The Copper Canyon

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The Chihuahua-Pacific Railway, "El Chepe"

© Dave Fisher

Mexico's Copper Canyon, in the state of Chihuahua, is a network of canyons which together are several times larger than the Grand Canyon in Arizona.

The Chihuahua-Pacific Railway, known affectionately as "El Chepe," runs from Los Mochis, Sinaloa, on the Pacific coast, to Chihuahua city and covers over 400 miles of spectacular scenery.

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Copper Canyon Bridge

&copy Dave Fisher

El Chepe going over one of the 36 bridges on its trajectory through the Copper Canyon.

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Copper Canyon Landscape

&copy Dave Fisher

Riding the Copper Canyon Railway allows you to appreciate the area's breathtaking scenery.

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A valley in the Copper Canyon

&copy Dave Fisher

The Copper Canyon contains two climactic zones: the valleys are home to lush sub-tropical forests whereas the top of the canyon has a cool alpine climate.

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Copper Canyon Hotel

&copy Dave Fisher

This hotel, the Posada Barrancas Mirador, was built on the edge of the canyon so guests can appreciate the spectacular view.

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A view of the Copper Canyon

&copy Dave Fisher

The mining town of Temoris is located in the Barranca Septentrion.

Rainy season in the Copper Canyon runs from June to September. The best time to visit is either in the fall or the spring.

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Copper Canyon Bridge

&copy Dave Fisher

The Copper Canyon Railway is a feat of engineering that took over 60 years to complete.

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Copper Canyon Viewpoint

&copy Dave Fisher

One of the many vantage points from which to enjoy the view of the Copper Canyon.

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Selling Crafts

&copy Dave Fisher

The Copper Canyon is home to the Tarahumara Indians noted for their woven pine needle baskets and hand-carved wooden violins. There are numerous opportunities to purchase handicrafts as you travel through the area.

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A lake near the town of Creel

© Dave Fisher

Lake Arareko is a tranquil spot near the town of Creel, a good place from which to explore the canyons.

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Copper Canyon Divisadero Train Station

© Dave Fisher

The train station at Divisadero is a popular spot for travelers to buy local handicrafts and enjoy the magnificent view.

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Copper Canyon Mountains

© Dave Fisher

One of the many side canyons that make up the Copper Canyon. This one is on the way to Cusarare Falls.

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San Ignacio Rock Formation

© Dave Fisher

Within these intriguing rock formations in the higher altitudes of the Canyon you can make out shapes that are suggestive of plants, animals, and humans.

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Copper Canyon Train Tunnel

© Dave Fisher

El Chepe runs through 87 tunnels on its way from Los Mochis to Chihuahua. This one is over a kilometer long.

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Miguel Hidalgo Lake

© Dave Fisher

Lago Miguel Hidalgo is a man-made reservoir stocked with fish, including bass, which you can sample in the local restaurants.

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Train Stop

© Dave Fisher

The Tarahumara women sell their pine needle baskets to passengers when the train stops.

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Tarahumara Crafts

&copy Dave Fisher

The Tarahumara are noted for their intricate basket weaving and beautifully carved and decorated violins.

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A Tarahumara Woman

© Dave Fisher

It's always best to ask for permission before taking photographs of people you meet while traveling. Many people will be happier to pose if offered a few pesos in return.

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Tarahumara Cave Dwelling

&copy Dave Fisher

The Tarahumara people, or Raramuri, maintain a traditional lifestyle within the Copper Canyon. Some live in adobe or log shacks while others have dwellings in caves like this one.

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A Tarahumara Woman Weaving a Basket

© Dave Fisher

Here a Tarahumara woman is weaving baskets using sisal grass, some of which has been soaked in water to produce different colors.

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Mission at Cusarare

&copy Dave Fisher

The Mission at Cusarare (Place of the Eagles) was founded in 1733 and completed in 1826. The bell tower was rebuilt after it collapsed in the 1960's. During the restoration, officials discovered twelve large religious paintings done in 1713 which were declared to be "of incomparable historical and artistic value."

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