Barranca del Cobre - Copper Canyon

Barranca del Cobre - Copper Canyon

mx Mexico

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When Is the Best Time

When Is the Best Time

The Canyon is a year-round destination and every season is different. Be prepared weather can change dramatically at anytime particularly in winter.

Winter (Nov. until Jan./Feb.):
Expect cold and snow on the upper elevation. Carry extra layers for the nights, they are quite cold. Weather can be great during the day. The temps on the bottom of the canyon are mild. Mostly dry from February on. Sometimes winter can last until the beginning of April. Winter is a good time for hiking. Less visitors at this time of the year.

March and April: These months are often windy

Spring (April and May):
Expect a little rain only. It’s the driest time of the year and warms up to 75°F (24°C) . The landscape is brown and it’s dusty. Waterfalls are on a low level. Easter time gets crowded.

Summer (June to August):
Extreme heat on the bottom of the canyon but hiking on high elevation pleasant. End of June rain starts. Vegetation turns green and flowers are in bloom. The flow of the waterfalls is impressive. It’s not always rainy, there are also perfect summer days. Camping on the bottom is a high risk due to flash floods.

Autumn (Sep. until mid.-Nov.):
Rain can last until mid-Sep. Temps are moderate and hiking conditions are good. It’s still hot on the bottom of the canyon.

June to September is the best time for river rafting on Rio Urique. Rio Grande is less wild, the ride is more gentle with beautiful panoramic views.


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Where and Tips

Creel, Chihuahua, Mexico

Copper Canyon is a World Heritage Site. The name origins from the greenish copper of the walls. The Canyon is a complex of six very big and deep canyons even deeper than Grand Canyon. Copper is 5770 feet – 1759 m deep, Urique the deepest with 6136 feet - 1870 m, Batopilas, Sinforosa, Tararecua and Oteros. The last two are not well known. Huge rivers have carved these deep canyons. The rivers like Rio Urique or Rio Grande merge into the Rio Fuerte to the Gulf of California.

The popular and unique Chepe train from Los Mochis, on the Pacific Coast, leads to Creel. Creel is the popular gateway to Copper Canyon. The train passes through numerous tunnels and over lots of bridges. You may also see the famous Basaseachi Falls with a free fall of 885 feet – 270 m. It is the only passenger train in Mexico and runs twice daily. The train stops at nine main tourist attractions. Copper Canyon is a great destination for hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing, river rafting, even a via ferrata exist, there are numerous hot springs, for birding and wildlife, rich in biodiversity. Get a closer look to the culture of the Tarahumara or Raramuri tribe which have populated for the last 500 years.

The town of Hidalgo de Parall to the south is a good alternative for exploring the Sinforosa Canyon which is hardly crowded.

Hiking is very popular but trails are not marked. Either you hire a local guide or you are very experienced and use GPS. The Rim to Rim trail is a famous loop and 38 miles - 61 km long with 20.000 feet – more than 6000 m elevation. It starts at the village of Divisadero to Pamachi on the east rim and back. Hiking pools are necessary.

The Basaseachi Falls National Park is famous for its thick forests of pine and live oak trees. It's outstanding for birding and wildlife sightings. Spend minimum a night in a cabin or pitch a tent.

Mosquito occur in the lower canyon!



2 things can be dangerous there: Bandits and dehydration :)

Stefan Bonne

hi Guy, Sandy, Copper Canyon is indeed deeper than the Grand Canyon but not so wide. It's been some years since I was there, but if you take a guided hike from Creel there should be no problem with bandits. Hear around in Creel hostels for a good operator.