Resort and take a side trip to the Pinacate Biosphere Reserve. The Resort and the Reserve are very kid-friendly and your family will have a very memorable trip to Rocky Point, Mexico. Book your Laguna Shores home or condo online at www.lagunashoresresort.com. Visit them on Facebook to enter to win a fractional ownership or one of many vacation packages.