Canyon of the Fox, Cañon de La Zorra, The Desert’s Hidden Treasure
Los Cabos, Baja California Sur, Mexico.
Los Cabos is forever shimmering with pervasive natural magnificence, which you can easily find in every direction you turn. To discover the most intricate beauty of Baja California Sur, however, you must travel northward. There you will find the charming towns of indigenous ranchers, who have existed in isolation for centuries, subsisting amid the land, rivers, mountains, and canyons. There you will discover the hidden corners of ethereal paradise.
As you travel farther away from the heart of the tourist center, beyond the glitzy luxury resorts and past the Los Cabos International Airport, you will encounter an arid and extremely hot climate, with summer temperatures reaching up to 120º F in the shade. Only about 50 miles north from Cabo San Lucas, within the Sierra de La Laguna Biosphere Reserve, patient travelers will find unexpected treasures, such as the Canyon of the Fox or Cañon de La Zorra.
With a four-wheel drive vehicle you will be able to journey past the beaten path. You’ll go along Highway 1, past the towns of Miraflores and Caduaño, then east to the town of Santiago. After driving through the entrance to town, you’ll turn right just before the main square at the intersection and then proceed up the hill following signs to Sol de Mayo, a small community located near the Canyon of the Fox. After reaching the parking lot, it is a twenty-minute moderately easy hike, with a slight elevation change along the way, through the canyon to the waterfall.
The hike will take you along a well-marked trail, where you’ll see indigenous animals and plants against the spectacular background of the sierra mountains. Countless species of cacti and other desert jewels will amaze you with their beauty and their winning ways of survival. Only few animals are likely to cross your way, as most venture out at night. You may spot lizards, snakes, roadrunners, even tarantulas, but larger creatures, such as coyotes, are hardly ever seen by day.
Your final destination on this hike is an ethereal cascading 15-meter high waterfall that will enrapture and seduce your eyes and soul like nothing you have ever seen. Surrounded by a granite rock oasis, the shimmering fresh water falls into a small pond miraculously cooling down the burning surface of the desert. Dive in and refresh yourself, swimming with the Gods amid the greatest treasure that nature has ever dreamt.
The best time to visit the Canyon of the Fox and the surrounding areas is during the months directly following the rainy season, which usually ends in October. At this time of year, you’ll be offered an incredible sight of the desert in bloom. Plants turn green and bloom in all possible colors, attracting insects, birds, and bats. The desert becomes a buzzing site of the fight for survival. The waterfall dries out around April. The landscape is entirely transformed by the middle of the dry season, between April and July, when the desert’s cruel domain turns every drop of moisture into a life-saving blessing.
Make sure you bring appropriate shoes, preferably hiking shoes, sunscreen, a camera, a bathing suit, and plenty of water. To get the most out of this adventure, go early in the morning from October through April, after the rains and hurricanes have left their impression on this majestic environment.
You can enjoy this amazing journey into one of nature’s greatest oases in your own vehicle, but you’ll find it more educational, comprehensive, and safe, if you join a guided tour. Terramar’s Baja Outback Expeditions offers daily tours led by highly educated, certified guides, who will surprise and astound you with their all-around knowledge of the region, making your experience more enlightening and fun. In addition, Baja Outback’s six-hour expedition gives each participant an opportunity to drive a Hummer, and includes lunch at the landmark Palomar Restaurant in Santiago. For more information, call (624) 142-9215.
Article by Matthew Dexter. Photos by Karla López. Photo captions: Featured image: An oasis in the desert, Canyon of the Fox’s 15 meter waterfall cascades into a cool welcoming pond at the end of your journey. 2. The journey to Canyon of the Fox can be made in your own vehicle, but with an experienced tour guide your visit will be enlightening. 3. Abundant in nature are flora and fauna at Canyon of the Fox.
Originally published in Los Cabos Magazine, Outdoors and Activities Article, Issue #15 – Winter 2008