Do you love nature? Do thoughts of your next vacation being full of outdoor activities and stunning views get you pumped up and ready to start planning your next trip? If so, get ready to be floored by an environment that offers the best hikes in Mexico.
Situated 600 miles (965 kilometers) to the south of the U.S. – Mexico border lays Mexico’s famously breathtaking Parque Nacional Barranca del Cobre, or Copper Canyon National Park. Cutting across part of the country’s Sierra Madre Occidental mountain range, this impressive site is composed of six, interconnected gorges, that when combined, are significantly larger – and in some places, even deeper – than the Grand Canyon in the United States. Talk about inspirational!
With its deepest canyon, known as Urique Canyon, reaching an astonishing depth of 6,136 feet (1,870 kilometers), and the most popular canyon, Copper Canyon, reaching depths of 5,700 feet (1,737 kilometers), it’s safe to say that visitors are guaranteed some of the most heart-stopping views the world has to offer.
Deemed a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Copper Canyon National Park derives its name from the copper-colored canyon walls, which were painted red nearly 35 million years ago during the formation of the Sierra Madre Occidental mountain range. With the canyon system comprised of nearly 25,000 square miles (64,750 square kilometers), visitors are offered any array of adrenaline-inducing activities, such as horseback riding, kayaking, fishing, bird watching, mountain biking, hiking, and even helicopter tours.
If being outdoors and experiencing nature first hand is your type of gig, this destination is sure to leave you feeling complete. Whether you’re an outdoor activity enthusiast or simply wish to walk some of the canyons remarkable hiking trails, visitors are sure to experience nature like never before.
With complex trails, steep canyons, and few maps for navigation, hiring a professional tour guide is your best option – especially if you are not a hiking expert. When hiking in extreme terrain, safety comes first. Plus, your professional guide will help you to appreciate the surrounding nature, local communities, and regional history.
One of the best ways to experience the canyon in its entirety is to hop on board the word-famous Ferrocarril Barrancas del Cobre (Copper Canyon Train), commonly known by locals as El Chepe. Completed in 1961, the train spans nearly the entire canyon system, beginning in Los Mochis on the west coast and ending at Chihuahua City on the east side. Comprised of nearly 80 tunnels and 40 bridges, visitors have the opportunity to disembark along the route and explore the park’s six major canyons and local towns, introducing them to multiple trails, views, and cultures.
Witness amazing views at Divisadero, swim in the freshwater Rio San Ignacio, and experience the mesmerizing Cusarare Falls and Piedra Volada – one of the tallest waterfalls in Mexico and 11th tallest in the world at 1,486 feet (452 meters). Whether by foot or on the train, the Copper Canyon is sure to capture your heart.
When exploring, it is very possible that guests will capture a glimpse of the famous indigenous Tarahumara community. Also known as the Raramuri, the Tarahumara are a people that have called the Copper Canyon home for centuries. By living their traditional lifestyle of dressing colorfully, herding native animals, and living in wooden huts, the Tarahumara have been able to survive in an environment deemed by others as inhabitable.
Regardless of how you maneuver through the canyon’s steep walls, guests will eventually arrive to the town of Creel, Mexico – known as the eastern gateway to Copper Canyon – where many of the Tarahumara sell handcrafts and come into contact with visitors. With tours to nearby sites such as Valle de los Hongos (Mushroom Valley) and Valle de las Ranas (Frog Valley), lucky visitors can even visit present-day cave homes inhabited by these incredible individuals – by far one of the most rewarding things to do in Creel.
So, what are you waiting for? With road and rail links from the U.S. – Mexico border and several flights from American cities to Los Mochis, arrival to either starting point is simple. The only thing standing in your way now is… well, you! Begin planning a remarkable trip to this uniquely magnificent Mexican destination and be forever changed by the unparalleled Copper Canyon tours.