Rancho Meling - Baja California

Meling Ranch  is on the route to and only about an hour away from the gates of Paque Nacional San Pedro Martir. (Driving log from Ensenada 81 miles). The road to the paque is paved and a suitable scenic drive for passenger cars. The Parque itself does not allow quads or motorcycles; However, at the ranch you will find off roading as one of their activies for guests.

You will not find 1000s of street venders, nor an empty lonely desert. But rather be charmed by a off the beaten path gem that does not fit into any of the stereo types about Baja California. Taking a ranch-conducted pack trips into the majestic San Pedro Martir, amid majestic pine forests, grassy plains and waterfalls can make you forget you are in Baja California.

The 10,000 acre cattle ranch is located on the west slope of the Sierra San Pedro de Martir mountains. Nearly a kilometer, (a half mile), down a dirt road from the paved road that ultimately leads to the Parque. There are signs alone the road leading to the gate that you have to open a gate to drive into the ranch, and then close the gate behind you so that livestock don't pass. If you use a GPS, the coordinates are N 30.58.335, W 115.44.664, with an elevation of 2, 120 feet.

You will quickly notice that Meling Ranch is indeed an authentic working ranch, that includes horses, cattle, outbuildings, a shop, employee housing, a small motel, a swimming pool, a beautifully-landscaped courtyard, a large building, which turns out to be the dining room, where all you-can-eat family style meals are served in a spacious natural wood dining room that contains a huge, open, rock fireplace. Once you walk into the rustic, main dining room, and you're immediately be greeted by Andrea Meling, who manages and operates the ranch, and is a part owner in the operation, along with her sister, who runs the ranch's web site from Ensenada. Reservations can be made online or via phone.

Meling Ranch doesn't have land-line telephone service, they have satellite telephone service, and a couple of Motorola hand held radios. Andrea and her sister have Mexican ham radio licenses and keep in touch with the outside world using a ham radio repeater, XE2BC out of Ensenada. The details for ham operators to connect is - XE2BC operates in the 2 meter band with the repeater on 146.700 MHz, and with a PL tone of 186.2.

The ranch is also off the electrical power grid and generates its own power on a schedule. Oil lamps are used for light at night, and views of the stars in the night are not blocked by lights. Daytime activities include horse riding, off road vechile riding, hiking and exploration.