Regarding the fauna, the Barrancas del Cobre
the habitat of splendid birds such as eagles, woodpeckers and wild
turkeys ; besides other animals such as pumas, deer, racoons, wild
boars and foxes; species that have turned the Western Sierra Madre
into a "living museum" of natural history.
But human presence is also notorious and has left its mark in these places. Amongst the indigenous groups that inhabited the zone before the arrival of the Spaniards, we have the Tarahumaras, which are most of them, the Tepehuaes, Pimas and Guarijíos still subsisting. All of them make a living of agriculture and pasturing.
The Tarahumaras call themselves the Rarámuris, a word that translates as "men of light feet", a denomination that makes reference to their fame of intrepid and fast runners. They live in secluded areas, in caves or modest wooden cabins located in the mountains, cultivating the upper lands in the summer and the lower in the winter.
Their religiosity is a sample of the syncretism between the pre Hispanic beliefs and the western faith. The Tarahumaras not only worshipped Christ and the Catholic saints, but also the ancient gods: Raiénari (Sun) and Mechá (Moon). They take peyote, a hallucinating substance, during their rituals.
In the colonial period, the Spanish, eager to exploit the rich gold, silver, copper and opal deposits existing in the ravines, designed narrow and perilous roads that performed acrobatics in the complicated geography; centuries later the railway linking Chihuahua and the Pacific, a pearl of modern engineering, would be built with the arrival of the mining companies from the United States.
The mining activity brought along the formation of several towns,
such as Creel and El Divisadero, which are part of the attractions
of Barrancas del Cobre