May 9, 2017
Our day began with a train ride from Creel to the Divisadero area. The trip is rather quick, with one stop before reaching our destination. That stop is called Divisadero and passengers are given 20 minutes to disembark and marvel at the junction of the Tararecua Canyon and the Urique canyon below. There are, of course, people selling handicrafts and terrific fast food.
We then had a five-minute train ride to our actual stop, Posada Barrancas Station. We were picked up by our hotel, Hotel Mirador, for another 5-minute drive to the hotel that literally hangs over the Urique Canyon. The views are just unbelievable. The hotel is absolutely beautiful, with a lovely dining room and a deck for cocktails, watching the sun go down over this amazing place in Mexico.
There is very little to do in this area unless you have come to hike. A quick ride took us to The Copper Canyon Adventure Park. Considered one of the most impressive mountain parks in the world, it is not only an amazing way to enjoy the incredible ecology of the area but it is also the home of many Tarahumara Indians.
There are several zip lines, but we did not have time to even consider if we had the guts to do them, we did, however, ride the cable car. The car begins at the park and ends at La Mesa Bacajipare, an unbelievable look out point hovering over these two canyons. I am sorry we didn’t have time for the zip line. It is the longest in the world at over one mile, 3 minutes long, and apparently spectacular.
Copper Canyon (Spanish: Barrancas del Cobre) is larger than the Grand Canyon and consists of six distinct canyons in the Sierra Madre Occidental. The canyons were formed by six rivers that drain the western side of the Sierra Tarahumara (a part of the Sierra Madre Occidental). All six rivers merge into the Rio Fuerte and empty into the Gulf of California.
This part of Mexico is very special and like any great ecological force people visit it for many reasons and in many ways.
We chose to take the train which stretches from Chihuahua to Los Mochis, or from Los Mochis to Chihuahua if you prefer. Many people simply hop on and ride the train from one end to the other, possibly stopping at a town or two along the way.
We chose to “go to the bottom” twice, once at Urique and again at Batopilas.
We met Paul and Levi, they weren’t even on the train but were staying in the Hotel Mirador in Divisadero. They were riding motorcycles from Chihuahua to Lost Pines, California with the heart of their trip through the Copper Canyon. They did not “get to the bottom”, although they were mighty impressed when they pulled up the map on their phones and saw the road to Batopilas, next time guys. They did, however, ride the zip line at the Copper Canyon Amusement Park, so they one upped us there.
We met a South African couple that started in Chihuahua and only hopped off the train once in Cerocohui, they then headed all the way to Los Mochis for a plane to spend more of their vacation in Mexico City.
One of the funnest groups we met was a family of 30 that were spread throughout Mexico and the U.S and were on a family reunion, riding the rails and having a blast.
There are many ways to enjoy the canyon, and as many on-line tour companies to help you plan your trip. I hope I have helped in some small way, as I know there are no guide books on the area and not much information out there about how to navigate this area.
Hop aboard and enjoy!