Sierra de San Pedro Mártir

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Picacho del Diablo

Sierra de San Pedro Mártir (English: mountains of Saint Peter the Martyr) is a mountain range that is one of the Peninsular Ranges of the Baja California peninsula, Mexico. At 3,096 m (10,157 ft), the highest peak is the Picacho del Diablo, also known as Cerro de la Encantada or Picacho la Providencia. It is the highest point in the state of Baja California, as well as the entire Baja California Peninsula.

The range is a portion of the drainage divide that demarcates the west and east drainages of the peninsula.

Parque Nacional Sierra de San Pedro Mártir was established by presidential decree in 1974, protecting an area of 650 km2 (250 sq mi). It was the first of two national parks to be established on the Baja California Peninsula. The other is the Parque Nacional Constitución de 1857, in the Sierra de Juárez mountains to the north.

The National Astronomical Observatory is located at an elevation of 2,830 m (9,280 ft). The observatory was built in 1975, and has several large telescopes, the largest of which is 2.1 m (83 in). The observatory takes advantage of the high elevation, along with typically clear skies, low relative humidity, low atmospheric pollution, low light pollution, and low levels of radio interference.

Geography and ecology[edit]

View facing west toward Pacific

Sierra de San Pedro Mártir is one of the Peninsular Ranges, which run from southern California to the southern tip of the Baja California Peninsula.[1] The San Pedro Mártir has a very similar flora to the Sierra de Juárez just to the north, and these forests, which are surrounded at lower elevations by chaparral and desert shrub, are known as the Sierra Juarez and San Pedro Martir pine-oak forests. The flora is distinct from the flora of the rest of Mexico, and shares many species with the Laguna Mountains and San Jacinto Mountains in southwest California. Typical conifer species include white fir, sugar pine and Jeffrey pine. Snow usually coats the highest peaks of the range during winter. Sierra de Pedro Mártir is a southern demarcation of the distribution of the California fan palm, Washingtonia filifera.[2]

Captive-born California condors have been re-introduced to the wild in the Sierra San Pedro Martir, the first time they have been seen in the range since 1937. Baja California rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss nelsoni) are native to the headwaters of Rio Santo Domingo in the Sierra San Pedro Martir.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ World Wildlife Fund (2001). "Sierra Juarez and Sierra Pedro Martir Pine-oak Forests". WildWorld Ecoregion Profile. National Geographic Society. Archived from the original on 2010-03-08. 
  2. ^ C. Michael Hogan. 2009. California Fan Palm: Washingtonia filifera, ed. Nicklas Stromberg

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 30°45′N 115°13′W / 30.750°N 115.217°W / 30.750; -115.217