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Mexico's "Grand Canyon" is not one but more than 20 spectacular canyons carved deep into the Sierra Tarahumara range of the Sierra Madre Occidental chain in the northwest of the country. Covering a total area four times the size of the Arizona canyon, the Copper Canyon plunges as much as 6,163 feet from lip to foot. The rugged landscape of cliffs, rock outcrops and pillars and deep gorges encompasses ecosysytems varying from subtropical at lower altitudes to alpine at the top. The only route through the canyon region is is the 406-mile Chihuahua-Pacific Railway running from Chihuahua on Mexico's northern high plains down to Los Mochis near ...

Mexico's "Grand Canyon" is not one but more than 20 spectacular canyons carved deep into the Sierra Tarahumara range of the Sierra Madre Occidental chain in the northwest of the country. Covering a total area four times the size of the Arizona canyon, the Copper Canyon plunges as much as 6,163 feet from lip to foot. The rugged landscape of cliffs, rock outcrops and pillars and deep gorges encompasses ecosysytems varying from subtropical at lower altitudes to alpine at the top. The only route through the canyon region is is the 406-mile Chihuahua-Pacific Railway running from Chihuahua on Mexico's northern high plains down to Los Mochis near the Pacific coast. A trip along this railroad, threading 87 tunnels and crossing 36 bridges, is an adventure in itself, but there are ample opportunities to stop off along the way and explore the dramatic canyon country by horseback, bicycle, foot or 4WD. Accommodation ranging from budget dorms to comfortable lodges is available at several towns and villages, notably Creel. The region is also home to the Tarahumara indigenous people, famed for their ability to run long distances and also producers of attractive handicrafts.

John Noble
About the Expert

John Noble is a coauthor of Lonely Planet's Spain, Andalucia, and Mexico as well as many other LP titles from Indonesia to Belize to Brazil.

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: North Central Mexico. Copper Canyon is a group of canyons consisting of six distinct canyons in the Sierra Tarahumara in the southwestern part of the state of Chihuahua in Mexico.
  • Language: Spanish
  • Currency: Mexican Peso
  • Research: Wikitravel | Wikipedia
  • Weather: Daylight | Rainfall

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    September to November, February to June