Thursday, October 10, 2013


Copper Canyon
Best Way To See Copper Canyon

The best way to visit Copper Canyon by train from the western side is to drive or bus to the train station at El Fuerte, 50 miles inland from the coastal city of Los Mochis.  The train starts its 6:00 am run from the station at Los Mochis but the first 50 miles are through flat farm land.  It is best therefore to start from El Fuerte unless you must have the complete train ride.  El Fuerte offers a nice colonial town, hotels, and safe car parking at the station.  The train leaves El Fuerte around 9:00 am.  The best scenery is between El Fuerte and  Divisadero and the town of Creel.
   
El Fuerte offers a Copper Canyon 
Train Station
     Copper Canyon is one of the most isolated tourist spots in Mexico. You can reach the canyons by train from both the east and west ends of a 400 mile train ride or by bus from the city of Chihuahua.  

By Train from the Pacific Coast
      The Copper Canyon train makes one first class trip each day from each end of the four hundred miles of track that traverse the area of canyons called Copper Canyon. On the Pacific Coast, a daily first class train leaves Los Mochis and heads east. Meanwhile, 400 miles inland,  a first class train leaves the city of Chihuahua and heads west to Los Mochis.
     Three days a week, at seven am, a second class train leaves Los Mochis an hour or so after the first class train.  At times the first and second class cars are part of the same train.
After leaving the station at Los Mochis the first class train makes its first stop to pick up passengers in the town of El Fuerte at 8:55 am.  Once the train leaves El Fuerte it starts its climb into the mountains.

El Fuerte train station offers overnight several day parking for 
Copper Canyon  Train trips
  
         The scenery gets interesting after El Fuerte.  If , however, the attraction for you is the 400 mile trip on Mexico’s last regularly scheduled passenger train then you might want to start in Los Mochis.
This could be a memorable trip for railroad lovers. You can stand between cars and look out at the steep cliffs and river valleys far below.  You can also have breakfast in the dining car where you can have eggs, toast , and coffee for 100 pesos.  Sit on the right side for the best view.

     Passengers who drive to El Fuerte to board the train there will take Route 32 and go fifty miles northeast of Los Mochis.  If you are driving south on Route 15, watch for the El Fuerte turn-off, Route 1,  just south of the Sonora/Sinaloa border.
     You will find El Fuerte to have an interesting history and well preserved Centro Historico. Hotels in the town center will help with transportation to the train station, six kilometers south of town.  Hotel El Fuerte is a good option.
A taxi to the train station will be 40 peso per person for a group or 100 pesos for a single passenger.
If you are driving into El Fuerte, take a right on the road to Hoyanco just after the Pemex station. Stay on the road for six kilometers and you will reach the train station. You can park in a secure lot run by a family just to the right as you enter the train station parking area. The family parks you in their back yard for 100 pesos per night.
Cusarare Canyon bike rides and tours bring 
visits to Tarahumara artisans
 
Once into the canyon, the best stops for viewing the canyon are the towns of Divisadero or Creel. In those towns, you can find lodging and tours within the canyons. In Creel you will find an ATM, tours, restaurants, and all levels of lodging.
You can stay in the canyon area for as many days as you like. The return train will arrive in El Fuerte around 7:00 PM-9:00 PM

Cusarare Canyon offers a visit to 
Tarahumara weavers

By Train from Chihuahua

    
Trains leave from the city of Chiahuahua daily and make the trip southwest to Los Mochis. Much of the early leg of that trip, however, is not through spectacular scenery. The better option for those looking for scenery (other than train lovers) is to drive or bus into the town of Creel. There are many lodging options there and good access to the canyon for hiking or biking. From Creel, you can buy a train ticket for the stop at Divisadero and the lodging on the edge of the canyon. Transportation in Creel could also include tour bus, van, or truck rental to towns such as Batopilas   a hundred miles from Creel, deep in the canyon.
See the Three Amigos in Creel for vehicle and bike rentals.

     If you do opt for the train trip from Chihuahua, the best canyon stop would be either Creel or Divisadero. You can later catch the eastbound train to return.
Another option would be to drive or bus into Creel from Chihuahua or Cuauhtemoc and then take the train to El Fuerte. The train ride between Creel and El Fuerte is the most scenic. Once you arrive in El Fuerte, between 7:30 and 9:00 pm, the waiting taxis will take you to a hotel. The hotel El Fuerte would be a good choice, it is an unusual place with great d├ęcor offering rooms for two at 740 peso per night. The colonial center of El Fuerte has abundant charm.
You cab out to the station and board the eastbound train the following morning for the return to Creel.

Just be careful that the train doesn't leave Creel or Divisadero so late in the afternoon on a westbound trip that the scenic canyons will be in darkness when you pass.


Cusarare Falls 11 miles by road from Creel
Sightseeing within the Canyons
Creel is a small village with a train station, hotels, restaurants, bus station, church, and a bank. It serves visitors who then bike, hike, or tour by bus or car to other sights in the canyons. The Parque Natural Barranca del Cobre is a huge area of many canyons. Good roads (dirt switchback and paved) connect the villages of BatopilasUrique, and Divisidero, likey places to visit.
 Day trip from Creel, bike or hike with an afternoon pickup, Cusarare Falls

New Adventure Park, Zip Line, Cable Car.
At Divisadero there is an adventure park offering a cable car ride into the canyon, a zip line within the canyon, repelling, and hiking.

Lodging within the Canyons
The village of Creel is noted for its wide range of lodging options. Many visitors head to Creel and then go from there to other villages. Divisidero has its famous hotel, located on the edge of the canyon with great views. Batopilas is down in the canyons and offers lodging deep in Tarahumara country

     Copper Canyon is a huge area and truly remote.  It is best to have a loose schedule with a day or two of leeway in case the unexpected happens. There are no good and direct roads across the 180 miles or so between Creel and El Fuerte.  You could bus back through Cuauhtemoc and Hermosillo but it is a long way around.

See more Copper Canyon Details

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Copper Canyon Adventure Park
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