Baja California map resources
I teach classes at Overland Expos each year and one the top questions I get at every expo is, “What is the best map to use for planning Baja adventure trips?”. That’s a great question and the answer of course has changed over the years due to many factors. Yes, there are plenty of new mapping apps nowadays and tech out there, but nothing beats a good old school printed map to take on your Baja adventure south of the border.
Back in the day, the best printed map book to use was the Baja California Almanac (2009). Landon Crumpton, the cartographer who published the original Baja Almanac, passed away in 2015. He left mapping files that he was in the process of updating at the time that were never published. There will not be another printed copy of the map book or fold-out maps, but on the Baja Almanac website, the family has given permission to download pdf’s of some of his maps for your personal use. When trying to find older copies of this great Baja map book you will find it going for $150 usd and up! It is truly a collectors item now. We recommend to get one if you can find one. I even have two of his previous Baja Norte and Sur map books that are very rare these days. I love maps!
Remember the old school AAA Baja California fold out maps? Those have long been out-of-print, so if you have one, keep it. It’s a collectors item now.
Today we recommend the new second edition Benchmark Baja California Road & Recreation Atlas. It’s hot off the press! Buy it from Bajabound before your next Baja overlanding adventure. You have got to get this for your next fish taco run south of the border! We like this bigger map book so we can see the entire area we NEED/WANT to explore. We all know looking at a cell phone or small tablet screen just doesn’t give the entire picture of your Baja adventure route. In our 35+ years of exploring the backroads of Baja, we think having printed maps is best for off-grid overlanding travel and living. A big gracias/thank you to Cartographer Neil Allen, Bridger De Ville, Director of Sales and Marketing at Benchmark, and Baja consultant David Kier for creating this awesome map!
Sometimes I think, we as a society, rely too heavily on electronics and GPS devices. Mechanical and electronic devices fail. Cell phones lose signal and batteries die. What if you forgot to download offline navigation maps at home to your favorite mapping apps? Guaranteed there will be no cell service while exploring remote areas in Baja. Maps don’t break. We always use printed maps for our off-grid adventures in Baja. Printed maps and map books are a great backup and compliment mapping apps as well.
Other fold out maps that we utilize and get honorable mention here is the National Geographic Baja California Map pack set. It includes both Baja Norte & Baja Sur maps #3103 & #3104. It includes topographical features, towns, ranchos, main dirt roads, coves, beaches, fishing spots, and surf spots. GPS compatible with full UTM grid. Waterproof and tear-resistant. Check it out at TotalEscape.