Upstaging the Grand Canyon?

The US equivalent receives (according to the National Parks Service) over 5 million visitors every year! In comparison, the entire Mexican state of Chihuahua receives only 350,000 tourists per annum (so say mexicotoday.org).

We now found ourselves in the perfect position to compare the two, having only a couple of weeks earlier, thoroughly enjoyed ourselves with a helicopter descent into the Grand Canyon.

Now, it was with excitement after an hour long bus journey from Creel to Divisadero, we’d have the chance better view that canyon I had spied a couple of days ago.

A few questions to a knowledgeable stall holder enlightened us that there was a bus back to Creel around 2pm, so we had just over 2 hours to try and indulge our senses as much as possible.

First impressions were pretty good…

Our first views of Copper Canyon for the day

Our first views of Copper Canyon for the day

The tours we had researched mentioned the ‘Adventure Park Copper Canyon’, however their prices would have merely gotten us there. With our thrifty local bus plan, we also figured we had enough credits in the bank for a teleferico (cable car) ride as well when we got there.

Our two young Australian friends quickly hitched a ride up to the adventure park, however we were quite happy to walk it, as there was a lovely path that essentially followed the rim and offered stunning views!

Strolling the canyon rim. What a view!

Strolling the canyon rim. What a view!

Eventually we reached a point where the paved trail ended, and we were presented with two options. A gravel road, or a pine needle covered dirt trail.

Initially we opted for the trail, but after only a few metres I made the call to switch to the road, as the trail really did look like had received very little use.

This worked out okay, as before long we spotted the odd tour bus, and finally we’d made it to the hustle and bustle of the adventure park.

There was the chance to partake in a couple of zip line options, but we remained committed to our teleferico (the price was much friendlier after all).

A panorama from the top of the cable car

A panorama from the top of the cable car (click on the image to see it full size)

The steep descent made the canyon feel even bigger, but provided some incredible views as you can imagine.

Dug into the cliff face directly below where we had minutes before stood, we were able to see ancient burial sites, precariously perched in narrow clefts on the fairly sheer cliff face.

Taking the plunge into the canyon (okay, so we were safe within our teleferico)

Taking the plunge into the canyon (okay, so we were safe within our teleferico)

Ancient indian burial sites amidst the cliff face

Ancient indian burial sites amidst the cliff face

The teleferico didn’t take us to the canyon floor, rather to a rocky outcrop hundreds of metres deeper into the canyon.

Whilst that doesn’t sound all that impressive, the new views it offered from this different perspective, truly were (we also ran into our 2 Australian friends who had just completed the zip line and were full of praise for it).

There wasn’t an awful lot to do out here however, short of enjoy the amazing views and grab as many photos as we thought would capture the memory for us.

Copper Canyon views from a new perspective

Copper Canyon views from a new perspective

Getting all artistic in Copper Canyon

Getting all artistic in Copper Canyon

The return journey wasn’t all that eventful, but for a fairly well traveled Mexican woman who visits the canyon every year and loved the espousing the beauty in ‘Gods hand’ (we couldn’t argue with the beauty bit).

We hustled back along the trail so as to ensure we wouldn’t miss our 2pm bus back to Creel, and gained the company of this old girl for the length of the trip (see below).

A new traveling companion, albeit briefly

A new traveling companion, albeit briefly

A quick feed on those same Gorditas we’d enjoyed when we first arrived here on the train, before our hour long trip back to Creel.

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3 Responses to Upstaging the Grand Canyon?

  1. Thx for the post, Chris. But you didn’t answer your own Q. Is the Copper Canyon more scenic than the Grand Canyon in your opinion? I love the Grand Canyon. Haven’t been to the a Copper Canyon, but based on your pics, they are quite different, and beautiful in their own ways.

  2. Susan Aksu says:

    This is such a beautiful place! I know you did not go down to the canyon, but are there trails that you can take to the Indian burial grounds or to the river (I think that is a river I see in the sixth picture)? This canyon looks like somewhere you can have quite the adventures. It does look geographically different from the Grand Canyon, but either way it looks like somewhere worth checking out once in your life (or come back to every year like the woman you met)!

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