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Forget Club Med... Who needs Cancun? What I'd like to see in

 
 
Piffka
 
Reply Sat 28 Jun, 2003 08:08 am
Quote:
Sierra Tarahumara (Copper Canyon) belongs on the wish list of most every traveler...


Forget the beaches... Forget Club Med... Who needs Cancun? Cool What I'd like to see in Mexico is Copper Canyon and the Sierra Tarahumara. I'm afraid of heights and it will probably scare me silly but I've been contemplating the first class train trip from Los Mochis, Sonora on the Sea of Cortez, to Chihuahua and back again. I'm hoping there's a stop near Alamos because it's such a beautiful hill town, but it's the train ride and the canyons that spark my imagination.

Has anybody ever been to Copper Canyon or know anybody who has? Interested reader(s) want to know. I think there are very few people who know that it's bigger & deeper than it's little cousin, the Grand Canyon. :wink:

http://www.coppercanyonadventures.com/Copper%20Canyon%20Overview%20Map.jpg

Here's a detail of the elevation gain/loss on the train. It's a 6% grade or less, all the way. (How do they do that?)
http://www.coppercanyon-mexico.com/cc-mex/images/mpgrph1.jpg

One of the six massive gorges -- Sinforosa Canyon
http://www.coppercanyon-mexico.com/cc-mex/images/ccsinf.jpg
Quote:
The Sinforosa Canyon can also be explored hiking through the bottom following a most abrupt and spectacular section of the canyon floor. This is one of the most impressive tours of the whole Sierra Tarahumara, since it squeezes between narrow passes and gigantic walls of stone that can get higher than a kilometer (6/10 of a mile). For this trek you would need a week to tour approximately 70 kilometers between the Summits of Sinforosa and Guerachi. The hike is difficult, excellent physical condition is necessary, and it is recommended that you hire an expert guide in Guachochi. There are shorter routes in this canyon, with less days of walking, and almost equally attractive.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 4,162 • Replies: 19
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fbaezer
 
  1  
Reply Sat 28 Jun, 2003 11:34 am
Piffka,
It is a beautiful ride indeed, I'm told (the only part of Chihuahua I've been to is Juárez, ugh!). Both Mexicans and foreigners love it. But I know of no one that has taken it both ways.

The most common ride is Chihuahua-Topolobampo, with a one or two days stop for hikes at Creel-Divisadero: the very height of the journey in the midst of the Rarámuri (that's how Tarahumara indians call themselves) region.

The ghost town of Alamos (Sonora) is not really near any of those stations. A possibility would be stopping at Los Mochis (Sinaloa, not Sonora), and getting there a bus to Alamos (maybe a 2-3 hour ride).

The Sinaloa part of the ride, from El Fuerte to Topolobampo, is not impressive (agricultural plains), the only cities of the ride are Chihuahua and Los Mochis, and another possibility (a mountain-sea combination) would be to take the Chihuahua-Topolobampo train and then, the Topolobampo-La Paz ferry, and end the vacation in the Sea of Cortés.
0 Replies
 
Piffka
 
  1  
Reply Sat 28 Jun, 2003 11:04 pm
fbaezer wrote:
The ghost town of Alamos (Sonora) ....

...another possibility (a mountain-sea combination) would be to take the Chihuahua-Topolobampo train and then, the Topolobampo-La Paz ferry, and end the vacation in the Sea of Cortés.


Thanks for responding fbaezer. I was hoping you'd been on this train! I thought maybe you could give me an eye-witness comparison between Copper Canyon and the Grand Canyon. My mom went there once, ages ago and thought Copper Canyon was wonderful.

My parents used to live part-time in San Carlos, near Guaymas and my sister still has their condo, so that's why I was thinking of doing the double-route, plus I have no reason to be in Chihuahua. Might as well turn around! I have taken the train from Nogales to Guaymas... not the greatest trip in the world, but you get there. That train must connect with the Chihuahua one at Los Mochis or Topolobampo.

Uhhh, what do you mean by the "Ghost Town" of Alamos? That gives me the creeps. Scary! It wasn't a ghost town when I was there. Yeah, okay, it's been 20 years but....
0 Replies
 
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Sun 29 Jun, 2003 12:12 am
Looks like an interesting trip. My wife hates Mexico, but I love it. I've received some travel brochures that includes the Copper Canyon, but haven't heard of anybody that has traveled there. Would be interested in hearing more about that destination. c.i.
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ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 29 Jun, 2003 12:18 am
See if JLN picks this up...

I long wanted to do the train, but time passed and I got all hot for italy. Still, what e'er you do, I want to hear about.
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Piffka
 
  1  
Reply Sun 29 Jun, 2003 08:25 am
Had to laugh... came here to check on the topic and the a2k banner had two (TWO) ads for Copper Canyon.

Here's one:
http://www.coppercanyontours.com/

Here's the other:
http://www.railsnw.com/tours/copper/copper01.htm

Must go explore them!
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cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Sun 29 Jun, 2003 09:18 am
Pifka, Thanks for sharing those links. I will also go to explore. Wink c.i.
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Piffka
 
  1  
Reply Sun 29 Jun, 2003 10:09 am
You may be interested in knowing that the Elderhostel International has a Copper Canyon excursion planned.

http://www.elderhostel.org/programs/programdetail.asp?RowId=1%2BJB%2B70

Hope that link works!
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ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 29 Jun, 2003 03:34 pm
It seems to me in my recent scrolling around a2k that the ads make more and more sense with what Forum they are over...the last four I noticed were appropriate to the topic..maybe that is just chance occurence, but it was neat.
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cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Sun 29 Jun, 2003 03:57 pm
BTW, I really love that photo of Sinforosa Canyon. I wanto to go see it now. Wink ci
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fbaezer
 
  1  
Reply Sun 29 Jun, 2003 08:41 pm
piffka, Alamos is not strictly a ghost town, but a town way past it's glory days, with many old mansions, and a lot of ghost stories around them.

San Carlos, hmmm. I haven't been there since the late seventies. At the time I didn't understand why Americans got to like it so much.

I once sent an Italian friend who had been all through central and southern Mexico in previous trips to do the Copper Canyon ride, and he was absolutely fascinated.
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Piffka
 
  1  
Reply Mon 30 Jun, 2003 09:26 am
While staying at San Carlos for the winter my parents would take short trips. One of them was a trip to Copper Canyon. At the time I was young and didn't pay too much attention to them. Lately, odd references to Copper Canyon have come my way, reminding me how much my mother enjoyed the trip.

About San Carlos... My parents searched from Costa Rica to the Baja for a couple of years trying to find a winter home in the sun before settling on San Carlos in the early seventies. I think they had friends who first recommended it and who went there in their motor home to the Shangri La. (I wonder if you'd remember that place? It had a nice open-air restaurant and an old garden with palm trees.)

San Carlos is fairly accessible for west coasties via the good highway from Nogales. If you're driving it's just a four-six hour trip. There's also the Guaymas airport via Aero Mex and Alaska Air. My dad usually drove it and always bragged about how well-patrolled the highway was by the Green Angels. In addition, San Carlos had one of the few golf courses in Sonora, yet it wasn't as built-up or touristy as some places along the border and further south. It was also known for a very deep community well with safe water that you could drink straight from the tap. Of course, the fishing was great, either from the shore or in my dad's little boat. The local doctor spoke English and was excellent -- well-loved by the locals and the transients. My parents had a small condo on the water (Conquistador) and a time-share at the Pilar for guests. The food in the winter was excellent -- especially the shrimp and citrus fruit. Guaymas was also a draw since it was such an old and interesting town. They liked going through Hermosillo, too. My sister has the Conquistador apartment now, and my brother, the Pilar, so I expect to visit again. The furthest south I've been is Alamos, which I loved. One of the most beautiful squares I've seen. Ghost stories, hmmm?
0 Replies
 
fbaezer
 
  1  
Reply Mon 30 Jun, 2003 11:05 am
Piffka wrote:
San Carlos is fairly accessible for west coasties via the good highway from Nogales.


My former father-in-law used to be the maintenance chief of that part of the highway in the late seventies-early eighties.
He was quite a strange man from the desert... he was always on the move and, like Don Quixote, he liked the road more than the inn. (He's still alive, but barely...)
0 Replies
 
Piffka
 
  1  
Reply Mon 30 Jun, 2003 12:09 pm
Your former father-in-law's work was highly appreciated! My father bragged about it every trip though, as a matter of fact, he thought it was going downhill sometime in the late eighties. Hmmm, he thought they'd run out of money. My dad died in 1994 about two weeks before he was to head back down to San Carlos.

I hope you remember some of the ghost stories of Alamos. I remember thinking that there were young women who must have felt like birds in a gilded cage, sitting above the square with their windows barred by ornamental wrought iron.
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fbaezer
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Jul, 2003 09:30 am
Ghosts of Alamos

Books about Sonora and the ghosts of Alamos (good link)
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Piffka
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Jul, 2003 10:34 am
Good grief! I had no idea it had become popular. I went there with a friend who grew up in Ciudad Obregon. There was nothing like that in 1983.
0 Replies
 
fbaezer
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Jul, 2003 11:14 am
(Fixed the second link)
0 Replies
 
Ruach
 
  1  
Reply Wed 17 Dec, 2003 08:11 pm
pifka ,
http://images.google.com/images?q=tbn:ILk_9w8OF-EC:www.theholidayspot.com/birthday/images/birthday.gif
0 Replies
 
husker
 
  1  
Reply Wed 17 Dec, 2003 09:34 pm
wow I like that map! I wanna borrow it
0 Replies
 
Ruach
 
  1  
Reply Wed 17 Dec, 2003 11:15 pm
it is a neat map, i like maps.
0 Replies
 
 

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