Parque Nacional Constitución de 1857, Baja California Norte – Camping at Laguna Hanson

Laguna Hanson lies together with its smaller sister lake Laguna Chica in the natural preserve Parque Nacional Constitución de 1857 in the sparsely populated triangle between Tecate, Mexicali and Ensenada. The national park is situated on an elevation between 1600 and 1800 m in the Sierra de Juárez that is regarded as an extension of the Californian Sierra Nevada. Of the 145 km from Tecate / MEX 2 120 km are dirt roads in different condition. Sometimes they are relatively good, but partially there are wash-outs from the last weeks’ heavy rainfalls. Several brooks have to be crossed, but the track is suited to regular cars with some higher clearance. It only takes time: We need six hours. Only the last kilometres from the south into the park are a challenge. Some waterholes with a half meter depth might cause drivers of smaller cars quite a headache. In face of those ponds the speed limits to 40 km/h contain some entertainment value.

Laguna Juarez, how the lake is called in Spanish, is located on a subalpine plateau surrounded by Ponderosa pines and round granite boulders. Ten areas around the lake are indicated as campgrounds, equipped with outhouses, garbage containers, and some grills. There are no marked pitches, just park where you like. The counter office at the entrance was not engaged, but only after a few minutes a ranger dashes up with his ATV to collect the fees. Day use is 50 Peso (MXN) per person, or for 65 MXN we can camp. There are no marked hiking trails in the park, instead you can walk around the lake or hike through the forest.

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