In April of 1794, father Friar Jose Loriente, O.P. founded the first mountain mission in Baja California in order to incorporate the natives living far from the coast into the mission system. The highest mountain range in Baja California is named after this mission. The first site for San Pedro Martin Mission was at a place called Casilepe by the natives and was nearly 7,000 feet (over 2,000 meters) above sea level. Less than for months passed and due to the extreme cold, the high location was changed for another, 7 miles (12kms.) away and 2,000 feet (600 meters) lower in elevation. The site never prospered and was closed by the Dominicans in 1806.
The missionaries moved the neophytes to their Santo Domingo Mission. San Pedro Martin in the only Mission in the state of Baja California not accessed by automobiles. A two-day hike or horseback ride is required to see the foundation ruins.
Information: Carlos Chavez, Instituto Nacional de Antropologia e Historia.