Copper Canyon access from the west
Read Kurt's great piece on the Copper Canyon and wondered what the best way in is coming off the ferry from Baja at Topolobampo. My map doesn't really show any routes in from the west except via the famous train.
Another map shows some dotted lines but I have no idea what this means! Does this mean they are still thinking about the road.....
I'll be on an Africa Twin so I don't mind taking to the dirt to avoid the long ride round.
Thanks for any help. If there is anyone in the southern Baja feel free to say HI.
just got back from the area. direct access from los mochis is difficult. better is to head north to ciudad obregon. from there head northeast on a paved but narrow road to the junction with mex 16 and from there on mex 16 to basaseachi. 4 km behind b. is a turnoff to the right (military checkpoint here) which leads you in about 100km (first 25 km paved-then good track) to the junction with the chihuahua-creel highway. turn right and arrive in creel after 30 km. a paved road leads from there to the divisadero-viewpoint. beautiful roads all through the mountains.
good luck to everyone.
Thanks there Desert Soul.
Some information on getting a temporary vehicle import permit in La Paz. The ferry port where you get the permit is 20km from the town. You need to have three photocopies of the following:
Passport (they like the drivers license on the same page)
Vehicle Registration Document
Costs 27usd and they like a Visa/Mastercard/AMEX card for payment.
All very simple.
Also discovered on my ride through the Baja that the tourist card (I picked mine up in San Diego) is not checked for and stamped until you reach Guerrero Negro on Highway 1.
To tidy up a thread I started, I tried to access the Copper Canyon from the western side and the city of Los Mochis. I rode up to Choix and a little further (to Nacimiento) before I was forced back.
The basic problem was that my maps were not up to the task and better ones couldnot be obtained locally. With hindsight I have discovered that there are two good possibilities for riding into the canyon from the west.
Firstly, the northern route that wouldbring you out ultimately in Creel: it is possible to ride up following a similar route to the railway line. On my map there was a gap in the road between Bahuichivo and Divisidero. I saw a very nice track as I passed by a day later and regretted not trying this route. One word of caution though, I checked with the police about the safety on this route and they confirmed that people had been attacked and robbed here. I was advised this would be ok in a groupbut not recommended for a lone rider.
The second and southern route: This would bring you out in Batopilas. There is a track from Nacimiento (the point I turned around) that leads 100kms or so to Batopilas on the canyon floor. It is tricky to find the way from the west but on speaking with the German guy who lives just up the track from Batopilas in La Bufa, the track is in reasonable condition for an enduro bike to complete in about 3 hours.
Another point worth making is that most of the maps of the canyon show a dead endat Batopilas. This is certainly not the case. Batopilas is essentially a crossroads with access to the north (Divisidero), west (Choix and Los Mochis) and a whole load more dirt to the south. All routes are suitable for an enduro bike.
This is a very valid point. The Copper Canyon is one of the largest producers of opiates and hence there is an unhealthy relationship in my opinion between tourism and the local Mexican population down in the canyon, particularly Batopilas. They were quite interested to learn that I was a scientist and a chemist at that.
However, the local police force advised me this route would be ok and other westerners living down there and travelling extensively with bikes have not reported any trouble. Travelling as a solo rider might not be for everyone there, the atmosphere is different to many other parts of Mexico.
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