SCORE Baja races are world famous for their toughness and natural beauty, and the Tecate Baja 1000 is the most famous of them all. Pre-running for the 52nd Baja 1000 is now open, except for the 39.1-mile section from Ensenada to Ojos Negros. The 800-mile course is unique this year in that it’s going to be run backwards from the traditional loop course, counter-clockwise instead of clockwise. The 52nd Baja 1000 starts in Ensenada and goes to Ojos Negros as usual, but then it turns south and west to Uruapan and Santo Thomas before hitting the Pacific coast north of Erendira. It heads inland a while from Erendira but then hits the coast again at KM145 down to San Quintin. It’s an awesome ride, and we’ve done it in UTVs and on dirt bikes.

What’s so cool about Baja Mexico, is that you can drive any UTV, ATV or dirt bike on the streets and highways as long as you obey traffic laws and signs. You must bring valid registration for all machines when you cross the border. Mexican insurance is also a good idea. We suggest you top off on fuel at Ojos Negros and all towns along the route. Have fun and be safe!

Ride right from your hotel or RV park to the course, which is all dirt and paved roads. The bad part about the course this year, according to racers, is that you’ll be hitting the bumps backwards. No worries, as you can go slow through the nastier sections. The course goes through Mike’s Sky Ranch, which we’ve enjoyed for 35 years. It hits Highway 3 for a while before turning south and across El Diablo dry lake. Matomi Wash is one of the gnarlier sections, or simply cut across to San Felipe. It then heads north into the mountains to Laguna Salada and west to El Condor before heading south through the Pine Forest. It’s all spectacular scenery.

Mike’s Sky Ranch is a world-famous destination; it’s probably all booked up through race weekend, but the course will be here year round.

Pre-running is laid back and super fun, and you get to see the famous racers like Robbie Gordon, Larry Roeseler, Rob MacCachren and former SCORE UTV champion Marc Burnett. Burnett, who was instrumental in the rise of freestyle motocross, SMP and the Boost Mobile FMX Tour, turned to four wheels after 15 years to race Class 6 Mini Trucks in SCORE races, then he turned to UTVs and Can-Ams, winning the 2014 UTV title in a Maverick 1000R. He also won the 2017 Turbo UTV title. Hanging out with friends at the many restaurants and taco stands is a blast, too. But the best part is riding the same course as the 52nd Baja Mil covers on November 22nd to 23rd. The Ensenada to Ojos section opens for pre-running on Tuesday the 19th (outbound only!).

Racing with your buddies along the Pacific is a blast,but be careful of the cliffs.

On Friday, November 22nd, bikes and quads start at 3:00am, so be at your camp site Thursday night. Wednesday and Thursday are race registration, Tech and Contingency, which is a huge event in Ensenada. UTV and ATV classes must go through Tech and Contingency on Wednesday. UTVs and all truck and buggy classes start at 10:30am.

Wes Miller won the Baja 400 in the Bomb Squad Polaris, and he is entered in the Baja Mil.


1. Mar. 25-29…San Felipe (250), Baja, MX

2. June 3-7…Ensenada (Baja 500), Baja, MX

3. Sept. 16-20…Ensenada (Baja 400), Baja, MX

4. Nov. 16-21…Ensenada (Baja 1000), Baja, MX





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Mike’s Sky Ranch (Baja, Mexico)

607 Twining Ave.

San Diego, CA 92154


GPS 31.1096 * N, 115.6358* W

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