Road Conditions

Road Conditions Updates

Highway Condition: Very Good

Highway 5 remains fully transitable and you should expect a nice trip. Keep in mind as every year the percentage of cars per minute will start increasing in a remarkable way as we approach Race Weekend.

 

For Emergencies on The Road:

Call The Green Angels dial 078

Technical Assistance – Transportation – First Aids

 

For Emergencies in San Felipe:

Dial 066

Police – Fire – Medical

Hwy 5 Road Report for February

February has arrived and an eventful spring season is just starting up — and Hwy 5 from Mexicali to San Felipe is ready for the action! All construction is done, and the road provides a beautifully smooth ride. Fresh, new pavement is pothole and dip free, with a nice shoulder on either side for whenever you may need to pull over. The highway’s new paint is also nice and bright and very visible.

Freshly finished road!

The finished highway comes just in time for visitors headed down for Carnaval, Paella Festival, Blues and Arts Festival, Easter, the San Felipe 250 race and more during San Felipe’s busy February-May spring season. Check out the Calendar of Events to see when you should head down! (And check out the Business Pages Accommodations listings, and book ahead for the busy season!)

Mexicali was seeing a little rain when we passed through…

Beautiful Cloudy day to drive down… little touches of rain. Nice, smooth highway all the way down.

Turning sunny as we reach San Felipe…

So what are you waiting for? C’mon down!

Highway 5 Finished Construction – Some Tarring – No Detours

Highway 5 from Mexicali to San Felipe is at last (almost!) finished! There are currently no detours offroad at all, though there is a small section of tarring work going on at KM 126 (right before the mine if you are driving down from Mexicali). Here traffic is guided over into the north-bound lane to avoid the fresh tar and workers. Slow down enough to be prepared, and watch for traffic coming in the opposite direction.

Tarring Equipment at KM 126

Some workers are scattered along the shoulders of the road in some locations doing minor work; the worst bumps have been smoothed out, others are marked with orange caution cones, though it is always recommended to be alert and drive carefully.

Happy Travels to San Felipe!

More equipment at KM 126 putting a new surface on the road.

Crews working by the roadside near La Ventana.

Finished Road!

Construction on Highway 5 is nearing completion

The long period of construction on Highway 5 is nearing completion as most of the highway is now smooth and newly paved. Apart from a very brief patch of dirt road at one point, all that remains of the detours is a stretch of dirt less than 5 miles long.

Coming from San Felipe:

Beginning slightly before the mine, the detour is 4.4 miles long, fairly hard-packed with some slight ruts. It is marked with “Do not pass” signs, but some drivers still try to edge ahead. Drive carefully and watch for stray rocks and ruts, but the detour is in fairly good condition.

8.8 miles after the end of this detour, there is a very brief (0.3 miles) stretch of dirt road. Slow down to drive over it and watch the traffic in the other lane, as the road is very narrow here to allow construction.

The rest of the road is nice and new, smooth and with a much better shoulder than before. The drive currently is also a nice one, as the desert is fresh and green from the rains earlier and makes for some interesting scenery.

Latest Updates on San Felipe – Mexicali Highway

The road construction continues on Highway 5, with four detours currently.

First detour on Highway 5

  1. The first detour coming from San Felipe and heading north is 12 miles long and starts 5 miles before the cutoff road to the mine. This detour is the longest and also the roughest, with some ridges and potholes that should be carefully maneuvered around.
  2. The second detour is only a mile long, detour in same condition as the first detour.
  3. The third detour is 3 miles long but smoother with fewer potholes. Drive carefully and keep your speed low to avoid any surprise bumps.
  4. The fourth and last detour is 2 miles long.

Some of the detours are marked in a slightly confusing way, with cones seeming to indicate a detour off-road, but still leaving a space for cars to pass onto the new pavement. When in doubt, take the off-road option, as some of the paved sections still end in rough, loose dirt.

Watch out for stray rocks in the road, take your time and drive slowly. Allow yourself a little more than 3 hours to drive from Mexicali to San Felipe or vice versa, and budget your time so that you are not driving in the dark.

Driving the first detour

Third detour

Update on the Mexicali-San Felipe Highway Detours

The Mexicali road is in full swing with construction, and there are currently 3 detours in the road.

The first detour begins approximately 4 miles before the mine road and is 13 miles long.
Three miles of paved highway until the second detour, which is 7 miles long. Another 3 mile stretch of pavement, then one final off road detour which is 4 miles long.

A total of 24 miles of offroad, most of which is currently fairly flat and hard-packed, though there are some rough sections and a few areas of ruts. Try to go around the ruts, as vehicles with lower clearance may scrape if they try to go through them. Always be aware of traffic coming in the other direction.

The new sections are already starting to be paved as work moves steadily onward aiming for a completion date in November.

First detour heading north – 4 miles south of the mine

 

Fairly well-packed road

 

There are a few ruts to watch for and carefully go around them.

Rainstorms hit Mexicali and the road to San Felipe

Yesterday there were major thunderstorms in the mountains of Southern California and northern Baja as tropical moisture was drawn up the Gulf. During the afternoon there were thunderstorms and some flooding on Interstate 8 from El Centro to San Diego, and Mexicali was hit between 2 and 6 p.m. with significant flooding, particularly of the new underpasses on Lopez Mateos. 

The road to San Felipe was also subjected to some heavy, but brief, downpours south of La Ventana and the “off road” construction sections got very muddy. People traveling at that time said that the mud was bad in places but they were able to get through without major problems. I imagine that a lot of car washing is being done today in San Felipe. 

In town, there were isolated, occasionally heavy, showers mainly in areas north of The Arches and you can see the black clouds forming to the northwest in our weather cam picture below. In fact, for most of the day, the sky looked very threatening all over the northern Baja region. 

The chance of summer storms continues today . Be watchful on the roads and do not drive after dark.

 

 

 

The roadworks continue….

The stretch of the highway south from the Laguna Salada to the Ensenada road continues to suffer with significant off-road  diversions.

The road north in the vicinity of La Ventana

 A total of about 50 miles is involved (about 1 hour of rough road) although at any one time, you may only be forced onto the desert hardpack for half of this distance. Some major cuts and regrading are underway around La Ventana. Take it very slowly and you will likely make it OK. Note that we have had reports of tire damage due to the very sharp rocks in the road in places.

Road Conditions for Memorial Day Long Weekend

Road conditions for the Memorial Day weekend are looking fairly decent for visitors traveling down. While construction is ongoing in Mexicali, it is not as extensive right now and you can navigate it fairly smoothly by following the traffic through the detours. To avoid the downtown construction altogether, there is also the option to simply take the new (East) border crossing. Once past the city, you will be able to enjoy the fresh highway, brand-new from the past ongoing construction. While there are crews toiling by the side of the road midway through the journey, detours do not begin until you are nearing La Ventana.

Drive with care and take your time.

 

There are 5 detours, each fairly long, some crossing over the highway to follow the best path. They are currently in fairly good condition, without any major ruts, though there are some rocks in the road, if you drive at a safe speed and keep an eye out for them, you should be able to avoid them with no trouble. The detours stretch over a distance of about 20-25 miles. Drive cautiously through the construction zones.

Detours in the La Ventana Area

Do keep track of your travel schedule and don’t drive after dark. With the long days of summer, sundown is at 7:34.

"Desviacion"

Once past these detours, it is smooth sailing into San Felipe, so take your time, be aware and enjoy the magnificent Baja desert and mountain scenery, and get ready to relax in San Felipe with a plate of fish tacos and some cold ones!