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The Urique-Batopilas Trail

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Facts and Statistics

The Urique-Batopilas Trail runs through Copper Canyon. This route was originally used as a racing track by Micah True before the race was moved to the gravel roads of Urique that are more accessible. The trail ascends 5,000 feet from the floor of the desert to the forested canyon rim and crossing through gurgling arroyos. It offers amazing scenery and breathtaking canyon vistas. The quad-crushing, steep descent going down to the Batopilas River provides equally stunning scenery.

The Copper Canyon

urique batopilas 1Popularly known as Las Barrancas del Cobre in Spanish, it comprises of 6 major canyons. One of them is the Copper Canyon. Urique is the deepest canyon among the six at 6136 feet. Sinforosa and Batopilas have equal depth at 5,904 feet. Copper remains the most popular descending at a depth of 5770 feet. Most tourist brochures do not mention Oteros and Tararecua.

It is worth noting that when they are combined together, these six canyons form a complex of more than 28,000 square miles.

Best Season For Hiking

urique batopilas 2The best season of hiking at the Urique-Batopilas trail is during the month of March and October to November. This is the period immediately after the rainy season. The creeks have sufficient water and the temperatures are tolerable. December to February are characterised by winter snows on the plateau.

Temperatures can drop to make the nights very cold but daytime temperatures are very conducive for hiking. If you want to hike during spring, you need to be extra cautious since melt waters might cross the rivers too dangerous. It helps to wear supportive boots (reviews for women), as well. On top of that, it would be too hot to hike during summer.

Hiking this trail is not for the amateurs and inexperienced. It is a wild, steep and rugged place. This makes it very easy to get lost in the wilderness. Trails are not clearly marked, since they are mostly used by the local population to get from one point to the other. You can even end at someones home if you don’t know the trails well.

Several tour companies in the area offer guided trekking. However, if you are looking for raw adventure, you should consider doing it on your own or with a group of friends. You can also hire a private guard when trekking, just to ensure protection.

The Details

urique batopilas 3Trekking along the Urique Batopilas Trail is going to take around three days, unless you are running like will Harlan and Micah True. The trail connects the two local communities in the area of Urique and Batopilas. Urique is a sleepy town that is not very popular with tourists, since the locals like keeping to themselves.

On the other hand, Batopilas is a former mining hot spot for silver. It will take you around five hours on a bus from. Between this point and Creel, the trail moves into the west of these canyons. Urique can be accessed daily via a minibus.

It winds through massive agave plants and steep sandstone walls. As you arrive at the top of the canyon, the trail gets you to the border. You need to be very careful in this section due to the dangers of dehydration and bandits. Stock enough water wherever you find so that you don’t run out of supplies.

Points of Interest

Hiking at the Urique-Batopilas Trail would not be complete without recognizing the importance of the native Raramuri Indians. Also known as Tarahumara Indians, they have lived in these canyons for more than 500 years.

urique batopilas 4They have been very resistant to change, preferring to maintain their traditions and culture. They still live in their traditional villages following traditional clothing and customs. When hiking the Urique-Batopilas Trail, you will definitely be passing next to their stick huts, small villages and scattered plots.

They Raramuri are traditionally shy people who don’t like interacting with people from the outside world. However, before visiting the area, you should purchase their language book to teach yourself basic expressions. With that, you will be warmly received and shown directions.

Once you have finished hiking, you can visit the park at Divisadero. It was opened in 2010 offering the visitor with systematic 7 zip lines. Each zip line is 0.5 km in length. The longest is 1.2km. There are also two suspending bridges on the system.

Additionally, you can do a cable ride which will give you an opportunity to view the canyons in their breathtaking expanse. There are also bungee jumps, wall climbing and other fun activities.

The area is dotted with several hot springs. The popular and most developed ones are the Recohuata hot springs that are near Creel. Although it is developed, it still offers a very rustic and nice charm blending well with the area’s natural beauty.

urique batopilas 5There are also the undeveloped and lesser known Basirecota Hot Springs that can be found down the canyon around the Cusarare area. Here, the temperature are far much higher than the ones found at the Recohuata.

As you wander around the beaten paths, you might be lucky enough to come across one of the most favorite springs known as Owerabo. These can be found deep within the Copper Canyon. They were mostly formed from natural pools mixing with a waterfall plunging into the wider scenery and thus giving you a magnificent view.

Flora and Fauna

There is a sufficient variety of flora and fauna in this area. These include madrono trees, scrub oak, and figs. Of course, this depends on the time and the season that one chooses for the visit. In addition to that, one gets to explore the healthy balance between the flora and fauna in relation to the general ecosystem. In particular, individuals who are conscious about the environment and planet earth are going to have a unique and memorable learning experience.


Hiking the Urique-Batopilas Trail is an adventure with its own possibilities. It is offers a breathtaking scenery with so much to see. Once you have finished hiking you can visit the several tourist destination spots in the area. Overall, the site is a unique and nice to visit and definitely worth consideration. It will leave you wanting more of hiking.

Youtube User ‘flintportable’ Trail Runs Caballo Blanco in the Mexican Copper Canyon


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About the author


Hi, I’m Brian Bradshaw. I’m a super duper mega hiking enthusiast, with a love for everything that has to do with outdoors, hiking, gear, footwear and more.

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