Exploring Trails in the Copper Canyon


10 Day Trip from Los Mochis, Sinaloa (4 nights Hotel, 5 nights Camping); and First Class Train . . . $2199.00 per person, double occupancy
Meet Us at the Canyon Rim: (2 nights in a Rustic Guesthouse, 5 nights Camping) . . . $1599 pp/do
Departure Dates


The burros know all the best trails, and the Tarahumara know where to find them, making our treks a lot easier.
The burros know all the best trails, and the Tarahumara know where to find them, making Copper Canyon Trails' treks a lot easier!
This trek utilizes one of many caminos reales that survive from the roadless era in the canyons. Our camp is adjacent to a swinging bridge that connects the nearby mestizo village of Guaguevo to the railroad town of San Rafael. This village has a picturesque church overlooking the Barranca Urique that figures prominently in Tarahumaran festivities. Hiking this route, we see more of the locals. In fact, the last night's camp offers the local Tarahumara a hostel to stay in on their hikes. Read more about the Train; the hike down to the Rio Urique; or the hike to the town of Urique for the Ultramarathon.


Day One: Arrival by Air

Our recommended itinerary begins at the airport in Los Mochis, Sinaloa(Airport code: LMM). You will be met by your guide Cathy for your transfer to the hotel in El Fuerte. Relax and Enjoy the tropical atmosphere with a cool coconut drink, expertly opened with a machete before your eyes, or sip a margarita prepared from local oranges. Ask about an optional second night in El Fuerte, a colonial town founded in 1564 by Don Francisco de Ibarra, steeped in history. You can take a day to enjoy a river trip that highlights local birds or ancient petroglyphs.

Alternatively, you can begin your trip independently in Chihuahua, Chihuahua (Airport code: CHH); the town so nice, they named it twice. From there, you can bus (5 hrs) or train (8 hrs) to the trailhead, and join the Hiking Only portion of the trip. Chihuahua highlights include the church plaza, and the Pancho Villa museum in the Quinta Luz mansion. A group of 8 or more, booking a trip together, may change the recommended itinerary, and be met at the Chihuahua airport. You'll leave the next day for the trailhead by bus.

Day Two : Arrive at the Canyon Rim (10-day Rim Rendezvous Arrivals)

Monsoons highlight the exposed spines of volcanic rock that penetrate lush vegetation in Mexico's Copper Canyon.
Spines of eroded rock contrast with the vegetation during Monsoons in Mexico's Copper Canyon.
We leave El Fuerte to begin the ascent from sea level to over 8000 feet on the famous Chihuahua al Pacifico (CHEPE) train. This ride is rated one of the most spectacular rail journeys in the world! In fact the Society of International Railway Travelers included it in their "25 Best Loved Railway Journeys" book published in 2007. Notice the life zone changes as we ascend. We leave the humid tropics passing through banana and citrus orchards. The Sonoran desertscape offers a wide variety of cactus and other succulents that contrast starkly with the coconut and date palms near the coast. As we gain elevation, waterfalls appear in the faraway cliffs, and the overwhelming shades of green plants dazzle the eyes. Look sharp; the train transits the Temoris Valley three times in an attempt to gain elevation.The Apachean Madrean woodland makes its appearance, with over 100 species of oak. The complete rail journey is punctuated by 88 tunnels and 39 bridges. Posada Barrancas, our departure point in mid afternoon, is located in a pine forest on a high mesa.

Toward sunset we'll take a walk to the canyon rim. It will take your breath away; not just the scenery, but the lack of air.... The optional "canyon rim rendezvous" begins here with a night at Lola's for those arriving independently. Call for suggested itinerary

Day Three

We meet our local guides and arrieros (Spanish for burro drivers) after a hearty breakfast. A long undulating traverse skirts the town of San Rafael where we descend to a pastoral valley for lunch. After lunch, a steady climb and a long harrowing descent with spectacular views gets us to our first camp.

Day Four

After breakfast, we continue our descent to the Rio Urique. A swinging bridge connects the locals on either side of the river.

Day Five

A strangler fig along the Rio Urique.
Copper Canyon Trails guide Cathy inspects a strangler fig along the Rio Urique.
For today's day hike, we cross the bridge and follow the trail a couple of hours to arrive at the village of Guaguevo.

Day Six

We leave the river at a narrows, and ascent 3000 feet to camp.

Day Seven

We'll finish the ascent to camp in the cool pines on a busy mesa. There is a big Tarahumara presence here with a school, and easy access to commerce.

Day Eight

Back to the starting point at the guesthouse, Hot Showers and cold drinks await us!!!

Day Nine

Breakfast and transfers for the train to El Fuerte which leaves about 12:30.

Day Ten

Breakfast and Transfer to Airport in Los Mochis(LMM)

Escorted Hikes and Burro Expeditions in Mexico's Copper Canyon

Copper Canyon Trails, LLC ― www.coppercanyontrails.org ― Tucson, AZ 85745 ― Phone: 520-324-0209