About The Area

To travel through the Mexican state of Chihuahua is to experience grandeur. Crossing the San Luis Pass, just east of Agua Prieta, one crosses a threshold to plains, rich with the produce of Mexico’s Mennonite population; valleys grazed by sturdy corriente/Hereford crosses and magnificent horses; and mountains and canyons, inhabited by several indigenous peoples, all this passes before one’s eyes in a single day. If the traveler arrives in Creel by way of the famous Chihuahua al Pacifico (Chepe) train, which leaves Los Mochis to the west every day at 6:00 a.m., he will experience scenery like no other. For eight hours, he will ride in luxurious first-class coaches, roam about in the lounge or dining car, and witness spectacular terrain changing minute by minute from deep and fathomless gorges and tunnels, to the lovely villages of the sierras, and to mountainous passes that will astound even the veteran traveler.

The Rarámuri (original name for the Tarahumara) comprise the major ethnic group in the Sierra Tarahumara of Chihuahua, Mexico, having resisted the cultural influence of Anglo/Europeans for over five centuries. The eight canyons of Las Barrancas del Cobre (Copper Canyons), volcanically formed thousands of years ago, reaching depths greater than those of the Grand Canyon, traverse Chihuahua from the west to the southwest corner of the state. Batopilas Canyon alone is home for nearly 200 species of birds. The diverse species of endemic flora of the barrancas, for over one hundred years, have been the study of ethnobotanists, hoping to collect rare data from Tarahumara curendaros before time erases this ancient wisdom.

Creel, better known as the gateway to the Sierras, stands at the edge of alpine forests at over 7,000 feet, and is home to nearly 7,000 residents. Yet with only one major avenue, Lopez Mateos, leading to the plaza and the church, Creel offers a full range of visitor services, lovely and comfortable lodging, good restaurants, and warm and welcoming shopkeepers. Near the Plaza is the Casa de las Artesanias and a historical display of the Rarámuris and archaeological finds from the Paquime culture (near Casas Grandes). Creel is accessible by car, bus and the Chihuahua-Pacifico train.

From Creel, El Aventurero’s horseman and visitor’s guide, Norberto Padilla, offers an easy horseback ride to the 40-hectares Arareko Lake where birders may find different species of woodpeckers, chuyaco birds, blue herons, many duck species and seasonal raptors. Another short ride will take visitors to the magical Valley of Bisabirachi (Valley of the Monks), a natural wonder of human-shaped rock formations over 50 meters high. By passenger van, Norberto will take you down an 1800-meter drop by road into Batopilas Canyon; or 1520 meters down a majestic horse trail into Otero Canyon for a six-day pack trip to Maguarichi; or 1830 meters down a trail from Areponapuchi to Urique for a 12-day pack trip in Urique Canyon. He will also take you by van to Divisidero for the most spectacular views of Urique Canyon and/or a hike along the canyon rim. Creel is also central to short excursions to Cusarare Waterfalls and world-famous Basaseachic Waterfalls. With a 246-meter cascade, Basaseachic is the second highest waterfall in Mexico. Standing in the middle of one of the best-preserved pine forests in the country, its lookouts offer inspiring views from both the summit and the bottom, which is reached by a hiking, trail (see Tour Options).

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