Ascent of Picacho del Diablo on 1995-05-28

Climber: Richard Carey

Date:Sunday, May 28, 1995
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Picacho del Diablo
    Elevation:3094 m / 10154 ft

Ascent Trip Report

The mountain has had many names in its history including La Providencia and Cerro de la Encantada. The later name was supposed to be the official name, but Picacho del Diablo (peak of the devil) is now universally used. The peak is not correctly located on both the Mexican topo maps. The first ascent was by topographer and surveyor Donald McLain (1887-1981) in March, 1911. (Robinson, p. 76) The Centra Publications map by Jerry Schad is the best map. Follow the route show on his map and study other notes. It is easy to get lost in this area!

Picacho del Diablo is located in the Parque Nacional Sierra San Pedro Martir. If a ranger is present at the entrance station your are requested to sign in. No fee is charged, but a contribution is much appreciated. Camping is allowed most anywhere, do not cut any trees as downed firewood is plentiful and pack out all trash. There are no water sources for the public.

One of the most difficult peaks to reach in NW Mexico, it is usually climbed from the high forested plateau south of the observatory. The traditional route from the east side up Canyon del Diablo is less used because of vandalism of vehicles. Take highway 1 south of Ensenada to the town of Colonet (76 miles or 123 km.) About 6 miles south of Colonet turn east onto a good dirt road with a sign indicating the Observatorio and the Meling Rancho. From here note the following mileages: 5.5 mi. reach San Telmo, 11.9 mi. reach Ejido Sinaloa, 17.2 mi. go straight at a fork, 28.5 mi. a cattle guard, 30.6 mi. (km 49 post) go right, 31 mi. go left at Rancho Meling sign. After crossing a large wash north of Rancho Meling the road climbs steeply and reaches the park entrance gate at 49.1 miles. From here it is 10.1 miles to the fork where you turn right to the trailhead. On this road pass a well at 0.5 mi. and continue to the Los Llanitos shack at 6.3 miles. Parts of this road require 4WD. The shack is at UTM 650700E, 3425700N (NAD27). From here it is a three-day, 11 mile round-trip backpack with a gain and loss of 16,500 ft. to the north summit via Blue Bottle saddle. The saddle is at UTM 653250E, 3427500N. A strong group takes 2 to 2 1/2 hours to the saddle and then 4 hours to Campo Noche. On the second day climb the higher north summit from Campo Noche allowing 5 hours for the ascent and 3 hours to return. The south summit is two feet lower and is a worthwhile class 4 scramble. On the third day make the steep ascent out of the canyon to Blue Bottle saddle in about 4 hours and allow two more hours to the shack. Water is available all year at Campo Noche. 5/95 RLC

Notes and other details on this peak at my website:
Click on photo for original larger-size version.
Ascending the slabs known as "Wall Street" (1995-05-28). Photo by Richard Carey.
Click here for larger-size photo.
Summary Total Data
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Richard Carey
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Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

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