La Rumorosa road is pure evocation. An unreal landscape of impossible stones with magnificent panoramic views, the scenery of myths and legends. A magical, winding highway with new vistas awaiting you at each turn.
La Rumorosa (The Whisperer) owes its name to the sound of the wind between the capricious rock formations. This highway is one of those places that does not leave you indifferent. Maybe because nothing can prepare us for the striking views over the rocky mountain range and, in the distance, the inmensity of the Laguna Salada all the way to Mexicali, beyond the horizon.
Lookout to lookout
La Rumorosa is the name by which is known the section of the Sierra Juarez descending 500 m from Tecate to the plains of Laguna Salada stretching to Mexicali. La Rumorosa highway is a driver’s dream come true, specially if you are into riding motorcycles, with perfectly drawn curves. Immediately after the toll booth pay attention to a small exit to the right: the entrance to the
Geo Parque Casa de Piedra (there is often a car selling what locals consider quite good burritos). Casa de Piedra (Stone House) is an indescriptible construction perfectly integrated in the stone, with a wooden platform as vantage point over the ochre landscape of La Rumorosa. Peculiar, indeed.
Casa de Piedra or the man who fell in love with the scenery
The imagination flies at Casa de Piedra. Who built it? With what purpose? The organic architecture, perfectly integrated in the stone, is the first thing that strikes the visitor. Inside, the reason is as clear as the magnificent views that the enormous bay windows allow, bringing nature inside the house. On its reason to be, there are legends talking about bootleggers, parties, secret dates… However, seemengly it was an engineer working on the construction of La Rumorosa highway who, in love with the nature around it, bought the land and built this refuge to enjoy the scenery and the peace.
But we are just getting started. Continue on the road and enjoy the descent at your own pace. There are strategically located lookouts along the way. You can stop, park and take all the photos you want, at your leisure. Each lookout offers different panoramic views, all equally striking, some even with a watch tower and telescope. Take your time to go down La Rumorosa highway and come back. Be aware that during the summer temperatures may soar and the car could overheat.
Windmills, little devils and adventure at La Rumorosa
A different way of enjoying this incredible landscape of eroded stone is stopping by the Parque Eólico (wind mill park). On the visit you will get an explanation on how this gigantic windmills generate the energy that lights Mexicali and Tecate. Very nearby you will also find El Vallecito, a peculiar archaeological site offering a most interesting stroll around rock paintings, the most famous one being the Diablito (Little Devil). On the highest point of La Rumorosa village sits Campo Alaska, built as government headquarters during the hellish summer months of Mexicali. Later it was used as military barracks and infirmary, and today it has been recovered as a museum.
“At Campo Alaska there are those who are not here anymore, those who didn´t arrive, those who never made it, those who left, those who are not visible, what was and what wasn’t, what could be and its fantasies. It´s as if all were alive and dead. Such is reality, the everything”. –– José Javier Villareal, Tijuana poet.
Finally, if you are fond of adventure, hire the services of a specialized tour operator and experience La Rumorosa from a rappel line, sliding down the rock walls in an unreal natural scenery. Unforgettable!
Click on the map to find La Rumorosa
La Rumorosa mountain pass is approximately half way between Tecate and Mexicali, 65 km from either city.
What will the weather be like at La Rumorosa?
From traveler to traveler
If you are interested in the Casa de Piedra history this fascinating article (in Spanish) sets the story straight and solves the mystery, at last..