-Barrancas del Cobre:
abysmal ravines and mountains
more than 3000 metres high configure the topography of this sector
of the Western Sierra Madre, one of the greatest attractions in
the State of Chihuahua
The zone is 600 kilometres long and 250 kilometres wide; although, the most amazing thing is its sheer depth: 1870 metres at the Urique Ravine, whose depth is greater than that of the Great Canyon of the Colorado, in the United States.
The ravines present a variety of microclimates and settings due to the diversity of its altitudinal floors. The fauna is also prodigal in species of great importance, such as the pumas, racoons, jaguars and otters, besides birds such as the eagles and the wild turkeys.
The Tarahumara Sierra is within the Barrancas, and it is the home of numerous indigenous groups, such as the Tarahumara, which are the most, Tepehuaes, Pimas and Guarojíos, who subsist out of agriculture and pasturing.
In the case of the Tarahumaras, who call themselves Rarámuris, they differ from the others for being hasty hunters living in secluded places in caves or modest wooden cabins located in the mountains; this isolation has allowed them to keep their traditions; although, unfortunately it also keeps them in extreme poverty.
During the colonial period the Spaniards discovered innumerable minerals in the zone. Their exacerbated greed led them to layout risky roads, which several centuries later would be replaced by the railways "sown" by the companies of the United States that exploited the riches hidden in the wild geography.
The railroad is still operating nowadays, and it allows visitors to go on one of the most spectacular train rides in the world, not only because of the beauty of the landscapes, but also for the rosary of towns of mining origins, such as Creel, or colonial such as El Fuerte, existing along its path. This adventure on tracks generally starts at the train stations of Chihuahua or Los Mochis.
The zone of Barrancas del Cobre is situated at 257 kilometres from
, having the City of Creel as reference.
with a depth of 1830 metres,
it is one of the most spectacular places in the Tarahumara Sierra.
The zone is of volcanic origin and it started to form 30 million
years ago, approximately, when intense eruptions took place in this
region of the planet. The lava and the rocks helped to configure
the current geography, prodigal in forests of pine trees and ilexes
(in the upper parts), evergreen alders, acacias and agaves (intermediate
zones), and in fauna species, such as pumas, deer and lynxes, amongst
The Sinforosa has an extension of 120 kilometres, and its weather is mild and cool in summer and very cold in the winter months. It is located at 16 kilometres of Guachochi, a community situated at 344 kilometres of Chihuahua.
-Cascade of Basaseachi National Park:
in Rarámuris language (spoken by the Tarahumara) means "place of
cascades or coyotes". Its main attraction is a fabulous 246-metre
high waterfall over the Candameña Ravine.
One of the most recommendable places to fully appreciate the beauty of the cascade is the zone known as The Window; although, the great adventure is in walking along the 2-kilometre trail leading to the entrails of this waterfall.
The park has an extension of 625 hectares and its beautiful settings show forests of pine trees and ilexes, ravines, rivers and streams, the most gorgeous sceneries that shelter an interesting variety of animal species, with birds such as the eagles, the woodpeckers and the wild turkeys, amongst others, standing out; and mammals such as the puma, the deer and the foxes, just to cite a few.
Ideal places for camping and mountain bike routes have been conditioned
within this natural area. Basaseachi is located 270 kilometres west
, in the mountains of the Western Sierra
Inside the park we have:
- Cascade of Piedra Volada: it has a 453-metre height
and is considered the highest in Mexico and one of the 11 highest
on the planet. It is fed by the waters of the Stream of Piedra
Volada, being really spectacular between the months of June
and September (winter). The cascade is surrounded by dense vegetation,
with splendid forests of pine trees and ilexes, besides acacias
and evergreen alders, which serve as a refuge for numerous birds
such as the so called coa bird, on the brink of extinction,
as well as eagles and woodpeckers. There are also pumas, deer
and foxes in the zone, just to cite a few mammals.
There are camping areas nearby this amazing waterfall, along with trekking, mountain biking and horseback riding trails.
it is a town that evolved around a sawmill where the
wood extracted from the nearby forests was processed; but its main
attractions are not on its streets, but in the millenarian caves
on the outskirts, which were used as refuge by the inhabitants of
the Paquimé Culture, who built their dwellings inside them in order
to protect themselves from the extreme weather and the attacks of
their enemies. The dwellings were already abandoned when the Spaniards
The most important caves of Madera, a city located 276 kilometres away from Chihuahua, are:
- El Garabato Caves: they are known as the Forty Houses
due to the great number of pre Columbian precincts there are
in their interior. Built between the years 1060 and 1205 AD,
they may have been used as dwellings by the people of the Paquimé
Culture. The Windows, with an interesting number of constructions,
and the Large Cave, kept by a small cascade, jut out within
this cluster of caves located by the Stream of El Garabato;
located 68 kilometres away from Madera.
- La Ranchería Cave: its cluster of dwellings is larger
than that of Forty Houses; it has an extension of 50 metres
long and 20 metres wide. There are more than 24 rooms in its
interior, most of them with two storeys and of huge dimensions.
There are also grain deposits made of adobe and straw, rather
deteriorated, in which they may have stored maize. A singular
detail is in the geometrical figures in black colour existing
on its walls.
The constructions are situated in the Huápoca Ravine, close to the former Hacienda of Sirupa, and at 50 kilometres from Madera. It is advisable to visit it in the company of an experienced guide.
- Anasazi Group: it is conformed by the Cave of the
Serpent, with 14 rooms, and the Eagle's Nest with just one room.
It is located in the Huápoca Ravine, 33 kilometres away from
Madera. It is recommendable to visit it in the company of an
experienced guide and to be in good physical condition.
- Cave of the Mummy: the body of a mummified male
adult, which was surrounded by offerings such as ceramics, stone
utensils and fresh corn cobs (elotes), was found in its interior.
Currently the mummy is exhibited in the Museum of Captain Leal, in the City of Madera. Its state of preservation is excellent.
It is believed there were more mummies in good conditions in this cave located very close to the Arroyo Ravine, but they may have been destroyed by irresponsible visitors.
The cave is divided in two levels, with more than 10 rooms in optimum conditions on the second one.