Copper Canyon (Barranca del Cobre)

Copper Canyon



Location: Chihuahua    Map


Description of Copper Canyon

The Copper Canyon or the Copper Canyon is called the system consisting of seven ravines. Located in the Sierra Tarahumara in the southwest of the Mexican state of Chihuahua in Mexico. The canyon system is four times larger in extension (60,000 km²) and almost twice as deep as the Grand Canyon of Colorado river in Arizona, in the United States of America. It is home to the indigenous Rarámuris or Tarahumaras. Copper Canyon gets its name from a green color walls that look like a copper, thus the name. It is a popular destination for many nature lovers. You can explore Copper Canyon by hiking, camping, biking, driving and even take a local horse on a ride through the region.

The Copper Canyon (as they are called locally) are crossed by the Chihuahua to the Pacific train route, known as "el Chepe". In the section Divisadero-Los Mochis, the train goes into the mountain to cross the rugged geography, passes cliffs precipitous, crosses 86 impressive short and long tunnels, and 37 spectacular bridges that plow rivers. This is an important transportation system and a tourist attraction. Today it can be reached by road from the city of Chihuahua, approximately in five hours, and penetrate the ravines through rural roads. Flying over them in a helicopter offers a spectacular aerial view.


The Copper canyon is the traditional home of the Tarahumara (Rarámuris, the name with which they identify). Legend has it that the ravines of the Sierra Tarahumara were formed during the creation of the world, when the stones still did not curdle and were malleable. The metaphor refers to a tectonic event that more than 20 million years ago gave rise to this spectacular network of canyons over an area of ​​60,000 km². The system owes its name to a glen famous for its copper mines, but there are many that occur along 600 km length.

Among the most important canyons are: Urique, the deepest in Mexico (1,879 m); La Sinforosa, on whose slopes fall the waterfalls Rosalinda and San Ignacio; Batopilas (declared a Magic Town on October 19, 2012 by the government of the republic), where some of the most traditional Tarahumara communities live; Candameña, where Piedra Bolada and Baseaseachi are located, the two highest waterfalls in Mexico, and the El Gigante rock, a rock 885 m high; Huapoca, which houses archeological sites of the Paquimé culture, and Chínipas, one of the lesser-known ones, at the bottom of which sits the oldest mission of the Sierra Tarahumara.


The area known as the Casase de Basaseachi National Park, has the waterfall of the same name and Piedra Volada, with falls of 270 m and 500 m, respectively. Legend has it that Basaseachi was the daughter of King Candameña who ruled the High Sierra Tarahumara. She was very beautiful and in marriageable age several people pretended to him, for that reason, his father requested great and difficult tests that none succeeded and died, resulting that the inconsolable girl, jumped into the void. Then a sorcerer from the community made the fall the waterfall that we admire today. You can find vegetation and diverse animals, there are walks on foot and by bicycle, even lodging.

Chepe train
The train to the Pacific Chihuahua - «Chepe» - is the only railway that has been international in its vision since its inception. The railroad crosses some of the most rugged terrain in Mexico, hugging the edge of mountains and crossing deep ravines and ravines on its bridges. The stage is truly impressive. The trip in the first class express takes around 4 hours. This is a spectacular journey and it is really worth doing it, but you must book early. The tourist stations through which the train passes, starting from Chihuahua, are: Cuauhtémoc, Creel, Divisadero, Posada Barrancas, Bauichivo, Temoris, El Fuerte, Los Mochis.

The weather in the Copper Canyon depends on the season of the year. In the upper part of the canyon the climate is alpine, warm and humid in the summer, cold and cool in the winter. The temperature at this height is between -22 ° C and 30 ° C. Meanwhile, in the bottom of the Copper canyon the climate is subtropical, hot and humid in the summer, and warm and dry in the winter. The temperature ranges between -12 ° C and 44 ° C. the oldest mission in the Sierra Tarahumara.