What to See & Things to Do in Copper Canyon Mexico

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If your bucket list includes stunning nature tours and outdoor adventures, then it may be time for you to discover all the things to do in Copper Canyon Mexico.

Copper Canyon, also known as the Barrancas del Cobre, is in the province of Chihuahua and part of the Sierra Madre Occidental Mountain range. It is an amazing series of canyons that are deeper and longer than the Grand Canyon in the United States!

The Copper Canyon region includes 5 major canyons that cover approximately 25,000 square miles. It is home to several indigenous communities, as well as a wide variety of unique plant and animal species.

This natural wonderland is rich with biodiversity and chock full of things to do for the outdoor enthusiast.

Experience El Chepe train on our Caravan Copper Canyon Train Tour!

Top Things to Do in Copper Canyon Mexico

Ride The El Chepe Railway

El Chepe train in Barrancas del Cobre Mexico exiting a tunnel and crossing a bridge.The best way to experience Barrancas del Cobre is by train!

One of the absolute best things to do in Copper Canyon is to ride the Chihuahua al Pacífico train. It is a popular way to explore the region. The train ride takes visitors through the heart of the Canyons, offering stunning views of the landscape.

There are several different routes available.

The original train, called Chepe Regional, transports tourists and locals alike, making over 10 stops at remote towns throughout the Canyons.

Feel like riding in style? In 2018, a new tourist train was introduced called the Chepe Express. This ride takes you through the Canyon in luxury, complete with a panoramic viewing car and a bar car.

Caravan’s train tour includes Creel, El Fuerte, Barrancas, and Chihuahua.

The El Chepe train takes riders across 39 bridges and 86 tunnels through the canyon system. The journey will take you through multiple elevations and biodiverse regions, making a few stops where you can disembark to explore the Canyon or spend a few days at one of the scenic hotels.

Visit a Tarahumara Community

Handmade handicrafts made by the Tarahumara Indians of Copper Canyon Mexico.The Copper Canyon is home to several indigenous Tarahumara communities. Visitors can take a tour to learn more about the culture and traditions of the Tarahumara people, and even stay with a local family in a traditional dwelling.

The Tarahumara indigenous peoples are correctly called the Rarámuri and have occupied the region for centuries. The Rarámuri are internationally famous for their long-distance running ability, with their name meaning “foot-runner” or “those who run fast.”

Wearing a specific type of footwear called a huarache, some of the Rarámuri can run distances of up to 80 miles (128 km) without stopping.

If you decide to extend your visit by staying in one of the small towns, see if you can find a local guide to take you to a Rarámuri village. The Rarámuri people are welcoming and friendly to tourists. Help support their community by purchasing some artesian crafts and hand-made wares.

Spend Time in Nature

The name Copper Canyon comes from the distinct color of the canyon walls, but you’ll see a lot more than red rock during your visit! Mexico is home to incredible biodiversity, with stunning examples of flora, fauna, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians.

The difference in elevations throughout the network of canyons is huge and there are two distinct climactic zones.

  1. At lower levels, you could be enjoying sub-tropical vegetation in the valleys.
  2. At higher levels, the climate and vegetation are more alpine.

There are multiple small towns scattered across the canyons that offer picturesque accommodations and rich cultural traditions.

If you consider yourself an outdoor adventurer, there is no shortage of things to do in Copper Canyon, from hiking and biking to observing the local wildlife.

Seek out a magical waterfall or unwind in a hidden hot spring but be warned that this is not a beginner-friendly area.

Barrancas del Cobre is home to a number of hiking trails that offer a range of difficulty levels. While beautiful, the terrain can be challenging, with trails spanning across rocky deserts and forest roads with long climbs and rapid descents. Good hiking boots are a must.

One of the most popular trails is the Urique Canyon Trail, which takes hikers through the heart of the canyons and offers stunning views of the landscape. Other popular trails include the Tarahumara Trail and the Basaseachi Falls Trail.

Image of the 807 ft Basaseachic Falls (Cascada de Basaseachic) in Copper Canyon Mexico.Visit the Basaseachi Falls

The Basaseachi Falls are a series of stunning waterfalls. At 807 feet (246 metres) high, Basaseachi Falls are in the Basaseachi National Park and can be reached by a short hike from the park entrance.

Visitors can take a dip in the pools at the base of the falls or simply enjoy the views.

Go Bird Watching

Barrancas del Cobre is home to a wide variety of bird species, including eagles, ospreys, and condors. There are a number of guided bird-watching tours available that take visitors to the best spots for spotting these and other unique bird species.

See Copper Canyon on Horseback

There are several horseback riding trails in the canyons that offer a unique way to explore the region. There are also guided tours available, as well as rentals for those who want to explore on their own.

Visit The Copper Canyon Adventure Park

Zip lining at Copper Canyon Adventure Park in Mexico.For true adrenaline junkies, a trip to the state of Chihuahua would not be complete without stopping by the Copper Canyon Adventure Park.

Here you can ride one of the world’s longest and fastest ziplines that can reach speeds of nearly 35 mph (84 kph).

In addition to zipping through the mountains, there are amazing suspension bridges between the canyon walls.

If you didn’t bring your workout gear, you could always take a relaxing 1.7-mile (2.7km) ride on the Aerial Tram for a stunning panoramic view through the Canyon.

Go Rock Climbing

Barrancas del Cobre is home to a number of challenging rock climbing routes, including the El Gigante route and the Cerro Urique route. There are also several rock climbing schools and guides available to help visitors learn the skills needed to tackle these routes.

Go Rafting

The canyon is home to more than a few rivers that are perfect for rafting. The Urique River and the Rio Santo Domingo are two of the most popular rafting destinations in the region. There are several different rafting companies that offer guided tours, as well as rentals for those who want to explore on their own.

Go Fishing

Barrancas del Cobre has many streams that are perfect for fishing. Check out the available guided fishing tours or rental options for those who want to try their luck on their own.

Take a Scenic Drive

The Copper Canyon region does have some amazing scenic drives throughout its varied landscape. One of the most popular routes is the 85-mile (136km) drive from Creel to Batopilas, which takes visitors through the heart of the canyons.

Overall, there is so much to see and so many great things to do in Copper Canyon Mexico. You won’t be disappointed.

When Is the Best Time to Visit Copper Canyon?

While every season has something beautiful to offer, it’s generally agreed that September and October are the best months to enjoy all the great things to do in Copper Canyon Mexico.

Following the rainy season of July to August, the landscape becomes vibrantly green and lush, with full rivers and waterfalls to explore.
Table showing annual weather conditions (temperature and rainfall) for El Paso Texas and El Fuerte Mexico.

Take a Mexico Train Tour with Caravan Tours!

Experience the natural beauty and adventure the canyons have to offer with Caravan Tours!

Book a Copper Canyon tour for an expertly curated experience and make memories that will last a lifetime. However, be sure to book early. These tours are quite popular and do tend to sell out.

Along with our Copper Canyon Mexico tour, Caravan Tours also offers a fully guided all-inclusive Mexico Ancient Civilizations tour.

Caravan Tours began offering fully-guided tours in 1952 and in 2022 we celebrated our 70th anniversary.

We also offer several tours in the United States and Canada plus all-inclusive tours in Costa Rica, Panama, and Guatemala.

Come travel with Caravan Tours and experience Mexico by train.

Copper Canyon Mexico FAQs

Where is Copper Canyon?

Copper Canyon is in the State of Chihuahua in Northeastern Mexico.

How deep is Copper Canyon Mexico?

Copper Canyon Mexico is approximately 4,600 feet (1,400 metres) deep.

How Big is Copper Canyon Mexico?

Copper Canyon Mexico is a series of Canyons that combined is over 25,000 square miles (the Grand Canyon is only 1,904 sq. miles).

How High Is Copper Canyon Mexico?

The highest point in Copper Canyon Mexico is 8,300 feet (2,540 metres) above sea level.

How Accessible Is Copper Canyon Mexico?

Access to Copper Canyon is limited but the El Chepe train does run through the canyon between Los Mochis Sinaloa and Creel Chihuahua.

How Long is the Copper Canyon Train Route?

The El Chepe train travels 220 miles (350km) through Copper Canyon, Mexico.