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Old 11-04-2010, 03:00 PM   #1
kantuckid OP
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Copper Canyon in Jan?

I ride a R1150R & I've never been to Copper Canyon area. I have been looking at tours/ guides,etc., something I never do on many trips in lots of places but thinking it will expand my possibilities what with winter there in Jan. & the bike not going offroad either. Many of the guide services are too expensive for me, but still looking at the idea. Would like to hike in the area, maybe ride the train.Some of the backcountry tours sound neat, but again they are pricey. I cannot afford the touristy hotels there & having searched here didn't come up with much other to consider either. Any suggestions so far,e.g., lodging -train -hiking-tours,start & finish point,store the bike ,etc.??? Thanks in advance.
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Old 11-04-2010, 08:03 PM   #2
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I went down there in Jan 2008 by myself, first time in Mexico didn't speak a lick of Spanish, and had a wonderful time except its cold up top. You are crossing the tail of the Rocky Mountains to get there. I crossed a snow storm on my way to town of San Jaunito (sp?), just a little North of Creel. I wouldn't want to go again that time of year without a heated jacket and some heated grips I also saw no other riders down in the canyon at that time, had the place to myself.

Weather was perfect down in the canyons but West Texas in January was brutal.

I don't think you need a tour guide, just a positive attitude and you should do fine, worked for me.

You best be good at riding the R on gravel roads or take a bus from Creel down into the canyons.
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Old 11-04-2010, 08:36 PM   #3
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If you are going in January, and want to ride the train in the canyon, why not get on the train in Los Mochis. Find a place to leave your bike there, where its much warmer. The area up around Creel can be ridden in January, but it can also snow. Oct or March are better.
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Old 11-05-2010, 10:47 AM   #4
kantuckid OP
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After quick look at the map & coming from NE direction in USA: question is would you go above Los Mochis(down coast some) or below it (up coast some)to access the train? I have spent plenty of time in Mexico but never that west side(other than Baja).
I hear you on the guide idea but given the season,the bike it might make some places possible. I never-thats never-hire a guide otherwise. Looking at one that uses low end local ldging ,food and is a US guy with Mexican locals working and he's been there a long time.
I have Gerbings and grips and have ridden cold but like it warm better-west Texas is not where I will be going as I will come down through AR toward Texarkana,etc..
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Old 11-05-2010, 11:24 AM   #5
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I crossed at Presido, TX just West of Big Bend in Jan 2008 and it was a cold miserable SOB riding West from DFW to get to far enough West to go South down to Presido to cross the border. It was so cold I had to stop in Midland/Odessa to buy a heated jacket at the Harley dealer, best garmet I ever bought and made the trip lots easier
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Old 11-05-2010, 02:20 PM   #6
Sjoerd Bakker
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The Chihuahua Al PAcifico railroad starts/ends its run IN LOS MOCHIS,
You can get on the train at several other points, e.g. outsidde El Fuerte, near Choix,Divisadero,Creel Cuahtemoc, ...if seats are available.

As for affordable hotels there are lots available for under $25, recommended for the cold nigts in the high country.
But not the ones on the canyon rim at Divisadero though which soak tourists $200
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Old 11-05-2010, 03:06 PM   #7
kantuckid OP
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Bakker , I need to dig out your hotel list and see whats in that area and for this trip anyway. On way home in Victoria in 09 I was cold even with Gerbings! It was a like near 100 year low then. I did flt school in Mineral Wells and know what Texas can be. Also I'm from KS, which is colder than OK so maybe I'm ahead of the game. Age makes me feel colder at times I think too. I was one of the few last weekend at FB game in Starkville,MS with shorts on so not completely over the hill...
There are really not many/much for hotels on the list here for Copper Canyon or Mexico in general!
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Old 11-06-2010, 06:29 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kantuckid
There are really not many/much for hotels on the list here for Copper Canyon or Mexico in general!
Are you looking for reservations?

There is a good selection of hotels in Creel and Batopilas, no problem just showing up, especially in Jan.
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Old 11-06-2010, 06:55 AM   #9
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My reference to hotels is not tuned to the touristy places but rather the ones fellow bikers have used in the lower end $.Thats why I say "here", meaning ADVrider not Expedia or Kayak or the like. I know how to pay & play, this is about on the cheap and avoiding the hotels the tours use-they are all online , for the most part. Also my reference to a guide is not for the several thousand per week variety I see with most websites.
Is the road near Hidalgo del Parral @ El Ojito toward Creel a safe choice these days? Road surface too?
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Old 11-06-2010, 09:53 AM   #10
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I think you're gonna be really cold.
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Old 11-07-2010, 06:56 AM   #11
Sjoerd Bakker
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Mex 24 from Hidalgo del Parral is excellent all the way to its end in the sierra front at Guadalupe Y Calvo,good hotels, highly recommended in MILD WEATHER because this too gets into serious elevation and pine forests where deep snow can occur during winter.
To get to Creel etc you turn NORTH from Mex 24 onto Chih 23 also sometimes tagged as Mex 23 or another number before you get to El Ojito. But this road also is excellent scenery in high grasslands then into the same mountain-pine -possible snow complex in winter. Balleza has a good hotel right on the highway ( maybe now the second hotel downtown has reopened under new management)Good hotels in Guachochic and the trip to Cumbres de Siforosa southwest of town is highly recommende for the views and the hike you can do there up and down the cliffs..
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Old 11-07-2010, 08:18 AM   #12
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Bakker-thanks a bunch, now were getting to facts! I am reading Copper Canyon websites-most tuned to programmed tours and such with big ticket admission fees and not what i'll buy. The suggestions I'm seeing online say Oct-April is the best to visit the area, but of course I am on a bike and they selling tours to mainstream. I may defer this trip to Feb/March, being old has few rewards, but freedom of travel is one of those few. I have been in Mexico on the high ridges of other areas when there were snow flurries, but never in areas where the weather forced a full stop.
I would find it a perfect solution to be in that area: 1.at a time when I can ride whats doable on my bike,e.g., weather and road surface 2. have a hotel/cabana thats affordable and not the "Taj Majhal" of Creel 3. have a safe place to park bike,get off and hike with someone that really knows the area 4. eat some local food in the "right" places 5. ride the train from Los Mochis through the best part of the trip 6. live to tell about it all and get back to KY!
One large part of that seems to be that the guides I see for hiking are all part of the pricey tour business.I have worn out a lot of hiking boots in lots of places , all without a guide, but it looks like a place where this non-Spanish speaker could benefit.
As to the comment that I will be cold-well it will be cold at my sawmill come Monday morning too. I don't wear Gerbings when I work on our farm and seem to manage. My hands get colder than when younger,so it seems. The guy that sits behind me at FB games said yesterday(he's nearing 75) that he really gets colder as he ages and he was an outside worker his whole career. Maybe I should quit the outdoor stuff and read more books? I really don't have a thing against armchair QBs'
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Old 11-07-2010, 09:41 AM   #13
Sjoerd Bakker
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I forgot which dates are involved but somwhere in the year(spring? early fall?) they have a festiva; in Guachochic and there is some sort of iron-man type event where they immitate the old Tarahumara running up and down the mountain at Cumbres de Sinforosa. One of you athletes have the details?
The view over the Rio Verde canyon is far and spectacular and there are several trails down the cliff to two lower observation ramadas. Very good for spending hours just loooooooooking.
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Old 11-07-2010, 10:00 AM   #14
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Regarding your comment about armchair quarterbacks: I have ridden that area in March and I was cold.
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Old 11-07-2010, 12:48 PM   #15
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I bet I was colder in Jan Full on snowstorm crossing San Jaunito was an interesting ride following a bus through the mountains.
It was worth it though when the canyon riding started:



Margaritas in Creel is a good cheap place to stay, breakfast and dinner included IIRC. Right off the square in Creel across from the station:


Be sure a post a ride report, I wanna see all the fun you had



You've been given many facts already, its freakin cold in Jan and it would be heck of a lot nicer later in the year or Oct.
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