11 Images

Cruising Baja, Mexico on ATVs

As Mario Feldman, 14, of New York pilots an all-terrain vehicle at Cantamar sand dunes, south of Rosarito, Mexico, the fun of going off road in an ATV is apparent. What if you’re a casual off-roader, interested in only occasional trips to the desert, dunes or forest? Then you might wish to check out tour companies that provide not just ATV and riding gear, but also a seasoned guide. (Photo: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)
A photographer finds that Tydon Kommel, 22, of Northridge can kick up quite a bit of sand in a Honda EX250 at the Cantamar dunes. Kommel is shown during a day trip offered by San Diego-based California Motorsport Adventures, which also leads longer excursions. The company has one-day ATV tours for about $275 plus tax and one-time $35 “setup fee.” (Photo: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)
Vittorio Feldman, 12, gets some air beneath his wheels while negotiating a track during a California Motorsport Adventures tour. A Times reporter who took the one-day tour said that, besides riding free form on the beach, her party explored inland paths and trails — about 35 miles’ worth. (Photo: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)
Mario Feldman skitters over a pretty smooth-looking surface, but the inland portion of California Motorsport Adventures’ one-day tour also traverses paths with rock and dirt — or mud, if it has rained the night before. (Photo: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)
A professional guide is first in line as riders tackle a trail in the Baja, Mexico, locale. A Times reporter says the tour company caters to all experience levels and found it novice-friendly and conscientious in its matching of riders with similar skill sets. (Photo: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)
ATV riders wander through wide-open spaces overlooking a wide Pacific Ocean. A Times reporter on a weekend jaunt noted that in California this time of year, the off-highway vehicle areas are packed on a Saturday, but the trails of west Baja were so vacant as to feel post-apocalyptic. (Photo: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)
Tydon Kommel, left, and Vittorio Feldman turn their attention to the Cantamar dunes. A company tour guide walks customers through the vehicles’ controls and issues riding tips before allowing them to wheel through the grit. (Photo: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)
They’re only 14 and 12, respectively, but Mario Feldman, left, and brother Vittorio motor over the dunes. Riders as young as 8 have taken the trips, but their acceptance depends on skill and strength levels. (Photo: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)
Adam Feldman rumbles above the surf at the Cantamar dunes. (Photo: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)
A guide, center, gives instructions to an ATV party before it challenges the tour’s inland route, which includes remote, rigorous terrain. Another guide stands at far right. (Photo: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)
On a hilltop near the end of their 35-mile inland travels, off-roaders are rewarded with a sweeping view of the ocean. (Photo: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)