Exploring Trails in the Copper Canyon


In Temoris the Copper Canyon Train passes beneath a dedication to the Rail Workers.
In Temoris the Copper Canyon Train passes beneath a dedication to the Rail Workers.

The Camino Real

In the late 1890's, as Alexander Sheppard was making a fabulous profit from the mines in Batopilas, he had to get his precious product to market. This wasn't a guy to do things half-baked. Once the scuttlebutt about his imminent departure as governor of Washington, D.C., became reality, he bought the controlling interest in the Mexican enterprise. He had done a remarkable job in D.C. He had installed street lights, street cars, sewers and sidewalks. He had also installed his friends in some lucrative contracts, and that's what galled those who had missed out. He had the ground running upon his arrival in the high sierras. He started with a 6-mile aqueduct to produce hydroelectric power. Batopilas at the time, was only the second city in the country to have electricity! He built a hacienda complete with a foundry and a stamp mill. He established a series of rest stops where the men guarding the silver bullion convoys could rest and change horses for the next day's journey. In it's heyday, the Silver Trail would see dozens of mules on their route from the canyon depths to the capital in Chihuahua. Mules with specially made saddles would carry two silver ingots weighing 75 pounds each. Armed horsemen guarded the convoy. Bridges had to be built and maintained. The railroad had yet to arrive and the Sierra Madre was still a wild area with bandits comfortable that they were out of the reach of the law. Contraband flowed both ways across the border that had only existed since the Gadsden Purchase and Mexican Cession in mid 1800's.

Today, in conjunction with Skip McWilliams latest offering The Copper Canyon Trail, we are highlighting a unique new hiking opportunity in the Sierra Madre. Join us, or contact Skip to strike out on your own on a Hut to Hut walking tour in the Sierra Madre

Escorted Hikes and Horse-Backriding Expeditions in the Sierra Madre of Chihuahua & Sonora

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