Copper Canyon with the train Print
Monday, 04 February 2008 14:52

Copper Canyon with the train

This is a 15 day adventure all motels and NO camping!!

One spectacular trip with 2 days on the Chihuahua-Pacific Railroad also!

We will explore the canyons of the Sierra Madre Mts. Rated 2½ - 3½.

Our adventure starts as we explore the ruins of Parquime at Casas Grandes. You will meet and enjoy the hospitality of the people in Mata Ortiz and see the finest of thin wall pottery. We will travel to the exceptional “Valley of Caves” for a fascinating experience in the Indian caves. One cave has a 13' tall olla that was used as a granary. We will journey the un-mapped routes through the Sierra Madre mountains crossing back and forth over the continental divide. You will pass natural rock arches and cliff dwellings along the route. The route will end up at a nice logging town for 2 nights.

Morning brings us to another crossing the continental divide and some fantastic cliff dwellings. One very large cave with 3 story tall dwellings in it has a waterfall over the front of it, with the dwellings behind the falls. Be sure and bring your bathing suits as we can soak in the waters of the hot springs before we head back to the motel.
Your next day you will visit at "Basaseachic Falls (almost 1,000 ft. drop). You are into the heard of the Barrancas del Cobre that make up the area Americans call “Copper Canyon”. This is the land of the Tarahumara Indians all of the “Barrancas del Cobre”. We find the dirt again taking us to the town of Creel for lodging.

We will take the train to El Fuerte for the night. The next day we will then return back to our vehicles in Creel. This will give us a different  traveling schedule we have been doing, we can sit back and relax.  We will cross dozens of bridges and over 70 tunnels on this section of the rails. A day to do shopping, see some fantastic vistas, Tarahumara gifts and local sight seeing.

After a couple of slower days on the train we will awake to a warn breakfast it is into our first of many hair-raising drives from the mountain plateaus into our first major descents into  Batopilas canyon one of the many major canyons. We will take the dirt roads following the “El Camino Real” (The Kings Highway). It was silver that first brought Spaniards to this area and the mining. With the Spanish they brought their religion, so we will visit the “Lost Cathedral” at Satevo in this narrow canyon. We will have a spectacular old hotel for the night stuck high on the side of the canyon.

The only way out is up and we will go up and down many times for the next 225 miles on dirt roads. We will travel further into the remote lands of the Tarahumara. Some of our days will be longer driving then others as we try and make our lodging locations.

Our first very long day is to get to Urique situated  in it’s own canyon. If we do not make it in time we have a alternate hotel in Cerocahi.

The views are overwhelming from the mountain ridges. We are on the western slopes of the Sierra Madre as we descend into more canyons and mining camps on our way to Chinipas. We will see old world Mexico here.

From here we still have more mountains to climb and challenge us all the way to the plains near Alamos.

We will finally have a culture shock as you return to the 21st. Century and the modern towns of the New Mexico.

Our travels will take us through, Alamos, Bahuichivo, Batopilas, Creel, Cerocahi, Chinipas, Cusarare, El Fuerte, El Rodeo, Humira,  Madera,  Milipilles, Maguarichi, Nuevo Casa Grandes, San Juanito, Temoris, Tejaban Tubaries, and eventually to the inland rolling hills and ranchos. There is no tourist shopping in most of these towns, just "Beauty". Each of these town have a story to tell of their reason for being, and we will indulge in the flavor of each.

The days and nights we spend in the Barrancas of the Sierra Madera, will give you a better understanding of the Tarahumara Indians life. We will eventually make the culture shock back to civilized town of Alamos. A nice hotel and a shower and a special drink to celebrate the crossing of the many Barrancas of “Copper Canyon”. We can relax and take in the local sights or shop, or have time to ourselves pondering all we have done. The village of Alamos is just like being transported back 300 years into Spain. Alas we will take the pavement back to the states crossing at Nogales, AZ.. I know you will make the memories of this trip a special place in our hearts for as long as you live. It will be hard to retain all that we saw an did so bring plenty of film to refresh those memories.

Our adventure will have15 nights in lodging and train fees all included in the cost of the adventure.

Important Notes:

This adventure meets in Douglas, Az.  Here we will meet and cover last minute information and have a get acquainted dinner (the night before crossing the border). The adventure includes all lodging (15 nights) and 9 meals. This adventure officially leaves from the town of Aqua Prieta, Mexico. at the Mexican Immigration office, (first building over the border). The departure time to get the paper work at the border done is 9:00 AM. (mountain time zone). I generally get to Douglas early and get the paperwork out of the way. If you get there early contact me and we will get this done.

Vehicle Equipment: Any stock 4X4 or slightly modified vehicle with a transfer case (no rock crawlers). A vehicle that can maintain highway speeds of 65 MPH, C.B. Radio, 2 Extra 5 Gal. empty gas cans (we will let you know when to fill them), good spare tire, 2 Gallons of drinking water per person, extra oils, cameras, film, and spare batteries, binoculars, snacks, and drinks. A complete servicing of your vehicle prior to departing prevents most problems. Use your camping and off- road check list sent after we get your deposit. Important is a spare fuel filter, check before you leave as some newer vehicles are a dealer item only. You will have to get Mexican Insurance as our U.S. companies are not recognized in Mexico. You can buy your Mexican Insurance on line at if you have not already done so. Bring a extra vehicle key with you. If you need to borrow gas cans or a CB radio let me know with your reservation form.

Weather - We try to time our adventures to the best time of year for the adventure. We can not control Mother Nature and have to flow with what we are given. This adventure covers areas from sea level to over 8,750 ft and from possible freezing, to possible 100 degrees in temperature bring clothing for all extremes. It is better to have it and not use it then to need it and not have it.

Fording rivers - This remote adventure will have us fording rivers as there are No Bridges over Rio Urique and Rio Chinipas . This is one of the determining factors as to when we go on this adventure. We have had to take long detours when we could not cross the rivers, you can not guarantee what Mother Nature will do and when. As a rule the water crossings are less then 18" deep and from 50' to 300' wide.

To enter and return between U.S. and Mexico -You will need to have for your vehicle and yourself to enter mainland Mexico: Passport, registration to your vehicle(s). If you do not own the vehicle outright, a notarized letter from your Legal Owner to state that they have given you permission to take the vehicle to Mexico for the specified period of the adventure. The Visa and temporary Vehicle Importation permit have approximate $40.oo charge to be paid only Visa or MasterCard Credit Card. You will need two photocopies of your Proof of Citizenship, Drivers License, and Vehicle Title. This cost about $1.oo at the border.

Personal items - Be sure and bring any medications in the prescription bottle. Some prescriptions can only be prescribed by Physicians and you do not want to be caught with controlled drugs, without a prescription. If you wear glasses or contact lenses bring spares and cleaning items. Though most items are available in the larger cities, small towns just do not have them. Most of the lodging have towels and soap, but no wash cloths or shampoo, so bring your own. Laundry service is very limited, so plan on some hand washing items or bring enough for the15 days. Plan on about 8 to 10 lunches on the road at lunch time. This is a good time to use manifold cooking, We will get you the information as to what you may want to bring. We will use restaurants along the way where available. Bring additional snacks and drinks.

In Douglas, AZ they have a 24 hour Walmart superstore. You should be able to get any overlooked supplies at this time.

The trip includes cost of all rooms. Nine meals are also included also. Train tickets are included. No adult beverages are included.

Finances - This adventure will be in the remote areas of Mexico. The use of Credit Cards or Travelers Checks can be a problem in most locations. We will have about 4 days where you will be able to use a ATM machine and get Pesos. Even the use of Greenbacks can be a problem and it is best to use the Pesos. This can be taken care of ahead of time through most banks or at Money Exchanges in the U.S. or Mexico. This is a good time to buy a "Safe", fake soda can or gas cap or other container to hide extra moneys, check with a locksmith. We have never had a problem, but it is just better to be safe.

You should be sure and bring enough cash to cover all of your expenses, plus some extra as a cushion. The guide of expenses you will incur are listed below. From border to border expense guide - your exact expenses may vary from one half to double depending on your taste.

This is a average of what most clients spend per vehicle with two people:

Fuel & oil - $250
Toll roads - $30
Souvenirs - $200
Insurance - $90 to $145
Ice - $20
Additional food & water - $25 to $75
Restaurants and tips not included in the adventure - $150 to $250

This is our planned itinerary and is subject to change do to, weather or any unforeseen conditions. Western Adventures hopes this will be one adventure you will always cherish. I hope to see you on an adventure real soon.

You need to reserve early for this new adventure!!!
Thank you,
Western Adventures

Last Updated ( Saturday, 02 January 2010 10:04 )