Have you ever wonder how it would be like to go trekking across a deserted island in the middle of the Sea Cortez?
The desert islands in the Sea of Cortez are little known except to a few intrepid tourists, sailors, and fishermen. Though at first glance these stark islands may appear barren, they are a refuge for an astounding variety of plants and animals. While many of the species are typical of the greater Sonoran Desert region, some are endemic or unique to one or two islands.
For example, Isla Santa Catalina is home to the world’s only rattlesnake that has lost its ability to grow a rattle. Other islands host nesting birds, such as Isla Raza, a tiny, flat flow of basalt lava that attracts nearly half a million elegant and royal terns and Heermann’s gulls each spring.
Quite a few of the islands in the southern Sea of Cortez are small enough to cross, yet challenging enough to offer an adventurous day trek.
Starting from a beach on the westward side you may wind your way up an arroyo past sandstone formations, barrel cactus, palo verde and perhaps even an endemic species or two.
Soon the winding arroyo will give way to an ascending rock mesa with spectacular views down to the beach you left behind and the dramatic Sierra de la Giganta mountain range in the distance.
Walk long enough and you are sure to cross the island terminating your trek on the dramatic edge of a cliff staring hundreds of feet down to the crashing surf below.
Birds riding thermals whiz past your head and a refreshing breeze cools your sweating face as you stare into the sea for what seems a million miles.
At the end of the day, the walk back to the boat that will take you back to the mainland has dramatic views the entire way and is all downhill.